In a horrific attack, a family pet killed a 4-year-old little girl at her home on Tuesday.
The heartbreaking event took place near Leicester, England, according to authorities.
Neighbors describe the young victim as a “sweet little girl.”
The dog that mauled the young girl to death, believed to be a French bull Mastiff, was the family’s pet and came from a rescue home, according to neighbors.
The girl, identified as Lexi Branson, lived with her mother Jodi Hudson, who according to reports, stabbed the dog in a desperate effort to save her daughter.
Leicestershire police said officers responded to distress call saying a young girl was being attacked by a dog at around 12:15 pm local time.
A police spokesperson said the child was taken to a local hospital where she sadly died from her injuries.
According to neighbor Glennis Goddard, who has lived in the same house for 27 years:
“Their pet dog has attacked a little girl, Lexi. It’s a terrible shock.She was a sweet little thing and used to run round here on a bike and knock on my windows. She used to play with our cats, outside. She wasn’t very big, only a little thin thing.”
Neighbors say the dog had never shown signs of aggression before and all are shocked at the news of the deadly attack that resulted in the girl being mauled to death by the pet.
Paul Ryan, a family friend, said they had had the dog for only two months after picking it up from a local rescue center.
He said Hudson was “in hysterics” after the attack and she kept saying she had been told the dog was safe around children, according to the Daily Mirror.
“Apparently it suddenly turned on Lexi for no reason. She was in bed sleeping with her mum and it came in and just went mental. It grabbed Lexi and wouldn’t let go. Jodi was screaming and trying to pull its head away but it wouldn’t give in. In the end she had to use a knife to release its jaw. It must have been absolutely terrifying.”
A spokesperson for the ambulance service that responded to the 999 call says the company is offering counseling to the first responders due to the violent nature of the attack suffered by little Lexi after getting mauled by the family pet.
“This was a very distressing 999 call for all concerned and we are providing support to our colleagues who responded.”
The family of Lexi Branson is asking for privacy during this very difficult time:
“We would ask that the media leave the family and friends to grieve in peace at this sad time and not approach us.”
The 4-year-old girl killed by her pet dog is described by her grandparents as “the most bubbly, lovely, beautiful person.”