Two held after toddler is savaged by dogs

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The Independent Online

Police investigating a dog attack which left a two-year-old boy fighting for his life said today they have arrested two people on suspicion of cultivating cannabis.

A 37-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman were arrested following the incident involving two dogs yesterday afternoon, West Yorkshire Police said.

Police were called to a house in Fairfax Avenue, Drighlington, near Bradford, at around 1.20pm yesterday following reports that the toddler had been mauled by the animals.

The youngster was taken to Leeds General Infirmary, where he remains in a critical but stable condition.

A force spokesman said: "Specially trained officers are speaking to the family of the boy and a detailed examination of the scene and enquiries in relation to the incident are ongoing.

"Following the incident, a 37-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of cultivating cannabis. They are currently in custody."

People living around the scene of the attacks said they believed the boy is not the son of the man who owned the dogs. They said he was either a family friend or a nephew.

A woman who lives a few doors away from where the attack took place, who wished to be named only as Samantha, 22, said she thought the dogs were Staffordshire bull terriers.

When asked if the dogs had shown any signs of a possible attack before, she said: "Not at all. I didn't think the dogs were vicious.

"They are loud and bark all the time but they're quite friendly.

"I've let my three-year-old feed them through the fence before. We've got a dog so they're always quite friendly."

A neighbour across the road, who did not wish to be named, said the dogs had always appeared friendly.

"I've got a Staff and they can be really nice," she said. "But I wouldn't let a toddler go near them."

She said she saw the boy briefly as he was taken to the ambulance.

She said: "I just hope the little boy will be OK. He didn't look right as he was in the back of the ambulance.

"I saw the man as well and he was just in tears."

The dogs, named locally as Molly and Buster, were removed from the house. Police confirmed that the dogs were due to be destroyed but the spokesman said he could not give any further details.

At the house, plain clothes police officers could be seen carrying out their inquiries as uniformed colleagues and community support officers stood guard outside.

The property is a three-bedroom brick semi with a drive down the side. There was a silver coupe car on the driveway.

Fairfax Avenue, which is situation between Leeds and Bradford, about a mile from the M62 motorway, was quiet this morning.