HARTFORD, S.D. (KELO) — There’s heartache in Hartford tonight, where a baby boy has died after being bitten by his family’s pet dog. Investigators say it happened Thursday night in the 900 block of Trojan Avenue. We don’t know what happened to prompt the dog, a Belgian Malinois, to bite the boy.
Neighbors watched in somber silence as emergency crews responded to a home in Hartford, where the family dog bit a six-week old boy several times.
“They then called for the Care Flight and the child was transported to the hospital where he later died from the injuries,” Sgt. Zachary Cegelske of the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Department said.
The Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Department is still investigating the incident as people in Hartford try to deal with the heartache and anguish over the baby boy’s death.
“It’s a very sad situation. It’s a very tragic loss for the family and friends,” Cegelske said.
Sioux Falls Animal Control is not part of the investigation. But officers say dog bites involving small children are not uncommon.
“Any animal can bite. Most dogs and cats bite out of fear. They’re just scared of their environment, what’s happening. Nobody knows when an animal will bite, it’s just one of those things, you always have to be careful,” Sioux Falls Animal Control Lead Officer Milo Hartson said.
Hartson says pet owners need to keep their animals separated from people they’re unfamiliar with. The dog is now with the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society as investigators look into what led up to the baby’s death.
Sioux Falls Animal Control says it sees an increase in dog bite calls during holidays. So with the Fourth of July coming up, they’re urging pet owners to keep your dogs in a kennel, or a separate room if there will be a lot of people visiting then.