A 17-month old girl has been killed by a dog less than a week after her family bought the pet, police in St Helens have said.
The young girl died in hospital after being attacked on Monday afternoon in Bidston Avenue in Blackbrook.
In a statement given via Merseyside Police, the family said they had only bought the dog a week ago and that they were “absolutely devastated” by the death.
Detective Inspector Lisa Milligan said: “This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the child’s family at this devastating 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.”
The dog has since been put down by the authorities. Merseyside Police have said they will look to identify the dog’s previous owners as well as determine whether the dog was bred illegally.
Detective Inspector Milligan added: “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.”
“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.”
Anyone who witnessed anything in the area around the time of the attack, or who has information about the dog, is asked to contact the police.