The family pet: Patron, a 4-year old male pit bull.
Unidentified New Owner
UPDATE 05/30/09: It was reported today that after James Harrison's pit bull attacked three people in a continuous assault -- including his own wife and son -- and sent all three people to the hospital, Harrison is "rehoming" his pit bull instead of having it euthanized. The unidentified new owner that lives in an unidentified location reportedly "specializes in rehabilitating pit bulls." According to Harrison's agent, Bill Parise, she may keep the dog or adopt the animal out.
It is important for readers to understand that if this dog is transported across state lines, critical records relating to this dog (such as its bite record) may be removed. As we have seen in similar cases, the dog may also be renamed. This red-nosed pit bull -- formerly known as Patron -- may wind up on your block and there are few if any laws to stop it. James Harrison can best be described as a self-serving abomination, as his choice clearly places future people in harms way.
05/27/09: Biting Pit Bull May be "Rehomed"
After nearly a week at the hospital, little James is back home and walking. His father, Steelers linebacker James Harrison, is now seeking to "rehome" the pit bull so that it can attack another child and mother. Harrison had originally said he would euthanize the dog. According to Hello Bully, a group that rehabilitates and places pit bulls, "No reputable rescue organization will take a dog that has bitten a person." If this is the case, Harrison should call the Albany-based group, Out of the Pits.
05/23/09: Son Still Hospitalized, "Doing Well"
Harrison's agent told the Associated Press that the player's son is "doing well" at a Pittsburgh hospital following an attack by the family pit bull. 2-year old James Harrison III (formerly reported as 1-year old) was severely bitten on the thigh after he agitated the dog by crying. His mother was bitten trying to protect the boy. Harrison's agent, William Parise, said Saturday he was with the boy at the hospital, and the boy was expected to remain there for another day or two.
05/22/09: Toddler Suffers Severe Leg Wound
Pittsburgh, PA - In a breaking story, WTAE reports that the 1-year old son of Steelers linebacker, James Harrison, was attacked by the family's pit bull. James Harrison III suffered a severe leg wound and remains in the care of Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. Harrison now joins a slew of "tough" football players whose pit bulls -- through dogfighting, abuse or attacks -- have landed them in the spotlight, most notably Michael Vick, who was recently freed from jail.
News reporter Ari Hait spoke to a woman that answered Harrison's door. She identified herself as Lisa Ripi, a family friend. Ripi told Hait that she was in the backyard with the toddler and the boy's mother, Beth Tibbot, on Thursday when little James started crying and the dog attacked (See: pit bull triggers). The mother jumped on top of the child to protect him from the dog -- a 4-year old male pit bull named Patron -- and the dog subsequently began biting her.
"I picked up the baby from her," said Ripi, "and ran about 40 yards and dropped him over a fence about two feet, and the dog then went to go for the baby through the fence." Ripi was able to "get around" the dog, pick up the baby and then called 911. James III was rushed to the hospital; Tibbot spent the night in a hospital with multiple bites, and Ripi required stitches in her leg. According to Ripi, Patron had "always been good" with James III until the attack.
The attack happened while the Super Bowl champion Steelers were in Washington to meet President Barack Obama at the White House. Earlier this week, Harrison made headlines by skipping the invitation.
05/30/09: Sports Columnist Michael Felger Blasts Pit Bull Owners and "Nutty Dog Crowd"
05/25/09: Professional Athletes and Pit Bulls: Dogfighting, Abuse and Violent Attacks
04/25/09: 2009 Fatality: Family Pit Bull Kills 11-Month Old Child in Eastpointe
12/15/08: Zupf: Pit Bull Attacks Puppet that Screams Like Child
09/28/08: "Vicious" Dog Laws Stop at State Lines; Pit Bull-Mix Whisked to New State
08/04/08: Triggers: What Prompts a Pit Bull to Attack?