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'Inconsolable' Tragic toddler mauled to death by dog in Merseyside home named locally

The family had bought the pet just a week prior to the tragic incident

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17 month old Bella Rae Birch

17 month old Bella Rae Birch

17 month old Bella Rae Birch

A toddler mauled to death by as pet dog in the English town of St Helen’s in Merseyside has been named locally.

Bella-Rae Birch, 17 months, died on Monday after she was rushed to hospital following the attack.

The young girl was tragically killed by the pet dog, “a staffy or pitbull,” which was bought by her parents just a week ago.

Police are now trying to establish if the dog was an illegal breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Neighbours who witnessed the aftermath of the incident said that her mother Treysharn Bates was “crying hysterically” outside the family home following the horrific attack.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Merseyside police said that their thoughts are with the family.

“Bella-Rae has lost her life in the most unimaginably terrible circumstances and our thoughts are first and foremost with the family and the wider community at this devastating time,” a spokesperson said.

“Our specialist family liaison officers are providing the family of Bella- Rae with support, and officers will remain in the area in the coming days to provide further reassurance and support for the wider community.”

“At this stage we understand the family dog they bought just a week earlier has attacked Bella-Rae inside the family home.”

“Bella-Rae was taken by ambulance to hospital by paramedics but despite the best efforts of police officers at the scene and the paramedics and doctors, sadly Bella-Rae died as a result of her injuries yesterday afternoon. It left the family and the community grieving and in complete shock.”

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17 month old Bella Rae Birch was mauled to death by her family's new pet dog

17 month old Bella Rae Birch was mauled to death by her family's new pet dog

17 month old Bella Rae Birch was mauled to death by her family's new pet dog

Merseyside police also said that the dog has been “humanely destroyed” as they seek to find the pet’s previous owner.

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“During the incident, the dog was handed over to police at the address and has been humanely destroyed.”

The family’s neighbour Joanne Matthews told MailOnline: “She was such a beautiful little girl, toddling about. I’d see the family in passing, just to say hello, and they were always very pleasant.”

Describing the scene of yesterday’s attack, she said she saw the dog being removed from the scene.

“I couldn’t tell what breed it was but from the back it looked like a Staffordshire bull terrier or pit bull. It looked fully grown and not like a puppy.”

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said she returned home from shopping to find the chaos unfolding: “The mum was on the field at the front of the house crying. She was hysterical.”

“It is usually very quiet here and safe for children, but when you hear something like this has happened it is so distressing. It was heart-breaking to see her crying. She was inconsolable. I don’t want to imagine what she is going through.”

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