The English bull terrier - a breed not covered by the Dangerous Dogs Act - attacked the sleeping baby on Wednesday evening in the dining room in front of her mother.
"In the next horrendous few minutes the mother and the infant's grandmother wrestled with the dog and actually got the child free," said Supt Mike ffelan.Two police officers were called to the house in Penwortham, near Preston, Lancashire just after 9pm.They found the mother cradling the baby in her arms. They rushed the badly injured child to the Royal Preston Hospital but she died of head injuries two hours later.
The baby's mother and grandmother are being comforted by relatives.
The dog was destroyed yesterday in accordance with the wishes of the family. Lancashire police said they had received about 20 calls offering the animal a home.
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA described the event as a "tragedy" but added: "The English bull terrier is not intrinsically a dangerous dog. It is not named under the dangerous dogs act. What we do not want is knee-jerk legislation with serious flaws like the current act. We want to look at what happened and see what lessons can be learned from that."
The baby is the fourth child to die in five years after being savaged by dogs. In April 1989 Kellie Lynch, 11, of Dundee died after she was attacked by two Rottweilers.
Veronica Lynch, Kellie's mother, said: "Since then parents should know that powerful dogs kill children, and parents who own such dogs should face prosecution otherwise children suffer because parents ignored the warning signs. It's totally unacceptable.I just wish people would take heed and not mix children and dogs."
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