Family Dog Mauls 3-Day-Old Baby to Death

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO -- A three-day-old baby was fatally attacked Thursday night by the family dog, according to police in Mira Mesa, California. Parents of the newborn say they were watching television in bed with the child and dog when the mother coughed, startling the mixed breed American Staffordshire Terrier, and causing it to bite the baby, police told KSWB.

Courtesy of Department of Animal Services

Courtesy of Department of Animal Services

"Everything is pointing towards nothing more than a tragic case of an accident, or horrific case of an accident," said Sgt. Tu Nguyen with the San Diego Police Dept.

The couple took the gravely wounded baby to Thornton Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Sgt. Tu Nguyen said.

The county Department of Animal Services took custody of the 2-year-old dog, a neutered male named Polo. The canine will undergo a 10-day quarantine to make sure he is not rabid, after which he will be euthanized unless his owners decide to reclaim him, DAS spokesman Dan DeSousa said.

The dog had no known prior history of dangerous aggressiveness, DeSousa said.