Locals in the NSW Central Coast suburb of Kariong have erected a heartwarming tennis court mural paying tribute to a five-week-old baby boy tragically killed when he was mauled by a dog on Sunday.
The baby boy died on Sunday after being mauled by his family’s pet American staffordshire terrier in Kariong, just after 2am.
Police performed CPR on the five-week-old baby before paramedics also unsuccessfully attempted to revive the baby.
The boy’s parents were the only people home at the time of the attack. The six-year-old dog, which weeks earlier had attacked another dog, was euthanised.
Locals have rallied around the grief-stricken parents. One woman, Lisa, posted to a Facebook group with the original idea to weave a heart into a tennis court.
“I only saw it on the news tonight about the tragedy of the Kariong family whose baby died early this morning,” she posted on a Facebook group.
“I can’t imagine the pain and grief. I don’t know the family. But I am wondering if anyone has come up with a way to express some love for them in a public place in our community?
“I am planning to weave a big heart in the tennis court fence wire (with strips of scrap fabric) tomorrow at 4pm and take up some candles.
“I know we are in lockdown. I am not suggesting a group gather. I will walk there for my daily exercise. If you would like to add to it please do. I will take responsibility for tidying anything up in a week or so.
“Rest in Peace little one and may we wrap your family in love.”
Another local, Trace, applauded the tribute.
“In the most sh–test and soul wrenching of days, from the old to the young from family, friends and complete strangers we stand together,” she wrote in the same group.
“I love your style KARIONG! You warm my heart when all it can do is break for these beautiful people and their beloved and adored baby boy. You’re always welcome at my table x.”
District commander Detective Superintendent Darryl Jobson, of Gosford-based Brisbane Water Police, said the incident was “a matter of tragic proportions”.
“A neighbouring dog apparently got into the rear yard and was mauled by this dog, unfortunately,” Superintendent Jobson said.
“That was a separate incident but that will also form part of our investigation.”
Superintendent Jobson also said emergency crews who attended the scene were devastated and would receive counselling and support.
“Our police did perform first aid upon arrival. They did their best in the circumstances and they are no doubt shaken by the incident,” he said.
A report is being prepared for the coroner.