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Clarification: The headline and story was changed to better reflect the age of the child.

TECUMSEH, Okla. (KFOR — An Oklahoma child is recovering in the hospital after he was mauled by a pit bull Friday night, Tecumseh police said. 

“I’ve seen dog bites in the past and experience pretty brutal dog bites with children but never a complete amputation,” said Chief JR Kidney with the Tecumseh Police Department. 

When an officer arrived at 4-year-old Axel Foster’s grandparents’ home, he found the toddler’s grandmother in the driveway. He was missing his right arm just below the shoulder, police said. 

The officer began applying his tourniquet from his vest. Tecumseh firefighters also arrived and began assisting with the tourniquet. Axel’s arm was missing.

“The child’s arm was still in the pen,” said Chief Kidney. 

“I could see the arm inside, and one of the puppies was trying to chew on it,” said Officer Aaron McCormick in a police report.” 

 “When officers and animal control attempted to retrieve the arm, the dog became aggressive to them,” said Chief Kidney. 

Kidney told KFOR ultimately, the dog had to be put down. It was shot and killed. 

Axel’s grandmother told police the little boy put his hand inside the pen that held several dogs to pet some puppies, and that’s when he lost his arm.

 “I’m hoping it was simply an accident that the child was able to get to the pen, but we will look at everything.”

Axel’s mom, Destiny McDow, told KFOR he was taken to OU Medical Center to have his arm reattached.
The thought of her son being in pain is more than she can bear.

“We raced to the hospital,” said McDow. “When we got there, the nurses confirmed his arm was dismembered from his body.” 

“I don’t know what he’s going through. I never went through it. But he’s only a child.” 

“What if he doesn’t make it through?” 

“To be over just an innocent type thing of wanting to pat some puppies, it’s just devastating,” said Chief Kidney. 

Tecumseh Police Department and the Department of Human Services are trying to determine if Axel was being supervised at the time.

Chief Kidney told KFOR the grandparents could face child neglect charges if Axel were unsupervised.

Axel’s mom said, unfortunately, the surgery to reattach her son’s arm was not successful.