A family dog that mauled a 5-week-old baby to death while his parents slept has been euthanized.
The 6-year-old Staffordshire Terrier killed the baby boy in the early hours of Sunday morning. The pet dog, which had been castrated and registered, was seized by council rangers following the tragedy in Kariong on the NSW Central Coast, Australia.
According to the spokesperson for the Central Coast Council, the dog was taken to the vet and put down following the fatal attack. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this terrible time. The incident remains a police investigation," they told 7 News.
Pictures featured in the Daily Mail feature a distraught-looking man outside the home where the baby was mauled to death, along with first responders who reported to the incident.
The vicious attack on the 5-week-old marked the dog's second in just a month after it was revealed the same Staffy had fatally mauled a smaller dog that had made its way onto the property.
The owner of the smaller dog had been holidaying in Noosa when the attack happened and came home to find her beloved pet dead. The American Staffordshire Terrier had been the subject of a temperament assessment at the request of the council before their baby was killed.
Emergency services were called to the home at around 2:20 am. Police and first responders on the scene were unable to revive the little boy and he was declared dead on the scene.
On Sunday afternoon, district commander Detective Superintendent Darryl Jobson described the situation as "a matter of tragic proportions."
"Incidents like these do bear heavily on first responders," Jobson said.
"They are no doubt shaken by the incident. Anything to do with children, particularly of this nature, is absolutely traumatic," he told 7News.
No one else was harmed in the attack and the baby's parents were home at the time - they're currently being treated for shock and distress.
The attack has renewed calls for the American Staffordshire Terrier breed to be banned from being owned in Australia. As of writing, the breed is forbidden to be owned in 14 countries including Germany, Denmark, Spain, Romania, Norway, Switzerland and the USA.
On the same day as the mauling of the little boy, in a separate incident, a couple was attacked by an American Staffordshire Terrier while they walked their dog in Sydney.
The breed has been described by some as a "ticking time bomb" and should not be allowed to be kept as a pet in Australia.
Currently, the list of dog breeds that are on the prohibited dog's list includes any Pit Bull Terrier breeds, Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, Perro de Presa Canario, or Presa Canario. This ban also extends to mixed breeds or to dogs that display any of the characteristics as the breeds mentioned above. They have also prohibited the entry of any domesticated and non-domesticated dog hybrids, such as wolf crosses, into the country.
According to allpetslife.com, there are around 4.7 million dog bites in the U.S every year, with fifty percent of them being children. Statistics say that younger children are usually bitten by a family dog or a neighbor's dog. Adolescents are bitten more frequently by unknown dogs. In addition, dogs bite more male children than female children.