In a heartbreaking incident, 3-day-old Susie Kirby was killed the same day her mother was originally due to give birth.
The baby died after being rushed to hospital after her uncle’s two dogs attacked her at a home in Fresno, California, Inside Edition reports.
Susie’s mother, 33, thought the dogs were chained up outside safely when she opened the door to “to let some cool air come in the house,” Fresno Police Department’s Sgt. Daniel Macias said.
Leaving her baby on the couch, she left to use the restroom. Then, she heard the newborn screaming.
“Unknown to her, the dogs were loose and one of them was able to get inside and ended up biting the infant,” Macias said.
Susie’s uncle — the only other person in the house — called paramedics, but it was too late.
It is believed the dog that killed the baby was a a shar-pei and pit bull mix.
The uncle gave the dogs over to the Central California Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, where they were to be euthanized.
Police say they will continue to investigate the case.
“We believe from all indications that it was an unfortunate accident, but we are looking into any type of child endangerment [or] criminal activity,” Macias said.
Only a few months before this incident, another dog killed a 3-day-old baby in San Diego, The Guardian reports. That dog was an American Staffordshire terrier and Great Dane mix. The American Staffordshire terrier is classified as a pit bull.
“The mom coughed unexpectedly and it startled the dog, which bit the baby, causing traumatic injury,” said Sgt. Tu Nguyen of San Diego Police Department child abuse unit.
While these cases make it appear pit bulls are exceptionally dangerous dogs, One Green Planet says this is not so.
“Other breeds like the Chow Chow, Husky, Doberman, German Shepherd and Rottweiler have also been implicated in similar attacks,” the site says, adding that results from the American Temperament Testing Society reveal pit bulls are the second most tolerant breed. “The difference is that the media tends to sensationalize Pit Bulls more frequently.”
“There is no evidence to suggest that Pit Bulls are simply not good with children,” it later states. “In fact, Pit Bull’s are historically known for being ‘nanny’ dogs due to their loyalty and gentleness around children.”
“With that being said, precaution should always be taken when allowing a child to interact with a dog, regardless of the breed,” the site cautions.