Pit bull terrier
A pit bull terrier: Representational imageFadel Senna/AFP/Getty Images

A woman in Georgia has been charged with second degree murder and manslaughter after her toddler grandson was mauled to death by two pit bulls, authorities have said.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) said in a statement that officers of Hartwell Police Department were alerted to the incident by an urgent care facility when Sandra Adams and her daughter, Amy Adams, rushed in with the 20-month-old boy, Paris Adams.

Both dogs were taken by Hartwell Police and the city's animal control.

Sandra Adams had been babysitting the boy outside her home, the GBI said, when preliminary investigations alleged that she went to enter the house and was knocked down by her two pit bulls who ran towards the toddler.

"Adams attempted to both shield the child from further attack and to pull the dogs away from the child. Eventually Adams was able to get the dogs back into the residence and pick up the child," the GBI said.

She then is alleged to have taken the child to a location where she picked up his mother and they went to the urgent care facility.

Authorities said that Sandra Adams had been cited numerous times by local police under a city ordinance on maintaining disorderly animals.

In a press conference broadcast by Fox 5 Atlanta, District Attorney for Georgia's Northern Circuit, Parks White said that Adams had been handed a $50,000 (£37,000) bond. He also said that the dogs "will be put down" but could not give an exact time frame.