WORRIED New Lambton residents say they will re-organise their travel routes and remain inside unless it was absolutely necessary after four dogs which viciously attacked three people were returned to their owners after a yard was secured.
At least two people, a woman and man, remained in John Hunter Hospital on Sunday after they received savage bite wounds to their hands and arms after being attacked by the marauding pack on Saturday morning.
Neighbours said the man had lost some flesh from his upper arm in the attack while the woman, who was attacked as she tended to a garden inside her own front yard, had serious puncture wounds to her hands and arms.
The attacks occurred after the four dogs left their owner’s Wickham Road address and began terrorising residents and other dogs along that road and into Gwydir Street.
Their breed was not specified, although neighbours described one of the dogs as appearing to have ‘‘staffie [Staffordshire terrier] in it’’ and the other three were bigger.
‘‘It seemed to go on for a bit because the dogs were just roaming around,’’ Wickham Road resident Leanne O’Neill said.
She said she heard the family dog, Katie, barking before seeing at least one of the dogs attempting to get into her yard by shoving its head through a part of a fence.
‘‘As it was trying to get its head through the gates I hit it with a hose and it didn’t like that,’’ Mrs O’Neill said. ‘‘It was snarling at me and there was spit coming from its mouth, it was very angry.’’
The woman was attacked after several of the dogs jumped a front fence and bit her inside her own front yard.
The badly injured man lost some tissue after being bitten underneath a biceps.
Teenager Molly O’Neill said she would bypass the home where the dogs had been kept.
‘‘It’s too scary, and I couldn’t take our dog,’’ she said.
A resident at the house where the dogs were reportedly being kept refused to comment.
A Newcastle City Council spokeswoman said the dogs, which had been taken by council rangers, were returned on Sunday after the yard which they lived in had been secured.
The spokeswoman said the council’s investigations would continue after representatives spoke with the the victims on Monday.