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22nd Mar 2022

Toddler mauled to death by dog in family home, UK police say

The incident occurred on Monday.

*This story contains reference to child death. 

A toddler has died after being mauled by a dog their family had only owned for one week, police in the UK have said.

The tragic incident occurred St Helen’s, Merseyside, on Monday around 5.30pm.

17-month-old Bella-Roe was taken to hospital following the incident where she later died. The dog in question has since been put to sleep.

As reported by Sky News, 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.”

“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.”

Bella-Rae was named by local police on Tuesday. Superintendent Steve Brizell said: “At this stage we understand that the family dog they had bought just a week earlier has attacked Bella-Rae inside the family home.

“Bella-Rae was taken by ambulance to hospital by paramedics but despite the best efforts of police officers at the scene, paramedics and doctors, sadly Bella-Rae died as a result of her injuries yesterday afternoon.

“It has left a family and a community grieving and in complete shock.”

Forensic tests will now be carried out on the dog to establish whether it was an illegal breed. Under the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991), certain dog breeds have been banned in the UK.