Dog euthanized in Riverside pit bull attack that killed 5-year-o - WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Dog euthanized in Riverside pit bull attack that killed 5-year-old

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RIVERSIDE, AL - A dog that attacked and killed a 5-year-old boy Sunday has been euthanized.

Riverside Mayor Rusty Jessup said 5 year-old John Harvard and his 9-year-old brother were playing in their yard when an 80 pound pit bull came onto the property and attacked the younger boy. 

The 5-year-old was rushed to St. Vincent’s Hospital in St. Clair County where he was pronounced dead.

The mayor says the dog has since been put down.

Neighbors say the dog's owners treated all the children in the neighborhood like they would their own.

"They give ice cream and popsicles to every child in this neighborhood all the way to the end of the street. They wouldn't have this happen for anything in the world," said Kay Calhoun, one of the Harvards' neigbhors. "They are just heartbroken. They've seen and loved this little boy since he was born as well. They are in a great deal of pain."

A balloon release is being organized for Saturday to help the community say goodbye to John Harvard, and a fund has been set up to help his family pay for funeral expenses. Donations are being accepted at Metro Bank in Pell City, as well as at Riverside City Hall.

The case is still under investigation, according to St. Clair County Undersheriff Billy Murray.

Meanwhile, the city is looking at possibly adopting a leash law following this incident. Mayor Jessup said the incident just proves that it's time for Riverside to adopt a leash ordinance to prevent a similar incident like this from happening in the future.

He says a city council member has indicated they'd bring a leash law to the table for discussion at their April 15 meeting.

Jessup is currently researching the rules and regulations that such a law could entail if it were to be adopted.
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