An infant died on Tuesday in the suburbs of Augusta, Georgia, after being attacked by a dog.
Serenity Garnett, seven months old, was staying with her great-grandmother Migdelia Guadalupe, in the city of Martinez, when a dog belonging to the owners of the home where Ms Guadalupe rented a room began to bite.
Both Serenity and Ms Guadalupe were taken to the AU Medical Center for treatment, where the baby died and her great-grandmother required stitches.
Rosalie Rivera, the grandmother of Serenity and daughter of Ms Guadalupe, described the child as “the happiest thing that has happened to this family in a long time”.
“She didn’t need to know you for her to make you feel like you were the best person in the whole wide world,” Ms Rivera told WJBF.
“I wouldn’t wish this pain on anybody. I know she was my granddaughter, but she was my favorite girl.”
Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the attack and no charges have been filed, according to The Augusta Press.
The dog, an American Bulldog-Great Pyrenees mix, belongs to Donna Mills, who co-owns the home where the attack happened with her brother Danny.
It is now being quarantined for 10 days for potential rabies as an investigation into what happened continues.
Neighbours who had seen the dog outside the home described it as hard to control, according to WJBF.
“She didn’t have the strength to deal with that dog,” neighbour Stephen Fox told the outlet. “That dog had muscles coming out the wazoo. When he got out occasionally it was very hard to get back.”
Dog attacks against children are quite common.
There are approximately 800,000 a year requiring medical attention, according to the CDC. That’s 2,400 attacks a day against the general population, or one every 36 seconds.
More than 50 per cent of victims are children, a quarter of whom are taken to a doctor or emergency room.