5-year-old’s Genitals Severed by Pit Bull Bite

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Pitbull savagely severed 5-year-old’s genitals.

A 5-year-old who wandered into his aunt’s bedroom likely faces continuing surgery after he was “savagely bitten by the pit bull, suffering severe bite wounds, lacerations and a severed penis.”

The boy, who was visiting his grandmother for the weekend, had tried to climb into bed with his sleeping 13-year-old aunt and her pet when the protective 6-year-old female bit bull named Momma turned on the boy.

He was immediately rushed to the hospital and later on to another area hospital where he is recovering.

His grandmother, Marissa Pettiford; and Vernon Jackson, 45, the father of Pettiford’s 13-year-old daughter have been charged with owning an unlicensed dangerous dog, which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. Pettiford, Jackson and the boy’s mother were additionally charged with allowing a dog to commit a nuisance.

Jackson was ordered held on $15,000 bail. The dog was euthanized at an animal shelter the same day the incident occurred.

“For the three days she was here, it was no problem,” Pettiford said of the pit bull.

The pit bull breed, whose reputation for viciousness that some argue is unfair, is responsible for most fatal dog attacks in the United States.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year dogs bite nearly 4.5 million Americans. Half of them are children, mostly ages 5 to 9.

About 885,000 people bitten require medical attention, and half of those are children.

Pit bull was unlicensed, dangerous, and vicious

In the complaint, police described the pit bull as “unlicensed, dangerous and vicious.”According to the police report, Jackson told officers he had the dog secured in a rear bedroom at the apartment. The report also states Pettiford had warned the young victim “multiple times not to approach the dog because the dog was dangerous.”

Pettiford, who works as a teacher, is disputing the police account, alleging she never told the boy to stay away from the dog because the pit bull lives with Jackson and has never exhibited signs that it was dangerous in the six years her daughter owned it.

Pettiford has owned a pit bull in the past and also has an 11-year-old son. She feels the boy’s movements might have made the dog feel threatened. The dog had come over to the house on other occasions and the family felt comfortable and safe around it.

“It was a family accident,” Pettiford said. “It’s very tragic.”

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