A pensioner has been left distraught after her dog's face was ripped off in a brutal attack in Melbourne's north-west.
Maria Calleja was walking her two French poodles near her house in Deer Park earlier this month when the eldest, 18-year-old Jacques, put his nose near a hole in a house fence to smell the grass.
But the dog at the house, believed to be a pit bull terrier, grabbed hold of Jacques with his mouth. When Ms Calleja heard a thump, she ran over and hit the other dog on the head.
"There was no face," she told radio station 3AW. "I started screaming."
Ms Calleja said Jacques had not put his nose into the fence and he was smelling the grass nearby.
Ms Calleja said Jacques' face had been ripped off from about 2.5 centimetres below his eyes. She said she was forced to wait three hours before the dog could be euthanased at the Werribee animal hospital. The dog remained conscious until then.
Police were phoned, she said, but they told her the local Brimbank council was the authority responsibility. The council said it was powerless because the attack happened on private property.
"Jacques still had a lot of life," Ms Calleja said. "If he had have passed away of old age that's one thing, but to die in the way he did ..."
Ms Calleja said she could not afford the $750 cremation bill on her pension.