Sunday, July 29, 2012
Cocke County, TN - In one of the most uplifting stories DogsBite.org has ever posted about, an outpouring of community support along with Shriners Hospitals for Children has created a remarkable new chapter in the life of a young Tennessee pit bull mauling victim. In August 2011, Brandon Williams, then 10-years old, was horribly mauled by two loose dogs (See: Recovery photos). He suffered the loss of both ears along with extensive injuries to other parts of his body.1
This past Friday, the community gifted Brandon and his father with a 1,200 square foot new home -- everything was donated, from windows to walls.The new home falls on the heels of Brandon losing his mother, Christy Williams, in April of this year. The Cocke County Shrine Club spearheaded a fundraiser to help Brandon's family cover the funeral costs for his mother. Josh Dunn helped organized the new home project and said it took about 250 volunteers to fully construct the new residence. Brandon's extensive and ongoing medical care will be fully covered by Shriners Hospitals for Children until he is 18-years old.
Brandon's father, Tony Williams told WBIR.com, "It's like you're in a dream; it's awesome. There are no words to describe it.The Closed Chapter
The owners of the dogs, Anthony Lugar and Jennifer Switzer, pleaded guilty in January 2012 to allowing animals to run at large, causing serious bodily injury. In return, the two were sentenced to two years of supervised probation. In late March, the court rejected an attempt by Switzer to receive judicial diversion; Lugar was ineligible for the program. The judge only ordered a restitution amount of $376 because private and public groups covered Brandon's medical bills.2
Background video 1 | Background video 2
2Both TennCare and the Shriners covered Brandon's medical bills. Given that TennCare is Tennesse's Medicaid program, and is partly funded by the State of Tennessee, it seems appropriate that the dog owners should have to pay back every penny spent by TennCare.
06/02/12: 11-Year Old Victim of Pit Bull Scalping Injury Recounts Attack
09/04/11: Update on 2-Year Old Pit Bull Scalping Victim George Sumrall
05/26/11: Shriners Step in to Help South Carolina Pit Bull Mauling Victim
Photos: Knoxville News Sentinel and WBIR.com
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| 7/30/2012 11:42 AM |
It is in itself wonderful that some Americans rally around a hurt child like this. It's too bad that those we elect and depend on to protect us aren't in that group. The Shriners' compassionate and adequate reaction makes it all the more poignantly and shamefully clear how disgracefully our official authorities -- legislators and judges -- are letting our children down. These choose to cater to a loud-mouthed but at the least sociopathic and truly tiny segment of our population: the pit bull fans, instead of taking rational measures to prevent our children being hurt like this.
Then, as this judge yet again clearly showed, they deny our children recourse...unless better Americans like the Shriners come to the rescue.
This boy will, with so much support, surely recover from the physical injuries. But how will anyone explain later to Brandon that he had to grow up in a society that chose the interests of a killer-bred dog above those of our children? How will anyone help any hurt child deal with this truth: that they were less important to us than a trivial consumer choice of which brand of aspirin to buy -- oops, I mean which brand (out of 400) of dog? How will we explain that the people who purposely put anthrax in his neighborhood are supposedly not responsible when the anthrax container suddenly exploded?
This is so unutterably sad, there are hardly words for it. I hope everyone in Tennessee who is in any way in a position to ban this pit-bull-anthrax from hurting our children, but is refraining from doing so, feels deeply ashamed.
| 7/30/2012 1:49 PM |
I think we need to follow the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) strategy of placing the focus on the victims. Recall that MADD was quite successful in its efforts to raise drunk driving penalties.
| 8/02/2012 4:52 AM |
Switzer and Lugar should have been issued 1099 forms for the $Hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills they were relieved of.
No different than when a Mortgage company forecloses and has to sell the house at a loss. The homeowner receives a 1099 form and owes taxes on the debt they were relieved of.
| 8/07/2012 5:19 AM |
Update...Brandon's family sues Lugar and Switzer for $1.5 Million.
Should be a slam dunk after the criminal conviction...However, the two owners probably may not earn $1.5 Million over their lifetimes.