A heartbroken mum has shared a new picture of her “blue-eyed little girl” as a fundraiser for her funeral raised £2,000 in just hours.
Bella-Rae Birch, one, was abused by the family’s lap dog in St Helens, Merseyside died in hospital from her horrific injuries on Monday night.
Her devastated family paid her tribute “dear beloved” Bella-Rae – while neighbors described the tragedy as they rushed to save the little girl.
And the family is now raising funds for her funeral, with her mom paying tribute to her “blue-eyed little girl” as they posted a new snap of Bella-Rae.
They have so far raised £2,300 in tributes for the tragic girl.
Mother Treysharn said: “On March 21st we sadly lost our beautiful blue eyed girl, who was only one year old, in a tragic sudden accident.
“We are now in a position where we need to raise funds for the best farewell.”
A well-wisher who donated to the fundraiser wrote, “Good night God bless Bella-Rae thinking of all your family at this sad time.”
The tragic 17-month-old tot just celebrated her first birthday with her parents and older brother in October last year.
And in a heartbreaking message, dad Ryan wished the toddler a happy first birthday – unaware that it would tragically be her last.
Bella-Rae’s father wrote: “Happy birthday to my little princess, big one today. First birthday!!
“My Bella Boo. Have the best day beautiful we love you too much.”
Little Bella-Rae was pronounced dead after being attacked by the dog at the family home.
The dog, believed to be a Staffordshire Bull Terrier or Pitbull Terrier, joined the family just a week ago, police officers said.
A local rushed to the scene and gave the toddler CPR before emergency services arrived, while others recalled the desperate screams from onlookers.
The disaster happened on Monday afternoon when The 17-month-old was trashed by the family’s runaway dog.
Emergency services rushed to the home in Blackbrook, St. Helens, just before 4pm on Monday.
The tot was found with serious injuries after the vicious dog attack – and little Bella-Rae was taken to the hospital.
But the toddler tragically died of her injuries a short time later.
Yesterday, Bella-Rae’s heartbroken family said: “As a family, we want to thank the community for their support.
“We would like to ask that we have some space and time now to try to process the tragic loss of our beloved Bella-Rae.
“She will be sorely missed but will never be forgotten.”
Police confirmed that the dog was confiscated by police and then humanely destroyed after the brutal attack.
Now it is determined who was the previous owner of the dog.
And police are investigating whether the dog was an illegal breed under the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991).
Eyewitnesses reported yesterday how the Staffordshire terrier-type dog was taken away from the house.
An eyewitness, Linda-Birchall, 61, described seeing the “devastated” and “heartbroken” family shortly after the attack.
She said: “They were all out in the square.
“They looked devastated and heartbroken. It’s so awful that this is happening.”
And a neighbor who is seeking paramedic training said: “We were driving out of the school and we heard screams.
“I just ran over to help and started CPR until the paramedics took over.
“The baby was not well. I tried to help her. I started CPR, which I did for about 30 seconds. It was just me.”
Another neighbor, Joanne Matthews, 53, described the girl, referred to locally as Bella-Rae Birch, as a “beautiful little girl.”
She said she saw an ambulance and police cars in front of the family on Monday before the dog was brought out.
Joanne said: “I saw them bring the dog out.
“I couldn’t tell what breed it was, but from the back it looked like a Staffordshire bull terrier or a pit bull.
“She was such a beautiful little girl who frolicked around.
“I saw the family walking by just to say hello and they were always very nice.”
Henry Tibay, 63, a retail worker, said: “It is very shocking and I am concerned about what has happened.
“It is worrying as there are many children playing in the streets.”
A neighbor who asked not to be named also said: “It was a burly dog.
“It looked like a staffie from behind. I saw the police take it out and put it in the back of a van.”
She added: “It’s a shame what happened. The little girl used to play football in the street, I can’t believe I won’t see her again.”
A man, who looked visibly upset, said he would be at the scene shortly after the girl was attacked.
He added: “They are a lovely family and the parents are doting on their two children. They were always with them.”
Two police officers stopped outside the address where Bella-Rae lived with her mother and father, identified locally as Treysharn Bates and Ryan Birch, yesterday.
An outpouring of sorrow across the quiet property continued as neighbors gathered to leave flowers and tributes.
Another neighbor, who asked not to be named, said she got home from shops around 4.30pm when the area was busy with police.
She said: “It’s usually very quiet and safe here for children, but when you hear that something like this has happened it’s so upsetting.”
A local resident, who asked not to be named, said: “It’s just devastating what happened.
“This is a normal quiet street and the children were playing in the street. The little girl, a toddler, was always nearby.
“They were a very pleasant family with two children.”
As of Tuesday morning, officers were stationed outside the home, which was cordoned off with police tape, and a forensic scientist was seen entering the property.
At a press conference outside the house yesterday, Merseyside Police Superintendent Steve Brizell said: “Bella-Rae lost her life in the most horrific circumstances unimaginable and our thoughts are first and foremost with the family and the wider community at this devastating time .
“Our specialist family liaison officers are supporting Bella-Rae’s family and officers will remain in the area over the coming days to provide further reassurance and support to the wider community.
“As of this writing, we understand that the family dog, which they purchased just a week earlier, attacked Bella-Rae at the family home.
“Bella-Rae was taken to the hospital by ambulance by paramedics, but despite the best efforts of local police officers and paramedics and doctors, Bella-Rae unfortunately died of complications from her injuries yesterday afternoon.
“It has left the family and community in grief and complete shock.
“During the incident, the dog was handed over to the police at the address and humanely exterminated.
“Detailed investigations into this tragic event continue, forensic investigations to determine the dog’s breed are ongoing and we are working to identify the dog’s previous owners so we can unravel its history.
“We want to continue to support the family and the local community and officers will remain at the Bidston Avenue crime scene during the day today.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact police via the social media desk @MerPolCC or the “Merseyside Police Contact Center” on Facebook with reference 22000196837.
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18039435/mum-new-pic-bella-rae-birch-fundraiser-funeral/ The heartbroken mum shares a new picture of her ‘blue-eyed girl’ Bella-Rae Birch, 1, as funeral fundraiser raises £2,000