A 12-year-old girl was viciously attacked by a pet dog after its owner failed to keep the animal in leash. The incident took place Wednesday in the southern Indian city of Chennai.

According to local reports, the girl was walking to a grocery store near her home in the Shri Ramajayam Street when her neighbor's pet Rottweiler began chasing her. The animal grabbed the girl and severely bit her stomach. Luckily for the girl, bystanders rushed to her rescue.

The owner of the dog also arrived at the scene and pulled the dog away from the girl. The 12-year-old was rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. 

An eyewitness told The New Indian Express, a local newspaper, that the dog's owner stepped out of his house without locking the gate which led to the Rottweiler running out. The resident added that the girl panicked and started to run. As she was scared of the dog, she even threw stones at the animal which may have provoked the dog to attack the child.

“The dog had run out to the road close to where Keerthana (the first name of the victim) was. She panicked and started to run. She also threw stones at the dog, which resulted in the pet turning violent. It then pounced on her and bit her stomach and with the impact, the girl fell on the ground and hurt her hand,” an eyewitness said.

Rottweilers are ferocious dog breeds and have been linked to several attacks.

Last year in North Carolina, a woman was killed and two of her young grandchildren were injured, one of them critically, when they were attacked by four Rottweilers owned by the woman's brother. The incident took place in Robeson County.  The two children were aged seven and 9, police said at the time.

The two deputies who were called to the scene opened fire, because "they were approached by the dogs in an aggressive manner," a police statement said. The dogs were killed and turned over to Robeson County Animal Control.

Rottweiler Rottweiler | Representational Image Photo: Getty Images/ FRED DUFOUR