Johnna Harvard lost her son as the result of a savage pit bull attack in April 2014.
John Triton Harvard, 5, was playing with his 9-year-old brother in his own front yard on Honeysuckle Road in Riverside, Alabama, when a Pit Bull that had been running loose in the neighborhood brutally mauled him. The little boy was declared dead when he arrived at the hospital.
On Sunday, Johnna Harvard told ABC3340 News, another Pit Bull terrorized her twice while she was visiting her son's grave site in Pell City. The dog charged at her and others, she told the Washington Times, and it even damaged the grave site.
"We were able to jump back in the vehicle and call 9-1-1," Ms. Harvard told ABC.
Pell City Police Captain Joshua Herren confirmed, "As the officer started to back away, the dog charged the officer and officer was forced to discharge the firearm,” according to the Washington Times.
Harvard captured the incident on video. She said that the police officer had to shoot the Pit Bull to protect the public. “It charged, it was not going to stop."
"These dogs are everywhere,” she told reporters, “They are not being properly leashed and cared for.”
Pell City does have a leash law, Captain Herren said, but he added that it only takes a second for an uncontrolled animal to become aggressive.
(Pell City is located between Birmingham, Alabama, and Atlanta, Georgia.)
Police say they not been able to contact the owner, but a neighbor told ABC3340 that the dog had never seemed aggressive before. The Pit Bull died after it was shot.
The grieving mother believes there need to be stronger leash laws and regulations, especially for Pit Bulls, the Washington Times reports.
Johnna Harvard told reporters that she has always liked dogs, and that she plans to contact Alabama state leaders about creating stronger laws.
“We need to do something on a state level because that was the closest I’ve ever felt to death and I had that fear of being chased by an animal,” she told ABC News. “I felt like I felt what my son felt and no one should feel that way.”