A California mother told police that she had left her newborn daughter for just a matter of seconds.

She said that she had “walked away for a few seconds” after placing the 3-day-old child on a sofa, Sgt. Dan Macias told the Fresno Bee. “She left the door open because it was hot, and she thought the dogs were tied up.”

But the dogs weren’t secured, and they attacked the girl early Monday morning. She later died at a hospital.

“At this point, we believe it was an unfortunate accident,” Macias told the Bee.

Police did not release the name of the the child’s 33-year-old mother, who Macias said was in the house with her brother.

The two dogs, which belonged to the brother, have been turned over to the Central California Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and are expected to be euthanized, the newspaper reports.


The Bee reported that the dogs were “believed to be shar-pei/pit bull mixes.”

According to the newspaper:

One of the two dogs is aggressive, the woman told police. Macias said police are continuing to investigate and charges haven’t been ruled out.

In April, another newborn was killed by a dog, which was reportedly startled by a cough. And in February, a dog fatally bit a baby in Ohio, though that incident wasn’t considered an attack, according to reports.

In both those cases, the children were also 3 days old.