Warning: This article contains details which may disturb some people.
Witnesses to the aftermath of a dog fatally attacking a newborn baby say nothing could've prepared them for what they saw.
Emergency services rushed to the child's aid on Sunday evening after they were bitten by a dog at an address in the Hamilton suburb of Enderley. They were then transported to Waikato Hospital with critical injuries.
On Tuesday morning, police confirmed the baby had died overnight and the matter had been referred to the Coroner.
The baby was just one day old at the time and the mother was still wearing her hospital band.
The exact circumstances that led to the death are still to be confirmed, but police has already finished its investigation.
Brothers Takilesi and Junior Afamasaga were the first to arrive at the scene after hearing the mother's cries for help. But nothing prepared them for what they saw.
"We heard little whimpers of calling for help," Takilesi said.
"[The mother] was just trying to keep the baby awake, trying to keep it crying… She asked me for a cloth, so I just took off my hoodie and gave it straight to her."
Newshub understands the death was a freak accident.
The mother had gone to the bathroom when her dog, believed to be a rottweiler, snatched the infant, dragged it outside, and attempted to bury it.
"I feel like the dog just mistook the baby for a toy and just went about playing around, not knowing it was a newborn child," Junior said.
Although the baby's death has now been referred to the Coroner, police said it will continue to make inquiries.
The dog was taken to Hamilton City Council's animal control facility, but the council would not comment today on its fate.
Junior said he "wouldn't be surprised" if the dog was put down.
The mother has been offered support by police, and the Enderley community said they'll be ready to give her all the support they can give as well.