Pet dog kills three-day-old baby in family bed in California

A newborn baby has been mauled to death by a dog which was sharing the family bed.

Police said the parents were in bed watching TV with their three-day-old son and the dog in San Diego, California, on Thursday night when the mother coughed.

The coughing startled the dog and it attacked the baby, Sergeant Tu Nguyen said.

He said the parents pulled the animal off and took their only child to the hospital, but he was pronounced dead.

"At this time, we're looking at this as nothing more than a tragic incident," said Mr Nguyen, a member of the police child abuse unit.

Animal control officers took the two-year-old dog, a neutered American Staffordshire terrier-mix named Polo, into custody, said Dan DeSousa, deputy director of the county Department of Animal Services.

The dog will be held in quarantine for 10 days to determine whether it has rabies and it will be up to the owners to decide whether to reclaim it.

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