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Layton Fire Department, File

Fate of dog that bit child's hand off to be decided by next week, Davis County officials say

By Carter Williams, | Posted - Mar. 19, 2019 at 7:01 p.m.

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LAYTON — Davis County animal control officials said they have “sufficient information and evidence” to start the process to determine the fate of two dogs at the center of a March 3 incident where a 4-year-old boy had his hand bitten off.

Rhett Nicks, director of Davis County Animal Care and Control, explained officials are trying to answer a pair of questions in the case:

  • Are either or both dogs considered dangerous under Davis County ordinance?
  • If one or both dogs are dangerous, should they be euthanized, relocated or placed in “under conditions acceptable to the owner or custodian of the animal and the Director”?
According to Davis County ordinance, an animal is considered dangerous if:

  • a) Is dangerously aggressive or uncontrollable, including, but not limited to, any animal which has bitten or in any manner attacked any person or animal with or without provocation whether on public or private property;
  • b) Has been previously found to be a potentially dangerous animal, whose owner has received notice of such, and it is witnessed and documented that the animal aggressively bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of humans or domestic animals; or
  • c) Is found to be in violation of any of the restrictions placed upon the animal by the department pertaining to a potentially dangerous animal.

The agency expects to have a final determination on the fate of the dogs by the end of next week, Nicks said.

The investigation began in the days after an incident on March 3, where a 4-year-old boy had his hand bitten off by a dog in the area of 1100 North and 3600 West.

There have been differing accounts of what happened that afternoon.

On the day of the incident, Layton Fire Battalion Chief Jason Cook said the child had a sock on his right hand, reached through a fence to play with two huskies playing in a neighboring yard before one of the dogs bit down and amputated his hand about 2 or 3 inches above his wrist.

However, Hope Brown, the mother of the injured boy, said in a Facebook post after the husky had gone under the fence separating the two yards “and bit Austin’s hand and then attempted to pull him back under the fence.”

The child lost his arm from the elbow down, suffered other bites and had severe bruising on his face and jaw, Brown added in the post.


The family posted a PayPal link for donations at Neighbors have also set up a charitable account at Goldenwest Credit Union, accepting donations under "Superman's Army."

An official from Layton police said they have deferred the investigation to Davis County Animal Care and Control.

The day after the incident, Nicks told KSL the two huskies were being quarantined for at least 10 days by county animal control officials as they investigated the incident and tested the dogs for rabies.

It wasn’t immediately made clear if the two dogs were still under quarantine Tuesday. However, Nicks said the case remains active.

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