A husky bit a 4-year-old Utah boy's hand off after he stuck his arm through a fence to try to play with two dogs belonging to his neighbor
The child was airlifted on Sunday to a Salt Lake City hospital and was in serious but stable condition after the encounter with the Siberian huskies, Layton Fire Department officials said.
The boy lost his entire hand, as well as a portion of the lower part of his arm, below the elbow, Battalion Chief Jason Cook told KSL.
The child's hand has not been found and 'may have been ingested by the dog,' Cook said.
The dogs were not known to aggressive, their owners said.
The boy was wearing a sock on his right hand when he reached through the chain-link fence from his family's backyard toward two Siberian huskies living next door, Cook said.
One of the dogs bit down, severing the child's limb from his body, about 2-3 inches above his wrist.
'I think this is one of those innocent child play moments where the dogs have probably been in the backyard many, many times. He’s seen them and maybe even done something similar with them before, but for whatever reason this one kind of took a tragic turn today,' he said.
His family tried to limit the bleeding until emergency workers arrived.
The child was then taken by air to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City, where he was declared to be in serious but stable condition.
The dogs are in the custody of animal control officers, and have been quarantined pending an investigation.
Neighbor Stacey Taft expressed her sadness for both families involved.
'No parent wants to go through that,' Taft said. 'They don’t want to see that kind of stuff happen and to not be able to stop it.'
The owners of the dogs said neither animal had an aggressive history.
The breed is generally thought to be friendly, alert and gentle, and are not typically possessive or suspicious of strangers, according to the American Kennel Club.
The future of the dogs is not know at this time.