Dogs Kill Boy, Seriously Injure Mother Outside New Jersey Home

A 3-year-old boy died after being attacked by dogs outside a New Jersey home on Tuesday, officials said following a preliminary investigation.

Authorities responded to a residence on Laurel Street in Carteret, Middlesex County, at approximately 4:30 p.m. after a report about a dog attack. An initial probe suggested the boy was killed and his mother left "seriously injured" following an attack by two dogs.

Carteret Mayor Dan Reiman said in a statement on Tuesday the victims were airlifted to hospital. The names of the victims were not released by the mayor or law enforcement, and the breed of dogs involved had not been clarified at time of writing.

"Our prayers are with the family affected by a dog attack at a private residence on Laurel St. Thank you to the first responders who rushed in to attend to the victims, who are being transported by helicopter for emergency medical care," Mayor Reiman said in a statement posted to Facebook and Twitter. "That's all the information we have at this time."

Neighbors told NBC New York that the child had been playing in the home's yard when the dogs attacked. The outlet was told the dogs belonged to a person who lives on the opposite side of the victim's backyard, and they likely got over the fence.

One local resident told NBC New York the victims recently moved to Carteret from New York City, while others claimed they heard the mother's screams for help. "Just, 'Help me, help me,'" one neighbor, identified as Jeet Debinder, told CBSNewYork.

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Local residents claimed the canines were not known to cause problems and had not appeared aggressive in the past. It remains unclear if the dog owners are facing criminal charges. The investigation is ongoing.

According to WABC's Eyewitness News, a neighbor who saw a portion of the incident take place initially thought the child and mother were playing with the two dogs.

The announcement of the death was made by Middlesex County Prosecutor Yolanda Ciccone and Chief of the Carteret Police Department, Dennis McFadden.

Anyone with information about the incident was urged to contact Detective Anthony Ramos of the Carteret Police Department via the number (732)541-4181 or Detective Mark Morris of the Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office via (732) 745-419.

The current medical condition of the mother was unknown at the time of publication on Wednesday. The prosecutor's office was contacted for comment.

According to statistics compiled by DogsBite.org, an organization dedicated to reducing dog attacks, 521 Americans were killed in dog attacks between 2005 and 2019.

Stock: Emergency Response
Stock photo: Emergency Response. A 3-year-old boy died and after being attacked by dogs outside a New Jersey home on Tuesday, officials said following a preliminary investigation. iStock