Pair arrested after woman and her dogs seriously injured in suspected XL bully attack

Two people have been arrested after a woman was seriously injured in a suspected XL bully attack.

Officers were called to an address in North Tyneside at about 11pm on Saturday to reports that a woman and her two dogs had been hurt.

The 29-year-old was taken to hospital where she remains with serious injuries to her leg and arms, Northumbria Police said.

Her two injured dogs were also taken to a vet for treatment, the force added.

A 22-year-old woman and a 31-year-old man were arrested on suspicion of being in charge of a dangerously out of control dog and remain in custody.

Two dogs believed to be XL bullies - and three others - have been seized as a precaution.

Detective Inspector Corrin Lowery said: "I understand this incident will have caused some concern, but I would like to reassure residents and the wider community there is no risk at the time.

"A full investigation has been launched so we can establish a full, clear picture of events, and officers will remain the area today speaking to residents and carrying out further enquiries. I would encourage anyone who is concerned or worried to make themselves known.

"The victim remains in hospital with serious injuries, and I wish her and her two dogs, a full recovery.

"The investigation is at an early stage but we do believe all those involved are known to each other. Two people remain in custody and a total of five dogs have been seized while we continue with our enquiries.

"We would ask that anyone who hasn't spoken to us yet, but has information, gets in touch."

Read more: Why adding XL bullies to the Dangerous Dogs Act may not work

The XL bully breed, which has been developed from the American pit bull terrier, is not officially categorised in the UK.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has vowed to ban them, but dog experts argue the move is problematic.

Campaigners say that after several bite incidents - including a fatal one that killed a 52-year-old man in Staffordshire in September - any attempts to ban them could also outlaw other similar breeds.

A police officer was left with "serious bite injuries" after a suspected XL bully attack in Ibstock, near Coalville, Leicestershire Police said on Saturday.

Police shot dead an XL bully in the grounds of a Norfolk primary school earlier this month after it attacked a woman in her 60s.

And in September an 11-year-old girl was left with serious injuries as a result of a similar attack.