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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 November 2006, 20:49 GMT
Girl, three, mauled by family dog
The house where the attack took place
It is thought the girl was at her grandmother's house
A three-year-old girl is in hospital with serious head injuries after she was attacked by a dog.

The girl suffered head, neck and throat injuries in the incident in the garden of a house in Church Road, in the village of Claverdon, Warwickshire.

The Dobermann Pinscher, a family pet, has been destroyed.

The girl was taken to Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital and will be moved to the children's hospital later. A salesman helped fight the dog off.

A door-to-door salesman saw what was happening, picked up a bucket and fought the dog off
Insp Richard Woodcock

It is thought the girl was at her grandmother's house.

Insp Richard Woodcock, of Warwickshire Police, said the girl had been being supervised by a member of her family when the attack took place.

"The dog actually dragged the girl from the house into the garden," he said.

"A door-to-door salesman saw what was happening and picked up a bucket and fought the dog off."

The family agreed to have the dog put down straight away and a vet was called to the scene.

Insp Rupert Atkinson said: "It was a family pet on family premises and witnesses will be interviewed over the next few days.

"It is quite tragic for the family and obviously very upsetting for everybody who was there."

Plastic surgery

Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance said her injuries are not thought to be life-threatening, but she may need plastic surgery.

In a statement West Midlands Ambulance service said it was alerted shortly after 1200 GMT and crews were at the scene with the air ambulance within seven minutes.

"The three-year-old had suffered serious injuries to her neck and face," a spokesman said.

"Working in difficult conditions, her condition was stabilised on scene by the doctor on the helicopter and the ambulance staff before she was flown to Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham for further treatment.

Claverdon resident Dave Peregrine described the Dobermann pinscher as "protective of its patch".

"Occasionally when I am walking past with my dog it is quite aggressive, always barking at the gate," he said.

"I have never seen it out of its back yard so I have never had direct contact with the dog but it does seem to be protective of its patch."

Another unnamed resident said she had never been aware of any problems with the dog although it always barked as people walked past.

A report from close to the scene of the attack

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