A 14-month-old girl is dead after being mauled by her family's dog, leaving a small rural township east of Melbourne in shock.
The toddler was set upon by the German wirehaired pointer at the family's Neerim Junction property in the state's Gippsland region early on Thursday morning.
She died at the scene and the dog has since been destroyed.
Police and ambulance vehicles swarmed the rural property, with investigators later saying a report would be prepared for the coroner.
Baw Baw Shire Mayor Joe Gauci said the family had only moved to the area in recent months but had already established a local network, with the girl's siblings attending a school in town.
"When it's a young child, I think it's even harder for the community to take," he told reporters.
"It's tragic. It's a new family that's moved into our local area, and I don't know how you put words to it. It's just a tragic event that's happened. And we'll just work through it."
Counselling services have been set up for community members at the Neerim Junction town hall.
Maria, who lives in the area with her husband, told AAP "the whole town is beside themselves".
"This morning we woke up and there was a helicopter and we thought 'oh God what's happened?'," she said.
A man down the road from the property and who didn't want to be named said: "it's a pretty full-on tragedy and I think the mother will be going through a lot of grief".
The shire's chief executive, Alison Leighton, said Neerim Junction was a tight-knit community.
"We certainly want to make sure that they feel council's support in a tragedy such as this," she said of the town's residents.
The German wirehaired pointer has been bred since the 19th century, initially for hunting. The dog breed stand up to 68cm tall and can weigh 32kg.