World

Australian six-year-old mauled by a pack of dogs

A six-year-old Australian girl was "a screaming ball of sand and blood" as she was mauled by a pack of six dogs.

Maya Wicksteed was visiting a neighbor with her father, Bruce, near the remote western city of Perth when she was set upon by three Arab Bullmastiffs and three domestic dogs, Perth Now reported.

"Maya was a screaming ball of sand and blood," Wicksteed, who was working on a vehicle when the attack occurred, said. "Police later told me she had been dragged over a 130-foot area."

He described "a horrible feeling in my gut" when he realized what had happened and told The West Australian that his neighbor had come to Maya's aid by laying over her to shield her from the four-foot-tall, 130-pound dogs.

"I realized Maya was lying underneath him and his wife was lying down in the path of the dogs to try to shield my daughter," Wicksteed said. "I feared for my life. I picked up a length of hose and just started whipping them."

Maya suffered horrific facial injuries in Friday's savage attack and is recovering after undergoing cosmetic surgery. She was in stable condition Monday.

The three Arab Bullmastiffs, belonging to the neighbor's son, have been voluntarily surrendered. They were believed to have lived on the property and been used for pig hunting.

Wicksteed said, "They are a killing machine -- if a dog can't differentiate between a pig and a little girl, there's an issue."