Update: Dogs involved in severing Layton child’s hand surrendered to animal control for relocation

A 4-year-old boy was critically injured when he was bitten by a neighbor's dog in Layton on Sunday, March 3, 2019. Photo: Layton Fire Department

LAYTON, Utah, March 27, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Two dogs involved in a devastating attack on a 4-year-old Layton boy earlier this month were permanently surrendered to animal control officers Wednesday.

A press release issued by Davis County Animal Care and Control said they are now in the process of finding an animal rescue or animal sanctuary for the dogs and that all citations and notice of violations involving the dogs’ owners will be dropped.

The press release said animal control personnel met with the owners of the two Huskies, Polar and Bear, Tuesday and offered to relocate the dogs “in lieu of pursuing action through the courts.”

Bear was previously identified as the biter.

The release states the dog owners initially declined the offer to relocate the pets and were cited with two counts of possession of dangerous animals and two counts of abatement of public nuisance animals.

The dogs were both held in a 10-day quarantine after the attack.

Battalion Chief Jason Cook, Layton City Fire Department, told Gephardt Daily at the scene on March 3 that the traumatic incident occurred at about 3:30 p.m., at 1042 N. 3575 West, as the boy apparently was attempting to play with Polar and Bear.

The child reached through the fence separating the two yards, according to Cook. The dog bite amputated the boy’s hand from the mid-forearm down, Cook said.

The boy’s parents were home at the time and administered whatever aid they could until medics arrived.

The child was flown by University of Utah helicopter to Primary Children’s Hospital, where surgery was performed on the injured arm.

Eight to 10 police officers combed the area looking for the amputated hand, but were unable to find it, and Cook said officials assume it was ingested by the dog.

The injured child was to be fitted with a prosthetic hand.

The owner of the dogs told police it was the first time the dogs had displayed aggression.

The boy’s mother, Hope Elizabeth Brown, posted a lengthy update on Facebook Wednesday afternoon, with an update on her son’s condition and addressing some of the “confusion” surrounding what occurred.

She wrote of her son’s recovery: “He is home now. We are all struggling and trying to get used to our new normal. The attack left him with only one bone below his elbow and five centimeters of forearm left. The doctors saved everything they could. They took the one bone, muscle, and tissue and saved his elbow joint which will be invaluable to him in the future to use not only for a prosthetic but to stabilize objects he’s holding. Physically he is doing as well as we can hope. He still needs 24-hour care, wound care to the bites above his elbow and wound care where they closed up his arm.

“Emotionally he is a wreck, he’s scared, he’s so angry. He can’t leave my side without panicking. Going from being a willful, sweet, happy, loving, and empathetic little guy to an angry and confused small child has been awful. He has multiple other health issues stemming from this attack, including needing to see a cardiologist now, orthopedic therapies, PTSD counseling. And many more.

“He will need many more surgeries until he’s done growing because that bone will continue to try and keep growing. It’ll be painful and each surgery will have its own risks. We have a long road ahead of us just from the physical aspect of this. Let alone what we are all struggling with emotionally. The flashbacks both my husband and child are having, my son’s night terrors, watching our baby struggle so bad that he can’t even do his passions like putting together his trains and train tracks is heart wrenching to witness.”


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