Lexi Branson's mother Jodi Hudson said her daughter was a "shining star"
A mother stabbed her pet dog in a bid to save her four-year-old daughter from a fatal attack, said police.
Jodi Hudson stabbed the dog, Mulan, with a kitchen knife as it mauled her daughter Lexi Branson at their flat in Mountsorrel, near Loughborough, on Tuesday. Lexi died in hospital.
The family got the dog from a rehoming centre two months ago.
Leicestershire Police said the dog was a bulldog, which was "not a breed listed under the Dangerous Dogs Act".
Det Supt David Sandall said Lexi had been off sick from school on Tuesday and was at home when Mulan, thought to be aged between six and eight, attacked her.
"We're still continuing the investigation and we're going to look completely at the history of where the dog's come from, how it's come into the family environment and we're doing the investigation on behalf of the coroner who, obviously, we have to show the events leading up to the death of Lexi," said Det Supt Sandall.
Leicestershire Police said Mulan used to be a
"But it's just a very, very tragic case that we're dealing with here today."
Asked by the BBC to confirm the breed, a Leicestershire Police spokeswoman reiterated that the dog was being "classified as a bulldog".
Lexi's mother and grandmother Kerry Hudson said she would be sadly missed and never forgotten.
In a statement, they said: "Lexi was a bubbly, bright little girl.
"She fought for her life from the moment she was born as she was born three months prematurely. She's been taken from us so tragically.
"She will be sadly missed, she will be our shining star in the sky and she we will never be forgotten."
David Williams, head teacher of Christ Church and St Peter's C of E primary school in Mountsorrel, where Lexi had just started as a pupil, said: "The whole school has been devastated by Lexi's death."
He said bereavement counsellors had been called in to speak to pupils.