UK & World News
Family Dog Seized After Death Of Newborn Baby
Police have seized a family dog after the sudden death of a six-day-old baby girl at a home in South Wales.
The animal was seized after officers were called to the property in Pontyberem, Carmarthenshire, at around 8.30am on Tuesday.
The youngster, named as Eliza-Mae Mullane, was treated by paramedics before being taken by air ambulance to hospital in Cardiff, where she was pronounced dead.
The dog, an Alaskan malamute, which is similar to a husky, was taken into police possession. It is not a banned breed.
Chief Inspector Ieuan Matthews, of Dyfed Powys Police, told Sky News: "It's a really tragic incident. It's at the early stages of the investigation.
"Our hearts, as individuals and as a police service, are with the family, parents and the wider community.
"At the moment, as part of the inquiry, we have taken into police possession the family dog. It's with us in police custody while those inquiries continue.
"As you can imagine, the family are hugely distressed. We have got specially trained family liaison officers who are supporting the family through these difficult times."
It is believed that the incident took place at a home in New Road, which was the home of Patrick Mullane and Sharon John.
The road has been sealed off and forensic officers and a dog section van have been outside a property on Tuesday morning.
Several officers are guarding the entrance to the road and are only letting residents in and out.
Neighbour Gemma Prosser, who knew the family and delivered flowers to the street, said the family was originally from Ireland.
She said: "We found the dog running around at the weekend. One of the residents took it and came to the house, and said 'Is it yours?'
"It was a normal dog. A friendly dog.
"[The family] will be devastated. I don't think they will get over it. I don't think anyone could get over this.
"When I heard about it, I could not believe it. I've got a five year old myself. It's horrible."
Pontyberem has been described as a very small, close-knit, village which has a population of around 3,000 people.
Alan Lewis, chairman of Pontyberem Community Council, said: "It is a huge shock for the particular community. Our thoughts go to the family involved, obviously."
Police say the parents have not been interviewed by officers, and on Tuesday morning arrangements were made for them to be taken to the hospital to be with their baby.
The tragedy comes just a week after 11-month-old Ava-Jayne Corless was killed by a pit bull terrier in Blackburn.
Alaskan Malamutes were originally bred as sled dogs for work in the Arctic, but are now popular as family pets.
The Alaskan Malamute Club of the United Kingdom describes the breed as an "affectionate, friendly, loyal, devoted companion" on its website.
An ideal Alaskan malamute is "heavily boned, powerfully built", it says.
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