Family devastated as week-old baby boy dies after being bitten by pet Jack Russell

 

A baby who was just eight-days old has died after being bitten by his family’s Jack Russell dog.

Harry Harper was rushed to Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital yesterday morning, where he was pronounced dead. His relatives in Ketley, Shropshire, said they were only beginning to come to terms with the tragedy. “As a family we are absolutely devastated by Harry’s death and have no words to describe the loss we have suffered,” a statement said, adding that they wanted to be “left in peace to grieve”.

The dog, which one neighbour described as a “vicious little thing”, has been put down. Officers are investigating the circumstances of the death, but said “initial indications” showed the Jack Russell was to blame.

Detective Chief Inspector Neil Jamieson, of West Mercia Police, said: “It appears that the baby died as a result of a dog bite. A post-mortem will be taking place to establish the exact cause of this baby’s death but at this stage it does appear to be a tragic accident.”

One local resident said: “It’s very, very sad. Losing a baby must be heart-breaking however it happens.”

But Nigel Pitchford, 71, was more condemnatory: “The whole street is shocked to hear what has happened. They only brought the baby home from hospital a few days ago. The dog is only little, but it is very vicious. I tried to post a Christmas card through their letterbox last year and it went for my hand as I posted it through.”

Harry’s mother, Mikayla, 19, was staying at her parents’ house when the attack happened. Just weeks before the 12 November birth she tweeted that her “silly little dog” had ripped the eyes off her teddy bear. It is unclear whether it is the same animal that bit Harry.

The Kennel Club said it was important to ensure children and dogs are supervised at all times: “When a dog is placed in a position which makes it nervous or frightened it can react in a way which we don’t expect which is why never leaving a dog and particularly small children or babies alone together is so important – it has the potential to be dangerous for the child and is unfair on the dog who is generally acting on instinct rather than from malice.”

The Jack Russell’s popularity has soared following the success of the Oscar-winning movie The Artist. The film featured Uggie, a Jack Russell capable of performing tricks.

In another incident involving a Jack Russell in April ,five-year-old Hayley Turner from West Yorkshire suffered a facial wound from a neighbour’s pet.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones