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15-month-old girl fatally mauled by family dog in Rhode Island, police say

Police described the dog that attacked the toddler as a "pit bull-type breed."
/ Source: NBC News

A 15-month-old girl was fatally mauled by a family dog, police in East Providence, Rhode Island, said Friday.

Two adult relatives were injured when they tried to intervene, police said. They were hospitalized in unknown condition.

The toddler was taken by East Providence Fire Department paramedics to Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, where she was pronounced dead, East Providence police said in a statement.

NBC affiliate WJAR of Providence reported that the incident took place at the home of the girl's grandparents.

East Providence Police Department Chief William Nebus told the station that the attack happened in a backyard at lunchtime.

"The family had sat down for lunch outside," he said. "The baby was on the ground roaming freely and the dog, in the fenced-in backyard, was also roaming freely. As far as we know, it was an unprovoked attack."

East Providence police said in its statement that the dog, described as a "pit bull-type breed," belonged to the family members who live at the residence.

The animal was "euthanized by police," according to the department's statement. Neighbors told WJAR that it sounded like police had opened fire on the canine.

Police and East Providence Animal Control were investigating the attack.

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