updated 8/4/2009 10:45:45 AM ET 2009-08-04T14:45:45

A jogger "looked like a blob of blood" from multiple bite wounds after eight pig hunting dogs attacked her as she ran past a rural property in New Zealand, her husband said Tuesday.

Margit Christensen, 36, suffered scores of bites to her scalp, arms and legs before the dogs ran off. Rescue services flew the woman to Waikato Hospital by helicopter where she had nine hours of surgery overnight Monday, emergency specialist Dr. John Bonning said.

"There were serious injuries pretty much all over her body," said Sergeant Jason Shailer of Te Awamutu police in central North Island.

Husband Sven Christensen said a friend was cycling nearby when she heard the mother of two screaming as three dogs attacked her.

"She was screaming with three dogs on her, trying to kick them off when another five or so dogs came flying across and she fell to the ground," he told National Radio Tuesday.

The friend alerted a neighbor and called Christensen, who got to the scene before medical help arrived.

"By the time I got there the dogs were off ... Margit was basically just sitting, she looked like a big blob of blood on the side of the road," he said.

Fetal position
The dogs' owner had helped drive the pack off his wife, Christensen said.

"She kept whacking them with sticks and they kept trying to come back and come back, and then she managed get them off," he said.

Margit Christensen told Bonning that she curled into fetal position to protect herself during the 15-minute attack — a move that saved her life.

"She was the most seriously injured person that been injured by dog bites I have ever seen. She had injuries all over her body — to her arms, her neck, her back, her legs and it sounds like an absolutely horrific attack," he told the radio network.

"Blood loss is certainly a way you can die from injuries such as these," he added.

Extensive surgery
The woman was in a stable condition after extensive surgery, but Bonning said she faces many skin graft operations.

Shailer said the dogs had been seized and destroyed after their owner signed a destruction order.

A 29-year-old woman had been arrested and faces eight charges of owning a dog that caused injury. She had been released on police bail to appear in court next week, Shailer said. Her name was not released.

The woman's mauling follows a similar attack on a teenage cyclist a year ago by four pig hunting dogs that bit the 13-year-old more than one hundred times. He was saved when a passing woman motorist pulled him into the safety of her car.

A woman and a man died in separate dogs attacks in recent years and several children have been badly mauled. New Zealand dog control laws have been stiffened to require the destruction of animals involved.

More on: New Zealand

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