UNITED KINGDOM -- Families have told how they heard “horrendous screams” as a 14 year old girl was mauled by a dog on their estate.
Neighbours in Millbrook, High Heworth, Gateshead, reported hearing the screams before a string of police cars arrived at the scene at around 5pm on Saturday.
The incident happened in the garden of a house where an American Bulldog attacked a 14-year-old girl, causing her to suffer a serious arm injury. She was taken to the hospital for treatment.
It is understood the girl did not live at the property and was not related to the resident who owned the dog.
Officers say they tried to control the animal, however it was in a highly agitated state and they had to shoot it to ensure public safety.
A mum-of-three, who lives nearby, said: “We can’t quite believed what has happened. We are still in shock. I was out when the incident took place but when I came home, there were all these police cars here and the road was blocked.
“We later found out that a young lass was bitten by a dog and the pet had to be shot. It’s absolutely awful. Nobody really knows what happened but I feel sad both for the girl and for the dog. Who knows what caused the animal to act in such a way?
“I just hope the girl gets better soon. I am a mother myself and I can imagine what her family must be going through.”
A man, also of Millbrook, added: “At around 5pm, I just heard horrendous screams, like someone was getting hurt. Minutes later, around 14 police cars showed up and they blocked up the traffic on both sides of the road.
“We didn’t know what had happened and only found out later that a dog had been involved. I’ve been living here for many years and I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
Police have said it was a last resort to shoot the pet.
Chief Inspector Dave Gould said: “Our thoughts are with this young girl who has endured a horrific attack by a dog that was highly agitated and a danger to other people. At the moment we don’t know the full extent of her injuries, however we do believe they are incredibly serious and we hope she is ok.
“Officers at the scene spent more than an hour attempting to bring the dog safely under control but unfortunately, despite best efforts, it continued to remain highly agitated and posed a real danger.
“We did not want to have to destroy the animal but our main concern has to be public safety, we already had one young girl who had been seriously injured and we had to do what we could to prevent anyone else from coming to harm.
“I cannot stress enough how much of a last resort this was for us and a number of options were considered including the use of specialist officers. We know local residents will be concerned and will have extra officers in the area to speak with residents and offer them reassurance.”
Inquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances of the incident. Anyone who was in the area at the time is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 895 300716 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
(Chronicle Live UK - July 31, 2016)