Seven-year-old Reah Minns has been left with gruesome wounds after being mauled by a dog.

Last night, her mother Nicola McCavery called on owners to keep a tighter rein on their pets after the Greater Leys schoolgirl needed two operations at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital.

Reah was staying at her grandmother's flat in Southfield Park, East Oxford, when her left leg was grabbed by the dog, thought to be a Patterdale terrier, at about 11am on Sunday, August 24.

Miss McCavery said: "Reah went out to play and she had to open a security door to go with her friends.

"There was a lady stood by the door with two dogs. One of them was on an extendable lead but it just went for Reah. It didn't just bite her, it tore chunks out of her leg."

Reah, who suffered four severe wounds in her leg, was rushed to hospital by ambulance and had an operation the next day followed by surgery last Friday.

Miss McCavery, 29, said: "She had the first operation to clean it all up but they couldn't seal the wound so she had to have a second operation to stitch it up.

"She's too scared to take her bandages off at the moment, she doesn't want to see the stitches or the scars."

The Windale Community Primary School pupil, who has been unable to rejoin her classmates back at school this week, is now recovering at home in Coltsfoot Square.

Her mum said: "She still can't talk about it and she's having nightmares. She's scared she's going to go out and see the same dog again.

"We have a dog of our own and she was fine with dogs before but now she's so scared of strangers' dogs. She just doesn't want to go out in case she bumps into this one again."

Miss McCavery said she believed the dog was a Patterdale terrier.

She said she was told the dog had been given to another owner and members of her family had since seen it around Oxford.

She said she had made a statement to police at the time of the attack but had not heard back from officers.

Mss McCavery said: "We haven't got a clue what's going on.

"We're scared to take Reah out in case she sees the dog again. It's just really hard for her.

"Dogs like these should be kept on a muzzle and not on extendable leads.

"People just need to think about keeping their dogs under control when there are kids around."

A police spokesman confirmed they were investigating the incident and appealed for anyone with information to call them on 08458 505505.

Between April and the end of July this year, police said there had been 142 recorded incidents of "allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control" in Oxfordshire.

Dog experts said Patterdale terriers were traditionally good with children but should be supervised around younger ones, like all breeds. They need exercise because lack of activity was the number one reason for behaviour problems.