Police responded to an animal attack on a baby at a home at County Road 440 in Chelsea, Alabama. Credit: WBRC

(CNN) -- A 3-month-old baby in Alabama died after being bitten by a "wolf hybrid" that was the family's pet, according to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

Around 12:54 p.m. on Thursday, county sheriff's deputies, firefighters and animal control agents responded to a 911 call about an apparent animal attack involving an infant at a home in Chelsea, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

The baby was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead due to injuries suspected to have been caused by the animal, according to the release.

  • A Strange Respiratory Disease Affects Dogs in the U.S.

A wolf hybrid is a term for a canine with mixed wolf-dog ancestry. The family knew there was a wolf in the dog's lineage, Shelby County Coroner Lina Evans confirmed to CNN on Saturday.

At the request of authorities, the animal was euthanized at the scene and taken to the Alabama State Diagnostic Laboratory.


The death remains under investigation and an autopsy will be performed, Evans said.

"We are deeply saddened by this unfortunate and tragic event," Chelsea Mayor Tony Picklesimer said in a statement Friday. "We accompany the family and all those affected with our deepest prayers and thoughts."

He offered a word of caution to exotic pet owners, according to CNN affiliate WBRC.

"It's just unthinkable that this could happen to this baby," she said. "If you choose to have an exotic pet, this comes with additional responsibilities to ensure that not only your family is safe, but also your neighbors."

Chelsea is about 32 miles southeast of Birmingham and has about 16,000 residents, according to the U.S. Census.