The family of Bella-Rae Birch, a seventeen-month-old toddler, wanted to get a dog. Because they loved the notion of having a happy-go-lucky pooch that bounded across the property, Birch’s parents bought a dog and brought it home with them, then introduced it to the infant. Unfortunately, the pet was unable to keep the baby safe; it mauled her 17-month-old “beautiful” baby sister and killed her in an atrocity that has affected her family at their core.

The baby girl was killed by her family’s German shepherd dog on Monday afternoon at their home in Blackbrook, St Helens, Merseyside, England. The assault took place at 3:50 p.m. The infant girl was immediately taken to the closest hospital where she succumbed to her injuries and could not be saved.

Neighbors reported seeing Treysharn Bates’ mother, Treysharn Bates, standing outside of the family home “crying hysterically.” She had been clearly “devastated” by the violent crime. Family members and friends arrived at the family’s house with flowers to convey their condolences and make it clear that she would be sorely missed.

Bella-Rae’s family has since utilized social media to convey their devastation, stating that the seventeen-month-old was “much loved” and “will be sadly missed but never forgotten.”

Bell-Rae’s family issued a statement through the police, stating: “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.”

The dog that mauled Bella-Rae has been destroyed. The authorities are now investigating the dog’s previous owner to determine whether the pet violated the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991. Neighbors identified the breed of the dog as a Staffordshire Bull Terrier or Pitbull Terrier.

A trainee paramedic referred to only as Jordan, who lived near the scene, arrived home to find “about twenty police cars” on the street. She abandoned her occupation and rushed over to attempt CPR on the newborn girl until on-duty paramedics could take over.

Jordan stated: “I pulled up in my car. I had been getting my kids from school. I heard screaming, and I ran over. I tried to help. People were everywhere. They were crying and screaming. The baby wasn’t well. I tried to help her. ‘I started CPR, which I did for around 30 seconds. It was just myself. Then the paramedics took over. The parents were hysterical. I didn’t see the dog. We don’t really go up there. I don’t know how I feel now.”

Merseyside Police Superintendent Steve Brizell said in a statement: “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.”