The death of a seven-month-old baby who was bitten by his family’s dog has shocked Germany and renewed debate over which breeds should be considered too dangerous to keep as pets.
An autopsy on the baby, Jannis, is expected to reveal further information about how he died.
The child was apparently bitten on the head in the family’s living room, although this was not yet an established fact, state prosecutor Robert Hartmann said Wednesday.
The parents have not said anything publicly about their child’s death.
The 5-year-old male dog, named Kowu, is being kept by police and would be tested to determine its breed.
Police said it appeared to be a cross between a Staffordshire Terrier and another breed, but said a definitive result would take another week.
Jannis’ death has made headlines in Germany’s national press this week, with questions being asked about who should be allowed to keep such breeds, if at all.
Staffordshire Terriers one of several breeds classified as pit bulls are on the list of dogs classified as dangerous by the state of Hessen, where the attack took place.
This means that the owner needs a permit from the local authority, and be able to demonstrate “expertise’’ in keeping the animal as a pet.
The dog in question was not registered with the local authorities.
Prosecutors have opened an initial investigation into negligent homicide after Jannis’ death on Monday, but have said that it could also have been simply a tragic accident.