The Dogo Argentino, which is banned in the UK, was bred in south America specifically to hunt large animals including wild boar. Photo: Douglas Diógenes
An 18-month-old boy was killed by two Dogo Argentino, or Argentian Mastiff, dogs in a town near the Sicilian city of Catania on Tuesday.
The child's mother, 33, was injured while trying to protect her son during the attack in the family's home in Mascalucia.
Giorgio Bonarrigo was playing in a paddling pool in the back garden when the dogs attacked, La Stampa reported.
The boy died before medics arrived, the newspaper said. The dogs have been impounded.
“Today is a tragic day for Mascalucia,” Fabio Cantarella, the town's deputy mayor, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
“I ask you to pray for the boy and for the mother who was injured while trying to save him from those ferocious dogs.”
The mother was reportedly alone with her child when the attack happened. She has been placed under investigation “as a formality” in order to be able to proceed with an autopsy of the child's body, Catania prosecutor Carmelo Zuccaro was quoted by Corriere
as saying. His father, Giuseppe Andrea Bonarrigo, was at work.
The Dogo Argentino, which is banned in the UK, was bred in south America specifically to hunt large animals including wild boar.