Family mourn death of toddler, 2, killed by cousin's dog
THE family of a two-year-old mauled to death by his cousin's dog have thanked their local community for the outpouring of support.
"We have lost a gorgeous little boy who we all loved so much."
Fairfax reports the Higgins family, from the Riverina town of Deniliquin, were in mourning on Monday after two-year-old Deeon was fatally mauled by his cousin's mastiff cross on Sunday.
It is believed the toddler was at his grandmother's house in the state's south-west and had gone outside to get an ice-cream from a freezer when the attack began about 2.30pm.
The 70-year-old grandmother was injured as she tried to save the boy.
When his mother arrived, she fought the dog off the boy but he died soon after arriving at hospital.
The grandmother is being treated for exhaustion, bruising and abrasions.
Tributes have flooded social media.
"Very sad day it has not only affected the family involved but also the town's people everybody's heart's are breaking for those in the family rest in peace little man," Kim Godfrey wrote on Facebook.
"Sending my condolences to Vicki & family," wrote Rebecca Steer.
"Such a precious little life taken way too soon. Thinking of everyone involved and all Deni community."
Council rangers and police seized the dog and it was destroyed overnight.
The local council said the dog had not shown any previous dangerous behaviour.
Another two-year-old boy was lucky to survive a dog-attack in south-east Queensland on Sunday.
The toddler and his mother were set upon by three American bulldogs at Blackbutt.
They were airlifted to Brisbane hospitals where they were in a stable condition on Monday