A pit bull was shot and killed by an off-duty police officer after the dog severed a 4-year-old boy's ears during an attack at a home in Fontana, authorities said.
The boy's mother had reportedly screamed for help Monday as the 6-year-old pit bull attacked the boy inside a home in the 7600 block of Honeysuckle Street, according to the Fontana Police Department.
Two off-duty Los Angeles police officers who heard the mother's scream and ran to her home found the dog "actively biting the child in the head and face," a Fontana police statement said.
One of the officers shot the pit bull as it attacked the boy. The dog died of its injuries, police said.
The boy, who suffered severed ears and puncture wounds to his head, was taken to Loma Linda Medical Center for treatment.
Police are investigating whether the boy lived at the home or was just visiting, police spokeswoman Martha-Guzman Hurtado said.
In 2011, Fontana adopted an ordinance requiring dog owners to spay or neuter their pit bulls and mixed-breed pit bulls before 4 months old.
Hurtado said the unlicensed pit bull was not neutered, which may have contributed to its aggressive behavior.
Police are investigating how long the pit bull had been residing at the home.