A 4-year-old boy's visit to his grandmother's house turned into a tragic incident when the child was mauled to death by a pet dog.
The deadly attack took place Sunday in Tacarigua, a town in the East-West Corridor of Trinidad and Tobago.
The child, identified as Amaziah Lewis, was at his grandmother's home when a pet rottweiler viciously mauled him. His elder sister and another child were also there with him at the time, Trinidad Express reported. Amaziah's grandmother had invited the boy, who lived with his parents and other siblings in San Juan, to the home to play.
On the day of the incident, the grandmother told the children to stay inside the house while she cleaned the yard.
"She felt his (Amaziah) presence behind him and when she looked back she saw him and told him to go back inside," the victim's aunt, Rechaeline Stewart, told Newsday. "She didn't know the dog got out of the pen, we don't know how he came out, but the child is accustomed to being around dogs because apparently, he has a dog where he lives so he's thinking the dog isn't going to do him anything."
"The dog grabbed him from the back of his neck and attacked him, so she [grandmother] tried her best to get the dog off of him," she said, adding: "She screamed until someone from next door heard her and they started throwing things in the yard to distract the dog."
The neighbors immediately called the police. Officers arrived at the scene and shot the dog dead.
The boy was bleeding profusely when officers arrived at the home. He died before an ambulance arrived, police said.
Stewart, who is also the daughter of the dog's owner, said the dog has been with the family since it was a puppy and was usually friendly with visitors. However, animal behaviour can sometimes be unpredictable, she added.
"I'm not going to lie when I visit I would stand by the gate if he's outside I would try and pet him to see the mood he's in because I have two little boys as well that also visit here and they're petrified of him so they won't venture close to him," she said. "It's an animal you don't know it's frame of mind, I can't answer the question because I'm not a dog person."
"The dog punctured the boy's head and neck. The child was bleeding badly. That is something I'm not going to forget at all. When the police arrive, they say that they can't move him because of his injuries...By the time (the ambulance) arrived, the child had died. Maybe he would have lived if they took him for treatment, or if the ambulance had reached to treat him in time," Reikesh Boodoo, a neighbor who tried to rescue Amaziah from the dog, told Trinidad Express, adding that the entire incident took 20 minutes to half an hour.