A 52-year-old man has died in Huddersfield after being attacked by a dog which police had returned to its owner, despite concerns it was dangerous.
David Ellam was found with serious injuries in the Sheepridge Area, following a call to West Yorkshire Police on Monday morning.
He was treated by paramedics and taken to Huddersfield Royal Infirmary with potentially life threatening injuries. He was pronounced dead at 9pm.
He is understood to have been trying to protect his own dog, a Yorkshire Terrier.
Detective Chief Inspector Mark Swift of the Homicide and Major Enquiry Team who is leading the investigation, said: “Clearly our thoughts go out to the family at this tragic time. They are understandably devastated by what has happened and are being supported by specially trained officers.
“Our investigation is continuing. We believe that the victim was out with his own dog at the time of the attack near to his home address on Riddings Road. His dog, a Yorkshire Terrier was also injured during the incident and received emergency veterinary care.”
Carol Hanson, a friend of Ellam’s, told the BBC: “We’re lost for words, just devastated.
“It had only been out for five days, why did they let that dog back out, why did they let it go when it was vicious?”
The suspect dog was detained in to kennels by police.
In June this year, a dog warden visited the address following concerns from members of the public about the dog. A referral to police was made following concerns the dog may be a dangerous breed.
As a result, the same dog was seized by police and following a screening, it was determined the animal was not a banned breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act. The dog was returned to its owner on 8 August.
Following yesterday’s incident, a 29-year-old man, who is believed to be the owner of the dog has been arrested in connection with the incident and has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.
A referral is being made to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.