A Massachusetts father stabbed his dog to death to save the life of his 1-year-old daughter after the dog attacked the girl on Jan. 7.
The attack occurred while the dog, a pit bull terrier, and child were alone together in the kitchen of the family's Falmouth home, according to WFXT. When the father heard screaming, he ran into the kitchen and saw the dog biting his daughter on the face.
"The father immediately attempted to separate the dog from the child, but was unable," said a police statement, according to the Boston Herald. "He retrieved a pistol from an adjacent room, but when he realized that it was not loaded he grabbed a knife and began stabbing the animal in order to protect the child. The dog was fatally wounded."
The girl was airlifted from a local hospital to an area children's hospital where she underwent emergency surgery. She will have to spend several weeks in the hospital, according to WFXT.
The attack was reportedly unprovoked and the dog had no history of violence.
The girl's uncle, Ron Goulart, told WFXT he has no idea why the dog would suddenly attack.
"She's a cute little bunny," Goulart said. "Maybe a year old now. She's very good. The dogs always got along with her, so I don't know what happened."
Police say the family owned the dog for five years.
Some of the Boston Herald's readers took to the comment section to express their opinion that the father should have never left his daughter alone with a dog.
"Any person who leaves any medium sized or large dog of any breed near an infant or child up to age 10 or so is highly irresponsible," wrote one commenter. "It should come close to being considered criminal neglect. Even the breeds with the best temperaments can be highly unpredictable. So sick to death of the same old refrain, especially from PB owners; 'no known history of violence or aggression.' Lobotomized pit bull owners. I grieve for this little girl."
"Why can't people rationalize the 'nature' aspect in relation to PB's," wrote another commenter. "Even the greatest owners and trainers can't completely eliminate nearly 1000's years of creating a breed to fight bulls, bears, and other dogs. One can enjoy the breed, but all must respect the fact that this breed has a higher relative probability of attack. Make your decisions to place children near PB's based on facts. I, personally, choose not to with my family. Also, remember many aren't great owners and seek to exhibit, not inhibit, innate PB aggressiveness."