Dog rips off 4-year-old Utah boy's arm in attack, arm is missing

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LAYTON, Utah (KAKE) -

A 4-year-old Utah boy lost part of his arm and hand after reaching through a fence to play with a couple of dogs.

Officials told KTVX that the incident happened in Layton Sunday afternoon when the neighbor's dogs bit the child, amputating the arm just above the wrist.

"He had a sock on his hand, so it appears that it was just innocent play and that he was reaching through the fence to try and play with one or both of the dogs. One of those two dogs ended up biting him pretty severely," said Jason Cook, the fire department's battalion chief.

The child was flown to to a local hospital and was expected to undergo surgery. Cook said he credits the family for quickly stepping in and controlling the bleeding before they arrived.

"We looked through the entirety of the backyard and through the home. We've not found the amputated part. There's fear that it was probably ingested by the dog that bit him. So at this point, it doesn't seem like reattachment is going to be an option for us," he said.

The dogs, believed to be Huskies, were seized by animal control. 

"This is a pretty rare event, you know, animal bites happen. But they tend to be not as severe as this. In my 30 years of doing this, I've never had one that's been this significant," said Battalion Chief Cook. "By all accounts, this was the first aggressive event with the dogs. They're not typically aggressive, being family dogs."

Neighbors said both the dogs' owners and child's family recently moved into the area.

"I feel bad for them. I mean, no parents want to go through that. They don't want to see that kind of stuff happen and to not be able to stop it is really hard," said Stacey Taft.