Baby Mauled to Death by Parent's Pet German Shepherd

An infant in Virginia was mauled to death by its parents' pet dog on Monday, local police said. The Hampton Police Division said in a statement the infant was killed in the early hours of the morning at a property in the first block of Scotland Road.

Officers were called to the scene shortly after 3:15 a.m. to reports that a dog had mauled a baby to death at the scene. Those attending found a "small infant that had sustained injuries consistent with a canine attack" at the property.

Personnel from the Hampton Division of Fire & Rescue pronounced the baby dead at the scene. The infant's age was not disclosed.

Police said the infant had been sleeping in bed with its parents. The parents were awoken by "a large amount of motion," at which point the father saw the injuries to the child.

The father then immediately killed the dog, a mixed-breed German Shepherd. The family said the dog had not previously shown any signs of aggression. Animal Control later took possession of the deceased canine.

German Shepherd Dog Breed
File photo of a German Shepherd. The breed accounts for one of the top five involved in canine attacks, according to a 2008 survey by The Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs. iStock

German Shepherds account for one of the top five dog breeds involved in canine attacks, according to a 2008 survey by The Coalition for Living Safely with Dogs, a Colorado group made up of veterinary associations and animal welfare groups.

The other breeds to top the list are Labrador retrievers, pit bulls, Rottweilers and chow-chows.

Monday's incident marked the latest in a string of fatal dog attacks throughout the U.S. this year. Last week, a 26-year-old man died in west Tulsa after being severely mauled by three pit bulls.

Curtis Wickham was found at a home near West Admiral Blvd. and N. 49th West Ave. around 6 a.m. on Thursday. Tulsa Police said officers had been called to the address after a neighbor reported hearing gunshots.

Local news channel Fox23 reported that neighbors told officers the victim was at the residence to contact a former girlfriend when a fight broke out between him and the homeowner.

During the fight, the homeowner's three pit bulls attacked Wickham, according to police. The 26-year-old was taken to the hospital but later died from his injuries.

A woman was mauled to death on October 19 by a pack of dogs in Walker County, Alabama. The victim, 36-year-old Ruthie Mae Brown, had been walking along Jagger Road in Nauvoo when the animals attacked her. Brown was later declared dead at the scene.

At least five animals were involved in the incident, The Associated Press reported. Two of the animals were reportedly claimed by their owners following the attack and three others were captured by local authorities.

Throughout the wider U.S., at least 38 other people were also killed by canines this year, according to DogsBite.org, a public education website that tallies reported attacks by dogs.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (part of the United States National Library of Medicine) states that, on average, around 30-50 people nationwide die after being bitten by dogs each year.