LAYTON (ABC4 News) – A 4-year-old boy is recovering after having his hand and wrist bitten off by one of his neighbor’s dogs Sunday. Now there’s a growing debate over what should happen to those two huskies.

The two dogs are both being held at the Davis County Animal Shelter on a 10-day rabies quarantine because nobody knows which one actually bit the child. Their fate is still very much up in the air.

Rhett Nicks is the Director of Davis County Animal Control.

“There’s a severe injury to a human so we are doing a dangerous dog investigation which could range from nothing being done if the dogs were found that they aren’t dangerous to that there were enough mitigating factors for the circumstances up to an including euthanasia,” Nicks said.  

One mitigating factor could be that the boy’s arm was covered.

“He had a sock on his hand,” Layton Fire Department Battalion Chief Jason Cook said. “So it appears that it was just innocent play and that he was reaching through the fence to try to play with one or both of the dogs.”

Dog owners ABC4 News spoke to theorize the dogs’ hunting instinct kicked in when they saw what they thought was a chew toy or prey.

“They might have thought it was an animal and just bit and too hard I guess,” Jennifer Bigler said. “I don’t know. It’s sad. I hope they don’t put the dogs down because the kid shouldn’t be playing by the fence anyway.”

David Broderick, the founder of Innovative K9 Academy, has been training dogs for 20 years.

“From my point of view being a trainer, I would…I think I’d like to see the dog euthanized,” Broderick said. “The fact that it actually ripped it off. It wasn’t just a chomp. It wasn’t thinking it was a game…If the dog was frustrated enough to do that kind of damage it will do it again given the chance.”

The boy’s hand was never found, leading investigators to wonder whether one of the dogs ate it.

Nicks says that the final determination on whether the dogs will be put down will be made by a judge because in Utah, dogs are considered personal property and that is a matter of the courts.