SAN DIEGO-- Police in San Diego say a couple whose 3-day-old baby was mauled to death by the family dog made two unsuccessful 911 calls before getting frustrated and driving the boy to the hospital themselves.
Police Lt. Scott Wahl tells KNSD-TV Saturday that the parents waited 28 seconds before hanging up their first call, then tried again and waited 34 seconds before giving up.
Police say the family has their condolences and they too are frustrated by slow 911 response times. They say their operators are understaffed and that 73 calls came in during the half-hour span when the parents called.
CBS affiliate KFMB reported police said the parents were in bed watching TV with their newborn son and dog around 8 p.m. Thursday night when the mother coughed. The coughing startled the dog and it unexpectedly bit the baby, Sgt. Tu Nguyen said.
He said the parents pulled the animal off and took their only child to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
"At this time, we're looking at this as nothing more than a tragic incident," said Nguyen, a member of the child abuse unit.
Animal control officers took the two-year-old dog, a neutered male American Staffordshire terrier-mix named Polo, into custody, said Dan DeSousa, deputy director of the county Department of Animal Services. The dog will be held in quarantine for 10 days to determine whether it has rabies.
It will be up to the owners to decide whether to reclaim the dog, DeSousa said.