Calls for tougher laws against dangerous pet dogs after six-month-old killed in dog attack
A six-month-old baby girl was killed after being attacked by a dog in her family home in Daventry, Northamptonshire.
The police reported that the attack took place at around 10.30pm on Friday night and has left her family “devastated”.
A relative who was looking after the baby also suffered bite wounds as she attempted to rescue the victim. Northamptonshire police and paramedics were called after they received reports that an infant was being savaged by a dog.
Despite their best efforts when they arrived at the scene, the baby could not be resuscitated and the dog, thought to be the family’s pet Pit Bull Terrier, was destroyed.
A post-mortem examination to establish the exact cause of death is due to be carried out on the child’s body by a Home Office pathologist at Northampton General Hospital. An inquest is likely to be opened early next week and then adjourned for further inquiries to be carried out.
The Northamptonshire police and crime commissioner for Northamptonshire Adam Simmonds said on Twitter: “Thoughts are with the family of a young girl killed by a dog; my thanks to police colleagues who attended difficult scene and tried to save her life.”
The Northampton police have reported to have dealt with 62 instances of attacks involving dangerous dogs in the past two years.
Yesterday’s tragedy has evoked calls for new and tougher rules to be put in place to prevent potentially dangerous dogs from being housed in family homes.
Chris Over, a Conservative councillor on Daventry District Council, described the death in the Guardian as a “wake-up call” to incite the government to bring back dog licensing.
Chris said: “It is a wake-up call for people to make certain that when they select a dog it is a breed that has a good reputation and that they are able to control the dog. Dog licences would mean that hopefully only responsible people would own dogs.”
Dog owners in Britain used to be required to have a licence but they were widely ignored and eventually abolished in 1987.
Under the new laws, to be introduced in May, owners of a dangerous dog could be jailed for up to 14 years if their pet gets past them. Additionally, these new laws would enable police to prosecute the owners of dangerous dogs even if the attack happened in their own home.