The SPCA had to put the dog down as it had been badly beaten by community members after the attack.
Cape Town - The parents of a four-month-old baby girl are preparing for her funeral after she was mauled to death by a dog.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA said it was unclear who the dog belonged to, but spokesperson Belinda Abraham said the family was not familiar with the dog.

The incident took place at the weekend and Abraham said the dog was put down after the attack as it had been severely beaten by residents.

“While not every incident involving dog attacks results in the euthanasia of an animal, in this incident it was the best and most responsible course of action, given the level of aggression displayed on admission and the nature of the injuries that had been inflicted on the dog by community members who took the law into their own hands.”

No one had claimed ownership of the dog, which was reportedly thin and uncared for, she said, adding: “We urge those who choose to own any of the power breeds to be responsible pet owners.

“Research and understand the breed, train and socialise your animals using only positive reinforcement training methods, ensure that your dog’s welfare needs are met and ensure that you always supervise animal and child interactions,” Abraham said.

“A baby has lost its life, potentially in the jaws of man’s best friend.”

Ravensmead CPF chairperson David Olivier said the family was planning for the funeral and that the incident was regrettable.

“Dogs are getting out of hand, especially with people that are breeding them (pit bulls) illegally,” he said.

“People need to take care of their dogs. It is very sad for us when things like this happen.”

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Cape Argus