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45 thoughts on “2024 Dog Bite Fatality: Elderly Man Killed by Pit Bulls Near his Front Door in Lawrence County, Alabama

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  1. Ones like this hit me every bit as hard as the precious infants and children. Just tending his roses. I remember reading a comment on here from a gentleman who later passed away (I believe there was a post made about him when he passed). He commented something like “If people were truly loving their neighbors, they would not choose to own these dogs” (that was the gist, though he said it more eloquently). So very true. Another needless tragedy.

    • It looks like Alabama cares, more about the lives of vicious, devil dogs aka Pitbulls than the lives of human beings, that’s why a lot of people are going to burn in hell, because they do not care about human life, I’m not against animals but when they cross the line their lives have no more values and they must be put down immediately, no if’s and buys especially if it’s a child life they take, no more excuses, enough is enough.

    • It’s bound to happen given the hundreds of millions of people in this country. But two husky/infant deaths within the past couple of weeks in the state Tennessee? THAT…is disturbing and quite sad.

      And this latest one.

      -prosecutors must prove “the owner of the dog had prior knowledge of the dangerous propensities of the dog, yet demonstrated a reckless disregard” of them.

      Hysterical legal stuff that is all in the selected jury’s hands, and would probably split the SCOTUS into a decision which pleases nobody and only revels a new depth of judicial dysfunctionaltiy.

      “Knowledge of danger” and “reckless disregard”?

      The snickering that pondering upon these two legal points is injurious to my sinuses struggling with yet another perennial bout of seasonal pollen related allergies. {Lucky I’m not around a pit, as the sneezing translates to “Maul me NOW, Please” in their language.}

      Sorry yet one more time to read of this latest “accident”, as the saying goes. Especially knowing that this very well could have been me. I’m getting up their in years and I occasionally do some gardening. Fortunately I don’t have next door neighbors with pit bulls.

      I will admit to being more cautious of my surroundings lately over the past few years after reading of these many “accidents” {as the saying goes, of course.}

      This latest one surely will contribute to an even greater level of caution.

      • Not that my ramblings need clarification and/or explanation-

        Let’s just say that if I were playing in the old game show “Matchgame, I would hope that I would not choose Cesar Milan to match “knowledge of danger” together with “reckless disregard” if the subject of pit bull ownership were the “blank” phrases.

      • What’s worse is…

        Those dogs attacked at *least* two people. They killed his dog a year ago.

        But the dogs were never declared “dangerous” by the authorities there? After at least three complaints and that’s not including other neighbours who might have experienced problems?

        This was preventable. It’s likely the entire area knew these dogs were a danger. Because Animal Control, police, or whoever is in charge in that area didn’t do their job, this lovely old fellow was horrifically slaughtered by pit beasts.

        These dogs have been loose, hunting humans and other pets now for a minimum of a year and nobody took the responsibility to stop them–including their owners.

        • My guess is the ACO there like just about everywhere are pitters and the police might be sympathetic to pitbulls too.

        • I think senior citizens need to be carrying a tazer, that can give that dog a warning, to back off whenever they are outside in their yard gardening, or relaxing, and if that doesn’t work have your loaded pistol with you, that’s the only this crap will stop, you can’t be arrested for defending yourself from dangerous dogs that are trying to kill you, you have the God given right to protect and defend yourself especially when your life is in danger.

      • I just saw something on Facebook that said the owner was trying to find a new home for the sweet little pit because it needed to run Another neighbor said the truth was it had already killed a Great Pyrenes. Then said now it has killed a neighbor, so she knew it was dangerous. Not sure how to share the picture I saved with that discussion here. Colleen will probably see it and if true she can share it here.

        • Can you send this to us? The Great Pyrenees may have belonged to the victim. Family members said the “same dogs killed Norton’s dog last year.” Of course, the Great Pyrenees could belong to someone else too. These could be serial dog-killing pit bulls.

        • I hope neighbors are aware of the intentions of this Pitbull owner and not allow that demon dog in their neighborhood, if they care about their safety and that of their loved ones, sick and depraved people only behave like this, knowing the danger these evil dogs pose to others but yet they try to get rid of it in another neighborhood where it can cause harm to others, what a sick and evil thing to do, it just shows you the sick and demonic minds of some people.

      • You know I don’t just read these and feel bad. I make sure my city council is aware of this and tell them that they have to pass mandatory spay neuter and microchip laws so when they are just out gardening and their neighbors pit bull, who was just adopted because they are clogging up the shelters across America due to back yard breeders and then they run away at least they will be able to find the owner & give them a $20 fine for not having it licensed and feel better with the dying thought of I’m being eaten alive but at least they are going to pay $20!

  2. I’m with Ashley on this. To reach your 80’s and be killed while out gardening, I hope to still be gardening when I’m that age. Some ppl roll their eyes when I talk about the dangers of pits, but I will stand my ground on this argument. Of all the ways to be killed, this must be one of the worst.

    • Used to be that most older people (me included) biggest fear was “I hope I don’t have a stroke or something similar and lay around dying for days. Or have a really painful cancer and am forced to live in agony for months before I pass.” or other such gruesome thoughts.

      Now we have to add, “Or be shredded by maniac pitbulls when I’m gardening and left to bleed out as they cannibalize me while I’m still alive”

      It’s like Stephen King writing our worst nightmares.

    • I garden and i hope to be doing it in my 80s in 20 years but even now I am always worried when in the front due to pits and pit mixes.

  3. Same tragic stories everytime a pitbull killed someone.poor Willard he can’t even go outside without the vicious pitbull killing him.maybe just maybe if they put down the pitbulls when they attacked his family earlier he wouldn’t died this painful death.if they not going to charge the owner with any crime I think they should make him pay for his medical bill and all the funeral costs.

  4. Most of us that are old and/or have physical disabilities are no match for aggressive pitbulls. One could easily maul/kill me.

    Back in 1988, my dad was 75 years old; and he successfully got our family dog from a vicious pitbull attack in a farm field. Our dog still died of injuries.

    This male pitbull and his female buddy had been given to the neighbor after some previous undisclosed violence on their part.

    I think today how easily that male pitbull could have mauled/killed my dad.

    I also think of the nasty idiots who want to find their monsters homes in the country. There they can kill farmers, their livestock, their children, their wives, and their pets.

    How can we stop all of this?

    • We need a nation wide movement to ban these monster dogs. I have quit gardening because of these horrible pit bull have killed people even their owners.

    • Rachel, how to stop this?

      Simple. BSL was our compromise. Those that fought for it–fought from a position of weakness.

      The rider to BSL should be/have been:

      “All pitbulls will be muzzled, neutered and all selling/buying/”adopting” or giving away is illegal. Any who show up in shelters/rescues must be immediately euthanized. Any that bite will be immediately euthanized. Any found running loose will be immediately euthanized. Any that kill another pet will be euthanized”

      This is the phase out portion. (For anyone who “loves pitbulls” they would be forced to restrain their pitbull or it will be euthanized.)

      At the end of 15 years pitbull ownership will be completely illegal. ALL pitbulls after that time will be euthanized.”

      BSL is useless if there is no end game to phase out pitbulls.

      There was a huge outcry when cart dogs were made illegal in England. They were made illegal because carting dogs was thought to be “mean” to the dogs. Some were left to starve, others were shot. There was no phase out–it was pretty much immediate.

      Yet here we are, dancing around about a breed of dogs that’s dangerous to other dogs, people, livestock and pets.

      Then do it.

        • This gives me hope!
          Finally, an approach that could be doable in Ireland and could be a model for the US.

          I try to understand why a 23 year old woman felt she needed to own 4 dangerous breed dogs (if they were truly hers). When I was 23, I owned a Beagle and a Boston Terrier. Loving dogs that could no more eat me than my houseplants could….
          What an awful way to leave this life.

          Lastly, in Raleigh, NC. The place of death for seven year old Jayden Henderson a few years ago, now is the place where an owner can reunite with her dog that mauled her 2 year old. 200 stitches to the face of your toddler isn’t enough of a deterrent to owning a Belgian Malinois. The shelter had to return it to her because the dog had not been deemed dangerous. Mom is a licensed social worker and runs a counseling service. Why does she care more for her violent dog than she does for her toddler? Sigh.

  5. So sad. It’s the way it us in the US all over these days, idiot people value mutant dogs over their neighbor’s lives. It ridiculous, but I am always armed when I’m out working in my yard. It’s a shame that I feel it is necessary in rural Georgia. But it is what it is.

    • I think it’s important to call them out on the fact that they do not value their un dog’s lives!

      They use their un dogs
      The monger their un dogs

      But if they actually cared about the welfare of Bloodsport dogs, they would use every opportunity to educate the public and Bloodsport undog users in particular on the importance of keeping them safe. This means

      Never leaving them outside without adult supervision

      Muzzling them to prevent them from causing injuries that will result in harm to their Bloodsport dogs

      Educate the public that Bloodsport dogs are not normal dogs, and require extraordinary often expensive care and containment.

      Picketing and punishing breeders of bloodsport dogs.

      Severe restrictions on the breeding of Bloodsport
      un dogs.

      More Bloodsport dogs being born always equals more Pitbull over population, abuse, neglect, homelessness and death.

      Those who truly love their favorite breed of dog do not want to see their dog suffering in the ways and numbers that bully dogs are now.

      From Dalmatians to Jack Russell terriers and malinois, those breed enthusiasts educate the public and prevent the enormous over population disaster that is the pit bull crisis.

      Pit bull USERS do not care!

  6. These stories are always upsetting and horrible, but this one is really messing me up. I’m usually not the type of person to cry about things I read in the news, but imagining this sweet man doing such a wholesome and lovely thing in HIS OWN YARD, meeting such a fate, I can barely keep it together. This NEVER should have happened and it MUST NOT KEEP HAPPENING. I know this site and other organizations are trying to help, but sometimes it feels so hopeless.

    If any of Mr. Norton’s loved ones happen to see this, please know that you have the sympathy and solidarity of so many of us.

  7. This event is so tragic, so messed up.

    The post by the owner of the dog that killed Mr. Norton makes me sick. Trying to rehome an out of control dangerous dog is ridiculous. Trying to make an out of control dog sound affectionate and victimized is ridiculous.

    Where I grew up, dogs that were nuisances, got put down. (In the rural South, that means shot.) They were NOT re-invented and pawned off to someone else.

    I hope Mr. Norton’s family gets justice.

  8. The grandson’s story is so heart wrenching and so loving to his grandfather. There’s a statement where he says his Grandfather was “a better man than him”. I think the grandson is a better man than me, because what would have been on my mind would have been revenge, and not just on the dogs. Stupid killer dog owners need to start paying the price, and unfortunately, the law is usually reluctant to be the agent of making that happen.

  9. We’ll have to do the same thing the pit-nutters do I suppose. We’ll have to march. We’ll probably be attacked, we’ll probably be doxxed, and our dogs may be harmed if they find out where we live. But my heart dog (a Lab) just went to Heaven so I’m willing to take that risk.

    As long as I have enough notice, I’ll take off and fly anywhere in the country to march with you all. But given that the UK, Ireland and hopefully soon Scotland have done it, I’d say we’ve got a good shot and changing the minds of lawmakers.

    So what else can we do? I feel like we’ve got a good start. I’m seeing more and more everyday people share the facts about these monsters.

    • We certainly will cover it as it appears Ireland is poised to take legislative action — joining the UK, Scotland and Northern Ireland in the XL bully ban. Unfortunately, we’ve seen the video. So we just need a few days…

  10. you can own a animal as a pet that can eat on your children and family and kill them murder them ,that is not a pet ,a pet is kind and gentle not a murderer ,do not live in that town the by-laws allow a person to keep a killer pet ,muzzle ,fenced leashed if gets loose its a blood thirsty killer

  11. Over the past few days, three innocent victims have been attacked by sharks in Florida resulting in no deaths but two critical injuries. My heart goes out to these individuals. The national news media flocked to the beaches where these attacks happened and no matter where you get your news, I’m sure you saw the story. Willard Norton was tending to his roses in his own front yard when he was mauled to death by his neighbor’s pit bulls. There were no national media reporters dispatched to Town Creek, AL to cover this story. Not even a peep of national coverage of his death. Same goes for Harold Phillips of Detroit, MI and Willie Mundine of Indianapolis, IN. Both were innocent victims mauled to death this year by pit bulls while walking down the street. I’m sure these three deaths received local coverage, but unless you follow a site like this one, you would never have a clue that these horrible deaths happened. The number of pit bull attacks dwarfs the number of shark attacks in this country. Yet, the national media turns a blind eye and refuses to report on the emerging public health issue of pit bull attacks.

    • Adding insult to injury…

      Sharks are unlikely to attack you when you’re gardening, hanging on your porch or walking your dog down the street…unless you’re doing those things on an ocean.

      You can avoid sharks. You can’t avoid pitbulls.

  12. You can not show common courtesy to pit owners when it comes to their dogs.
    The first time their dog gives you legal justification you must shoot it, preferably with a rifle or shotgun.

    If you try to be a “good neighbor” and give them an inch, the miles they will take well may take you to the graveyard as in this case.

    They need to understand “If your your aggressive dog threatens me, my family or my animals I will kill your aggressive dog. If you replace it with another aggressive dog and let it run loose I will kill that dog. I will keep stacking dead dogs on your doorstep until you get it through your thick skull that if you insist on owning an aggressive dog it MUST be contained on your property.”

    I admit that isn’t a pleasant task.
    However it beats bleeding to death after being mauled by blood sport dog.

    This man that was mauled to death represents the best of this country, the best in people.
    Sadly he lost his life because he showed kindness and compassion to someone completely unworthy of it.

    Kindness and compassion are pearls before swine when it comes to pits and their owners.
    I took a minute too look up that verse, I had forgotten how the whole thing went:

    “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

    It was the dogs, not the swine, that turned and tore him to pieces.

  13. The effectiveness of the pro-pit propaganda continues to astound me. How do we educate people and return to everyone having access to and trusting accurate information? I guess that applies more broadly to a lot of topics these days as well.

    I’m here after seeing someone advertising puppies for sale on my local Nextdoor. They were XL Bully mixed with pitbull, and the seller said they’d likely have at least one more litter. Comments ranged from how adorable and beautiful they were, to how much some wanted one, to others who are pitbull owners/rescue angel-types lauding the sadness of overpopulation and pit bulls languishing in shelters and being euthanized by the thousands. No one pointed out these dogs might themselves be a danger to others. Sigh.

    RIP, poor Willard Norton. May we all be healthy enough to tend roses at 83 years old, and may we not have to worry about dangerous dogs. Here’s hoping.

  14. This is so sad. The dogs should have been pts when they killed his dog 🙁 this is exactly why I advocate for dogs that maul / kill other dogs to be pts. If left unchecked they often graduate to children and adults.

    The laws need to change.

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