2-year-old boy recovers from surgery after dog attack

BURGAW, NC (WWAY) -- A 2-year-old boy is recovering from surgery after the Pender County Sheriff's Office says he was attacked by two pit bulls.

The attack happened yesterday evening when the child was visiting family.

"I was terrified," the boy's uncle Terrell Swinson said. "I just really didn't know what to do. I was just shocked."

Swinson says he was fixing his sister's car when he looked back to see two pit bulls attacking his nephew Jamari Pigford.

"He wasn't harming the dogs or nothing," Swinson said. "He was just in the yard playing, minding his own business."

Investigators say the dogs jumped a fence to get out of their owner's yard. Neighbors say this is not the first time they've escaped.

"Ffrom what I understand the dogs have gotten loose before," neighbor Pamela Bennett said. "I don't know if they have ever bit anyone or not."

The dogs mauled Jamari's face while his family was left stunned.

"I panicked really," Swinson said. "I didn't know what to do. I was looking for a stick. As I ran up and approached the dog, it had run off when they saw their owner."

The toddler was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center Tuesday evening, where relatives say he got surgery Wednesday morning.

The dogs' owner Wesley Lewis was served civil citations for two counts of animals at large, two counts of no identification displayed and two counts of rabies tag violation. When we went to knock on his door, we were told to get off the property.

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I have been living next to neighbors from hell for the past three years. They have 2 pit bulls and 4 small dogs. For years I was the nice neighbor who didn't want to cause trouble for them so I didn't report thier loose dogs running around. Well recently the pit bull has started eating through my fence to get to my dog and kids. They wouldn't fix the fence so I had to do it myself. Long story short is that the pits ate another hole in my fence and attacked my dog. She had over 15 bite wounds and animal control came by and took their word that the dogs were vaccinated. I wouldn't let it go and demanded proof and eventually AC told me they weren't and picked the dogs up for the remainder of the 10 day hold. Less than a month later my 12 year old was in my fenced yard and they both went after him. I grabbed a golf club and hit the dogs until they retreated in their yard. Called AC and they did nothing. 2 weeks after that one of the pits got out again and went after my son when he was getting off the bus. Something needs to be done about the laws in NC. These dogs have a documented history of human and animal aggression. Just because they haven't killed or seriously harmed a human shouldn't mean They aren't dangerous. I can't sell my house or I would have been long gone by now. AC solution is to buy a gun and kill them next time they come after us.

Shoot them, if they are on your property its your right.

Amanda - could you please send your contact information to us at newsroom@wwaytv3.com?

Thank you!

sp

Scott Pickey
WWAY News Director

I want to invite you to join the fb group NC Dog Law Coalition. We are discussing and trying to write breed-neutral legislation to protect people from dogs AND to protect dogs from people. Consider joining and any of your friends who would be interested in helping us push this legislation when we get it all figured out. This is NOT a place to discuss any particular breed. It should not be a battle to keep children safe from attacking dogs and it should not be a battle to deal with the aftermath. We want to make it easier by making several legislative changes and we need real stories from North Carolina residents who have had problems dealing with the system and anyone who thinks they have contacts, a talent, or an inclination to get involved in this. Please share this with your friend list.

Fatalities reported in 2005

News organizations reported at least 29 fatal dog attacks in the United States
in 2005. The category of dog most commonly reportedly involved in these attacks
were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (15 attacks), followed by Rottweilers (6
attacks):

Fatalities reported in 2006

News organizations reported at least 30 fatal dog attacks in the United States
in 2006. The category of dog most commonly reportedly involved in these attacks
were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (16 attacks), followed by Rottweilers (9
attacks).

Fatalities reported in 2007

News organizations reported at least 34 fatal dog
attacks in the United States in 2007. The category of dog most commonly
reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (18
attacks), followed by Rottweilers (4 attacks).

Fatalities reported in 2008

News organizations reported at least 23 fatal dog
attacks in the United States in 2008. The category of dog most commonly
reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (14
attacks), followed by Huskies (3 attacks).

Fatalities reported in 2009

News organizations reported at least 30 fatal dog
attacks in the United States in 2009. The category of dog most commonly
reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (14
attacks), followed by Rottweilers (4 attacks).

Fatalities reported in 2010

News organizations reported at least 34 fatal dog
attacks in the United States in 2010. The category of dog most commonly
reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (18
attacks), followed by Rottweilers (4 attacks).

Fatalities reported in 2011

News organizations reported at least 31 fatal dog
attacks in the United States in 2011. The category of dog most commonly
reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (21
attacks).

Fatalities reported in 2012

News organizations have reported 34 fatal dog
attacks in the United States in 2012. The category of dog most commonly
reportedly involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (20
attacks).

Fatalities reported in 2013

News organizations reported at least 18 fatal dog
attacks in the United States so far in 2013. The category of dog most commonly
reported involved in these attacks were pit-bull type and pit-bull mixes (16
attacks), followed by German Shepherd (1) "large, longer haired, black
"Mixed breed or Mastiff-Rotweiller

If one of my animals every disfigured anyone, let alone a child, I wouldn't bat an eye at having it put down! "Bad Dog, now go to sleep!"

Sadly the Lexus Project likes to organize facebook groups and petitions..and spineless judges fall and back down.. Leaving the dogs untouched.. and ready to maul again. The fatal attacks are not even covered by the national news..

I know the owners, hope they know the two dogs heads were severed and sent by mail to N.C. State to test for rabies. Wes and his dad bred those two pits to sale the puppies at the stock yard in Wallace, they were not kept in that fence, they are let out in the mornings to roam and brought inside at night. Wes and his dad brag about how mean they have gotten those two and use it as there selling point when selling the puppies. They are the dad's dogs and wes is covering for him so he doesn't get sued, he is the victim's slum lord.

please contact the boys family and authorities.. Too often these people get a 20 dollar fine and that is IT!

To Jamari and his family:
I am so sorry that this happened to you little man. I pray for a speeding recovery for you and that God will pour out a special blessing on you. Get well soon.

Wait for it! Wait for it! It’s coming! What? Where are they? Oh come on! Defend the dog! Defend the dog, Where are you?

Where are the pit bull defenders saying “it is the way they were raised” defense? I suppose it was the way these two stupid dogs were raised to dig under, not one, but two fences and attack a child!

So sad for this child to suffer this, and I hope he recovers physically, but mentally he may be scared of dogs the rest of his life.

When is NC going to raise the bar and ban these stupid dogs from people owning them?

Hope I get to serve on the jury when the family of the child sues the dog owner! He is going to pay! BIG!

Pitbull advocates and those that want their dog fighting dogs popular and overpopulated are very organized. People who want the dogs banned are not nearly as active or organized. Politicians respond to the petitions, and facebook rants from the organized pitbull lobby. Change won't come without caring people coming together in a sustained organized effort.

I know, I know.....you pit bull lovers are going to be all over this with posts on how sweet and loving and faithful pets your pit bulls are. But I don't care how you train them, try to re-program them, or love them, they have inherent traits that can reveal themselves at any moment without provocation. I've seen it. I'm scared to death of them and find no useful purpose for having one. The owner of these dogs was "cited" but should be served with a much harsher penalty. That poor little boy not only had to have surgery, but no telling what physical and emotional scars he will carry through with him during his lifetime?

Euthanize the dogs and press criminal charges against the owner.

That says it all. I am a dog lover and have two old dogs that live with us, but I sure as hell have enough sense not to own one of the dangerous breeds, especially the number one killer, pit bulls. Anyone that owns one is akin to a snake handler, and something is wrong with them.