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3-day-old baby mauled to death by family dog

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The dog became startled when the mother coughed in bed, San Diego police said. (Department of Animal Services/KSWB)

The dog became startled when the mother coughed in bed, San Diego police said. (Department of Animal Services/KSWB)

SAN DIEGO — A family dog fatally attacked a newborn baby while they were laying in bed Thursday night.

San Diego police said the parents were watching TV in bed with the 3-day-old boy around 8 p.m. at their home in Mira Mesa when the mother coughed, according to KSWB-TV. The dog, a mixed breed American Staffordshire Terrier, became startled by the cough and bit the infant.

The parents rushed the wounded baby to the hospital where he was pronounced dead, KSWB-TV reported.

The incident is under investigation, but officials believe it was a “just a tragic accident.”

“Everything is pointing towards nothing more than a tragic case of an accident, or horrific case of an accident,” Sgt. Tu Nguyen with the San Diego Police Department told KSWB-TV.

The 2-year-old dog, named Polo, will be quarantined for 10 days to check for rabies. He will then be euthanized unless the owners reclaim him, KSWB-TV reported.

DAS spokesman Dan DeSousa told KSWB-TV the dog had no known prior history of aggressive behavior.