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Authorities euthanize dog that fatally bit a newborn baby

The pit bull mix that fatally bit a 3-day-old infant last week was euthanized Wednesday, authorities said.

San Diego County Animal Services put down the dog at the family’s request, Deputy Director Dan DeSousa said.

On April 21, the parents were at home in Mira Mesa and watching TV in bed with their 3-day-old son, Sebastian Caban, and the dog, when the mother coughed and startled the animal. Authorities said the pet reacted by biting the baby’s head.

The parents pulled the dog away and called 911, but each emergency call went unanswered for about 30 seconds, so the family opted to drive the baby to the hospital. The child was later pronounced dead.

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Polo, the 2-year-old, neutered male American Staffordshire terrier-mix, had been in quarantine since last Friday after animal control officers took him from the home on Flanders Drive near Camino Ruiz in Mira Mesa.

Animal Services had not completed a test to determine whether the dog had rabies, DeSousa said.

It’s unclear how long the dog had been with the family. DeSousa said the animal was adopted from the San Diego Humane Society.

Hernandez is a staff writer with the San Diego Union-Tribune.

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