Wednesday, September 2, 2009
UPDATE 09/02/09: New information has been revealed in the criminal case against Misty Lovitt and Brenda Parker, the boy's grandmother and owner of the pit bull. After being evicted from her own home, Parker and her dog began living with the Lovitt's about two months before the fatal attack. Evidence suggests Parker knew the dog was dangerous, including two previous bites. Ms. Lovitt was apparently only aware of one incident involving people prior to the fatal attack.
Jeff Lovitt, who went through a divorce with Misty in June 2007, was in the military stationed in Korea when his son was killed in November 2007. He said he had misgivings about Parker's pit bull named Little even from thousands of miles away. About two years before his son’s death, Lovitt’s dog, a boxer, and Little got into a fight at a family gathering. The fight was so vicious Little tore the other dog’s ear in two, Lovitt told the court during a custody hearing at that time.
In one of the last conversations Jeff Lovitt had with his son, Seth thanked him for the Halloween costume his father had ordered over the Internet while stationed in Korea. Within a day of learning of the tragedy, Lovitt was on a plane back for the funeral. Although Lovitt has expressed a desire for somebody to be held responsible in his son’s death, he gets no pleasure out of charges being filed against family. What he would really like is for cities to ban pit bulls.
"We can’t chance it anymore," he said. "Too many kids have died. Too many people have died."08/13/09: Felony Charges Filed in Fatal Attack
Killeen, TX - Nearly two years following the deadly attack of an 11-year old boy, a Bell County grand jury has indicted the boy's grandmother and mother on one count of manslaughter and a count of reckless serious bodily injury to a child. Seth Lovitt was killed by the family pit bull on November 7, 2007. At the time, he and his brother were "running through the house yelling" when the dog suddenly leapt off the couch, knocked Seth to the ground and bit him on the neck.
"Two women are accused of manslaughter in the 2007 death of an 11-year-old boy, who was killed by the family pit bull.In the wake of Seth's tragic death, which jolted the region, nearby Fort Hood U.S. Army base reviewed post records and learned that in the last six years, 68% of the dogs declared dangerous were pit bulls. Rottweilers, in a distant second place, accounted for 8%. Fort Hood subsequently banned pit bulls from base housing in July 2008. Five months later, the entire U.S. Army adopted a standardized pet policy across all U.S. base housing banning dangerous dog breeds.
Wednesday, a Bell County grand jury indicted Brenda Ellen Parker, the boy's grandmother, and Misty L. Lovitt, his mother, on a count of manslaughter and a count of reckless serious bodily injury to a child.
Seth Lovitt was running around his house in the 2900 block of Fairlane Drive in Killeen about 6:30 p.m. Nov. 6, 2007, when the dog jumped from the couch, knocked him to the ground and bit him on the neck. Parker of Garland and Lovitt of Killeen pulled the dog off the boy. He was pronounced dead later that night at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center at Fort Hood.
There is evidence that the women knew the dog had violent tendencies, First Assistant District Attorney Murff Bledsoe said.
A neighbor was bitten by the dog Oct. 31 of that year but did not report it to authorities until after Seth was killed, according to a Herald report.
According to the indictment, the women failed to control the dog and allowed a dangerous dog to be in contact with Seth.
Soon after the boy's death, the family gave the dog to the Killeen Animal Shelter and asked the shelter to euthanize it. The dog tested negative for rabies, according to a Herald report.
Parker and Lovitt could face two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 on each charge, both second-degree felonies, if they are convicted."
03/17/09: U.S. Army Adopts Breed Restriction Policy for RCI Privatized Housing
08/22/08: Fort Hood, Texas U.S. Army Base Passes New Pit Bull Restriction
11/07/07: 2007 Fatality: Seth Lovitt, 11, Killed by Family's Pit bull
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| 8/13/2009 3:45 PM |
Never, never let a dog bite go unreported, it can mean someone else getting mauled or killed and here is the perfect example. If that neighbor had reported the dog, then this little guy might still be alive.
| 8/13/2009 3:51 PM |
Unfortunately, and I mean very unfortunately, this filing of criminal charges will do nothing to prevent the proliferation of this very unpredictable, unstable, dangerous, athletic, deviant land shark breed.
Everybody "knows" that pit bulls are different. When they get mad. They really get mad. Unmatched. Unparalleled. Yet, the AKC will lobby for the pit bull.
| 8/13/2009 4:02 PM |
I find these charges exceptionally rare. I guess we will learn more as the trial unfolds (assuming there is one.) I hope Phillips or another dog bite attorney writes about this case.
| 8/13/2009 5:13 PM |
That's what they all say anonymous, "This family has already been through enough." That excuse does not cut the mustard with child endangerment laws, nor should it be tolerated when it comes to "known" dangerous dogs. The ONLY thing, "This family has already been through enough" furthers, is MORE children being maimed and killed by dangerous dogs, specifically pit bulls, which have an unmatched track record of killing kids. If this same attack had happened in South Carolina, both women would already be behind bars. In a 3-year period, South Carolina charged 100% of dog owners after a fatal attack, while the national average is only 20%.
It is also notable that a Caldwell County, Texas grand jury recently indicted the mother of a 2-year old boy who was killed by a pit bull in March. The growing public intolerance of these attacks upon children is clear as a bell.
| 8/13/2009 5:35 PM |
Pit bulls kill with such frequency there is nothing "accidental" about these occurrences. When a pit bull kills, it should be prosecuted with the intent of proving malice and premeditation - if only for the fact that the weapon was a pit bull. Death by drunk driver is not an accident. Death from an aimed gun is not an accident. And death by a pit bull is the epitome of Capital Murder. (Capital Murder: The unlawful killing of another human being without justification or excuse.)
| 8/13/2009 8:55 PM |
Anon, why don't you apply that to this child? He was dependent on his parents to make decisions to keep him safe yet they chose to bring a dog into the household that has been bred for killing and his mother knows that. Everyone knows what pits do, they maul and kill. Why don't you think about what the last moments of this child's life was like, being torn apart because his mother failed in her responsibility to protect her child. Would you put a child in the car with a drunk driver? No because you know better and everyone knows better than to have an animal in their household who is bred for one thing, to kill. I have no sympathy for the family, only for the dead child.
| 8/14/2009 2:18 AM |
Behind everyone of these, there is also a breeder who pumped out the defective mauler...Kind of like the Ford Explorer equipped with Firestone tires....Yet no breeder ever faces product liability. Why?...because the dog lobby has indoctrinated it's members that it is "The Owner".
| 8/14/2009 2:20 AM |
"A dog that can kill your children and land you in jail for 20 years is hardly “man’s best friend.” While there are people who are capable of controlling such an animal, there are many more people who cannot. The question is whether pit bull fanciers can band together to clean up their own ranks, and perhaps selectively breed pit bulls that will not attack people unpredictably. If that does not happen, we will see more deaths, more violent attacks, and more mothers and grandmothers serving long prison sentences."
| 8/14/2009 8:16 AM |
I am Seth Lovitt’s father and it's difficult to re-live the painful moments of the day I was notified of his death. I have been silent these past few years while others have commented on articles such as this and I would like to voice my opinion. One thing I would like to make clear is that the dog was NOT the family dog as it has been portrayed in numerous news articles. The family dog was a Boxer that was loving and protective of the boys throughout her life. The pit bull was brought around my boys after his mother and I divorced and while I was stationed in Korea. My personal comments about pit bulls are they should never be considered a family dog. I’m not advocating for their destruction as others are; only that pit bulls not be allowed in city limits where children are playing. Don’t go through the nightmare of losing one of your children and having to grieve the rest of your life. For those who disagree with me I ask that you read articles on pit bull behavior and the number of people killed vs. other dog attacks before getting one. Don’t be naive and think it couldn’t happen to you.
| 8/14/2009 10:02 AM |
It is not possible to breed aggression out of these dogs. Not to mention that the overwhelming majority of breeders of pit bulls are purpose breeding them FOR the aggression, and that includes AKC breeders. There are no "responsible fanciers" of pit bulls. Hundreds of years have gone into breeding aggression and related issues into these dogs. That just can't be turned around. Pit bulls are defective dogs. There is no fixing them.
| 8/14/2009 1:26 PM |
To Seth's Father: I grieve for you. This was not your fault, but it is definitely the fault of your ex-wife. She failed Seth, she failed to protect him, she failed you. And I agree with you that these dogs should not be in positions of being able to attack because they are unpredictable. They should be banned from residential areas at the least. And you should take up the cause of speaking out for this type of legislation in the name of your son. I would like to see a Seth's law on the books. There are too many parents like yourself who have lost their children to these pits and it needs to stop. Thanks for voicing your opinion here and my prayers are for you at this point.
| 8/14/2009 1:38 PM |
On behalf of everyone who has been a mauling victim or has loved someone who has been---our hearts and much love go out to you. What you say is correct and everyone connected with wanting these maulings to end is important. When you can campaign for restrictions on the pit bull and mandatory spay and neuter of this dog. Last year in the United States almose one million pit bulls were euthanized. There is nothing humane about not wanting to spay and neuter this dog. The maulings of human beings and other animals remain very high.
Jeff as a parent I can't tell you how much empathy and sorrow goes out to you. You and your son will be in prayers tonight. Turn the tragedy into activism to save others.
| 8/14/2009 3:38 PM |
It is devastating to learn that yet another military member has suffered the results of a fatal dog attack. I do not know how many Americans are part of the armed services, but they do seem disproportionately affected by these attacks. In just a 3-year period, from 2006-2008, at least the following victims were from military families: Isis Krieger, 6-years old, Anchorage; AL; Henry Piotrowski, 90-years old, Staten Island, NY; Julian Slack, 3-years old, Camp Lejeune, NC; and Dandre Fisher, 3-years old, Hunter Army Airfield, GA and Seth Lovitt, 11-years old, Kileen, TX. Following in the footsteps of the U.S. Army pet policy that forbids pit bulls in all U.S. based privatized housing facilities, the U.S. Marines are set to adopt a similar national policy next month. If only more U.S. cities would follow...
I am so sorry for your loss Jeff. I am so very sorry.
| 8/14/2009 9:42 PM |
Thank you for your comments Mr. Lovitt. Unfortunately everywhere there are people there are kids, and pit bulls don't mix well with humans.
It is frustrating that so many must be hurt and die while our society dilly dallys over the pit bull problem.
| 8/15/2009 3:03 AM |
Classic Nutter attempt at rationalization on another board:
"not sure what happened here but the 2 boys were running around the house and i wonder if the pit bull mistook one boy maybe jumping on the other or something, for a serious attack; and maybe the dog was trying to save the other boy."
Maybe in Nutter world..In normal world, that would have warranted a bark, growl or nip, maybe even a bite at the absolute maximum...Nice try though, Nutter!
| 8/17/2009 3:50 AM |
No one here advocates for the destruction of pit bulls Jeff. We advocate for the regulation of pit bulls primarily through mandatory spay and neuter and suitable confinement measures. 2008-2009 shelter data tells us that over 900,000 pit bulls were euthanized "destroyed" last year (58% of all dogs euthanized). The U.S. cities that "destroyed" the fewest had pit bull regulations in place!
| 8/19/2009 9:25 PM |
As someone who lives in a rural area and was attacked by pits in a rural area, I don't like the idea of just forcing them out of cities at all. All that means is that pit nutters will be moving out to my neck of the woods and bringing their maulers with them. Nobody deserves to own a pit bull, because nobody deserves to have these killers as neighbors. My heart goes out to anyone who has lost a family member to these animals. Too often the owners aren't held accountable. I'm glad these two were.
| 9/03/2009 12:39 PM |
There is a follow up story. The pit bull named Little was owned by Seth's grandmother, Brenda Parker.
"The reason? She brought the dog to live with the family two months before the attack. And there is evidence she might have known the animal was dangerous.
Jeff Lovitt, who went through a divorce with Misty in June 2007, was in the military stationed in Korea when his son was killed in November 2007. He said he had misgivings about the pit bull named Little even from thousands of miles away. About two years before his son’s death, Lovitt’s dog, a boxer, and Little got into a fight at a family gathering. The fight was so vicious Little tore the other dog’s ear in two, Lovitt told the court during a custody hearing."
| 1/24/2012 3:20 AM |
UPDATE: Texas Dangerous Dog Laws are clearly broken!:
BELTON (January 12, 2012)--A Killeen woman who pleaded guilty in November to criminally negligent homicide in the 2007 dog mauling death of her grandson was sentenced to five year’s deferred adjudication probation Thursday.
That means Brenda Ellen Parker, 51, will not have a criminal record if she successfully completes the probation