Parents of little boy killed in dog attack in St. Clair County talk about their loss

Johnna Harvard, the mother of the boy killed in a dog attack April 6, talks with ABC 33/40 about the loss of her son. (

ST. CLAIR COUNTY, Ala. -- The parents of John Harvard, the 5-year-old boy killed in a dog attack last weekend, spoke with ABC 33/40's Haley Westbrook about their tragic loss and shared memories of their son.

The child died April 6 when a dog attacked him while he played with his older brother in the yard outside their family's Riverside home. In their first interview since his death, Johnna and Jeremy Harvard said their son couldn't have been happier the day his life came to an unexpected end.

"His whole day on Sunday, it couldn't have been better," Jeremy Harvard said. "He couldn't have been any happier."

But in a few short minutes, the day was turned upside down as their neighbor's dog attacked the little boy, prompting his 9-year-old brother to run inside to alert his parents.

"My other son came running home and said 'Dad, there is a dog outside on John,'" Harvard said. "And I ran outside, and that was just the most horrific thing a parent could ever see."

The child was rushed to St. Vincent's St. Clair County Hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

"It's sad because I read a story on Facebook the other day about a 5 year old being mauled by a pit bull," said Harvard. "And I never dreamed I'd be talking about that to you today, because it happened to us. It happened to John."

There is a balloon release planned Saturday at 1 p.m. and a vigil scheduled for 7 p.m. The funeral is 2 p.m. Sunday at New Hope Baptist Church in Pell City.

Watch ABC 33/40 News at 5 p.m. for the full report on this story. To watch live online, click here.




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