Chatham dog attack on toddler has 'ruined our lives'

Jenkins Dale play area, Chatham
Image caption The playground attack has "ruined the lives" of the little girl's family

The family of a toddler who was seriously injured in a dog attack has said the ordeal has "ruined their lives".

The girl, who cannot be named, was shaken "like a rag doll" by the dog in a park - where they are banned - in Chatham, Kent.

She is in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

Her parents said: "The incident has ruined our lives and the lives of our two children."

Kent Police said the dog had been found to be a "pit bull type", which officers said was a banned breed under dangerous dog legislation.

Firearms officers shot it dead after being called to the park at 17:26 BST on Tuesday.

A man, teenager and woman, all from Chatham, were arrested on suspicion of offences under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

They have now been released pending further inquiries.

Image copyright Katy Ayres
Image caption The dog was killed shortly after the attack on the child

The family statement added: "We would like to thank all the emergency services and others who helped our daughter by giving first aid at the scene.

"We are also grateful for the continued support of the hospital where she is being treated.

"We ask that people now respect our privacy and give us time to focus on the wellbeing of our family."

The child was taken to a London hospital with life threatening injuries.

Image caption The dog was said to be inside the play area on a lead before the attack

Eyewitnesses described the attack as "terrifying".

Amanda Ayres, 52, who called for an ambulance after seeing the attack, said: "I can't get her face out my head - her lips were blue.

"The mum came over screaming and fell to her knees when she saw her little girl. The whole dog's face was covered in blood."

Her daughter Katy Ayres, 31, added: "It had her head in his mouth and was shaking her, treating her like a rag doll."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites