A young girl has suffered life-threatening injuries after being bitten by a dog in a children’s playground.
A man and a teenager have been arrested following the incident in the Jenkins Dale area of Chatham, Kent on Tuesday evening.
The child, believed to be aged one, is in a critical condition in a London hospital, and the dog was shot dead by police firearms officers. It is understood the animal was being walked off the lead outside the play area, before it vaulted over the fence.
One distraught witness told The Sun: “The baby’s head was being shaken in the dog’s mouth and it was covered in blood. It was the other children in the playground that managed to prise it from the dog.
“It was absolutely horrific and there were about six children, aged eight to twelve, covered in blood who witnessed it all.”
The force appealed to members of the public who may have footage of the incident to contact police and not to share it on social media.
Neighbours said they heard a shot fired and saw a child covered with a blanket being carried to an ambulance.
Jaspreet Uppal said: “First I heard a gunshot, there was a dog on the floor. A few officers carried out a child from the back area of the flats. There is a little park there. I could not see the child, they were covered. I think they were quite small.”
Amanda Ayres, 52, called for an ambulance after witnessing the attack. She told the BBC: “I can’t get her face out of my head – her lips were blue.
“The mum came over screaming and fell to her knees when she saw her little girl. The dog’s whole face was covered in blood.”
Her daughter Katy Ayres, 31, added: “It had her head in his mouth and was shaking her, [the dog] treated her like a rag doll.”
Speaking to Kent Online she said: “The day before, it happened to my son; it jumped on top of him.
“Lucky that the person was there and grabbed him off him. I picked him up but he got marks on him – he scratched his leg – but the little girl, it ripped holes in her head.”
Enquiries to establish the breed of the dog are ongoing.
The incident comes two days after terrified shoppers in Bolton had to use chairs to defend themselves from a pack of rampaging “Pitbull-type dogs” in an incident that led to two of the animals being shot dead by police.
Perivoitos’ dog, which is not a breed prohibited under the Dangerous Dog Act, was contained by officers and seized.
Breeds currently banned under the act are Pit Bull terriers, Fila Braziliero, Dogo Argentino and Japanese Tosas.