A Massachusetts father is being hailed as a hero after he saved his 1-year-old daughter from a vicious dog attack. But not everyone is applauding the dad. The attack occurred on Sunday, when the toddler was playing in the kitchen of the family’s Falmouth home, according to a police statement obtained by the Boston Herald.

While the father was nearby, the family’s pit bull mix grabbed onto the child and mauled her.

He heard her screams from the next room and quickly tried to separate the family dog from his daughter, but the dog wouldn’t let go, Fox 25 Boston reports.

So the dad went to grab a weapon. The police statement read:

He retrieved a pistol from an adjacent room, but when he realized that it was not loaded he grabbed a knife and began stabbing the animal in order to protect the child.

The father stabbed the dog until it was fatally wounded.

The baby girl sustained “major trauma” and was brought to Falmouth Hospital. From there, the family said she was airlifted to a Boston hospital, where she underwent surgery and received three blood transfusions, according to the Boston Herald.

The father’s uncle Ron Goulart said he would never have expected this to happen because the infant got along with the dog, which the family adopted five years ago.

He told Fox 25 Boston:

“She’s a cute little bunny. Maybe a year old now. She’s very good. The dogs (sic) always got along with her, so I don’t know what happened.”

Police said the attack appeared to be “unprovoked,” but now social media users are calling out the family for leaving the 1-year-old alone with a dog.

Some wrote on Facebook:

Dog’s are animal’s. You should NEVER leave your infant-young child unattended around them no matter what. Period…

Oh gee another dog bites child story. A pit bull, who’d a thunk it. Thought this was going to be the Golden Retriever attacks child story I’ve heard so much about. God help babies with clueless parents.

Why do people let these things around children. So sad.

This only happened because the owner failed to ‘read’ the signals the dog had been sending. When did we forget dogs and babies don’t mix? YOU, as the adult, are responsible 24/7/365 for the safety and well-being of your child. PERIOD.

This is exactly why you do not leave your dogs unattended with dogs/pets. This could have easily been avoided and so terribly sad for all involved, child, father and dogs. Everyone PLEASE SUPERVISE YOUR CHILDREN WITH DOGS!!!!

However, Falmouth town officials are applauding the father for his “heroic efforts” to stop the attack on his little girl. And police said the dog had “no known history of violence or aggression.”

The 1-year-old is currently recovering Boston Children’s Hospital, and her family said they are just grateful she made it through the attack.

Watch coverage of the story below:

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