LAYTON — The mother of a little boy who had his hand and half his arm chewed off by two dogs earlier this year spoke publicly for the first time.
The attack happened while the boy was playing in his own back yard back on March 3 in Layton.
Despite his injury, Austin Brown is not letting it get in his way of having fun as a 4-year-old.
“He is an ‘I can do it’ boy,” said his mom Hope Brown. “He has figured out how to do everything with what we call his little arm.”
Austin was playing in the backyard of his home when two huskies from the neighbor’s yard got ahold of his arm from underneath the fence and chewed it off.
Hope is not able to talk about the details of that day because of pending court cases but was away at work when she got the call. Her husband was at home with Austin and his younger sister.
“I was terrified. I was so scared,” she said. “It was just like in complete shock. Nothing could have ever prepared me for that. You think dog bite, you think bites. You don’t realize like being eaten like that.”
Austin spent a week in the hospital. During that time the story went viral. Hope’s social media blew up. Shockingly, hate messages started to pour in including death threats. Hope read several of them to KSL which included:
“I hope you rot in Hell.”
“Don’t kill a dog for your bad parenting.”
“Your son should not have been provoking that husky!”
“Don’t blame the dogs for you being a terrible mom.”
“Just the shock that people were attacking us that way. That they were saying such horrible things,” said Hope. “It’s just maddening that people would put this on a 3-year-old. This was our sanctuary. This was our home.”
Hope says the attacks even happened in public.
“This guy unfortunately looked at (Austin) and said, ‘Oh, you’re that kid, bet you learned your lesson, didn’t you?’” she said.
In September, Hope says her now ex-husband, a military vet, left the family. He was the one home watching Austin on that dreadful day.
“My husband had severe PTSD from this attack that happened. He was never the same afterward,” she said.
The two have since divorced.
That’s why Josh Barnett, a husband and father from Logan, is trying to help out the Brown family. He’s befriended the family and is now starting an Amazon wish list and a GoFundMe account to help the Brown’s with Christmas and medical expenses.
“People are just like attacking this poor woman and this poor child,” said Barnett. “People need to understand that children need to be able to play in their own backyard without fear of being attacked by an animal.
Austin still plays like nothing happened. That’s what keeps Mom grounded.
“Austin’s strength is my strength. He is amazing. He can do so much and he is so strong,” said Hope.
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