Jan 16, 2011

Pit Bulls continue to cause mayhem in Florida

PALM BAY — Jahvon Harrington may never smile the same again after being attacked by a babysitter's pit bull. The dog belonged to a friend of the childs mother, and the dog was raised around the owners children with no problems.

Yet, the 5-year-old is comforting his mother and bravely preparing for the surgeries to repair his face after the Friday afternoon attack by a Pitbull in Palm Bay.

"It's traumatic, but he's doing as good as can be expected," said his mother, Olivia Harrington. "I mean, he's telling me to sit down. I was running back and forth and pacing up and down at the hospital and he was like, 'Mama, its going to be OK.' "

"He's so amazing."

Harrington was headed to work and had dropped Jahvon off at the Seahorse Circle house of a longtime friend who has several dogs.

Moments later, the boy was outside playing and, according to Palm Bay police, attempted to ride the pit bull named "Blue Sky" like a horse.

The dog grabbed at the child's head with his jaws and shook him, crushing facial bones around one eye and ripping a portion of an ear, police said.

"The homeowner said she went to the restroom and then heard screams. She ran over and saw the child," said Yvonne Martinez, spokeswoman for the Palm Bay Police Department.

"He'll need reconstructive surgery, and they had a plastic surgeon come in to evaluate him. No criminal charges were filed against the dog's owner, but animals services did issue a citation to remove the dog," Martinez said.

Brevard County Animal Services could seek to declare the animal as a dangerous dog, a process that could end in it being euthanized.

"It was a pretty significant bite to the face of the child," said Capt. Bob Brown, a spokesman for Animal Services.

Animal Services removed Blue Sky from the home and placed the dog under rabies quarantine after discovering the animal had not been vaccinated.

Agents issued a citation to 36-year-old Semakee Cunningham for an attack causing a severe injury.

Cunningham could not be reached for comment.

"I feel it was a terrible accident, but it was a terrible accident. I trusted my friend," Harrington said.

"She has her kids around the dogs and babysat for me recently," Harrington said.

The child was taken to Palm Bay Community Hospital's emergency room, where he was treated for numerous facial injuries injuries, including a four-inch wound beneath one of his eyes, along with an ear that was ripped to the cartilage

The child's mother left the home about 10 minutes before she learned of the incident.

Jahvon, whose face has numerous stitches, was back at home Monday.

Harrington has taken off the week from work to be with him.

Doctors have told Harrington nerve damage may prevent the child from showing the facial emotion of surprise or allow him to close his eyes fully to blow out a birthday cake.

The Department of Children and Families is also investigating the incident.

In the comment section, a nutter has the audacity to chime in and blame the child for this act of aggression.

The animal advocate writes:

"NO child should be left unsupervised with any large dog, especially one with the power of a pitbull. That said: How would you like it if someone grabbed you by the neck or tried to mount you like a horse? The dog reacted in surprise and/or fright, not in a deliberate attack mode.

How many times do we hear "child bitten/mauled by pitbull"? In most of these cases, the kid is taunting/teasing/kicking/hitting/etc. yet the dog is supposed to "behave"? And, yes, we hear all about pits because - again - they are the ones with those extremely strong jaws.

This is an issue that seems to continue ad nauseam and it usually ends in the dog being declared dangerous and subsequently euthanized. Which is unfair for, IMHO, keeping the kids under control is the key. But it's a rare mother who will blame her precious darling for causing such an incident. It's always the dog's fault...and that is beyond sad."


  1. What needs to be asked each and every time someone blames a child for teasing/surprising a dog is "do you feel this is an appropriate response from the dog"? Sometimes kids do dumb things to dogs, whether they are being supervised or not. And I have no problem with the dog reacting, but in an appropriate way: leaving the room, growling, snapping the air, touching teeth to the hand, perhaps even a small nip depending on the circumstances. A dog should communicate its displeasure, and once its point has been made that is the end of it. It is never an apporpriate response to maul a child no matter what the child did. Its not a normal response for a dog to act that way to another dog that was bothering it! Its high time we start calling these commentors on what it is they are actually suggesting and show them how ridiculous they are being.

  2. past pit bull ownerJanuary 23, 2011 at 6:51 AM

    The pitter's responses are so predictable it's almost boring, if it weren't so serious and people weren't being killed and disfigured for life.

    Went to the local Petsmart yesterday. They have a new facility to keep dogs in the store--before they could only have cats. About half the dogs there were obviously pits or pit mixes (it really ain't rocket science to see this, people!) but only ONE dog was correctly identified as a pit. ALL the rest were labeled silly things like "boxer mixes" or "boxer/shepherd mixes" or some such nonsense. Even though I know it happens all the time, there's something about seeing these lies written down in black and white.....because unsuspecting people believe them. It's criminal.

  3. For truthful information go to dogsbite.org! HA HA HA. You are too funny!!!!

  4. Lydia, I know you live in a world filled with Pitbulls, rainbows and flowers, but I am here to tell you that if I had listened to what dogsbite.org is trying to tell people, which is nothing less than the truth, I would never have had to endure the heartbreak that I did. Of course, nobody likes to think that their own Pit is dangerous, but it has been proven time and time again that these dogs can never be trusted. They may be fine for weeks, even years, but there is always that possibility that somethng will set them off and you don't want to be around when these unpredictable kllers go on their rampage! Trust me, I've witnessed it firsthand.

  5. Lydia is Delisonal, she can only read what the NCRC propoganda machine issues. She needs to do a little research on her "hero" to find that that woman has absolutely no credentials, couldn't even get a reputable publishing house to publish her biased books. A self proclaimed expert who is barely a vet tech.

  6. About 40 people (children) per year die by drowning in 5-gallon water pails. A person, during their lifetime, is 16 times more likely to drown in a 5-gallon water pail than to be killed by a Pit Bull.

    Aspirin kills around 7500 people each year. Treating a headache is 2500 times more likely to kill you than a Pit Bull.

    Approximately 50 children in the US are killed every year by their cribs - 25 times the number of children and adults killed by Pit Bulls.

    Approximately 150 people are killed every year by falling coconuts. Therefore, you are more than 60 TIMES MORE LIKELY to be killed by a PALM TREE than a Pit Bull.

    Each year, 350 people drown in their bathtubs. You are 151 times more likely to be killed by your bathtub than you are by a Pit Bull.

    Every year, more than 2,000 children in the U.S. are killed by their parents or guardians either through abuse or neglect. A child is more than 800 times more likely to be killed by their caretaker than by a Pit Bull.

    The average Number of people killed by a Pit Bull each year is 3.

    I really like your blog i'm thinking of introducing breed specific legislation for trees with heavy fruits or seeds.

  7. “And, yes, we hear all about pits because - again - they are the ones with those extremely strong jaws.”

    You’re all aware that Golden Retrievers can do the same things with their jaws but they call it “soft mouth”. Why not call it lockjaw for Golden Retrievers also? Why not call it lockjaw for all dogs that can lock their jaws.

    Why don’t you talk about the children who are beaten and raped and forced into sexually slavery by their parents every year ? Why not talk about the children who are killed by their parents because they spilled milk on the floor or ate a cookie from the cookie jar every year? Why not talk about the children who are forced to lie to the police because their parents are Skinheads, or drug cartels or gang bangers every year? Why not talk about the children who are forced to lie at the hospital about their Mom being beaten and raped because the monster who beat and raped her is her husband or boyfriend every year? More children are raped and murdered by their own parents or strangers every year than children being killed or mauled by Pit Bulls. Ban the people who own dangerous dogs from having any dogs, make the cops go to their house to make sure they don’t have dogs at the residence! Like I said before today, Newfoundlands are considered to be dangerous according to Italy and their mainly bred for rescuing drowning swimmers and cuddling up with children. It’s the owner not the dog. Besides you can breed out the so called “bad genetics” in Pit Bulls. They did it with other breeds of dogs.

  8. Pretty much half the comments on this blog are by idiots.

    SME, feel free to use these links anywhere in your post to filter through some of this garbage:





    And here's a link to a victim counter:

    Sometimes I feel as though I'm talking to a brick wall. But seeing people like you who've change gives me hope.

  9. Also, I hope you've linked some of the posts by Craven from this!


  10. Interesting how so few of your "facts" supporting BSL actually come from a reputable source: animal behaviorists, veterinarians and vet behaviorists, trainers, etc. It's just a bunch of blogs. Any idiot with a computer can blog, but that doesn't make him a subject matter expert. People, please, don't believe everything you read on the internet.

    That advice doesn't just pertain to information about pit bulls, by the way.

  11. I work in dog rescue and have been bitten several times. Once by a lab, once by a Boston Terrier, and several times by the same poodle. I have never been bitten by a pit bull. I would also like to point out that there is no such thing as a "pit bull". There are only American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, American Bulldogs, and Bull Terriers. Anyone breeding or claiming to own a "pure bred pit bull" is uninformed. The AKC does not recognize the pit bull terrier as a breed. (Although the UKC does.)

    Also, if you look at the American Temperament Test Society's website, you'll see that most of the above breeds mentioned scored better than many dog breeds that most people consider "good" breeds.


    I know I won't change your mind, and that's okay, because freedom of speech is a huge part of our freedom in this country. But being harassed by people who think along the same lines like you while I'm walking my Staffy mix down the street is not okay.

    By the way, my Staffy has passed the Canine Good Citizen test, and is a registered therapy dog. He knows almost 40 different commands and takes part in agility competitions.

    I'm no different than any other dog owner, and he's no different than any other dog.

  12. To the previous anonymous poster:

    You are different than other dog owners because you think it is okay to own a dog whose purpose is to kill mine, and you have failed to properly educate yourself on your dog. If you were truly educated, you would have never mentioned the ATT. Blindly repeating info from pro-pit web sites is not education - looking into the claims made on those web sites and determining for yourself if what they say is true gives you real facts. Perhaps is you are really being harassed as you claim, there is a reason for it. I could see how just having your dog in the neighborhood would be considered harassment by others, and if you are spouting myths about pit bulls it would show just how dangerous you are as an owner.

    To learn more about the ATT please go here:

  13. It makes me so sick that these pople go to shelters and pass up perfectly happy and healthy Retrievers and Border Collies for Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. What makes me sad is that many of these people are going to either be hurt or killed by those dogs. By killing off all Pit Bulls and any other dog on the dangerous dog breed list it will open the door for proper dog breeds.

  14. Jennifer the pitbull,german shepherd and rottie lover!!!March 13, 2012 at 1:49 PM

    I'm a mommy to 2 small children also a pitbull lover and advocate too large breed dog's(german shepherd,pitbull and rotties)
    For the person who wrote "it shouldn't matter if the child is supervised or not,a dog should just act appropriate!"....REALLY??????????.I'm sorry but you "teach" your child right from wrong and you "train" your dog right from wrong.Leaving a child even for 1 min. is dangerouse especially a very small child,like the little boy above not only because there is a dog in the yard but he could of walked out the yard and either was kidnapped,hit by a car,went in the neighbors pool who was not home and drowned,there are tons of ways he could of been hurt or worse killed.So happend that he decided to play horsey on the dog who most likely growled first maybe even tried to walk away but couldn't because the little boy did not walk away after he growled or tried to walk away.Your facts above on your blog is stated the dog was not vaccinated which means it didn't have a license and most likely no veterinarian and dog training = "A BAD DOG OWNER" and obviously "A BAD BABYSITTER".Instead of "euthenizing" take the dog away and have the animal control release him to a rescue or shelter where they can work with him and if they think the dog is vicious to adopt in another home then euthenize that one dog...NOT ALL THE PITBULLS,ROTTIES OR GERMAN SHEPHERD.I take in large breed dog's and find them furever homes,every animal that comes to my home through rescue is spayed and neutered,vet checked and trained from right and wrong.My children know how to act around any animal because they were taught right from wrong since they were babies,my daughter is 4 and son is 8.since my kids were babies and started to play with any pet and they pinched or pulled at them I would teach them "NO,NO PET DOGGIE OR KITTIE...NICE BABIE" and I always supervise the play.The kids know we don't wrestle or play horsey on any dog,there fun thing to do with a dog is positive training.They love going to the store and buying dog treats so they can help with training.Our other game we love is fetch with a tennis ball or stick not only is the dog getting his exercise but your also teaching him/her come when called by throwing the ball then saying "come Rexy" with the ball still in his mouth after fetching it,then when he comes telling him to "drop it"...then play all over again.My kids love that game and it is positive for the children and also the dog.My son is 8 and he wants to be a dog trainer like his daddy when he gets older.

  15. Jennifer the pitbull,german shepherd and rottie lover!!!March 13, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Now on to the next thing I noticed,Quote below
    The animal advocate writes:

    "NO child should be left unsupervised with any large dog, especially one with the power of a pitbull. That said: How would you like it if someone grabbed you by the neck or tried to mount you like a horse? The dog reacted in surprise and/or fright, not in a deliberate attack mode."
    See even a animal advocate I noticed something that is bothering me,and bothering me for days since i seen this copy and pasted on a rescue page on facebook.
    It's not "any large dog" it's
    "NO child should be left unsupervised with any animal or dog(large or tiny)".A dog is a dog they all have teeth,jaws and come from one animal a wolf.you can take a pitbull and basset hound(which by the way I also own my mr Crocket that I rescued from a shelter which he was at for 3 years of his life no fault of his own by his owner dying and no family wanted him,he's gonna be 5 in april we rescued him November 2011,my family and I were just going to visit our local shelter which I try to do with my kids atleast once a month with them so they can be around all animals not just the one's that get rescued to our home.Mr Crocket kept on getting our attention so we took him home that night.)
    You can take a pitbull,rottie,basset hound and look at there mouth and they all have the same Jaw and same teeth also they can all rip a childs face off.Just so you know I just did that test....My husband's friend is over with his Bull dog and I have my mr Crocket(Basset Hound)I looked at both of there mouth and they all have the same Jaw and also same mouth...Nothing diffrent!!!.Now i'm finished with you"NUTTERS".


For truthful information about Pit Bull dogs, go to these other sites --