A dog has been seized and a man has been arrested after a three-year-old girl was mauled in a “horrific” attack outside a pub.
The toddler was taken to hospital with serious injuries to the face after the attack outside the Market Tavern, Newtown Gardens, Kirkby, in Merseyside, on Saturday afternoon.
Merseyside Police said the girl’s injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.
The dog was seized by officers to determine the breed before it will be “humanely destroyed”. A 31-year-old man, from Ormskirk, was arrested on suspicion of affray and having a dog dangerously out of control in a public place.
The pub was busy at the time of the attack, a “number of witnesses” have been questioned and CCTV is being probed as part of the investigation.
Chief Inspector Jim Wilde said: "This was a horrific attack which has left a young girl receiving hospital treatment for significant injuries to her face.
“I want to reassure people that she is currently receiving the best possible care and treatment for her injuries at Alder Hey, and we hope she makes a speedy recovery.
"We seized the dog at the scene, which will now be humanely destroyed, and extensive efforts are now underway to establish exactly what happened.
“I want to appeal to anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident, who may have information which could help us with our investigation to come forward as soon as possible. You may even live locally and have CCTV, or have been passing in a vehicle and captured dashcam footage – if so, we want to hear from you.
"This case highlights in the starkest terms the potential dangers of dogs, and I would appeal to anyone with information about dangerous dogs in their area to contact us so that we can take proactive action."
It can be submitted to Merseyside Police’s social media desk via Twitter (@MerPolCC), Facebook (Merseyside Police Contact Centre) or by calling 101 quoting incident reference 23000831583.
Witnesses can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111