A six-year-old boy was mauled to death by two dogs who attacked him at a family friend’s house in Oregon.
The boy was preparing to head off to school from the house in Portland, which belonged to a friend of the victim’s grandmother, when two large Great Dane-Mastiff mixes launched themselves onto the child, the Portland Police Bureau said.
When police arrived at the scene around 7.40am, the door was answered by a woman covered in blood. She had tried to intervene and pull the dogs off of the boy but was unable to save him.
“We understand that the homeowner/dog owner did everything in her power to stop this attack, at some point even grabbing a gun – it never got that far,” PPB Public Information Officer Mike Benner told Fox 12.
“She did everything she could to save this boy’s life.”
The boy was pronounced dead at the scene, and the dog owner was taken to a local hospital for treatment as she sustained minor injuries on her hand.
The attack came as a shock to neighbours such as Sergey Denub, who told the outlet that he has interacted with the two large dogs before and they seemed friendly.
“They’re great, they’re so friendly, they’re jumping at me; they are big dogs, but they’re really friendly dogs,” Mr Denub said.
The dogs had never previously been reported as problematic, according to Multnomah County Animal Services.
The woman was a friend of the boy’s grandmother and took him to school every day, according to reports.
The attack allegedly happened when the boy followed the woman into the garage, where she had locked the dogs for his safety.
One dog in particular was labelled the “primary aggressor”.
The two Great Dane Mastiff mixes have been taken into the custody of animal services.
“I speak for everyone at the bureau when I say that our hearts break for this little boy, for his family, for his friends,” Mr Benner told Fox 12.
“I mean, anytime something like this happens, it’s a shock to the conscience, but to have this happen just weeks before Christmas is unimaginable.”
It is unclear if the woman will face any charges in connection to this incident.
The Portland Police Bureau Child Abuse Team is leading an investigation into the attack with the help of the Homicide Division.