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A 14-year-old girl has been seriously injured in a "horrific" dog attack in Gateshead.
The victim was left with serious injuries to her arm after the incident on Saturday afternoon in a garden at a house in Millbrook, Felling.
Police spent an hour trying to bring the "highly agitated" dog, which was believed to be an American Bulldog, under control but eventually had to shoot and destroy it to "ensure public safety".
They said it was a "last resort".
The teenager has been taken to hospital and is currently receiving treatment for serious injuries, which are not considered life-threatening.
Chief Inspector Dave Gould said:
Our thoughts are with this young girl who has endured a horrific attack by a dog that was highly agitated and a danger to other people.
At the moment we don't know the full extent of her injuries, however we do believe they are incredibly serious and we hope she is ok.
Officers at the scene spent more than an hour attempting to bring the dog safely under control but unfortunately despite best efforts it continued to remain highly agitated and posed a real danger.
We did not want to have to destroy the animal but our main concern has to be public safety, we already had one young girl who had been seriously injured and we had to do what we could to prevent anyone else from coming to harm.
I cannot stress enough how much of a last resort this was for us and a number of options were considered including the use of specialist officers. We know local residents will be concerned and will have extra officers in the area to speak with residents and offer them reassurance.
Enquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances of the incident.
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