Liverpool

Liverpool dog attack: Two-year-old girl injured in garden

Dog attack scene Liverpool Image copyright PA
Image caption The attack took place in the garden of a house in Cockburn Street, Toxteth

A two-year-old girl was seriously injured in a "horrific" attack after several dogs got into a garden where she was playing, police said.

The girl's aunt screamed "the dog's got the baby" as her niece was attacked.

The toddler suffered head and body injuries during the attack in Toxteth, Liverpool, police said.

Her aunt, who was also looking after two other children, fought off the dogs and carried the child away as neighbours ran to help.

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Media captionLiverpool toddler-attack dogs 'not banned breed'

She managed to get the other children, aged four and six, to safety.

The toddler was playing outside her aunt's house in Cockburn Street when the dogs from a nearby property managed to get into the garden. Police think they got in through the fence.

A 35-year-old man from Toxteth has been arrested on suspicion of having a dangerous dog or dogs out of control.

Five dogs and six puppies were seized from the arrested man's home. Two were put down.

Merseyside Police said the American bully dogs were not a banned breed.

Girl's scream

Neighbours, who did not want to be named, said the dogs were being bred for sale.

One said she heard the girl scream as the dogs attacked her.

Another said she saw hers aunt run from the house carrying the girl, named as Ella, screaming: "The dog's got the baby! The dog's got the baby!"

The neighbour added: "I can't even actually think about it now," and was too upset to speak further.

Another neighbour said the attack had been "shocking", adding there had been previously "no problems at all with any of the dogs".

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Ch Insp Dave Westby, of Merseyside Police, said: "This was a horrific attack which has resulted in a two-year-old girl suffering extensive injuries to her head and body."

The alarm was raised at 15:40 BST on Sunday.

Police said the girl was taken by air ambulance to Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

Her aunt was taken to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, where she received treatment for minor injuries.

Image caption Police said the girl was getting the "best possible care and treatment" at Alder Hey Children's Hospital

Ch Insp Westby said: "It is believed the little girl was attacked by more than one dog, and officers are trying to establish how many dogs were involved in the incident.

"Fortunately, a relative who was in the house was able to rescue the child from the dogs."

Police are appealing for anyone with information about the dog attack to contact police or Crimestoppers.