A baby girl has been mauled to death by a dog her parents bought just a week ago, police have confirmed.
Merseyside Police said officers received a report that a child had been attacked by a dog at an address on Bidston Avenue in Blackbrook, St Helens, Merseyside, England, at around 3.50pm on Monday afternoon, March 21.
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The 17-month-old girl was taken to hospital where she died as a result of her injuries.
The dog has been put down following the attack.
Detective Inspector Lisa Milligan said: “This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the child’s family at this devastating time. 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.
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“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.”
Police are investigating whether the dog was an illegal breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.