TAMPA, Florida (WTSP) - A Bradenton boy is recovering at Tampa General Hospital from a dog attack that left him without a finger.
Fernando Brignoni's pinky was bitten off by the family dog, Sassy, on Friday night.
"It hurts, but it can be better," said Brignoni's from his hospital bed.
It happened when the 11-year-old stuck the finger in the cage of the Malamute-wolf. The dog bit down on the finger and would not let go.
"I just grabbed anything I could find on the floor, and I grabbed the stick and I hit the dog in the head, and it ran off ... finally let go of my brother's hand," said Luis Brignoni's, Fernando's older brother.
But when the dog let go, the Malamute-wolf had already swallowed the finger. Fernando's father, Luis Brignoni Sr., jumped into action by first shooting the dog.
"So I start cutting her open and they're helping me look for the finger inside the stomach," said the 41 year-old hunter and outdoors man.
Rescue crews airlifted the boy to the hospital, but doctors could not re-attach the finger.
Instead, they grafted the skin from his forearm to the wound of the missing pinky.
"He might be missing a finger, but his other four are good. 'Cause God is good, you know, he still has four fingers to do everything that he can do with five. He can do with four," said Luis Brignoni Sr.
The Manatee County Sheriff's looked into the matter and determined it to be an accident.