Dog mauled baby to death as parents slept ‘because it saw tot as prey’

A vicious dog savaged a sleeping five-week-old baby to death "because it saw the child as prey" and parents had left the pet alone with the child while they slept.

The dog, a six-year-old American Staffordshire Terrier, killed the little boy inside his family home in New South Wales, Australia, in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Paramedics were called to the house at 2.18am but could not save the child's life.

The dog was seized by authorities and later put down.

The horrifying case has seen dog experts remind pet owners that even well trained animals should not be left alone with young children.

But, they were also quick to insist that specific breeds pose no greater threat than any others, and instead reiterated that unstable dogs in general posed serious dangers to youngsters.

It has since emerged that the same dog had previously attacked a spaniel being walked through the area.

On that occasion, a local council worker was sent out to conduct a temperament assessment on the dog.

Tragically, the family's son was killed just four weeks later.

Dog behavioural expert Nathan McCredie claimed that a dog's natural instinct upon seeing such a small child was not to think of it as a human, but instead as a potential catch.

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"That dog would have had no idea the boy was a human – babies are a different size, they smell different, they scream and squeal,' the experienced dog handler told Daily Mail Australia.

"To the staffy, it looks like prey.

"I wouldn't have it around my kids. Letting it loose around kids while unsupervised – that scares the hell out of me,' the father-of-two said.

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Previously, the Star reported how a woman has been charged after a dog's head was nearly ripped off by another at a park.

Irish red setter Holly was left fighting for life in a horror attack from another dog which locked its jaws around her neck at a park.

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