HAZEL PARK, Mich. (WWJ) -- A family is grieving after a four-year-old boy was fatally attacked by a dog the family was watching for a family friend.
The dog had only been at the family's home for about a day before the attack happened Tuesday evening, Hazel Park Police Chief Brian Buchholz told WWJ. The mother had taken the pit bull in for a friend who was temporarily living in a hotel.
The boy, identified as Benjamin Cobb, was in a bedroom with his mother and the dog when the attack happened, but police are still investigating what led to the attack. Police said the mother stabbed the dog in an attempt to stop the attack, but officers had to use Tasers on the dog to get it off the child.
The dog, which was taken to a veterinarian and euthanized, was not registered in the city of Hazel Park, and police are investigating to see whether it was registered in another city or if there were any ordinance violations.
The mother was released from the hospital after receiving 20 stitches to her fingers and hands, according to Buchholz.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family with memorial expenses for Benjamin.
"This has taken an unimaginable toll on our family, friends, and all those who knew our sweet boy," a family member said in a statement on the page. "A kind gesture to help a friend in a time of need, for a dog that was said to have never shown aggressive behaviors has turned into a horrifying loss for our family."
Buchholz says this was the first dog mauling death in his 22 years in Hazel Park. He said counseling is available for the firefighters and officers that responded to the scene.
"I can’t imagine what they’re going through. This is a tragedy and a traumatic, horrific event. It was hard for our firefighters and officers to respond to," Buchholz said. "Being a part of the family, the mother or a sister to the victim, I can’t imagine what they’re going through."
Police are still investigating the attack.