ARMED police were forced to shoot an out-of-control pitbull dog that broke its owner's arm and was biting other residents.

The dog had to be shot at a block of flats in Great Lever after it became dangerously out of control, posing a serious risk to its owner and other residents.

Police were called to Little Holme Walk at about 7.30pm yesterday.

Officers attended, along with armed police, but despite efforts to contain the animal it continued to behave aggressively, to the point where police could not protect the owner who had been seriously injured by his own dog.

Armed police were then given the go-ahead to shoot the dog.

A spokesman for GMP said an animal is only destroyed "as a last resort".

Paramedics then rushed to the aid of the owner, who suffered numerous deep puncture wounds in his left arm, wrist and hands and a possible fracture.

He was taken to Bolton Royal Hospital where he was said to be having surgery.

Insp Nicki Tompsett said: "Clearly the destruction of any animal is not something we as a police force take lightly, and in this instance considerable efforts were made to control the animal.

"However, the dog continued to behave in such an aggressive way and its demeanour was such that we could not attend to the man who had been seriously injured, and therefore the decision was made to destroy the dog before anyone else could be hurt or the victim himself sustained further, life-changing injuries.

"What this incident demonstrates is the dangers dogs can pose to everyone, including their owners.

"Certain types of animals do pose a greater risk to their owners and innocent passers-by because of their aggressive nature, and that is what our officers were confronted with last night.

"However, I also want to stress that the ultimate responsibility lies with the owner of the dogs.

"Dangerous dogs are bred, not born, so it is incumbent on all dog owners to ensure their pets are well brought-up and friendly.

"Legislation is now in place to prosecute those who fail to control their dogs or breed them for criminal or violent purposes and we will enforce that legislation to protect innocent members of our community from being attacked."