A dog-owner described how his pet ran in terror with its "throat hanging out" after an attack by two Lurchers – which only ended thanks to the help of passing soldiers.
Del Roberts, 56, says his cross-breed mongrel Dutch was attacked on the field near the Santander tower in Bootle, and was "ripped to shreds" before he was freed.
Mr Roberts, a mental health nurse, told the ECHO: "It was around 9am on Saturday morning. I went on to the field from Bridle Lane and it was literally deserted.
"When I got to the very far end of the field, out from behind a hedge came two lurchers and a guy with them.
"I said no worries mate he's dead friendly. But the guy said 'they're not, they play a bit heavy'."
Mr Roberts said Dutch and the two Lurchers sniffed each other for around 10 seconds, but as Dutch turned away the two hunting dogs switched and became aggressive.
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He said: "One of them bit his neck and then the other came over and the pair of them just ripped him to shreds.
"My dog was screaming. I have never ever heard a noise like it, it was between a howl and a bark."
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Mr Roberts said the Lurchers did not have collars, and due to the rain it was extremely difficult to pull them off his terrified dog.
They were finally able to free Dutch, described as a "happy, friendly dog", when the two soldiers from the nearby Territorial Army barracks joined the struggle.
Mr Roberts and the soldiers managed to wrap Dutch's lead around the necks of the Lurchers to pull them off.
He said: "His throat was basically hanging out. He was lying on the floor and I thought there is no way he is going to get up, he's not going to make it.
"One of the soldiers came over and said I should get him away because the Lurchers could slip the lead at any moment.
"But Dutch got up and ran off, he ran a mile home with his throat hanging out."
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Mr Roberts said he and his partner Claire rushed Dutch to Vets 4 Pets in Walton Vale, where he underwent emergency surgery.
He said: "He's not completely out of the woods yet, those dogs are likely to have had infections and I don't think for one second that guy is a responsible dog owner who would have got their injections sorted."
The attack has been reported to Merseyside Police.
Mr Roberts has appealed for help after being landed with a £968 vet bill, and the prospect of further treatment to come.
Anyone wishing to help with Dutch's recovery can donate here.