Baby Ava-Jayne Corless was killed on Monday night by a Pit Bull that belonged to her mother’s live-in boyfriend. The SPCA is now looking back on its files to see if there were any ‘missed opportunities’ to have taken steps that would have saved the life of the beautiful little girl who was killed while she slept.
Her mother Chloe King, 20, and her boyfriend Lee Wright, 26, were downstairs at the time of the incident. They were later arrested on suspicion of child neglect and manslaughter and have since been released on bail pending further inquiries, reports This Is Lancashire.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) responded to the house on Emily Street, Blackburn, in Lancashire the evening baby Ava-Jayne was fatally mauled. The Officer then realized that she had been called on two other occasions for issues involving dogs at that address.
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said the organization was first called to the property on Emily Street two years ago after a cat was killed in the garden. That incident was recorded as an accident, as there was no suggestion the owner had done anything wrong.
An investigation was again launched in October 2012 when the RSPCA received reports of concerns for the health of a litter of puppies being kept at the home. An officer attended and the dogs were all found to be under veterinary care and receiving required treatment.
Two puppies were signed over to the RSPCA and were adopted to new homes. The investigating officer noted that there was a ‘bull breed-type’ dog also at the property, but did not consider it to be a banned breed.
PIT BULL NAMED “SNOOP” BELIEVED TO BE SAME THAT KILLED AVA-JAYNE
The dog that killed Ava-Jayne was believed by neighbors to be named “Killer.” It is now believed the dog was actually named “Snoop.”
A neighbor on Emily Street, Faisal Shahzad, said he had also reported the dog to the RSPCA and police when it ripped a hole in his fence, This is Lancashire reports.
Neighbor Ian Prescott said Snoop was so large that he came up to his waist. He said: “It was huge. I saw Lee taking him for a walk, but really the dog was taking him for a walk. “I would not have taken him for a walk; I would have put a saddle on him.”
Andrew Stephenson, Member of Parliament, said the RSPCA should now take another look at its notes from the prior incidents to see if there might have been an opportunity to prevent Ava-Jayne’s death. He said: “We need to make sure that opportunities were not missed.
“We need to make sure that everything is done that can be done to prevent future tragedies.
“I do think at a time like this we should look back and ask ‘was there more we could have possibly done?’
MANDATORY MICROCHIPING IN THE U.K.
New legislation comes into effect in 2016 making it illegal for a dog not to be microchipped/ MP Stephenson said that RSPCA should scan every dog in a household its officers visit as a matter of course to make sure they are all registered.
Blackburn Member of Parlianmet Jack Straw said: “There are certainly going to be a lot of questions asked about whether this dog should have been brought to the attention of the police at an earlier stage.”
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said investigations had been carried out at the time of the incidents. She said the officer had not considered any of the dogs to be banned breeds and that the cases were now resolved.
She said when the agency previously was called to the propety in 2012, "There were no children living at the address at that time.“
“The officer saw a male bull breed type dog at the scene but did not suspect the dog she saw of being a banned breed.” The spokeswoman for the RSPCA said that the bull breed type dog seen by the officer matched the description and name of the dog that killed the baby.
"The RSPCA very much welcomes compulsory microchipping of all dogs and strongly believes it is something all responsible dog owners should do. We do not have staff qualified to formally identify any dogs prohibited under the Dangerous Dogs Act, nor is that our responsibility," she said.
"The RSPCA is concerned with animal welfare. Enforcement of the Dangerous Dogs Act is the statutory duty of the police.
A police investigation into the death of Ava-Jayne has been launched, she said. A spokesman said inquiries into the dog’s history were ongoing.
Source: This Is Lancashire