Two people have been arrested in the UK after a dog mauled a newborn baby to death over the weekend in a Yorkshire, Northern England town, authorities said.
The infant, identified by police as a 12-day-old baby boy, was rushed to a local Doncaster hospital following the attack, where he died shortly upon arrival due to serious injuries, South Yorkshire Police said, The Sun reported.
A man and a woman were taken into custody in connection with the Sunday afternoon attack.
“A 35-year-old man and a 27-year-old woman have been arrested on suspicion of gross negligence manslaughter,” the police force said, according to the outlet.
They have both since bailed out while inquiries are taking place.
Emergency responders were called to the home on Welfare Road, Woodlands, at about 3:30 p.m. on Sunday following reports of a dog attack, the outlet reported, citing the police.
“On arrival at the property, emergency services discovered a 12-day-old baby boy had been bitten by a dog and suffered serious injuries,” a police spokesperson said.
A specific breed wasn’t disclosed by police but it has been confirmed the dog was a crossbreed.
Authorities said the animal was removed from the address but didn’t say anything about if it will or has already been euthanized.
According to the latest figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre, NHS Digital, more than 23,000 people have been hospitalized in the past three years following a dog attack. With people under the age of 18 making up around 21 percent of total cases.
The Royal College of Surgeons said on its website a reminder to dog lovers to practice caution, cause at times, dogs do bite.
“Over the past few years, I have seen an increase in the number of dog-related injuries I deal with,” a professor from Manchester who often treats dog-related injuries said. “The injuries range from fairly minor to life-changing. Across the UK, 23,078 admissions over the past three years is a strain on the health service and is becoming a public health issue.”
“It’s worth remembering that even smaller, less intimidating breeds, such as those that have become more popular, are still capable of causing significant damage, particularly to babies” the professor continued. “While it’s reassuring that children and young people are not disproportionally being admitted for dog-related injuries, the impact that dog bites have on babies can be fatal and, of course, this is of great concern.”