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Victim’s Mother Hopes Vicious Dog bill Passes Posted: Sunday, February 13th
BUSH — a southern Illinois mother says it has been a struggle, as she describes the difficult road to recovery her son has endured. Winston Bankston, 5, of Bush, was attacked by loose dogs last August. The attack sent Bankston to a St. Louis hospital, where he was on a ventilator and feeding tube for several days. Bankston’s dog attack is not the first in southern Illinois. In 2009, three-year-old Gabrial Mandrell, of Johnston City, died after he was attacked by his family’s dogs in the front yard. Investigators say the boy crawled out of his bedroom window and was attacked by two pit bull mixes and a border collie. Regina Culpepper sat with her son, Frankie, 9, Sunday afternoon. Frankie was credited with saving his little brother’s life on August 6, 2010. “We won’t ever forget that day,” Culpepper said. The two were playing at Bush Village Park, when two loose pit bull mixes attacked five-year-old Winston. “It’s unimaginable,” Culpepper said. “It’s very hard. You cannot get past it; the images don’t go away.” Winston was in a coma for several days, doctors reporting he was clinging to life. Several surgeries followed, including plastic surgery to reconstruct part of his face damaged by the attack. The small communities of Bush and nearby Hurst rallied around Winston’s family. they held a spaghetti dinner on August 22, 2010, to benefit the family. Frankie was given a cape for his heroic efforts to save his brother. besides the support, community leaders sought action. they called on Rep. John Bradley, D-Marion, to help them ban specific breeds of dogs from their small towns. “I think that small towns and villages of southern Illinois ought to have the right to govern themselves when it comes to these issues,” Bradley said. Currently, state law only allows home rule communities to ban specific dog breeds. Bradley says, by striking a couple words from the current law, it will give small towns and villages a level playing field. “There’s a belief that they should have the same rights to make a decision regarding this as a home rule community would,” Bradley said. Photos of Winston before the attack showed his zeal for life, a trait his mother says is coming back. “He is definitely a little boy,” Culpepper said. “He is very strong, very strong-willed, and he acts like a little boy again.” The woman who owned the two pit bull mixes that attacked Winston returns to court in May. Tanya Holland, 45, of Bush, faces multiple charges of reckless conduct in connection to the attack. Holland is out on bond. By: Jeff Stensland email@example.com
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Victim’s Mother Hopes Vicious Dog Bill Passes