According to reports, when police officers arrived on the scene, they found the young boy and his grandmother in the driveway of the home. The boy was missing his right arm, up to his shoulder. An officer immediately applied a tourniquet to the wound, but they could not find the missing arm.
“The child’s arm was still in the pen,” said Tecumseh Police Chief JR Kidney.
Foster’s grandparents told officers that the child had stuck his hand into a pen full of pit bull puppies, trying to pet them, when one of the adult dogs latched onto the child’s arm and yanked it free from the boy’s body. When officers went into the home, they found the arm in the pen, and one of the puppies was trying to chew on it.
“When officers and animal control attempted to retrieve the arm, the dog became aggressive to them,” Kidney said.
Officers had to shoot the aggressive dog and were able to rescue the arm. They rushed Axel Foster to the OU Medical Center where doctors tried to attach the limb, but they were unsuccessful.
“I’ve seen dog bites in the past and experience some pretty brutal dog bites with children but never a complete amputation,” said Kidney.
Police and Human Services are now investigating whether or not the young boy was supervised when he was playing with the puppies. Officers hope that the dog attack was an accident, but if not, Axel Foster’s grandparents could face child neglect charges for the 4-year-old’s lost arm.
A statement from the Tecumseh Police Department after the attack said, “We do not have his updated condition. At this time, it appears to be an accident. We are waiting for DHS to finish its investigation. The boy was staying with his grandparents and went to try to pet the puppies.”
The 4-year-old’s mother, Destiny McDow, was shocked to hear that her son had gotten injured. According to her, the boy was supposed to be in his father’s care when the dog attack took place.
She said, “We raced to the hospital. 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.”
McDow has set up a GoFundMe page for her son and so far over $4,000 have been raised with a goal of $5,500. According to the fundraiser, Axel is an “adventurous, smart, and bubble young four-year-old.”
His mother said that Axel already went through two surgeries because of the dog attack and continues to fight for his life. She said, “He has undergone two surgeries, and is still fighting not only to keep his arm but his life. I am asking for help to save my baby boys life. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.”
Some people on Facebook are alleging that the GoFundMe page is a scam. They said that Destiny McDow has no legal custody rights to her son and that all the money she is raising won’t actually go to Axel’s care.
According to Julie Foster, who claims to be Axel Foster’s stepmother, McDow hasn’t seen her son in years. In a Facebook post she said, “mother is a dope head who is only trying to use the money for herself, and drugs guys please report this as fraud/scam. My poor axel doesn’t deserve this please report she is not in his life hasn’t been for 3+ years Steele Foster is his father and has FULL CUSTODY.”
The GoFundMe page has responded to Foster’s claims and said, “this is being reported as a scam. I am not a scam; I am his mother just needing a lawyer to help my son to be in a safer environment.”
Tecumseh police continue to investigate the dog attack and are looking at all the evidence to determine if the brutal attack was an accident or not.