MANATEE -- An 11-year-old boy was airlifted to a St. Petersburg hospital Friday after being severely injured by a caged dog, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office said.
According a news release, the boy stuck his finger through slots in a cage, attempting to pet the dog in the 5200 block of 22nd Street Court East at about 6:05 Friday. The dog attacked, biting his left hand, severing his pinky finger and possibly breaking the boy's arm.
The boy's father removed the dog from its cage and shot it multiple times, killing it, the release said. The father then retrieved the severed finger from the dog's stomach while waiting for paramedics to arrive.
The child was transported by helicopter to All Children's Hospital.
Deputies say the preliminary investigation supports the father's account of the events and it appears to have been an accident.
Manatee County Animal Services took possession of the dog's remains, the news release said.