Dog drags baby from basket and mauls her to death, leaving parents ‘broken forever’

The family of a four-month old baby have had their “hearts broken forever” after their rescue dog pulled the tot from her Moses basket and mauled her to death.

Little Mia O’Connell was killed by the Terrier Dachshund cross, who was found standing alongside her body with blood on its mouth, an inquest heard. 

Mia was born prematurely in February 2021 weighing just 4lb 9oz to parents Ella Wood and Rhys O’Connell, and remained in hospital for the first two weeks of her life. 

Cork Coroner’s Court heard that the couple, from Waterford, Ireland, who had recently got engaged, were deeply in love and “ecstatic” at becoming parents.

In a statement read out at the hearing, Ella said that Mia was “a good little baby” who was in a routine of being bottle fed “every four hours or so” and was cherished by her grandparents too, with whom she also lived.

The tragedy unfolded on June 6, 2021, whilst Ella’s sister, Emily was visiting the family. 

That evening, Emily went upstairs to check on her six-year old son who was also present at the property, before making sure Mia was okay too. 

To her horror, however, Emily found rescue dog Red standing over the baby, who was lying on the floor. 

She recalled in court: “I could see Mia on the ground in the middle of the room, between the bed and the Moses basket. The dog was just standing behind her as he had already done it. There was blood all over the dog’s mouth.

“My first reaction was to scream out for Ella. I picked Mia up straight away. There was a pink and white muslin cloth on the single bed that I grabbed straight away and put it to the back of the head to stop the bleeding.

“Mia was wearing a vest and a a babygrow when I found her. I can’t remember seeing any tears or rips on her clothes. I just remember the blood on her head and on the floor.

“When we brought Mia down to Noreen (her grandmother), Noreen started putting pressure on Mia’s head and giving her CPR. We kept ringing and ringing 999 and telling them to hurry up as the child was bleeding from the head.”

A doctor said Mia died from a traumatic brain injury with haemorrhage and shock from scalp lacerations consistent with an animal attack.

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