Two arrested after boy, 8, suffers 'life-changing injuries' in XL Bully attack
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An eight-year-old schoolboy has suffered 'life-changing injuries' following an alleged 'XL Bully' attack, and a man and a woman have been arrested.
The attack occurred in Bootle, on Saturday, while the youngster was playing outside near Wadham Road. He was bitten on the head by the dog and sustained serious injuries as a result.
The unnamed boy was taken to hospital, where he remains in a serious but stable condition today (Sunday February 11). Merseyside Police attended an address near the attack site at 5.20pm last night to seize the dog responsible for the attack, which is believed to be an XL Bully.
Merseyside Police also arrested a woman, aged 49, and a man, age 30, on suspicion of being in charge of a dog dangerously out of control and causing injury. They are not related to the injured child.
Detective Inspector Gary Stratton, in a statement, said: "This was a horrific attack which has left a young child requiring emergency surgery for injuries to his head. I want to reassure people that he is receiving the best possible care and treatment for his injuries, which are described as life-changing.
"We have seized the dog and extensive efforts are 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, to come forward as soon as possible.
"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 pro-active action."
In a statement, Merseyside Police said: "Officers were called to Wadham Road just after 5.20pm following a report that the dog had bitten an eight-year-old boy to the head in the communal area of flats nearby. The boy was taken to hospital for treatment of serious head injuries, where he remains in a serious but stable condition.
"Officers attended and seized the dog - which is believed to be an XL Bully. House-to-house enquiries have been carried out in the area and all CCTV opportunities are being explored."
Police added: "A 49-year-old woman and 30-year-old man, both from Bootle, have been arrested on suspicion of being a person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control and causing injury. They have been taken into custody to be interviewed. They are not related to the child who is injured."
A number of witnesses have been spoken to by the police. Officers are also appealing for further witnesses to come forward and for anyone who may be able to assist with their enquiries to contact police. House-to-house enquiries have been carried out in the area and all CCTV opportunities are being explored, the force said.
Since Thursday February 1, it has been a criminal offence to own or possess an XL Bully dog in England and Wales unless you have a valid Certificate of Exemption. It is also an offence to sell an XL Bully dog, abandon an XL Bully dog or give away or breed the dog. In addition, it is illegal for those who have a Certificate of Exemption to walk the breed off a lead or unmuzzled.