'Horrific attack by American pit bull' leaves girl (14) seriously injured
A teenage girl has been seriously injured by a dog in a "horrific attack", police have said.
Northumbria Police said the 14-year-old was attacked by an animal, believed to have been an American pit bull, in a garden in Gateshead.
The girl suffered a serious arm injury which is not thought to be 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 okay."
Mr Gould said officers had to shoot the dog dead.
The incident happened at around 5pm on Saturday in a garden at a house in Millbrook, Felling.
The teenager was taken to hospital where she remains, a force spokesman said.
Mr Gould said: "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."