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Neighbors describe toddler killed in dog attack as ‘beautiful little girl’

Neighbors have described attempts to rescue a 17-month-old girl who was attacked by a dog at her home.

The toddler died in hospital from her injuries following the attack in Blackbrook, St Helens, Merseyside on Monday afternoon.

A resident said: “We were coming from school and we heard screams. I just ran over to help and started CPR until the paramedics took over.”

The neighbor, who is said to be going to university to train as a paramedic, said the child’s parents were “hysterical”.

She added, “I didn’t see the dog, I was just concentrating on helping the baby.”

Another neighbor who helped with the resuscitation said: “The parents were doting on the children. It’s too annoying to say otherwise.”

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A police officer wipes his eyes outside a home in St Helens after a 17-month-old girl died after being attacked by a dog. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Neighbor Joanne Matthews, 53, said: “She was such a beautiful little girl who frolicked about.

“I saw the family walking by just to say hello and they were always very nice.”

Ms Matthews said she saw the ambulance outside the home on Bidston Avenue around 3.50pm on Monday and then about 10 police cars, including a van, arrived.

She said: “I saw them bring the dog out. I couldn’t tell what breed it was, but from the back it looked like a Staffordshire Bull Terrier or Pit Bull.”

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Superintendent Steve Brizell speaks to the media outside a home in St Helens after a 17-month-old girl died after being attacked by a dog. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Merseyside Police said the dog, which was humanely destroyed, had been with the family for just a week.

It will undergo further forensic examinations to determine whether or not it is a legal breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991), police said.

Another neighbor, who asked not to be named, said she got home from shops around 4:30 p.m. and the area was full of police officers.

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A woman lays flowers at a home in St Helens after a 17-month-old girl died after being attacked by a dog. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

She said: “My friend took me and I said to her that there must have been a murder.

“The mother lay crying in the field in front of the house, she was hysterical.

“It’s usually very quiet and safe here for kids, but when you hear that something like this has happened, it’s so upsetting.”

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 extended family are absolutely devastated and our specialist family liaison officers are supporting her at this terrible time.

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Superintendent Steve Brizell speaks to the media outside a home in St Helens after a 17-month-old girl died after being attacked by a dog. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

“While we are in the very early stages of the investigation into this extremely tragic incident, we can confirm that the dog was purchased by the family just a week ago and officials are working to identify the previous owners of the dog involved and its history to determine.

“Our officers will remain on Bidston Avenue tonight and the coming days to provide security 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 saw anything or have any information about the dog in question, please come forward and speak to one of our officers.”

On Tuesday morning, two police officers were stationed in front of the house, which was cordoned off with caution tape.

Anyone with information can contact Merseyside Police on Twitter @MerPolCC on reference number 22000196837 or the Merseyside Police Contact Center on Facebook.

You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/britain/neighbours-describe-toddler-killed-in-dog-attack-as-beautiful-little-girl-41474033.html Neighbors describe toddler killed in dog attack as ‘beautiful little girl’

Fry Electronics Team

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