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US father shoots dog, slits stomach to retrieve son's finger

Los Angeles: In a bizarre incident, a father in the US shot dead his family dog and sliced open its stomach to retrieve his son's finger that was bitten off and swallowed by the canine.

Luis Brignoni, 41, a landscaper in Bradenton, Fliorida, on Friday had to experience the horror when one of the family dogs bit off his son's little finger and swallowed it.

Brignoni rushed out to his fenced backyard with a gun and killed the dog, cut its stomach open, and retrieved the finger, carefully sending it with his bleeding son aboard a helicopter to a St Petersburg hospital.

Photo for representation purpose only. AFP

Photo for representation purpose only. AFP

The child, Fernando Brignoni, 11, was later transferred to Tampa General Hospital, where doctors were unable to re-attach his finger during emergency surgery, but the boy is doing well, his dad said.

"You don't know what you will do for your child," the elder Brignoni was quoted by Brandenton Herald as saying. "You don't know where you get the strength from."

Brignoni, who said he had been a hunter for many years, said his son had attempted to pet the caged dog, a Malamute-wolf mix named Sassy, on Friday when the animal grabbed his hand.

Hearing screams, Fernando's brother, Luis, 13, hit the dog over the head so it would let go. When Fernando finally got free, the finger had been entirely bitten off, and the dog who had swallowed it was running around the yard.

"I said, 'I've got to go find the finger,'?" Brignoni said."I got my gun and I popped him". By the time a sheriff's deputy got there, Brignoni was cutting the dog open.

Doctors decided that nerve damage precluded the finger's re-attachment, Brignoni said.

Brignoni and his wife, Millie, returned to their home on Saturday after seeing Fernando through emergency surgery in Tampa.

Deputies said a preliminary investigation supported Brignoni's account of the events, and the incident appeared to have been an accident, according to a statement from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Manatee County Animal Services took possession of the remains of the dog, the statement said.

PTI