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Family Dog Mauls And Kills 3-Day-Old Baby

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A 3-day-old baby boy was mauled to death by a family’s pet dog in San Diego on Friday, reports the L.A. Times.Mother, father, newborn and dog were all lying in bed together watching television on Thursday evening. The mother apparently coughed and startled the dog. The dog then attacked the baby.

The parents responded by pulling the dog off the baby and rushing the child to a nearby hospital. The child was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

“At this time it appears to be a tragic accident,” said San Diego Police Sgt. Tu Nguyen to the L.A. Times. “It’s such a horrific, tragic case.”

Officers from the San Diego Department of Animal Control are holding the 2-year-old, neutered male American Staffordshire-terrier mix in custody. The dog, who is named Polo, will be held for 10 days to determine whether or not it is rabid, according to KABC. At that point, the family will have the option of reclaiming the dog.

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Neighbors around the family’s apartment complex said they remember seeing a pregnant woman regularly walking the dog around the neighborhood.

As the Times reports, animal behavior experts say a dog’s behavior can radically change when a newborn baby is introduced to its surroundings. Their advice is to not leave any small child, especially a baby, around a dog capable of harming it.