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This is the first picture of the dog that mauled a young boy leaving him seriously injured.

It is believed the boy, four, went to visit a friend’s house when he was attacked by the bull mastiff-type dog in Norris Green on Saturday.

A brave neighbour who saw the incident stepped in and managed to fight the dog off the boy and got him to safety, police said.

He suffered serious injuries and was rushed to hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

The dog has been seized and police are working on identifying its breed, LiverpoolECHO reports.

Merseyside Police arrested a woman, 31, on suspicion of being in charge of an out-of-control dangerous dog causing injury.

Police said she has since been released on bail pending further enquiries.

Retired council worker Edward Currie, 84, said: “I saw the car leaving, then the ambulance. It arrived just as somebody was taking the boy to hospital. I think they just missed him.”

Detective Inspector Neil Dillon said: “This was a horrendous attack on a four-year-old boy and it is only as a result of the swift actions of a brave neighbour that this young boy is still alive.

“The four-year-old has sustained significant injuries to his head and face.

“I would like to reassure everyone that we are working tirelessly to establish the full circumstances of the incident.

“If you were in the area of Wellesbourne Place at around 7pm and witnessed anything, or have any information about the dog in question then please come forward and speak to one of our officers.

“Our officers take the issue of dangerous dogs very seriously. Over the past years, we have worked proactively with the five local authorities in Merseyside to ensure prohibited dogs are taken off the streets.

“People who own or care for dogs should always make sure they are on a lead in public and should consider whether they need to be muzzled. It’s also a good idea to get your dog micro-chipped so that it can always be traced if it is lost, or escapes.

“If you keep your dog in the garden, you must make sure that the fencing is properly maintained so they can’t escape.”