A three-year-old was fatally mauled by a dog at a home in Louisville, Kentucky, on Thursday. It is believed the canine was the family's dog.
Police responded to the home on reports of a child being attacked bya dog. Officers arrived at the home and performed CPR on the child before he was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he succumbed to injuries. The identity of the child was not revealed.
Speaking to NBC-affiliated television station WAVE 3 News, neighbor Shelby Lee Caldwell said he knew something was terribly wrong when he received a frantic call from a person next door.
"We had to fight the dog out of there, beat sticks, make noise, get the dog out of there," Chadwell said.
They managed to separate the dog from the child, however, it was too late. Despite best efforts from the emergency medical services personneland police, the child could not be saved.
"It looked to be the worst... it's not something I want to relive," the neighbor said.
Describing the dog as "ferocious" and "strong," Chadwell said the dog had been bothering the residents for a while, adding that the canine belonged to the victim's grandfather.
"I think it's the next door neighbor's lifelong family dog. They've had a couple mishaps with this dog before. This is the second or third time this year the man next door had trouble wrestling this dog," he said.
Speaking to the Courier-Journal, Teeya Barnes, a spokeswoman for Louisville Metro Animal Services, said the canine will be quarantined for 10 days.
According to the city ordinance, "Any person found guilty of owning a dangerous dog ... may be required by a District Court Judge to have the dog humanely euthanized if in the opinion of that judge the severe attack warrants such action."
Though reports suggest the dog was a pit bull, Barnes said she has not confirmed it with the officers who responded to reports of the dog attack. Barnes, however, said pit bulls are overbred in Louisville.
In a statement about pit bull type breeds, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said, "All dogs, including pit bulls, are individuals. Treating them as such, providing them with the care, training and supervision they require, and judging them by their actions and not by their DNA or their physical appearance is the best way to ensure that dogs and people can continue to share safe and happy lives together."
This article originally appeared in IBTimes US.