‘Beautiful’ baby girl mauled to death by dog is pictured for first time

Bella-Rae Birch
Bella-Rae Birch was just 17 months old when she died

A ‘beautiful’ baby girl killed by a dog her parents had owned for a week has been pictured for the first time.

The family of Bella-Rae Birch, who was just 17 months old, has been left ‘absolutely devastated’ by the tragedy on Monday afternoon. Her mum Treysharn Bates was reportedly seen ‘crying hysterically’ by neighbours outside their home in Blackbrook, Merseyside following the attack.

The little girl was rushed to hospital around 3.50pm but later died from her injuries.

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The dog was destroyed and forensic examination will now determine if it was a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. A neighbour of the family, Joanne Matthews, 53, told MailOnline on Monday: ‘She was such a beautiful little girl, toddling about. I’d see the family in passing, just to say hello, and they were always very pleasant.’

Another, who didn’t want to be named, described the scene outside the house yesterday saying: ‘The mum was on the field at the front of the house crying.

bella-rae birch
The little girl’s death has left her family ‘absolutely devastated’

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Bella-Rae Birch
She died from her injuries in hospital

‘She was hysterical. It is usually very quiet here and safe for children, but when you hear something like this has happened it is so distressing.’

Detective Inspector Lisa Milligan said: ‘This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the child’s family at this devastating time.

‘The little girl’s parents and wider family are absolutely devastated and our specialist family liaison officers are providing them with support at this horrendous time.

‘Whilst we are in the very early stages of the investigation into this extremely tragic incident we can confirm that the dog was only bought by the family a week ago and officers are working to identify the previous owners of the dog concerned and establish its history.

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‘Our officers will remain on Bidston Avenue this evening and in the coming days to provide reassurance to the local community and we will work tirelessly to establish the full circumstances. ‘Our officers take the issue of dangerous dogs very seriously. Over the past years we have worked proactively with the five local authorities in Merseyside to ensure prohibited dogs are taken off the streets.’ Anyone with information has been urged to come forward to Merseyside Police.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected] .

No, it’s not just to make themselves look adorable. Dogs curl up in a ball when they sleep due to an age-old instinct to keep themselves warm and protect their abdomen and vital organs from predators.

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