AN 11-month-old girl has died after being mauled by a “vicious and terrifying” dog.
The child was savaged by the family pet, believed to be a cross breeds, at a home in Lancashire in England last night.
Two people, a 20-year-old woman and a 24-year-old man, believed to be the child’s mother and her boyfriend, have been arrested on suspicion of child neglect and are in police custody.
The girl was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital after emergency services were called at 11pm yesterday and later died. She did not live at the address.
The dog was seized by police and will be destroyed. No one else was injured during the incident.
Neighbours reported seeing the police struggling to get inside the property as the out-of-control dog barked wildly.
When they eventually entered, specialist animal handling teams managed to detain the dog - believed to be a white and brown spotted cross breed - and take it away.
Brian Harrison, 80, said: "Such a small girl against the dog is an unfair battle. That dog is a menace, it was a nightmare for neighbours and people were terrified of approaching it in the street.
"It's an absolute tragedy that should never have happened - there's been plenty of warning signs in the past.
"Only last year it mauled to death a neighbour's cat and nothing was done about it.
"When police arrived it was barking wildly and they couldn't get inside, they had to wait quite a long time before entering.
"It's not a friendly dog and the poor girl wouldn't have stood a chance against it. Not a hope."
The street, a cul-de-sac in the Daisyfield area of Blackburn, was cordoned off as police continued gathering evidence at the property, a modern two-storey house.
Local Kyle Perry said the dog involved was a bull mastiff.
"I have seen it - it's pretty big. I heard police are looking for the other one," Mr Perry said.
"It chased my mum's cat across the road. It's not right, some poor little baby girl has lost her life..."
Mr Perry said he was first alerted to the incident at around 11pm as police rushed to the house.
"All I could see was police, sirens, I just thought it was a normal day in Daisyfield. Next I knew, armed response, they all marched in through that door."
A woman neighbour, who did not want to give her name, said: "She was a lovely little girl, always smiling, always happy, just like her mum.
"It's sickened me to my stomach. It's not the dog's fault - it's the owner's fault."
She said the child's mother is called Chloe, but did not know her second name.
She added that the owner of the dog was not the father of the dead child and he and the mother were "just friends".
Police have yet to confirm the breed of dog involved.
Resident Frederick Frimston, 85, said that he was awoken last night by the sound of a woman in distress but assumed that it was a domestic incident until he received a call from police this morning.
“I was already in bed and I was awoken by what sounded like a female in some kind of distress and a dog barking,” he said.
“She got into a vehicle and a door banged and then it went silent apart from the dog barking. Then when I was dropping back off I heard a police siren and then that was it, I was asleep again.
“The woman was obviously in distress, sort of half screaming if you will, at first I thought it might have been a domestic incident. It is terribly sad.”
He said that he was unsure where exactly the attack had taken place, but there were two houses next to each other which were both home to Mastiff type dogs.
“I have seen them both on leads. One of them looks like a bit of a rough dog and the other is much smaller,” he said.