A 14-year-old British girl has been found dead at a house where a number of dogs were considered “aggressive” and “out of control.”
Jade Lomas-Anderson is believed to have been visiting the house in Atherton, Wigan in the Greater Manchester area where she was found with injuries “consistent with her having been attacked by dogs.”
Her body was discovered by police at the property shortly after 2 pm (GMT) on Tuesday after reports were called in that a pack of dogs was out of control and a girl had been seen unconscious.
Armed police, a rapid response vehicle, and an ambulance went to the house but Anderson was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have confirmed they “humanely destroyed” four of the dogs, while a fifth was safely captured and is being held by police.
The remains of the four dogs that were out down will be examined as part of a police investigation. Early indications report two of the dogs put down were bull mastiffs and two may be Staffordshire bull terriers, officers said.
Superintendent Mark Kenny said it was “too early to speculate” about what had happened in the house. He also expressed condolences the family of the girl who “has tragically lost her life.”
He added: “I understand this is an extremely distressing incident for all concerned, including the community, and we will work hard to establish the full circumstances that led to this tragedy.”
A significant police presence will be remaining in the area through the evening and police are addressing residents concerns. Officer Kenny added that it was too early to speculate about what had happened but said further information would be released when it became available.
It’s likely the dog attack will spark fresh debate in Britain about the appropriate control of dangerous dogs.
In 2009, 4-year-old John Paul Massey was killed by a violent family dog at a home in Liverpool. In addition, last November a week-old boy died after being bitten by his family’s pet dog in Shropshire.
More recently, lawmakers from the three main political parties in Britain came out and strongly criticized the government for “inaction” over dog attacks and poor animal welfare.
The lawmakers said the country’s current laws “comprehensively failed” to deal with irresponsible dog ownership.
A parliamentary select committee on environment, food and rural affairs has called for the environment department (Defra) to urgently bring forward a bill to consolidate the “fragmented” legislation related to dog control and welfare.
Notably, current legislation in the UK does not protect children in their homes or people who have to visit private properties for purposes such as healthcare, the delivery of post, and professional utility workers.