A 10-year-old Vancouver Island girl suffered deep gashes to her arm in a dog attack, her father said.

The incident occurred Saturday afternoon in the front yard of a Nanaimo, B.C. home. Dave Skabaro said his daughter was playing with other children when two dogs approached from up the street. He said one pounced on his daughter and began mauling her as bystanders rushed to help.

“The kids were screaming,” he told CTV Vancouver Island on Monday. “If it had gone for her neck or her face, it would be a very different story right now.”

The girl was left with extensive bite wounds, and will miss school for at least a week while she recovers. Skabaro said a woman who intervened in the attack was bitten as well.

Neighbour Kathy Torney said her eight-year-old son Jaden also jumped in to help, beating the dogs with a hockey stick in an attempt to halt the attack.

“It was very traumatizing to go through,” she said. “The kids . . . they don’t feel safe in their front yard. They were scared to go to school today.”

Torney said her son has told her that he wishes he could have done more to protect the girl.

Neighbours told CTV Vancouver Island that someone quickly whisked the dogs away from the area shortly after the incident took place.

“I can’t even imagine leaving children bleeding and screaming,” neighbour Pamela Bain said. “Just taking your dogs and not even staying at the scene. It’s awful.”

Nanaimo Animal Control referred CTV Vancouver Island’s request for comment to city officials, who deferred to the RCMP. The RCMP did not release any information about the incident on Monday.

Neighbours said this was not the first time the dogs have been reported to authorities.

“This wasn’t a small bite. This wasn’t just a nip on the hand,” Skabaro said. “This was extensive damage to her arm. Not just to her arm, to her mind.”

With a report from CTV Vancouver Island’s Gord Kurbis