A teenager was mauled to death by a long-haired German shepherd his family had bought from Poland just six months ago.
Dion Bush, 14, was bitten by the three-year-old dog at a farm where his family breeds and raises the large animals, said police.
His devastated mum Jennifer wrote online: “I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t breathe. Losing my son has tore me apart and I don’t know how much more I can take this pain.”
Dion was attacked when he went into a yard to tend to the family’s dogs at the property near the US city of Battle Lake, Minnesota, at about 3pm on December 10.
The German shepherd that killed Dion was “extremely aggressive” when officers arrived at the scene, and it was put down at the request of the owner and for public safety reasons, said the Otter Tail County Sheriff’s Office.
The dog was taken to North Dakota State University for a necropsy.
Local residents have set up on a Meal Train to support the Bush family.
Dion’s grief-stricken mum Jennifer wrote on the page: “Although my world has been torn upside down.. I can’t eat, I can’t sleep, I can’t breathe.
“Losing my son has tore me apart and I don’t know how much more I can take this pain.
“I can’t thank you all enough for doing this. Seriously I am mean it. God bless you all. Thank you.
“The food is amazing. Dion’s 3 surviving siblings and family that has been coming to comfort us are enjoying it.
“They are amazed with how much our community supports one another. I am trying so hard to stay strong.
“I love my kids so much. I just want my sweet Dion back to be whole again.
“God please.. bring him back.”
Lieutenant Keith Van Dyke told the Brainerd Dispatch newspaper that Dion’s father called police to the scene after the boy failed to return home.
Dion had been missing for about three hours when police were notified.
Officers responded and found the teen, a ninth grade student at Battle Lake High School, dead within a fenced area at the property.
Sheriff Barry Fitzgibbons told Valley News Live that the father had suffered an injury recently and wasn’t able to go and search for his son on his own.
He said of the attack: “We’re still trying to determine what would make the dog do that.
“It’s been a very challenging year for everybody, and it’s never easy to have to go to a situation like that. And the holidays just make it that much more tragic.
“It’s a 14 year old young man who was just beginning his life and we’re all grieving.”
The property is home to LakeView Shepherds, a breeding operation run by Dion’s mum Jennifer Bush, the Star Tribune reported.
Michael Crusan, a spokesman for Minnesota’s Board of Animal Health, which regulates the importation of dogs from other countries, told the newspaper: “We don’t have a record of (Jennifer Bush) being licenced as a commercial dog and cat breeder.”
An investigation into Dion’s death continues.
Counselling has been offered to Dion’s classmates, and his school is planning to set up a memorial.