A three-year-old girl has been left in hospital with serious injuries after her face was mauled in a vicious dog attack while she was playing outside a pub.
Witnesses described seeing the young girl outside the Market Tavern in Kirkby, northeast of Liverpool, earlier in the day dressed in ‘pretty pink’, while they claimed the ‘big dog’ kept having to be pulled back by its owners.
Merseyside Police were called to the pub in Newtown Gardens just after 3.15pm on Saturday afternoon following a report that a dog had attacked a child.
The toddler was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for treatment of her injuries, which are understood to be serious but not life-threatening.
A 31-year-old man from Ormskirk, Lancashire, has been arrested on suspicion of affray and having a dog dangerously out of control in a public place. The dog, which was seized by officers at the scene, will be humanely destroyed after its breed is determined by specialists, it is understood.
A spokesman for the force confirmed the child was still in hospital where she is receiving treatment for the serious facial injuries.
A three-year-old girl has been hospitalised with serious injuries after her face was mauled in a vicious dog attack while she was playing outside the Market Tavern (pictured) in Kirkby
A 31-year-old man from Ormskirk has been arrested on suspicion of affray and having a dog dangerously out of control in a public place. Pictured: Police outside the Market Tavern
Outside the Market Tavern one pubgoer said she witnessed the terrifying attack which happened while many were out enjoying the sunshine.
The woman, who did not wish to be named, said she had seen the girl earlier in the day dressed in ‘pretty pink’ and playing happily outside the pub with a hula-hoop.
She claimed ‘a big dog was outside the pub’ and, although it was on a lead, it kept having to be pulled back by its owners. The woman claimed the owners, who also had a puppy, were ‘happy for people to come over and pet the dogs’.
She claimed the girl ‘stroked the bigger dog once, then stroked it again’, at which point it attacked her. The woman said she was horrified when she heard the ‘scream of the baby’.
‘They [the owners] did try and pull it back and it was on a lead at all times,’ she said. ‘The dog had water and had been fed, and had been petted throughout the hours that it was here. We even said, these dogs shouldn’t be in this situation. It was chaos.’
She said she was shaken to see a girl who, just moments earlier, had been having such a fun time, in such pain.
The woman also alleged the owners had told how they had only got the ”bigger dog’ yesterday.
A spokesperson for the Market Tavern said staff were ‘devastated’ by what happened and were assisting the police with their enquiries.
Witnesses described seeing the young girl outside the Market Tavern in Kirkby, northeast of Liverpool, earlier in the day dressed in ‘pretty pink’, while the ‘big dog’ kept having to be pulled back by its owners. Pictured: Police outside the pub
Merseyside Police has appealed for witnesses to come forward with footage which could help their investigation.
Chief Inspector Jim Wilde said: ‘This was a horrific attack which has left a young girl receiving hospital treatment for significant injuries to her face. I want to reassure people that she is currently receiving the best possible care and treatment for her injuries at Alder Hey, and we hope she makes a speedy recovery.
‘We seized the dog at the scene, which will now be humanely destroyed, and extensive efforts are now underway to establish exactly what happened. I want to appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident, who may have information which could help us with our investigation to come forward as soon as possible.
‘You may even live locally and have CCTV, or have been passing in a vehicle and captured dashcam footage – if so, we want to hear from you. This case highlights in the starkest terms the potential dangers of dogs, and I would appeal to anyone with information about dangerous dogs in their area to contact us so that we can take proactive action.’