Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Dog 'startled by cough' kills three-day-old baby

A dog attacked and killed a newborn baby boy after being startled when the mother coughed, police have said.

Any dog that bites a person is placed in quarantine by animal control Credit: Reuters

The parents were lay in bed watching television with their their three-day-old son and their dog - a 44kg American Staffordshire terrier-Great Dane cross, according to Sgt Tu Nguyen of the San Diego police child abuse unit.

"The mum coughed unexpectedly and it startled the dog, which bit the baby, causing traumatic injury," said Mr Nguyen, whose unit was called in to investigate the death.

"The parents were able to separate the dog from the baby and they rushed him to the hospital but they were not able to save him."

Following the incident, the dog was taken into custody by San Diego County Animal Services, officials said.

Any dog that bites a person is placed in quarantine by animal control, said the agency's deputy director, Dan DeSousa.

Mr DeSousa said the family can direct animal control to euthanize the dog or they can claim it at the end of a 10-day quarantine period.

So far, he added, the agency had not received any instructions.