Doctors Unable to Reattach Toddler's Arm, Bitten Off By Dog-Wolf Hybrid
May. 18, 1991
BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) _ The arm of a toddler, bitten off by a caged dog-wolf mix, was recovered from the animal's stomach, but doctors were unable to reattach it.
Eighteen-month-old Blake Barber was in satisfactory condition Friday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, hospital officials said.
The boy's left forearm was bitten off Thursday afternoon at his grandparents' house after he apparently stuck his hand into a locked cage that housed the female dog-wolf and her week-old pup.
The boy ''was doing really well for the trauma that he'd been through. The kid was pretty calm,'' said Capt. Don Beattie, spokesman for the Bellingham Fire Department.
Humane Society workers killed the animal, which weighed 85 to 100 pounds, and removed the limb from its stomach.
''There were puncture wounds like maybe it had grabbed the arm and snapped it right off,'' said Dave Burgess, animal-control supervisor.
No one saw the attack, sheriff's Sgt. Steve DeFries said. Family members found the child on the ground outside the chain-link dog pens a few minutes later.
The boy was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham and then flown to Seattle, about 90 miles south. Two teams of surgeons at Harborview tried unsuccessfully to reattach the youngster's arm, said hospital spokeswoman Judy Smith.
The child's father, Bruce Sherbondy, owns the wolf-dogs and keeps them at his parents' home near Ferndale, about five miles north of Bellingham, sheriff's Deputy Deane Sandell said. He knew of no previous problems with the wolf-dogs.
Breeders of wolf-dogs say many people want the crossbreeds as pets.