The Pit Bull Bite
Pierceton, IN - Janet Hartman, 63-years old, may lose her arm after her son's pit bull attacked her at his Pierceton home. On Tuesday, October 20, Mrs. Hartman underwent the misfortune of stopping by her son's home to "drop off money" for him. She had been to her son Kevin's home before and met his pit bull. On this occasion, Kevin was not home. The dog was tied to a tree at the front of the house, but the walkway to the front door was within the dog's reach.
According to police, when Mrs. Hartman approached the house, the dog attacked. She put her arm up to protect her neck and face, and the pit bull’s jaws "locked on." The dog chewed her arm down to the bone and doctors believe it might have to be amputated. Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Detective Josh Spangle, who was the second officer on the scene, said is was a "gruesome, bloody scene." As far as a dog attack, "I’ve never seen anything like that," he said.
Mrs. Hartman was airlifted to Parkview Hospital in Fort Wayne in serious condition. She was upgraded to fair condition the following day. Spangle told reporters that because the dog's vaccinations are current and the attack occurred on the owners’ property, the animal was not taken into custody. Kevin Hartman and his girlfriend, Heather Hersha, are allowed to keep the potential "arm amputating mauler" as the attack did not violate any state or county laws.
Like the majority of U.S. states and counties, Kosciusko, Indiana has few preventative dangerous dog laws. Furthermore, once an attack of this nature occurs, there are no laws after the fact either. What will happen, for instance, when this pit bull chooses to snap the rope or cable that attaches it to the tree? Which unlucky child playing in a nearby yard will meet this animal's jaws? Which unlucky child will be ripped from his bicycle and suffer broken bones or worse?
Recent Amputations by Pit Bulls in Indiana
The State of Indiana continues to amass more limb amputations than any other state. In at least three instances, the victims were attacked by "family" pit bulls.
- Oct. 09: Janet Hartman, 63, Pierceton. Victim expected to lose one arm.
- Feb. 09: Scott Sands, 47, Elkhart. Victim nearly suffered one arm amputation.
- Jan. 09: Brenda Hill, 68, Indianapolis. Victim suffered a lower leg amputation.
- Jun. 08: Annette Williams, 45, Greensburg. Victim had both arms amputated.
10/10/09: The Pit Bull Bite: Pet Pit Bull Bites Off Owner's Hand
03/07/09: Coverage of Indianapolis Serious Pit Bull Attacks and Controversy
02/14/09: Meet 6-Year Old Brian Lemus: Pit Bull Attack Victim
08/06/08: Comment: Pit Bulls are 14 Times More Likely to Break Constraint to Attack
06/07/08: Corpus Christi Boy, 9, Pulled Off Bike, Attacked by Pit Bull