A three-year-old girl has been horrifically injured in an attack by a Japanese Akita dog.

Demi Franklyn suffered a broken jaw and deep cuts to her head and neck when the animal suddenly turned on her when she fell over as she played with it outside a flat in Leeds Road, Windhill, Shipley.

Her sister Sarah Davies, 22, said it was feared damage caused to her facial muscles and nerves might leave her unable to smile properly in future.

Demi’s mum Mary Davies, 39, said she was alerted to the horror when she heard her daughter’s screams.

She said: “I could hear her screaming so I shot downstairs and tried to pull her away from the dog.

“Someone next door said ‘don’t do that’ and someone else kicked the fence so it let go.

“I grabbed her and ran upstairs, there was blood everywhere, and I phoned the ambulance.

“I thought she was dying on me – she had gone into shock.”

Miss Davies said the police told her surveillance camera footage showed Demi stroking the dog and giving it a sweet, before she fell and the dog jumped on her.

She said: “She’s played with it in the past and it has been fine, but I’ve now been told that it bit someone else before, so what was it doing outside? She’s lucky to be alive.”

Demi’s sister, Sarah, said: “She can’t smile anymore – the doctors said they have tried operating on it and it will take ages for the muscles to stitch together and she’s going to need another operation in the future. She’s got a fractured jaw which is really painful. We are waiting for the bone doctor to come and see her, they might be operating again to fit braces to her jaw.”

The dog belonged to Mohammed Asam Bashir, owner of Tommy’s general store in Leeds Road, said a spokesman for the store.

He said it had been tied up on land belonging to the shop when the attack happened.

A vet put down the Akita, he said.

Councillor Vanda Greenwood (Lab, Windhill and Wrose) said: “It’s really disturbing. My heart goes out to the family.

“Someone at three years old shouldn’t have to go through something like that.”

Councillor John Watmough (Lib Dem, Windhill and Wrose) said he wanted to pass on his condolences to the family.

He said: “It is a terrible situation and it should not have happened.”

A West Yorkshire Police spokesman confirmed police had been called to the attack which occurred at 5.30pm on Wednesday.

He said: “The Shipley Neighbourhood Police Team is investigating the matter.”

e-mail: james.rush @telegraphandargus.co.uk