The attack came out of nowhere in an ordinary suburban backyard in Brisbane's east.
Queenslander Jeff Chandler and his wife Vicki were staying at their daughter's home in Tingalpa last Monday, minding her two dogs and their own poodle cross Shih Tzu, Teddy.
It was early in the morning, about 8am, and the pets had just been let out into the garden.
What followed were several brutal, horror-filled minutes that left the couple traumatised and Teddy, their beloved pet of eight years, bleeding out with fatal injuries.
It began when the dog next door, an American Staffordshire terrier, suddenly started barking through the wire fence, Mr Chandler said.
"We didn't pay much attention to the barking, but then next thing I saw was a head come through the fence and then a body," he said.
"The dog just launched itself at my dog.
"I picked our dog up but it was too late, within seconds it just lock-jawed around our dog,
"It was brutal. I was trying to wrestle this dog as it ripped my dog apart.
"It was like being attacked by a lion, or something, it was that powerful."
Distressing security camera vision, seen by nine.com.au, shows Mr Chandler leaping onto the American Staffordshire terrier and pulling Teddy into his arms.
Mrs Chandler can be heard screaming, and then yelling out, "You've killed our dog".
Her husband said they did everything to try stop the attack.
"I was punching it on the head and hitting it with a broom," he said.
The couple rushed to the car to take Teddy to the vet, letting the owners of the American Staffordshire terrier know on the way out what had happened.
The owners had been asleep and believed their pet was inside, Mr Chandler said.
Teddy died just as the couple arrived at the vet.
Mr Chandler was left with deep gashes to his hands, needing stitches after the attack.
The other two dogs belonging to his daughter were unharmed.
Brisbane City Council's city standards civic cabinet chair councillor Kim Marx told nine.com.au officers had seized the dog involved in the attack.
The council was now investigating the incident.
Dog breed responsible for most attacks
It was an American Staffordshire terrier, the same breed of dog that killed Teddy, which also fatally mauled a newborn baby last month on the NSW Central Coast.
The baby boy's death served to reignite the debate over whether people should be allowed to keep American Staffordshire terriers as pets.
Statistics just released by the NSW Department of Local Government show that American Staffordshire terriers are responsible for the most dog attacks in the state by far.
During the past 12 months, from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, there have been 773 attacks by American Staffordshire terriers in NSW.
The second-highest number of attacks were carried out by bull terriers, 418 during the same time period.
In NSW, Queensland and Victoria, there are five breeds of restricted dogs that can no longer be sold or given away – American pit bull or pit bull terriers, Japanese Tosas, Dogo Argentino (Argentinean fighting dogs), Fila Brasiliero (Brazilian fighting dogs) and Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario dogs.
The American Staffordshire terrier is not on that list, however, Mr Chandler believes the breed should be.
"If that breed didn't exist our dog would still be alive," he said.
"How high does the body count have to be, animal or human, before that sort of action is taken?"
The banning of breeds was a state government responsibility under the Animal Management (Cats and Dogs) Act 2008, Mr Marx said.
While dog attacks were a serious problem, an RSPCA NSW spokesperson told nine.com.au the organisation did not support breed-specific legislation, such as calls to ban American Staffordshire terriers, the spokesperson said.
"Every animal should be judged on an individual level because every animal has the potential to be dangerous."
Contact reporter Emily McPherson at firstname.lastname@example.org.