A schoolgirl has suffered a serious injury to her arm after she was mauled by a dog.
The incident happened around 5pm yesterday in a garden at a house in Millbrook in Felling, Gateshead.
A dog believed to be an American Bull Dog attacked a 14-year-old girl causing her to suffer a serious arm injury.
She has been taken to hospital and is receiving treatment for serious injuries, which are not considered life-threatening.
Officers at the scene attempted to control the dog however the animal was in a highly agitated state and despite best efforts to bring the dog under control police it was necessary to shoot and destroy the animal to ensure public safety.
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 ok.
"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."
Inquiries are ongoing to establish the circumstances of the incident.
Anyone who was in the area at the time of the attack is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101 quoting reference 895 300716 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.