A New Zealand newborn was fatally mauled by the family’s Rottweiler, which tried to bury him in the garden while the baby’s mother went to the bathroom, according to reports.
The boy, who was born Saturday night, was attacked by the powerful pooch about 7 p.m. Sunday in the city of Hamilton in the country’s North Island, news.com.au reported.
He was rushed with Waikato Hospital, where he was treated at the neonatal intensive care unit – but he died of his injuries a day after the horrific attack.
“Police are continuing to make enquiries, and are liaising with relevant agencies,” a police spokesperson said.
A neighbor told New Zealand news outlet Stuff that she saw the tragic newborn’s mom sitting on a grassy patch tenderly holding her wailing baby.
The woman — who only gave her first name, Karen — told the outlet that she rushed to the family’s home when she heard a commotion.
She said the Rottweiler, one of the family’s two dogs, had grabbed the baby, mauled him and tried to bury him in their garden.
Karen said she had visited her neighbor before the tragic incident earlier Sunday and helped track down the escaped dog and put him in a fenced area of the property, according to Stuff.
The baby’s mom proudly showed him to Karen a day after his birth.
“He obviously meant the world to her,” she told the outlet.
That evening, Karen noticed the commotion and thought the dog had slipped away again and perhaps was hit by a car – but when she drew near, she noticed the mother holding her injured, crying baby.
“I sat beside the mother and put my arm around her,” she told Stuff. “He was just so little. He was all dirty and had bits of blood on him. She told me which dog did it – they have two. It was the Rottweiler.”
Karen said the mother asked her to rush inside her home to grab her phone.
“All she did was pop to the toilet and it happened just like that,” Karen said. “The whole thing is horrible, every time I close my eyes I just see him.”
The Hamilton City Council confirmed that animal control officers had picked up the dog as police investigate the tragedy.
Karen said she later went back to her neighbor’s home, where both dogs were still on the property. She said she simply tied both of them to their kennels as the tragic incident began to sink in with those at the scene.
She expressed her regret for having helped retrieve the Rottweiler earlier in the day.
“I almost feel guilty for taking him home,” Karen said.
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