A child was killed in a savage attack by two Pitbulls and her mother was left with injuries trying to save her.
Mother and daughter were dog-sitting the animals on Tuesday in Garner, North Caroline, CBS reports.
It is unclear what caused the dogs to turn on the pair in the backyard of a house on Roan Drive.
Both were taken to WakeMed for treatment for their injuries but the child was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.
The mother remains hospitalised with serious injuries.
Garner Police Lt. Michael McIver said: "This is a horrible tragedy for all involved. Our thoughts and prayers go out to both families and all those who responded."
The dogs were reportedly seized by Wake County Animal Control and taken to a shelter.
Police are investigating the incident and said there was no continued threat to the public.
Between 2005 and 2019, dogs killed 521 people in the U.S. according to bite victims' charity, DogsBite.
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According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), dog bites are a serious risk to health, and children are more likely to be bitten.
A dog may bite for a number of reasons including if it is under stress, feeling scared, threatened or unwell.
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They may also bite if they are defending their territory or something it finds valuable such as a toy or puppies.
Dogs may also bite to play, and unintentionally harm the person.
The AVMA claim that socialising a dog so it feels comfortable in a variety of situations can help prevent dog attacks, as well as training pets correctly, exercising them regularly, and neutering or spaying them.
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