Toddler loses arm in dog attack after reaching into pen; grandparents may face charges


GRAPHIC: Some of the details in this story are disturbing

TECUMSEH, Okla. (KFOR) — A possibly-unsupervised Oklahoma toddler was mauled after reaching into a pen of several dogs and puppies Friday night, Tecumseh police said. 

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

Axel’s grandmother told police the incident happened when the little boy put his hand inside a pen that held several dogs to pet some puppies.

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

The officer began applying a tourniquet from his vest. Tecumseh firefighters also arrived and assisted.

Axel’s mom, Destiny McDow, told KFOR he was taken to a hospital to have his arm reattached. When they got to the hospital, nurses confirmed that his arm was detached. Surgery to reattach Axel’s arm was unsuccessful.

“To be over just an innocent type thing of wanting to pat some puppies, it’s just devastating,” said Kidney. “What kind of Christmas is this child gonna have now? What kind of life, in general, is this child gonna have now?”

Tecumseh Police Department and the Department of Human Services are trying to determine if Axel was being supervised at the time. If not, Kidney said, the grandparents could face child neglect charges.

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

The chief told KFOR that the dog had to be put down. It was shot and killed. 

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