Dog Fatally Mauls 8-Year-Old Girl at Family Home

An 8-year-old-girl has died after being mauled by a dog in Belgium, according to reports.

The dog, an American Staffordshire terrier, is believed to have belonged to a family friend and attacked the child in Strépy-Bracquegnies on Sunday evening.

According to De Telegraaf, the girl's mother found the dog attacking the 8-year-old at around 11 p.m. The girl was taken to nearby La Louvière hospital, but died from her injuries.

The Mons prosecutor's office said the child was alone at the time of the attack, and police killed the animal when officers arrived at the scene as it was still being aggressive.

At least two other dogs were also present at the home at the time, but did not attack the girl. RTL Info reported that one of the other dogs at the home was another American Staffordshire terrier.

There are unverified reports that the mother had gone out to the steps of the house to join in with the celebrations following Italy's victory against England in the final of the delayed Euro 2020 soccer competition, according to La Dernière Heure.

The French-language daily newspaper published in Belgium speculated that fireworks and noises coming from the celebrations could have caused the dog to attack the girl, and also why the mother did not hear it taking place.

"The mom left the house to leave the kid alone and, while mom was away, one of the two American Staffs, presumably only one stepped in, tore the little girl to pieces completely," Jacques Gobert, the mayor from La Louvière, told RTL Info.

La Dernière Heure reported that American Staffordshire terriers are classed a Category 1 dangerous dog, meaning owners must comply with a number of rules in order to keep them, including ensuring they wear muzzles.

In La Louvière, where the village of Strépy-Bracquegnies is located, it is illegal to leave dangerous dogs unaccompanied with minors.

The Mons prosecutor's office is investigating the incident.

In Australia, an American Staffordshire terrier killed a 5-week-old baby during an attack at the family home in Kariong on July 11.

A neighbor said her 6-year-old Cocker Spaniel had also been killed by the dog four weeks earlier.

"Our dog had been dragged under the fence into the couple's property, its front legs had been shredded, he was our baby, we had him for six years, it was really distressing," the neighbor told The Daily Telegraph.

The second attack was confirmed by police looking into the baby's death.

Brisbane Water Police District Commander Detective Superintendent Darryl Jobson said: "A neighboring dog apparently got into the rear yard and was mauled by this dog, unfortunately. That was a separate incident but that will also form part of our investigation."

American Staffordshire Terrier
Stock image of an American Staffordshire Terrier. An 8-year-old-girl has died after being mauled by a similar dog at her home in Belgium. David Paul Morris/Getty Images/Getty Images