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Toddler mauled to death by dog her family had owned for just one week

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A toddler has died after being attacked by a dog at her own home, Merseyside Police have said.

Officers received a report of a dog attack at an address on Bidston Avenue, Blackbrook in St Helens at around 3.50pm.

Emergency services attended and a 17-month-old girl was taken to hospital where she died as a result of her injuries.

The dog was handed over to police at the address and has been humanely destroyed.

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.

“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.”

Forensic tests are to be carried out on the dog to establish whether it was an illegal breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991).

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