Lynville, TN- After the the loss of their 4-year-old daughter Irma, who earlier this month was severely mauled by a neighbor's American Pit Bull terrier and died in her mother's arms in the back of an ambulance, the Simmons family could have allowed the tragic accident to change the way that they feel about the breed.
"Naturally we were angry at first," Irma's father Jim explains. "But after the outpouring of pictures and videos from owners of Pit Bulls, showing how at the moment they were taken or filmed the dog was not mauling someone, we realized how petty our concerns were in the grand scheme of private dog ownership."
Admittedly feeling a little foolish after at first considering taking to the media to call for restrictions on ownership of pit bulls and similar breeds, the Simmons family now puts the tragic loss of their only child in perspective. "All dogs bite. Even an eleven pound Havanese might, if provoked by a pestering small child, become aggressive and bite, perhaps leaving a few small puncture wounds or a shallow abrasion. You don't see people trying to ban them!"
Tinkerbell, the Pit Bull involved in the tragic death of Irma Simmons, is well known in the tight knit community of Lynville. His owners and many in the town swear that he is a sweet and loving animal that usually loves small children. Town Sheriff Duane Jones, an animal lover and father of 3 children, says that Tinkerbell has never caused a problem before. "On one hand, these people don't purposefully choose to own such a potentially dangerous animal...wait, they have a choice? That's just crazy!"