Toddler Killed in Suspected Dog Attack: Police

A three-year-old boy has died after being mauled in a suspected dog attack, according to police in the U.K.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) were alerted to reports of a dog attack in Rochdale, in the northwest region of England, at about 1:15 p.m. on Sunday, May 15.

The child was taken to a nearby hospital, but later died as a result of the injuries he had sustained, GMP said in a statement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said children are the most common victims of dog bites.

"Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities with familiar dogs. Always supervise kids around dogs, even familiar pets. Teaching kids how to interact properly with dogs can help keep them safe," the CDC said.

GMP Detective Superintendent Jamie Daniels told the network: "This is a tragic, devastating incident and our thoughts are with the family at this horrendous time.

"We are investigating the incident and previous incidents involving dogs at this address. While our inquiries to find out what happened will be thorough and are very much in their infancy, we suspect that this little boy has sadly succumbed to injuries received as a result of a dog attack."

Daniels added: "I understand this is an extremely distressing incident for all concerned and this news will rock the local community."

He continued: "I can only assure everyone that we will work relentlessly to establish the full circumstances that led to this tragedy and while we retain an open mind, this is now being dealt with as a criminal investigation.

"There will be a significant police presence in the area, we will be there to carry out an investigation and address any concerns residents may have."

A GMP spokesperson told Newsweek: "Officers encountered a large number of dogs at the address and have worked with a veterinary partner to recover them to alternative premises.

"Sadly, officers and the veterinary experts were unable to safely recover one dog who posed a significant risk to people nearby, and so despite best efforts the dog was humanely destroyed."

No arrests have been made at this stage and police are carrying out enquiries into what happened in the moments before the attack.

Dog Attacks in the U.S.

There have been numerous cases across the U.S. where dogs have attacked, and in some cases killed, young children.

Earlier this year, a baby girl died after being mauled by a dog in the backyard of a Georgia home.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office said the seven-month-old girl was being minded by her grandmother at a home in 3701 Columbia Drive, in Martinez, when the attack happened.

Police said the dog was an American bulldog-Great Pyrenees mix.

The CDC has offered the following guidance for people who are approached by an unfamiliar dog:

  • Stay still and be calm
  • Avoid direct eye contact with the dog
  • Do not panic, make loud noises or run
  • Say "no" or "go home" in a firm, deep voice and stand with the side of your body facing the dog
  • Slowly raise your hands to your neck with your elbows in and wait for the dog to pass slowly by
Stock image of British police
A file photo of British police officers. The child died following the suspected dog attack. Getty