A 7-year-old boy died and his mother suffered serious injuries after a pack of dogs attacked them in Idaho over the weekend, officials said.
The attack, which Shoshone-Bannock Tribes said involved four dogs, took place Jan. 21 on the Fort Hall Reservation in the southeastern part of the state, 40 miles south of Idaho Falls.
According a news release posted on Facebook Tuesday, Fort Hall Police Department officers were dispatched to a home for a report of a boy who had been attacked by multiple dogs.
When officers arrived, they found the boy unconscious. The boy’s mother was also severely injured when she tried to fight off four dogs – two Rottweilers and two mixed breeds, tribal authorities said.
The mother and son were taken by ambulance to a hospital, where the boy was pronounced dead.
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The owners of the dogs were not home at the time, authorities said, and all four dogs were later put down by tribal authorities.
Neither police nor tribal authorities identified the dog owners and both could not immediately be reached by USA TODAY early Wednesday.
The mother and son lived in a RV behind the home where the dogs lived and the attack took place, according to local outlet Sho-Ban News.
The mom was alerted when her son left the RV and did not return after a few minutes, the outlet reported. She found him face down on the home’s front porch with the dogs mauling him.
Unable to fight off the dogs, she laid over her son in an attempt to protect him from the attacking animals.
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After the mauling, authorities cited the dog owners with 15 violations of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ Animal Ordinance, including vicious animal attack, rabies vaccination, and being over the limit of canine or feline pets.
“We would like to ask the public to respect the privacy of the family at this time,” Fort Hall Business Council Vice Chair Donna Thompson released in a statement. “(The council) would like to offer their sincere condolences to the family of the young man who lost his life in this tragic incident.”
The attack remained under investigation on Wednesday by Fort Hall police, the FBI, and Idaho Fish and Game and the case was expected to be submitted to the United States Attorney for review.
Natalie Neysa Alund covers trending news for USA TODAY. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter @nataliealund.