Jun 27, 2009 Pit Bulls Fatally Maul 3 year old Boy Johnston City

Johnston City is a small town of 3,557 people (2010 census) in southern Illinois. In September 2007, the Johnston City Council passed a pit bull ban. The council was responding to some recent pit bull attacks and were confident the ban would successfully protect the citizens of Johnston City from continued pit bull attacks.
RIP Gabrial Mandrell-Sauerhage

Jim Mills, who had his dog torn out of his hands and killed by a pit bull and had a finger torn off fighting off the pit bull in the same attack, supported the ban.

The fire chief supported the ban. "I think it's a great thing, the ordinance it protects us, it protects everyone else who has to go into a house or yard. We need the protection because we don't know what we're walking into when we get to most emergency calls," he said.

A non-resident pit  bull advocate who opposed the ban said that it was unfair to pit bulls.

Nine days after the ban was announced Ledy VanKavage issued a statement that the Johnston City's ordinance was illegal. VanKavage herself crafted the ban on breed bans that took vital decision making powers out of the hands of the local elected government.

Less than two years later, 3 year old Gabrial Mandrell-Sauerhage was killed by pit bulls in same small town of Johnston City.

While it can't be known if Gabrial's death would have been prevented by a pit bull ban, it is clear that the town's elected leaders did correctly identify pit bulls as the specific threat to their community and that a pit bull ban only could have improved Gabrial's chances of survival.

The perceived "unfairness" to pit bulls pales in the face of a child's death.

This tragic series of events demonstrates with crystalline clarity that localities must be free to address local safety issues to protect their citizens. The statewide ban on BSL obviously doesn't protect children. It doesn't even protect pit bulls. It ONLY protects pit bull owners and breeders.


Johnston City - Three dogs apparently involved in the death of a 3-year-old Johnston City boy were euthanized at 9 a.m. Tuesday, according to Williamson County Sheriff Tom Cundiff.

Williamson County Coroner Mike "Junior" Burke previously said the child sustained a number of dog bites, but one specific bite caused him to hemorrhage.

The couple had three dogs, two pit bull mixes and a collie mix.

The release went on to state that Gabrial suffered at least one bite that would have made "yelling impossible."

Read more:
The Southern - Johnston City vicious dog ordinance to take effect
Accessed: 2011-12-28. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/64GEvqEfQ)
The Southern - ASPCA says vicious dog ordinance violates law
Accessed: 2011-12-28. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/64GEzPmbX)
The Southern - Officials continue to investigate fatal dog attack in Johnston City
Accessed: 2011-12-28. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/64GF3wuBN)
My Suburban Life  Accessed: 2012-01-25. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/64xvSXMAj)

Jun 26, 2009 Weekly Record - Pit bulls kill two dogs in separate attacks

Mount Vernon – A resident of the 300 block of Pine Drive reported at 8:46 p.m. Wednesday that two loose pit bulls killed their dog.

Police responded at 8:53 p.m. Wednesday to a resident of the 300 block of Wild Rose Drive who said a loose pit bull killed a poodle and had trapped their son against a house.

A resident of the 1100 block of Herbert Street reported at 9:10 p.m. Wednesday that a loose pit bull chased their son on his bike.

By Elizabeth Wasserman
Read more:
Mt. Vernon Register News  Accessed: 2012-05-24. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/67ulcYwvv)

Jun 26, 2009 Highland Park, Elgin consider restrictions on pit bulls

Two suburbs are considering restrictions on pit bulls after a 14-year-old girl was attacked by one, and a 6-pound Chihuahua was killed by two others.
Longtime Elgin resident Pat DeMoss said she was attacked by a pit bull in 1999 near Gifford Elementary School and nearly lost her leg.
"If you stick your head in the sand on this, it is going to come back to bite you, and I don't mean that as a pun," she told council members.
By Robert Channick and Amanda Marrazzo
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Jun 03, 2009 Pit Bull Attack on little boy

Champaign – The attack happened at the Tuscany Ridge Apartment complex off Pomona Drive Tuesday night. Witnesses say a man was trying to tear a pit bull over a child and another dog was on the loose. They said they heard a child scream and saw a little boy fighting for his life. A pit bull was going after him. Samantha Brandts dad managed to pull the dog off the little boy. Hes okay, but in the process the dog bit her dad. Thankfully police showed up minutes later. They shot the pit bull without killing him and took control of the mix breed too. Those who watched this scene unfold say theyre lucky no one was seriously hurt. "Im just thankful that all the kids are safe and that my dad actually was a hero today and saved them from attacking any kids," said Samantha Brandt. "I know how dangerous pit bulls can be…"

Read more:
Illinois Home Page  Accessed: 2012-11-18. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/6CH6H3WwS)