14/08/2014 16:58 BST | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Police Seize Dog Following Death Of Six-Day-Old Baby Girl


Police have seized a family dog following the death of a six-day-old baby girl in Wales. It is not yet known how she died.

Officers were called to a property in Pontyberem, Camarthenshire, shortly before 8.30am on Tuesday. The baby - named as
Eliza-Mae Mullan - was airlifted to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff but she could not be saved.

The dog taken away was an Alaskan Malamute, similar to a Husky, which is not a banned breed.

Chief Inspector Ieuan Mathews said: "We are investigating the sudden death of a baby at a property in New Road, Pontyberem.

"The baby girl was just six days old.

"We were called by the Welsh Ambulance NHS Trust just before 8.30am this morning, and the baby was taken by heli-med to the Heath Hospital. Sadly she was later pronounced dead at University of Wales Hospital in Cardiff.

"The family dog – an Alaskan Malamute has been seized by Police in connection with the ongoing enquiry. I can confirm that this dog is not listed under the Dangerous Dogs Act.

"Clearly, our sympathies are with the family at this tragic time and we have specialist officers who are supporting them. All I would ask is that you give them time and space to grieve.

"As far as our enquiries are concerned, the investigation is still at an early stage."

Neighbour Patricia Punter, 71, said Eliza-Mae's mother Sharon John ran outside shouting that her baby had died.

She said: "It was terrible - I've never heard anything like it. Sharon was in a state of shock and just screaming."

The neighbour said the dog had been brought to the family home by Ms John's partner Patrick Mullane after a night out at a pub.

Ms Punter added: "She'd only brought the baby home in the last week. It is just awful - they loved their dogs as much as their children."

Family friend Gemma Prosser said: "It's just heartbreaking for Sharon and Patrick. One minute they had a bundle of joy in their arms and all those lovely things to look forward to when you are new parents. "The next minute they have lost their little girl in such a terrible way."

Neighbour Ann Williams, who lives in New Road, said: "We are shocked and saddened - what else can you be? We have grandchildren of our own.

"You don't expect to have this in your own street."

Alan Lewis, chairman of Pontyberem Community Council said: "We are just horrified with what's happened and our thoughts go out to the family."

He said Pontyberem - home to around 2,700 people - was a small, quiet village where "everybody looks out for each other".

Another community councillor, Alban Rees, said the death was 'astounding', adding: "This is a young family and a young life has been lost. This is the first time I've come across anything like this."

Alaskan Malamutes were originally bred as sled dogs for work in the Arctic but have become popular as family pets.

On its website, the Alaskan Malamute Club of the United Kingdom described the breed as 'heavy boned and powerfully built' as well as affectionate and friendly.