Baby in hospital after attack by family dog in Barnsley

South Yorkshire Police are reminding people that dog attacks 'can happen to anyone'. Credit: PA

Police say "stress" caused by fireworks may have provoked a family dog to attack a baby boy.

The 10-month-old needed surgery and is in a serious but stable condition in hospital after being mauled the Cane Corsa X, in Hoyland, Barnsley, on Tuesday.

South Yorkshire Police said the dog was described as "loving and affectionate" and had shown "no previous signs of aggression" before it attacked the boy.

A spokesperson said the family had reported that the dog had recently become "stressed" by fireworks being set off in the local area.

They added: "While we cannot say this caused the dog’s aggressive, it cannot be overlooked that the stress to the dog may have provoked this response, in the same way pain and discomfort can."

PC Paul Jameson said owners should be vigilant as Halloween and Bonfire Night approached.

“If you know your dog does not accept people knocking at the door, put up a sign ahead of Halloween to stop people knocking," he said.

“If your dog becomes unsettled when fireworks are set off, walk your dog in daylight hours, close the windows and draw your curtains to help muffle the sound and put the radio or TV on."

The force said the incident was a reminder to parents that "it can happen to anyone".

PC Jameson said: "An incident like this is a stark reminder that regardless of a dog’s nature, or previous interactions with children, other dogs and people, they are animals and their innate instinct to protect themselves which can result in serious injuries and sometimes fatality."

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