A man has been arrested and a dog seized after reports a three-year-old girl was bitten in the face, police have said.
Merseyside officers were called to Newtown Gardens, outside the Market Tavern pub, in Kirkby, northeast of Liverpool, on Saturday afternoon following a report a dog had attacked a child.
The toddler was taken to hospital for treatment of her injuries, thought to be serious but not life-threatening.
Police attended and seized the dog, which will be examined in order to determine the breed.
A 31-year-old man from Ormskirk has been arrested on suspicion of affray and having a dog dangerously out of control in a public place.
He has been taken into custody to be questioned.
Chief Inspector Jim Wilde said: "This was a horrific attack which has left a young girl receiving hospital treatment for significant injuries to her face.
"I want to reassure people that she is currently receiving the best possible care and treatment for her injuries at Alder Hey, and we hope she makes a speedy recovery.
"We seized the dog at the scene, which will now be humanely destroyed, and extensive efforts are now under way to establish exactly what happened."
Police said the area was busy at the time and, while they have spoken to a number of witnesses, they are still appealing for more to come forward.