Local News

Pit bulls maul Raleigh boy

Posted March 24, 2009
Updated March 25, 2009

— A 6-year-old Raleigh boy is recovering after being attacked by two pit bulls. The dogs' caretaker was charged, but the boy's family says the punishment wasn't severe enough.

"They bit me everywhere," Isaiah Hardy said.

Isaiah suffered 42 lacerations in the attack. It happened while he was outside playing Friday in the 500 block of Coleman Street, police department spokesman Jim Sughrue said.

"I looked in my neighbor's yard and the two pit bulls were pulling him back and forth, back and forth," said Sandra Knight, Isaiah's babysitter. "I picked up a vacuum cleaner and I hit the dogs seven times before I could get him lose."

The two pit bulls had just escaped from a nearby backyard. The dog's caretaker, Anthony Whitfield, of 816 Postell St., was charged with allowing the dogs to run at large and will likely have to pay a fine.

"Pit bulls are sneaky," said Alexis Whitfield, brother of the dogs' caretaker.

Pit bulls escape from fence, attack boy Pit bulls escape from fence, attack boy

"Some way, some how, the dogs got lose from the chain, but the chain was still attached to the dogs and they both jumped the fence and were running around the neighborhood," Alexis Whitfield said.

It was not the first time the dogs had broken free, according to neighbor Irene Hall.

"I was back here and one of them came over the fence and I said, 'If ever they get out, I am going to kill them,'" Hall said.

However, Isaiah's family and friends say more needs to be done.

"He needs to be fined. He needs to be prosecuted. He needs to pay for what happened to Isaiah," Knight said.

Isaiah spent three days in the hospital. Family members say they are worried about long lasting scars from the attack.

Anthony Whitfield says his sister owns the dogs, but she does not live at the home where the dogs are kept.

The dogs were being held Tuesday evening at the the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Wake County under a 10-day rabies quarantine. It was not known what would happen to the dogs once the 10 days were up.


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  • judithdejesus Mar 25, 2009

    I have first hand experience on this subject. I work nights I let my Lab chow mix out to go to the bathroom at nigh. this particular evening it was nice so luckily I left the door open to my patio. After sitting down to check my email I heard a yelp I knew right away what it was. My neighbors pitbull was after my dog..after my battle with the pit and my bite wounds plus the vets bill oh and by the way the neighbor was out of town. Yes the owner is responsible but, unfortunately like wallstreet we pay emotionally, physically and financally. Oh yea keep paying those taxes I am sure your local officals will be a great help. Pit bulls are a vicous breed. I am sorry for the child and his family.

  • manofjustice Mar 25, 2009

    I think that the owners should be euthanized as well as the dogs. If you really want to put pit bulls to their bestest...let them patrol the borders!!!!

  • Willow GiGgLeSnoRt Mar 25, 2009

    local we know you have one and you love it, BUT POINT IS these dogs are danger

  • tracyallen Mar 25, 2009

    AND - it doesn't matter if it is a Rotweiller, a Stafford, a pit bull or a Brahma bull - if it is dangerous or shows dangerous tendencies, the owner should exercise special care in containing the animal or suffer severe consequences.

    So - what if the child died? (Thank God he didn't) The people that were taking care of the dogs knew they were out of reasonable control and were consistently trying to break free.

    Common sense should kick in here. We have regulations for safety on just about everything - even our living room blinds can not have a cord that is tied or looped at the bottom because it is a choking hazard.

    So - it is not unreasonable to expect people to control dogs that could kill someone, child or adult.

  • dws Mar 25, 2009

    at the risk of being labeled "worthless", the dogs here absolutely need to be put down.....they did not bite the young boy, they chewed him up to the tune of 42 lacerations and a 3 day stay in the hospital according to the news article....plain and simple, the 2 dogs attacked him and if they get the opportunity, they will likely do so again.....

  • tracyallen Mar 25, 2009

    A family friend had a Rotweiller and it was in the family with 2 teenage kids for about 5 years. One day - it bit the oldest 16 year old teen girl with no provocation and caused a great deal of damage. The dog was never abused and was greatly loved, but was euthanized after the attack because it was unprovoked and no circumstances (such as being around it while it was eating) was part of the case.

    Simple fact: some dogs and animals are naturally more aggressive. If chihuahua's were bigger, they'd be in the aggressive breed list also. Just so happens they can be controlled because of their size.

    When animals come out of the wild and attack people (like out of the woods into town), they are returned to a sanctuary. There are hardly any sanctuarys suitable to place this type of agressive dog that has displayed uncontrolled, unprovoked agression.

    The owner, even though they do not live at the residence, should also be charged with reckless endangerment. Not just the caretaker.

  • seeingthru Mar 25, 2009

    It's totally unfair to blame the caregiver/babysitter------a lot of people would have ran, responsibility is on the dogs' owners, not her.......

  • ShareTheRoad Mar 25, 2009

    since there seems to be a problem with distinction here, let me point out that AmStaffs are NOT American Pit Bull Terriers. They are American Staffordshire Terriers. Similar, but different. People, please stop saying they are the same. If they were the same, the AKC would not recognize them as different breeds.

    And speaking of dog confusion....let's play a game of Spot the Pit Bull. I challenge all of you who hate the entire breed to take this challenge and pass it....


    American Pit Bull Terrier is an actual, recognized breed. When people lump all dogs with similar characteristics together, the generalization can cause great complication. It's very similar to racial profiling. Just because someone looks hispanic, doesn't mean they came here illegally. Lots of people of hispanic decent were born here....and lots of dogs miscategorized as 'pit bulls' are completely different breeds or poorly bred mutts. Educate yourselves!

  • Cloudy Mar 25, 2009

    I love dogs but once they attack and hurt a child, that's it for them!

  • grayboomerang Mar 25, 2009

    rajastapes..LOL! I could say the same thing about some humans. I'm sorry that you don't have any pets/like them because they do make life wonderful.