On November 6, 2007, 11-year-old Seth Lovitt was running through his own home when his parents' pit bull jumped off a couch and mauled the child to death. This happened in Killeen, Texas.
Today a 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. In a statement, the prosecutor said there is evidence that the women knew the dog had violent tendencies because it had previously bitten another person. If convicted, the women could be sentenced to prison for between two and 20 years, and a fine of up to $10,000 on each charge. (Read the article.)
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.