I love dogs. I really do. Incidentally I happen to love cats too. I have been told that fundamentally impossible. You cant be a dog and cat person. What can I say. I am.
I have not kept any for years due to a hectic schedule that keeps me frequently on the road but I would certainly love to. One thing I won’t do and never urge any parent to, is encourage a “friendship” between an infant and any pet. For one thing, the pet is first of all an animal which functions primarily on instinct and is unable to communicate as effectively as humans. Bottom-line your dog, cat, pet snake e.t.c can’t verbalise stuff. For another thing I have seen babies get really rough with pets many of whom remain uncannily patient with babies even when being hurt.
But every now and then, a pet snaps.
I really hate to think the parents are suspects right now because I can only imagine the pain they must be going through especially if they are truly innocent. See how lovely this baby is. It horrifies me the agonizing death she had to bear at the hands (teeth?) of a dog.
May her beautiful soul rest in peace, and parents, please be careful with pets around babies.
- 11-month-old Ava-Jayne Corless attacked by pet late last night
- Neighbours report seeing ‘vicious and terrifying’ pit bull type dog
- Victim’s mother and stepfather arrested on suspicion of manslaughter
- Baby’s father pays tribute to ‘the most beautiful and adorable little girl’
- Lancashire Police say dog involved in the attack was a banned breed
By Hugo Gye
The father of a baby girl who was mauled to death by a pet dog today paid tribute to his ‘beautiful little girl’.
Ava-Jayne Corless, aged 11 months, was rushed to hospital at around 11pm yesterday after she was attacked by a pit bull while in bed at her stepfather’s home in Blackburn, Lancashire.
Police officers and paramedics attempted to revive her but she was pronounced dead at the Royal Blackburn Hospital.
The victim’s mother and stepfather, who were downstairs at the time of the attack, have been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.
The exact breed of the pet – which has now been destroyed – is not known, but police believe that it was a pitbull terrier-type dog, which is a prohibited breed.
Lancashire Police say they dog involved in the attack was banned under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Ava-Jayne’s father Dean Corless today revealed his grief at hearing of the attack, saying: ‘I am absolutely devastated after what has happened. I found out late last night and rushed to the hospital to see her straight away.’
The 24-year-old added: ‘She was the most beautiful and adorable little girl, she was just the best. She was my whole world.
‘I will miss her every single day, I just don’t know what to do now. It is just so tragic. I have my family around me now, but we are all devastated.’
Grandmother Bernadette Corless added: ‘She was so young, it is so unfair for a baby to be taken away at that age.
‘She was just beautiful – like a china doll. She was a lively baby and was always happy.’
Mr Corless said that he dated Ava-Jayne’s mother, Chloe King, for four years before the pair split up last summer.
Ms King, 20, and her new boyfriend Lee Wright, 26, were arrested in the wake of the girl’s death and questioned on suspicion of child neglect, before being re-arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.
A post-mortem will take place to find out the exact cause of death.
Chief Superintendent Chris Bithell said: ‘This is an absolutely horrific incident in which a baby girl has lost her life and I would like to take this opportunity to express my own personal sympathy to the wider family of baby Ava.
Recounting the details of the attack, he added: ‘The baby was upstairs in a bed in one of the front bedrooms and the two people who are currently in custody, they were downstairs when the attack took place.
‘The dog is believed to be an American pit bull type, it has been destroyed and tests will be carried out today to establish the exact breed of the dog and inquiries into the history of the animal.’
Police are investigating claims that neighbours have previously complained about dangerous dogs living at the house.
Local residents reported seeing police struggle to enter the house on Emily Street as the cross-breed dog raged out of control.
A specialist team later managed to detain the animal and took it away as part of the investigation before destroying it.
The dog, described by neighbours as ‘vicious and terrifying’, apparently attacked and killed a cat in the area last year, prompting questions as to why it was not brought under control earlier.
‘That dog is a menace, it was a nightmare for neighbours and people were terrified of approaching it in the street,’ said next-door neighbour Brian Harrison.
‘Such a small girl against the dog is an unfair battle. It’s an absolute tragedy that should never have happened – there’s been plenty of warning signs in the past.
‘Only last year it mauled to death a neighbour’s cat and nothing was done about it.’
The RSPCA confirmed that it had been called to the house after the death of a cat, although it concluded that the incident was nothing more than an accident.
Mr Harrison added: ‘I’m surprised that such a tiny baby has been allowed around it, I’m sure there’s days when it’s OK but it only takes one thing to trigger it.
Friends of the family took to Facebook to express their grief at the little girl’s death.
Catt Allen wrote: ‘RIP Ava-Jayne, heaven has gained another angel sleep tight beautiful girl xxxx’.
A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: ‘The baby was taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital but sadly passed away a short time later.
‘Officers are continuing to carry out enquiries at the scene and investigate the circumstances of what has happened.’
Detective Superintendent Simon Giles added: ‘This is a tragic incident and specially trained officers are offering support to the wider family. A full investigation is underway.’
Local MP Jack Straw delivered a passionate appeal to drive out the scourge of dangerous dogs which have been responsible for a string of brutal attacks on children.
‘This is the most awful killing, of an innocent 11-month-old baby, by an out-of-control and self-evidently dangerous dog,’ the former Home Secretary told the Lancashire Telegraph.
‘What will it take to convince people not to keep dogs like this – and to get across to all dog-owners, of every breed of dog, that no dog should ever be left unsupervised with a baby?’
In the wake of Ava-Jayne’s death, the union that represents postal workers called for a major crackdown on dangerous dogs in order to prevent similar incidents in future.
‘This is another tragic loss of life and demonstrates the out-of-control situation that we have in the UK with irresponsible dog ownership,’ a spokesman for the CWU said.
‘There have been 23 deaths from dog attacks in the UK, the majority of which have been young children, and four of these have occurred since 2005. Worryingly, there has been a sharp increase in recent years.
‘Dog control laws in England and Wales are rightly being strengthened later this year. Current arrangements are simply not good enough and the punishments do not fit the crimes.’
BRITAIN’S TRAGIC HISTORY OF FATAL MAULINGS BY DEVIL DOGS
Horror: Four-year-old Lexi Branson was killed by a pet dog three months ago
In November last year, four-year-old Lexi Branson was mauled to death by a pet dog despite her mother’s desperate attempts to halt the attack. Lexi, described as a ‘happy and sweet’ girl, died after being attacked at a flat in Mountsorrel, Leicestershire. It later emerged that the dog had been a stray until a couple of months earlier.
In June 2013, a five-year-old boy was taken to hospital after being mauled by a dog in Co Antrim, Ireland. The attack happened at Carniny Primary School on the outskirts of Ballymena. It was later confirmed that the dog was being shown to schoolchildren as a last-day-of-term treat.
Last May, Clifford Clarke, 79, was killed in a dog attack in his garden in Liverpool. The retired hospital porter suffered fatal injuries after being mauled by a bull mastiff cross which was reported to have found a way into Mr Clarke’s garden from a neighbouring house. The dogs was shot dead by armed officers and two women were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.
Two months earlier, Jade Anderson, 14, was mauled to death by four dogs while visiting her friend near Wigan. The girl was discovered by armed police at a friend’s house amid a pack of aggressive dogs. The animals, who were not banned breeds, were put down. The owner of the animals was given a suspended 16-week sentence for animal cruelty last month.
In November 2012, 71-year-old Gloria Knowles died after being attacked by a pack of dogs belonging to her daughter that she had gone to feed. The great-grandmother was found dead with multiple injuries at a house with five dogs in Morden, south London.
In March 2011, Jude Keir, nine, suffered severe head injuries when he was mauled by a Staffordshire bull terrier outside his school in Scotland. The young boy needed 40 stitches and only survived because two people dragged the dog off him.
In November 2009, four-year-old John-Paul Massey died after suffering multiple injuries when he was savaged by the family pet at his grandmother’s home in November 2009. The animal, named Uno, was an illegal pitbull-type dog belonging to his uncle, who was jailed for four months
Culled from dailymail.co.uk