17-month-old baby girl mauled to death by dog bought by Merseyside family a week ago
A 17-month-old girl was mauled to death by a recently bought dog in her own home.
At about 3.50pm today Merseyside Police officers were called to a home in St Helens following reports a child had been attacked by a dog.
Police and the North West Ambulance Service arrived at the scene and the girl was rushed to hospital.
She died of her injuries a short time later.
The dog, which had been bought just a week ago, was handed over to police when they arrived at the scene and it has since been killed.
Detective Inspector Lisa Milligan said: "This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the child’s family at this devastating time.
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"The little girl’s parents and wider family are absolutely devastated and our specialist Family Liaison Officers are providing them with support at this horrendous time.
"Whilst we are in the very early stages of the investigation into this extremely tragic incident we can confirm that the dog was only bought by the family a week ago and officers are working to identify the previous owners of the dog concerned and establish its history.
"Our officers will remain on Bidston Avenue this evening and in the coming days to provide reassurance to the local community and we will work tirelessly to establish the full circumstances.
“If you were in the Bidston Avenue area this afternoon and witnessed anything, or have any information about the dog in question then please come forward speak to one of our officers.
"Our officers take the issue of dangerous dogs very seriously. Over the past years we have worked proactively with the five local authorities in Merseyside to ensure prohibited dogs are taken off the streets.“
The dog will be subject to further forensic examinations to determine the breed of dog and whether it is or isn’t a legal breed, the police have said.
Officers remain at the scene this evening to examine CCTV, speak to witnesses and go door-to-door.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact us via the social media desk @MerPolCC or 'Merseyside Police Contact Centre' on Facebook, with reference 22000196837.
Alternatively, you can call the independent charity @CrimestoppersUK anonymously, on 0800 555 111. You can also use their online form at: https://crimestoppers-uk.org/give-information/give-information.