Utah authorities say a dog bit off the hand of a 4-year-old boy after he stuck his arm through a fence to try to play with the animal.
Fire department officials in the city of Layton said the child was airlifted Sunday to a Salt Lake City hospital and was in serious but stable condition.
Battalion Chief Jason Cook says the boy was wearing a sock on his hand when he reached through the chain-link fence from his family’s backyard toward two huskies living next door.
“He lost his hand from about this point down,” Cook told Fox 13, while pointing above his own wrist.
The boy’s family tried to limit the bleeding until emergency workers arrived.
Cook said the child’s hand has not been found and “may have been ingested by the dog.”
“So at this point, it does not appear that reattachment is going to be an option for us,” he said.
The dogs are in the custody of animal control officers.
Neighbor Stacy Taft said she saw the horrific incident play out.
“We’ve talked to the kids about still being cautious around other animals,” Taft said. “Not all animals are always nice, or they may feel threatened at some kind of action they might do.”