Local News

Pit bulls maul Raleigh boy

Posted March 24, 2009 11:46 p.m. EDT
Updated March 25, 2009 7:13 a.m. EDT

— 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.

"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.