'So sad': Six-week-old baby boy mauled to death by family dog

A six-week-old boy has been mauled to death by his family's dog.

The Belgian Malinois attacked the baby at a home in Hartford, in the US state of South Dakota, on Thursday afternoon (local time), according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

First responders found the boy with several bite wounds and he was flown by helicopter to a hospital where he died of his injuries, police said.

The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society has since taken custody of the dog.

Emergency vehicles responding to a dog mauling a baby boy in South Dakota.
Emergency crews shown at the family's home after the baby was bitten their dog. Source: Kelo Land

“It's a very sad situation. It's a very tragic loss for the family and friends,” Sheriff's Sgt Zachary Cegelske told KELO-TV.

Investigators are working on determining what caused the dog to bite.

“Most dogs and cats bite out of fear,” Sioux Falls Animal Control Lead Officer Milo Hartson said.

“They're just scared of their environment, what's happening.”

Sioux Falls Animal Control officials said dog bite calls usually increased during the holidays.

They encouraged owners to keep dogs in a kennel or separate room if people are visiting over the Fourth of July.

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.