Shea Johns said he can’t understand why the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control released a pit bull back to its owners, after the animal attacked his 10-year-old son, July 2 at their home
Johns said his son, Tate, was playing at the neighbors’ house on Wenonah Drive in Florence on July 2, when the dog ran out of the home and bit his son on the face and leg.
“He had some plastic surgery done to his face on his leg. And they got the dog back. And I don’t understand why they got it back. I mean, it’s a dangerous pit bull, and I think they should be outlawed,” said Johns.
He filed a police report and the dog was quarantined for 10 days.
Johns said he was shocked this week when he saw the pit bull back at the neighbors’ house.
Johns explained, “I thought it wasn’t coming back. I thought it was over with. Like I say, now it’s back, my son won’t even go outside. He has nightmares. He’s not the same old Tate. Now he’s a hermit, he stays inside.”
DHEC officials wouldn’t release a statement on this specific case, but did give information on what happens when a dog is quarantined for biting someone.
“The state’s Rabies Control Act (S.C. Code of Laws Sect. 47-5) gives us the authority to investigate animal bites to ensure rabies is not a factor. The Rabies Control Act outlines the specific requirements for animals to be quarantined when a person has been bitten. If there are no signs or symptoms of rabies in the animal at the end of the quarantine period, the animal is released from quarantine,” explained Jim Beasley with DHEC.
Jean Wilson and her family own the dog. She said it has never attacked anyone else, and the attack against Johns’ son was just an accident.
“The dog is not a vicious dog. The dog was in our yard. The police officer said there was no laws broken. And all we had to let her do was go to the animal shelter for 10 days. We did that. She passed everything. So, why shouldn’t we keep our family? That’s our family. That’s not just a dog to us, that’s our family. You can’t take our family away,” said Jean Wilson.
Johns said his family can’t be at peace until the pit bull is put down. He plans to continue to fight for something to be done.