Bella-Rae Birch, aged 17 months, was tragically killed by her family’s new pet dog at her home in St Helen’s, Merseyside on Monday, and police have now confirmed the breed of the animal
olice have confirmed the breed of a dog which mauled 17-month-old Bell-Rae Birch to death in her own home was an American Bully XL.
Bella-Rae was tragically killed on March 21 after being attacked by the family’s new pet dog, where they lived in St Helen’s, Merseyside.
The dog, which the family bought just a week before the attack, has now been confirmed to have been an American Bully XL, a legal breed not subject to any prohibitions under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.
Neighbours on Bidston Avenue described trying to save the “beautiful” toddler after hearing her parents’ screams.
After the horrific incident on Monday, neighbours, friends and people from around the world have donated thousands to pay for the youngster’s funeral.
Merseyside Police / SWNS.COM)
The young girl’s mum, Treysharn, wrote on a fundraising page: “On the 21st of March we sadly lost our gorgeous blue-eyed baby girl, who was just one year of age, in a tragic sudden accident.
“We are now in a position where we need to raise funds towards the most beautiful send-off.
“Every little will help, every little is appreciated. Thank you everyone.”
In a statement released on Wednesday, Merseyside Police confirmed the dog was not a banned breed.
“Merseyside Police are continuing enquiries into the tragic death of Bella-Rea Birch, as the family remain supported by specialist officers,” the statement read.
“Tests have confirmed that the dog involved was an American Bully XL, a legal breed not subject to any prohibitions under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. ”
In an emotional tribute through Merseyside Police, Bella-Rae’s family said: “As a family we would like to thank the community for their support.
“We would ask that we are now allowed some space and time to try and come to terms with the tragic loss of our much-loved Bella-Rae. She will be sadly missed but never forgotten.”
Following the tragic incident, police cordoned off parts of Bidston Avenue, St Helens while they launched an investigation.
In a police press statement made close to the scene on Tuesday, Superintendent Steve Brizell said: “The community of Blackbrook and the whole of Merseyside has woken up today to the most tragic news. Officers were called to attend a house here on Bidston Avenue, at around 3.50pm yesterday.
“We were called by the family of a 17-month-old girl Bella-Rae Birch. Bella-Rae has lost her life in the most unimaginably terrible circumstances and our thoughts are first and foremost with the family and the wider community at this devastating time.”
He added: “At this stage we understand that the family dog they’d bought just a week earlier has attacked Bella-Rae inside the family home. Bella-Rae was taken by ambulance to hospital by paramedics but despite the best efforts at police officers at the scene, the paramedics and doctors, sadly Bella-Rae died as a result of her injuries.”
Data shows there have been eight fatal dog attacks in the UK in the past two years.
An American bully was responsible for the death of 10-year-old Jack Lis in Penyrheol, Caerphilly in November last year, while two American bulldogs killed 85-year-old great-grandmother Lucille Downer in her back garden in Rowley Regis, West Midlands, on April 2, 2021.