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LAYTON — A husky on Sunday bit off the hand of a 4-year-old boy who was trying to play with the dog through a fence in Layton, authorities said.
The boy was flown to Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City in serious but stable condition, said Layton Fire Battalion Chief Jason Cook.
The child had a sock on his right hand and reached from his own backyard through a chain-link fence to play with two huskies that live next door, Cook said, when one of the dogs bit down and amputated his hand about 2 or 3 inches above his wrist.
Crews responded to the home near 1100 North and 3600 West about 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Investigators said they were unable to recover the child's hand.
"We've not found it in the backyard. Our fear is that it may have been ingested by the dog," Cook said.
The dogs, who are "fairly large," have not bit anyone in the past, according to their owners, he added. Animal control officers took both dogs into custody.
The boy's family helped limit his bleeding before crews arrived and joined the child at the hospital, according to Cook. He did not know if anyone saw exactly what happened.
"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.
Stacey Taft, who lives in the neighborhood, empathized with the boy's family.
"No parent wants to go through that. They don’t want to see that kind of stuff happen and to not be able to stop it," she said.
According to the American Kennel Club, Siberian huskies are generally friendly, alert and gentle. They are not typically possessive or suspicious of strangers. Larger Alaskan Malamutes tend to have similar, loyal personalities.
Contributing: Caitlin Burchill, KSL TV and Dan Bammes, KSL Newsradio