3-Day-Old Newborn Allegedly Mauled to Death by Family Dog in San Diego: Cops

Newborn Baby Mauled to Death By Family Dog in San Diego
Male American Staffordshire terrier-mix named Polo
San Diego County Department of Animal Services via AP

04/23/2016 AT 02:20 PM EDT

California police say a 3-day-old baby was mauled to death by the family dog on Thursday while in bed with the child's parents.

Police told NBC New York that the parents were watching TV with their baby boy and their dog in bed in their San Diego, California, home Thursday night. When the mother coughed, she reportedly started the American Staffordshire named Polo.

The dog began to attack the infant, "leading to traumatic injuries," Sgt. Tu Nguyen, with the San Diego Police Department's Child Abuse Unit., told NBC New York.

Police said the parents pulled the 2-year-old dog off the infant and rushed the child to the hospital where the boy was pronounced dead, the Associated Press reports.

"At this time, we're looking at this as nothing more than a tragic accident," Nguyen said, according to the AP.

Animal control officials took the dog into custody and it will be held in quarantine for 10 days to determine whether it has rabies, Dan DeSousa of the Department of Animal Services told the AP.

Officials told the Los Angeles Times that the dog would eventually be put down if the family does not fight to keep it alive.

The San Diego Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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