Police make second arrest after dog mauled four-year-old boy ‘saved by heroic golf club-wielding neighbours’ in savage attack: Man, 33, is quizzed on suspicion of being in charge of an out-of-control dangerous dog
- A 33-year-old man, from Fairfield, has been arrested following the attack
- The four-year-old boy remains in hospital in a serious but stable condition
- Emergency services were called to Wellesbourne Place, Liverpool, on Saturday
- A 31-year-old woman was also arrested but released on bail pending enquiries
A second arrest has been made following a savage attack on a four-year-old boy by a dog, as neighbours have been praised for reportedly hitting it over the head with a golf club.
Emergency services were called to Wellesbourne Place in Norris Green, Liverpool, on Saturday after the four-year-old boy was attacked at around 7pm.
The child, who is believed to have been visiting a friends house, was rushed to hospital where he is in a serious but stable condition and has been treated for serious injuries.
Officers have now arrested a 33-year-old man, from Fairfield, on suspicion of being in charge of an out of control dangerous dog causing injury.
One woman said she saw two neighbours run over to the scene to save the boy.
She said one hit the dog on the head with a golf club and the other pulled the jaws of the dog open to free the boy.
A 33-year-old man, from Fairfield, has been arrested on suspicion of being in charge of an out of control dangerous dog causing injury after a young boy was attacked by a dog – believed to be the one pictured – leaving him with serious injuries
Emergency services were called to Wellesbourne Place in Norris Green, Liverpool, on Saturday after the four-year-old boy was mauled at around 7pm and the child was rushed to hospital where he remains a serious but stable condition
The suspect is in police custody and further investigations are ongoing.
At the weekend, officers also arrested a 31-year-old woman, from Norris Green.
She was arrested on suspicion of being in charge of an out of control dangerous dog causing injury and has been released on bail pending further enquiries.
The dog has been seized and work is currently ongoing to identify the breed though it was initially reported that it was believed to be a Bullmastiff-type breed.
Detective Inspector Neil Dillon said: ‘This was an horrendous attack on a four-year-old boy and it is only as a result of the swift actions of a brave neighbour that this young boy is still alive.
‘Although two arrests have been made, our enquiries continue and we’d still urge anyone who witnessed the incident, saw any suspicious behaviour, to please contact us so we can bring them to justice.
‘Either tell us directly or anonymously through Crimestoppers.
‘If you were in the area of Wellesbourne Place at around 7pm and witnessed anything, or have any information about the dog in question then please come forward speak to one of our officers.
At the weekend, officers also arrested a 31-year-old woman, from Norris Green, on suspicion of being in charge of an out of control dangerous dog causing injury, she has since been released on bail pending further enquiries
‘Our officers take the issue of dangerous dogs very seriously. Over the past years we have worked proactively with the five local authorities in Merseyside to ensure prohibited dogs are taken off the streets.’
DI Dillon continued: ‘People who own or care for dogs should always make sure they are on a lead in public and should consider whether they need to be muzzled. It’s also a good idea to get your dog micro-chipped so that it can always be traced if it is lost, or escapes.
‘If you keep your dog in the garden, you must make sure that the fencing is properly maintained so they can’t escape.
‘If you witnessed the incident or have any information, please contact Merseyside Police via Twitter @MerPolCC or Facebook Merseyside Police Contact Centre.
‘You can also call 101 quoting incident reference 22000593253, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111. Always call 999 if a crime is in progress.’
Dangerous dog legislation in the UK
What is the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991?
The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 bans or restricts certain types of dogs and makes it an offence to allow a dog of any breed to be dangerously out of control.
It was introduced 30 years ago by Home Secretary Kenneth Baker ‘to rid the country of the menace of these fighting dogs’ after a string of attacks.
Which dogs are banned in the UK?
It is illegal to own four breeds of dogs without an exemption from a court. They are:
- American pitbull terriers;
- Japanese tosas
- Dogo Argentinos;
- Fila Brazileiro
The law also criminalises cross-breeds of the above four types of dog – meaning that whether a dog is prohibited will depend on a judgement about its physical characteristics, and whether they match the description of a prohibited ‘type’.
What happens if there’s a dog attack?
You can get an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to six months if your dog is dangerously out of control.
You may not be allowed to own a dog in the future and your dog may be destroyed.
If you let your dog injure someone you can be sent to prison for up to five years or fined. If you deliberately use your dog to injure someone you could be charged with ‘malicious wounding’.
And if you allow your dog to kill someone you can be sent to prison for up to 14 years or get an unlimited fine.
Why has the Act been criticised?
Both the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and the British Veterinary Association have protested against the ban, insisting there is no scientific evidence that all individuals of a breed are dangerous.
However, Met Police data suggests that in incidents involving ‘dangerously out of control dogs’, banned breeds account for about a fifth of offences.