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Sunday, December 8, 2013
Girl Killed by Dogs
Chicago, IL - In a developing story, a 2-year old girl was mauled to death by one or more dogs at a South Chicago home yesterday. Jah’niyah White died at Jackson Park Hospital Saturday afternoon after suffering a head injury at her maternal grandfather’s home in the 3300 block of East 91st. An autopsy conducted Sunday found the girl had been neglected and died as a result of injuries suffered during the dog attack, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
The medical examiner’s office ruled her death a homicide.The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is investigating the girl's grandfather for neglect. A spokeswoman said the agency has had no prior contact with the family. The grandfather has so far not been charged with a crime. The girl's father, John White, said Jah’niyah did not live at the East 91st home, but was staying there while her mother was at work. He said he was told the girl fell. Erin Lewis, a family friend, said, "Everybody is just really in pieces right now."
08/17/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: Chicago Man Killed by Pit Bull(s) in His Home
01/18/10: 2010 Dog Bite Fatality: 56-Year Old Man Killed by Daughter's Six Pit Bulls
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
Unconfirmed photo of Emily Coy's dog sent in by a hot tipper.1
Calls for Breed Ban
UPDATE 12/03/13: Hans Kappen continues to advocate for breed-specific laws after a loose bullmastiff savagely struck down his wife on November 21. A neighbor near to the attack wrote into DogsBite.org last week: "Her husband could only identify her by her shoes and her glasses that lay near by," the person stated. Kappen told THV Tuesday, "We need to get these types of killer dogs" off the street. "They are not considered pets, they are killer dogs," Kappen said.
"Contact your lawmakers here in Arkansas, around the United States, anywhere in the world so this does not happen again." - Hans KappenTHV also interviewed several Hot Springs Village residents who agree that regulations are in order after Joan Kappen was attacked and killed by a bullmastiff while taking her daily walk. "I was horrified that such a thing could happen in any community let alone a retirement community where you have a bullmastiff running around," Penny Eagle said. "It shouldn't be allowed. There should be some type of ordinance where you shouldn't be allowed to have those types of animals."
Kappen will attend a property owners association meeting on Wednesday to pursue this cause.
11/22/13: Stricter Dog Laws
The husband of a woman brutally killed by a loose bullmastiff this week in Hot Springs Village while she took her morning walk continues to speak out about stricter laws. Hans Kappen believes that if tougher laws had existed, his beloved wife would still be alive today. The Saline County dog ordinance is all of three pages; the county doesn't have a leash law or fencing requirements either. Thus, no criminal charges are expected after an off-property attack resulted in a human death.
"What kind of country is this? What protection do we have?" - Hans KappenHans promises to fight for a leash law in his community and also believes there should be laws regulating the ownership of dangerous dog breeds, the breeds disproportionately responsible for severe maulings, maimings and fatalities. Currently in Saline County, there are laws against "vicious" dogs, which we refer to as "hindsight" laws. The dog is labeled "vicious" after it inflicts serious injury to a person. So, first attacks by known dangerous dog breeds are acceptable.
Arkansas Dog Bite Fatalities
During the 8-year period of 2005 to 2012, Arkansas had three dog bite fatalities: Matthew Hurt, 2-years old (Nevada Co. - 2009), James Dowling, 4-years old (Franklin Co. - 2011) and Deborah Roberts, 45-years old (Jefferson Co. - 2012). There have been three dog bite fatalities in Arkansas since June of 2013. The population of this state is only 3 million. The death by dog bite incidence rate per 100,000 in Arkansas has sharply inclined since we released the state map post in May.
11/21/13: Husband Speaks Out
The husband of a woman mauled to death by a dog today while walking in the Hot Springs Village gated community hopes that someone is held responsible for her death. Hans Kappen had been married to his wife Joan for just over a decade. Hans told Fox16.com that his wife had been walking the same route for 7-years and never had a problem until today, when she was not "bitten" by a dog, but savagely attacked, struck down and killed by an aggressive neighborhood dog.
"They didn't just bite somebody, they killed my wife." - Hans KappenNews reports now say that it was a "family member" of the dog's owner that was attacked when she intervened to try to control the animal -- aka the "dog sitter." In a separate article, Hot Springs Village residents were "surprised" to learn that police said no criminal charges are warranted for an unprovoked, off-property attack that killed an innocent woman. Arkansas is essentially a One Free Bite state. When there is no "history" of viciousness, dog owners are not accountable.2
11/21/13: Woman Killed by Dog
Hot Springs Village, AR - An elderly woman was attacked and killed by a neighbor's dog early Thursday morning. 75-year old Joan Kappen of Hot Springs Village was walking on Ornado Lane at the time of the attack. She was transported to Mercy Hospital where she died of injuries inflicted by the dog. According to police officials, the dog was under the care of a woman while the owner was away. When the dog sitter tried to gain control of the animal, she was also attacked.
The dog's owner is Emily Coy also of Hot Springs Village. Her attacking dog was euthanized.
Hot Springs Village, the largest gated community3 in the U.S., is located in Garland and Saline counties. In June, 4-year old Ayden Evans was killed by a bullmastiff-mix while temporarily staying at his aunt's house in Jessieville, an unincorporated community in Garland County, just under 10-miles away from the gated community. Two weeks ago, 4-year old Levi Watson was brutally killed by three pit bulls in White County, Arkansas while visiting a residence with his mother.
2Jurisdictions within Arkansas vary about the One Bite rule, as attorney Kenneth Phillips explains on his web page. Further, there are a number of Arkansas jurisdictions that flat out ban specific dog breeds.
3The elderly victim was not safe from a deadly dog mauling while walking in her own gated community.
11/19/13: 2013 Dog Bite Fatality: Boy Dies After Attacked by Pit Bulls in White County, Arkansas 06/13/13: 2013 Dog Bite Fatality: Child Temporarily Staying with Aunt Killed by Neighbor's Dog
09/11/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: Jefferson County Woman Attacked by Own Pit Bulls Dies
08/13/11: 2011 Dog Bite Fatality: 4-Year Old Boy Killed by Grandfather's Rottweiler in Ozark
10/29/09: 2009 Dog Bite Fatality: Toddler Wanders from Babysitter's Home; Killed by Pit Bull
Friday, November 22, 2013
Claudia Gallardo, 38, of Stockton was mauled to death by a pit bull.
UPDATE 11/22/13: Family members of Claudia Gallardo expressed relief at Brian Hrenko's arrest. Claudia's sister, Mireya said, "We all as a family just grouped together and, 'oh thank God, it's finally here. Her death is not going to be in vain." Mireya added, "I think about her every day. We were only one year apart. So we were very close." Claudia's grieving father, Juan Gallardo, spoke softly in the interview. Juan has faithfully maintained a memorial where Claudia's life ended.
Claudia's family intends to be present in court throughout the criminal proceedings. In October, the Gallardo family attended Kaylie's Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Dangerous Dogs in Sacramento. Family members brought photographs and writings by Claudia to hold during the vigil. Attorney Kenneth M. Phillips, who represents Claudia's three children in connection with her wrongful death, recently issued a statement on his website that provides additional details about Hrenko.
Of the 28 recorded dog bite fatalities so far this year, 6 resulted in criminal charges, 50% of which stem from California. 100% of dog bite fatalities resulting in charges this year involve pit bulls.
11/21/13: Involuntary Manslaughter
Seven months after a pit bull named "Russia" savagely attacked and killed 38-year old Claudia Gallardo in east Stockton, the dog's owner has been arrested and charged. Brian Michael Hrenko, 60-years old of Stockton, faces involuntary manslaughter and felony animal charges in connection to her April 11 death. Hrenko is being held at San Joaquin County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail. Hrenko is scheduled to be arraigned in San Joaquin County Superior Court on Friday afternoon.
04/13/13: 'I Tried to Save Her Life'
Javier Sanchez Sr. told the Record.net that he and his family had just returned home that night when they heard someone screaming for help. They quickly realized a woman was being attacked by a dog in the front yard of a home across the street. Sanchez jumped the fence, ventured into the darkness and began beating the animal with a large piece of wood his wife grabbed from their backyard. The attacking pit bull, however, refused to release its jaws from the woman's throat.
I was scared. I was thinking about my life, and my wife was saying, 'No, don't go,' but I had to help the lady. I kept hitting the dog, but it wouldn't let go. I tried to save her life, but I couldn't. (Javier Sanchez Sr.)Sanchez told the Recordnet.com that he wishes he could have done more to save the woman's life, but the dog had already inflicted too much damage by the time he arrived. That night he only slept two hours. "I was thinking all night about the dog and the lady and what I saw," Sanchez said. "It was hard. I've never seen something like that." Gallardo's sister, Mireya Gallardo, said her sister didn't deserve this. "I don't think anybody deserves to die that way," Mireya said.
Olga Paez, the victim's aunt, said her niece's death has devastated and angered her family -- "It's just terrible. We want answers," Paez said. Detectives continue to investigate, but there are still many unanswered questions. It remains unclear why Gallardo was at Hrenko's home, whether she knew the man or if she jumped a fence to get into his yard. Hrenko couldn't be reached for comment Friday, but his ex-wife, Gloria Hrenko, said he was "distraught" over what happened.
04/12/13: Mauling Victim Identified
Family members told CBS 13 News that the victim's name is Claudia Gallardo, 38, and is a mother of three. On Thursday, Gallardo was discovered dead in a man's front yard after being attacked by a pit bull named Russia. The owner of the dog, Brian Hrenko, said he didn't know the woman and that she climbed over his fence when he was gone. A female friend of Hrenko, who was home at the time of the fatal dog attack, said the victim claimed to be there to clean the house.
The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office has not confirmed the woman's identity, nor has it confirmed if the woman jumped over the fence. Hrenko was away for about 40 minutes. When he returned home, Hrenko said his female friend "was all hysterical, said Russia attacked (the woman)," said Hrenko. "She was all crying and stuff," said Hrenko. He didn't learn much more at the time because deputies quickly took him in for questioning. The investigation continues.
04/11/13: Woman Mauled to Death
Stockton, CA - A woman was killed Thursday night after being attacked by a pit bull that has terrorized the neighborhood for months, according to authorities and residents. The San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a dog mauling at 8:19 pm in the 400 block of North Lillian Avenue, just east of Highway 99 and north of East Miner Avenue. When deputies arrived, they found a woman dead who appeared to have been attacked by a dog, Sgt. Tom Rees said.
Rees wouldn't describe the woman's injuries, but he said, "there's a lot of blood" and described the dog as a "big, nasty pit bull."Neighbors were horrified and angered by the attack, but not surprised. Some said the dog has jumped fences to attack other animals in the area. Rita Vasquez said the pit bull attacked her dog and bit her late husband. She said the dog's owner has more pit bulls as well. Vasquez said her husband reported the attacks to the Sheriff’s Office, but authorities said there was little they could do at the time. She asked: "Why did somebody have to get hurt for something to happen?"1
10/24/13: Kaylie's Candlelight Vigil for Victims of Dangerous Dogs Approaches
02/25/13: 2013 Dog Bite Fatality: Elderly Woman Mauled to Death by Pit Bulls in Motel Room
12/14/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: Fresno County Man Mauled to Death by Pack of Pit Bulls
12/07/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: San Diego County Woman Killed by Pack of American...
11/08/12: Blogger Nails Uncomfortable Truth About Animal Control Agencies: Introducing...
08/28/12: San Diego County Pit Bull Responsible for Death of 4-Year Old Tijuana Girl
Revisiting pit bull dog aggression
12/10/09: Pit Bull Dog Aggression: Two Fighting Pit Bulls Shot Dead at Dulles
03/06/09: Dog Aggression Equals Human Injury, Bullets and Dead Family Dogs
02/23/09: Pit Bull Dog-Aggression Results in Serious Human Injury
Photo: CBS Sacramento
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
UPDATE 11/19/13: County detectives have completed their investigation into the death of 4-year old Levi Watson, brutally mauled to death by three pit bulls on November 8. According to the White County Sheriff's Office (WCSO), no charges will be filed against the dogs' owners or the child's mother. WCSO and prosecuting attorneys reviewed the evidence in the case and determined that it did not support criminal charges against the dogs' owner or the boy's mother.
Case closed on the 376th American killed by pit bulls, a breed documented for 30-years for inflicting a shocking number of disproportionate human fatalities.Levi Watson is the 376th American by killed by pit bulls since the Fatal Pit Bull Attacks -- Archival Record was established in 2011. Human fatalities inflicted by this class of dogs date back to 1858 and through the late 1920s were recorded by the Library of Congress - Chronicling America. At what point does a "shocking" number of disproportionate fatalities, and compared to all other dog breeds combined, mean something to law enforcement officials and prosecuting attorneys?
11/09/13: Clarifications and Updates
In an evening update from KARK 4 News, no new details were shared about the deadly attack of Levi Watson of Bradford. Information, however, was learned about the boy's family. His father has 14 brothers and sisters, thus the number of aunts, uncles and siblings are extensive. Chelsea Watson, who has been outspoken on Facebook, is Levi's half-sister and the younger of the two women in the video. Relatives continue to try to piece together the moments before the attack.
Imagery from news videos supports that the pit bulls were housed within a fenced-in enclosure. Chelsea Watson posted a Facebook status update earlier today saying that the 5-6 foot fence was also electric. The question remains how the little boy was able to enter into the electrified fenced area. Watson noted in the same status that though police said there was only 3 pit bulls, "we now know there was 6," Watson writes.1 Her family is pushing law enforcement to investigate further.
11/09/13: Police Confirm Pit Bulls
County authorities have identified the 4-year old boy killed by up to three dogs on Friday and confirmed that the attacking dogs were pit bulls. The child's name was Levi Watson; he lived with his mother Deborah Sizemore in Bradford, Chief Deputy Phillip Miller with the White County Sheriff's Department said in a statement Saturday. The dogs' owner is Bradford resident Justin Corbit. According to his Facebook page, he graduated from Bradford High School in 2009.
Levi Watson, 4, is the 376th American killed by pit bulls since we began the Archival Record.
11/09/13: Pit Bulls, Pit Bulls, Pit Bulls
Last night, the little boy's older sister left several comments on Facebook posts naming the attacking dogs as pit bulls. "It was 5 pits. That was my little brother. His mom left him outside with them and he got attacked," writes Chelsea Watson. "Never in my life did I think my baby brother would be gone before me." In another comment, Watson blames the owner, "It is the owner's fault. Not the dogs … Pits can be just as sweet as a little dog. Its how the owner raises them."
"My brother's passing of being killed by the 5 pit bulls in Bradford will be on the news ... keep the prayers coming PLEASE!!" - Chelsea WatsonWatson also notes on the same KARK 4 News post that the "enclosure" that held the pit bulls was an electric fence2 -- possibly an invisible electric fence to a child or anyone else visiting the property. "And no matter what my brother shouldn't have been outside alone with 5 pits anyways," writes Watson. "And with an electric fence around them. The family. Like myself and the ones that are actually all right in the head is taking this more serious and looking into it as much as we can."
11/08/13: Young Boy Killed by Dogs
White County, AR - In a developing story, a young boy died of injuries inflicted by dogs on Friday at a White County residence. The boy was "visiting" a residence at Piker Lane in Bradford when the attack occurred, according to the White County Sheriff's Department. Chief Deputy Phillip E. Miller said the boy was about 4-years old and was visiting the home with his mother, when the boy exited the house and was attacked. Three dogs were present, Miller said, none were leashed.
KATV.com adds that the boy exited the home and entered into a fenced-in area where the dogs were kept just before 3:30 pm. That is when the dogs attacked. The child was taken by ambulance to the White County Medical Center in Searcy where he later died. Deputies confiscated three dogs from the residence; Miller would not confirm their breeds. Two adults were home at the time of the attack, the boy's mother and the dogs' owner. Authorities have not released the boy's name.
2In a subsequent post, Watson described the fence in more detail -- it appears to be a visible electric fence: "Its a 5-6ft electric fence. Around the whole back side of the trailer. The only way he could get in the back is thru the back door. And there is no evidence that he was pulled under the fence by the cops," Watson writes. Watson will be appearing in a KARK 4 News interview on Saturday evening.
Recent Arkansas fatalities:
06/13/13: 2013 Dog Bite Fatality: Child Temporarily Staying with Aunt Killed by Neighbor's Dog
09/11/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: Jefferson County Woman Attacked by Own Pit Bulls Dies
08/13/11: 2011 Dog Bite Fatality: 4-Year Old Boy Killed by Grandfather's Rottweiler in Ozark
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Cause of Death
UPDATE 11/07/13: The Seattle Times reported earlier today that the Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office said 65-year old Nga Woodhead died of a heart attack brought on by "extremity contusions, lacerations and fractures due to dog bites." The Pierce County Sheriff's Department plans to recommend prosecutors file criminal charges against the owner of the pit bulls, Santiago Quecada. "They were his dogs," spokesman Ed Troyer said, "They should have been locked up."
On October 30, Nga was on her daily walk, about a mile from her Spanaway home, when the two pit bulls began attacking, her husband Charles Woodhead said. "She didn’t see the dogs coming. They ran up behind her and attacked," he said. Charles was with his wife in her hospital room on Tuesday when her heart stopped. The couple had been married for 41-years. Their 42nd wedding anniversary was Wednesday; the day the medical examiner's office released her cause of death.
"I’m sad and mad. I’m mad at an owner who has two pit bulls who should have known better." - Charles WoodheadWhile under attack by the dogs, Nga was able to call her husband from her cellphone, but she could not tell him where she was. It was a passerby who tried to help Nga that got on the line and gave Charles their location. He arrived on scene minutes after the attack as medics were loading her into an ambulance. Her right arm was shredded and bruises covered her body, he said. The couple met in 1970 when he was stationed in the Air Force in South Vietnam during the war.
Nga Woodhead, 65, is the 375th American killed by pit bulls since we began the Archival Record.
11/06/13: Autopsy Underway
Spanaway, WA - A 65-year old woman attacked by two pit bulls on October 30 has died of her injuries, according to the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. Nga Woodhead of Spanaway was attacked by two loose pit bulls as she walked down Pacific Avenue South. The animals jumped on her, knocked her into a ditch and began to horribly maul her. A 52-year old man who tried to save her was also badly bitten. Another passerby shot and hit one of the pit bulls causing it to run away.
After the vicious attack, the Pierce County Prosecutor's Office began looking into charges against the dogs' owner, Santiago Quezada who lives just down the street from where the incident occurred. Quezada said he didn't know how the dogs got out of his fenced yard and claimed then, "They're really nice dogs. They were raised with a family, with kids." Quezada also tellingly said, "I just want to say I feel really sorry about the people. And we're going to fix things, you know."
Fix severe pit bull mauling injuries, how? Fix a woman's death, how?According to the victim's husband Chuck Woodhead, his wife died suddenly at the hospital where she was taken after the severe attack. He said he was in her room getting ready to be released from the hospital Tuesday when she lost consciousness. Doctors tried to revive her, but were unsuccessful. An autopsy is currently underway. Her husband also told Komo News that he was told by animal control that Pierce County will pursue criminal charges against the dogs' owner.
08/16/13: Washington State Court of Appeals Upholds Jury Verdict in Vicious Dog Mauling Case
08/18/11: After $2.2 Million Award, Dog Bite Victim Sue Gorman Says System is Still Flawed
02/27/09: Spanaway Pit Bull Attack Victim Files Lawsuit; Appears on Discovery Channel
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
UPDATE 11/05/13: WFMY News reports that 25-year old Katherine Atkins of Kernersville was lying dead in the backyard near the enclosure of her boyfriend's two pit bulls (it was reported earlier that she was in the enclosure). The two pit bulls were running loose, according to investigators. A man who lives at the home, a roommate of the victim's boyfriend, found her body. The two dogs, a male and female, were taken into custody by animal control and euthanized.
Katherine Atkins, 25, is the 374th American killed by pit bulls since we began the Archival Record.
Kernersville, NC - A woman was mauled to death by her boyfriend's two pit bulls on Monday night. According to Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office Captain Millard Shepherd, Katherine Atkins, 25-years old, was feeding the dogs at a home on Stable Hill Trail when they attacked. Her lifeless body was discovered inside of a dog enclosure. Investigators said Atkins had been around the two pit bulls since they were puppies and there was "no history of problems or aggression" with the animals.
Recent North Carolina fatalities:
12/12/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: Yadkin County Infant Mauled to Death by Family Dog
10/04/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: Pembroke 'Dog Rescuer' Killed by Own Dogs
09/14/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: 10-Month Old Hertford Boy Killed by Pit Bull
08/16/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: Person County Authorities Charge Pit Bull Owner
Terry Douglass and Boosie, the 4-year old male pit bull that killed her.
UPDATE 11/04/13: On Monday, CBS Baltimore aired a headine segment asking questions about why a pit bull with a history of two attacks was returned to its wheelchair-bound owner. The animal's third attack killed its owner. Reporter Rochelle Ritchie states in the onset of the segment, "Advocates say it should not have happened. In fact, the woman had a huge gash on her face from when the dog had attacked before." Victims' advocate Tony Solesky is featured in the piece.
Tony Solesky is the father of a young pit bull mauling victim at the center of Tracey v. Solesky, an appellate court decision that declared pit bulls "inherently dangerous" in the State of Maryland. The high court decision attached strict liability when the breed attacks; this liability extends to landlords when a tenant's pit bull attacks. The Court issued the ruling in April 2012. The decision has been the subject of much controversy across Maryland and the Northeast ever since.
Ritchie summarizes in the segment, "Why the dog was returned to Douglass after it attacked remains a huge question that is unanswered. We tried to speak with health officials here at the health department. They would not go on camera." Solesky adds, "This is a problem of policy, and it's a problem they're aware of. The only time it gets addressed is when we have these horrific incidents." Solesky will continue to push Baltimore City Health Department officials to learn more.
11/03/13: Health Department on Defense
The Baltimore Sun released an update on Sunday showing the failure and bias of the Baltimore City Health Department, which oversees animal control. The article states that animal control officers seized Boosie in April of this year after a biting incident involving two people, but returned the animal because they "did not feel the dog was a threat to the public." The department denied responsibility further by stating that Douglass was "adamant in getting the dog back" afterward.
No mention was made by the Baltimore City Health Department about the first attack, which left wheelchair-bound Douglass with a disfigured face 2-years ago. No mention was made about the landmark Maryland Court of Appeals ruling in 2012 that declared pit bulls "inherently dangerous" in Maryland either. Yet, plenty of mention was made about the pro-pit bull bias of the health department, instead of their central mission, which is to protect the health and welfare of people.
[Health department] officials said they do not have special rules for pit bulls, noting that any breed has potential to bite.Predictably, both the Baltimore City Health Department and Jennifer Brause, the executive director of BARCS, obfuscated this horrific life-taking attack of which there are only about 32 fatalities per year, by citing irrelevant CDC "dog bite" data that does not address dog bite injury severity and "any animal can bite" propaganda, which also does not address dog bite injury severity, and finally, Brause states, "We don't want people to look at [pit bulls] and say they bite." (Heaven forbid!)1
"Baltimore City Animal Control supports responsible pet ownership and not laws that single out a specific breed," a statement read. "According to the [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention], nearly 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year. Dog attacks often result from multiple factors; it is not necessarily the breeds themselves that are dangerous."
Article Updated 7:11 pm (EST)
Minutes after posting the above portion, "Health Department on Defense," The Sun article updated with new and noteworthy information. According to the victim's daughter, Tamathia Davis, "To get her mother to give up the dog, Davis said she wouldn't let her 1-year-old son visit from their home in Pennsylvania. She also said she asked the landlord to ban the dog," states the piece. Davis admits in the update that she too owns and loves a pet pit bull that she raised from a puppy.
The victim's nephew, Torian Wellsey, is included in the Sunday evening update as well. Wellsey was attacked by the dog along with Douglass in April (not her son as stated in previous news reports). Wellsey told The Sun, "The dog was a vicious dog. She thought she could control it and she couldn't." Wellsey said his aunt tried to stand from her wheelchair to reach for a glass of water, but fell onto the ground when her pet pit bull attacked. "He ripped her apart," Wellsey said.
The update also shows how BARCS and city animal control are distinguishing themselves. "Boosie was housed at BARCS' facilities during the quarantine period, but the city's animal control department made the decision to return the dog," states the piece. New readers may be confused about this kind of intertwining co-dependent relationship. One entity "confiscates" dogs and the other "cares for, temperament tests and adopts" them out; the former is like a tow truck service.
Apparently, it was the tow truck service2 that sent the two-time attacker back to its crippled owner.
11/03/13: Attacked Victim Twice Before
Late Saturday night, the Baltimore Sun published a disturbing update to the nation's most recent fatal pit bull attack. Terry Douglass, 56, died after "Boosie," her 4-year old male pit bull she had raised since a puppy, attacked her for a third time. Her daughter, Tamathia Davis, said the dog had attacked her wheelchair-bound mother twice before. The attacks began about 2-years ago, around the same time Douglass began using the wheelchair due to suffering from cerebral palsy.
"She loved that dog unconditionally," said Davis.Davis describes the first attack as occurring about 2-years ago. The animal bit Douglass in the face so horribly that "whenever my mom would open her mouth, her cheek would open with it," Davis said. The second attack occurred last year when Boosie bit Douglass and one of her sons. A city shelter placed the dog in quarantine after the last attack Davis said, but allowed the dog to be returned home to Douglass even though Davis and other relatives pleaded with them not to.
Why Was No Pause Given?
- The city shelter (BARCS presumably) placed a two-time attacker back into the home of a wheelchair-bound owner who had no means to control this animal and had already suffered two previous attacks by the dog.
- The city shelter (BARCS presumably) placed a two-time attacker back into the home of a wheelchair-bound owner who had no means to control this animal and had a disfigured face due to one of these previous attacks.
- The city shelter (BARCS presumably) placed a two-time attacker back into the home of a wheelchair-bound owner who had no means to control this animal and resided in a high-density neighborhood; the third attack could have victimized any visiting or neighborhood child.
- The city shelter (BARCS presumably) placed a two-time attacker back into the home of a wheelchair-bound owner who had no means to control this animal and whose family members had pleaded with them not to.
- Finally, the city shelter (BARCS presumably) did all of this despite being "painfully" aware of the 2012 high court ruling that declared pit bulls "inherently dangerous" in the State of Maryland from a liability perspective.
Recent Pit Bull Owner Deaths
Terry Douglass now joins a growing number of pit bull owners who suffered a violent death by the jaws of their own dogs. Some of these victims include; Clifford Wright, 74-years old, of Santa Fe, New Mexico; Rebecca Cary, 23-years old of Decatur, Georgia; Deborah Roberts, 45-years old, of Jefferson County, Arkansas; Mary Jo Hunt, 53-years old, of Pembroke, North Carolina; Michael Cook, 61-years old of Tucson, Arizona and Darla Napora, 38-years old of Pacifica, California.
11/12/13: Woman Killed by Pet Pit Bull
Baltimore, MD - In a developing story, a 56-year old woman died Friday after being attacked by her pet pit bull. Police officers responded to a call of a "dog bite" to a home in the 2000 block of East 30th Street about 12:45 am,3 according to police spokesperson Detective Jeremy Silbert. Officers discovered the injured woman in the Coldstream Homestead Montebello neighborhood home. She was taken to the hospital where she died. We anticipate more information shortly.4
2We don't believe the tow truck service made this decision independently of BARCS. Further, clearly it is BARCS that is steering the city's public policy on the "pit bull" issue.
3This attack only first came to light nearly 24-hours later. The time stamp on The Sun article is 11:16 pm Friday.
4As of 11:30 pm Saturday (EST), there has been no new information, 46-hours after first responders arrived. Given the endless press about the Solesky ruling -- much of it in defense of pit bulls -- it is reasonable to question why the City of Baltimore and local media are responding to this woman's death in this "tight lipped" way. The last Maryland dog bite fatality occurred in May 2006. Raymond Tomco, 78, was mauled to death by his daughter's pit bulls.
04/17/13: Maryland High Court Ruling Stands: Pit Bulls are 'Inherently Dangerous'
12/17/12: Solesky Family Releases 911 Call at the Center of High Court Decision...
08/21/12: Maryland Court of Appeals Narrows Decision to Pit Bulls; Removes Cross-Bred Pit Bulls
08/15/12: Anthony Solesky, Father of Pit Bull Mauling Victim, to Testify at Hearings
06/18/12: Maryland Pit Bull Task Force Forum Live Tweeting June 19th @Supportthecourt
06/08/12: DogsBite.org Launches Maryland Dog Bite Victim Advocacy Web Page...
04/30/12: Maryland Court of Appeals Holds Pit Bull Owners and Landlords Accountable
01/16/12: Pit Bull Attack Victims May Have New Hope to Recover from Landlords
11/02/11: Letter of Gratitude to Founder Colleen Lynn from Parents of Mauling Victim
03/10/10: Dangerous By Default: Extreme Breeds by Anthony Solesky
Photo: Baltimore Sun
Friday, November 1, 2013
Dog Biting Incidents: 2008 to 2013
DogsBite.org - Animal control or health departments in at least 26 U.S. states report that pit bulls are biting more than all other dog breeds. These states include: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. The oft-quoted myth by pro-pit bull groups that pit bulls "do not bite more than other breeds" is positively false. In addition to leading bite counts, the pit bull bite is also the most damaging, inflicting permanent and disfiguring injuries.
In December 2013, the Chicago Tribune published dog bite statistical data logged by the city's Commission on Animal Care and Control during 2012. Of the total dog and cat bites recorded in 2012 (according to 2011 Chicago data, canines were responsible for about 98%), pit bulls and their mixes topped the chart accounting for 44.3% of all bites. The published statistical chart shows just how much of the pie -- total dog and cat bites combined in the City of Chicago -- pit bulls and their mixes make up from 2006 forward. In 2006, pit bulls were responsible for 26.5% of all bites; in 2008, this grew to 31.2%; in 2010, up to 39.2% and in 2012, 44.3%.
In November 2013, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported that nearly one-third of all dog bites in 2012 were attributed to pit bulls, according to the city animal services department. In 2012, 84 of the 271 reports of dog bites were attributed to pit bulls (31%). At a distant second were Labs with 28. As of October 2013, 70 reports of dog bites were attributed to pit bulls followed by chihuahuas with 24; the disproportional trend continues in 2013. The article then cites defenders of the breed. One falsely claimed that pit bulls are one of the most "popular dog breeds in the country," thus the high number of bites. In truth, pit bulls make up 6% of the total U.S. dog population.
1Does castration really alter male dog behavior?, by Merritt Clifton, Animal People, July 30, 2012
Spokane County, Washington
In August 2013, after a man had his lower jaw ripped off by a pit bull, KXLY.com examined the records from the Spokane Regional Health District, which tracks all dog bites. Since the start of 2012, there have been 249 dog bites. Pit bulls account for the "vast majority of those bites with 56," 63 bites when adding their mixes. Pit bulls make up 3% of licensed dogs and account for 25% of the recorded bites in the city and county of Spokane. German shepherds and their mixes account for 6% of all licensed dogs and account for 11% of all bites. Labradors and their mixes account for the largest percent of licensed dogs, 14%, and account for 7% of all bites.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
In June 2013, after a 5-year old boy was mauled to death by a bullmastiff-mix, Hot Springs Animal Services reported that the "largest number of breed-specific bites were pit bulls at 21% in 2008 and 2009." In 2012, pit bulls and their mixes accounted for 58% of all bites, according to Animal Services Director Dan Bugg. He added that in recent years, the number of pit bulls in Hot Springs and Garland County has continued to rise along with an alarming number of bites. The dog bite data was announced as Garland County discusses a vicious dog ordinance that places added restrictions on "high-risk breeds," including pit bulls and their derivatives.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
In May 2013, The Journal Gazette published dog bite statistical data from Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control. During 2012, 709 biting incidents were reported (human and animal victims). Pit bulls racked up 242 bites, 34.1% of all biting incidents. Pit bulls out bit the next closest breed -- German shepherds with 51 bites -- by nearly 5 times. The article also details a vicious attack by a pit bull-mastiff mix during the period. Angela Diamente was walking her leashed boxer, named Dulli, and pushing her 2-year old daughter in a stroller when the dog latched its jaws around Dulli's throat. The violent and bloody struggle to free her dog lasted 10 to 15 minutes.
In March 2013, after two pit bulls killed a little boy in Walworth County, Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC) released 2012 dog bite statistics. Back in 2011, we reported dog bite data from the same agency for the years 2008 to October 31, 2011. Placing the years into chronology, the continued rise of pit bull biting incidents is sobering. We predict pit bulls will be out biting all other dog breeds combined in the Milwaukee area within 9 months. In 2008, pit bulls made up 33% of all biting incidents; in 2009, the percent grew to 39%; in 2010, 44%; in 2011, 45%; and in 2012, pit bulls made up 48% of all biting incidents.
Broward and Palm Beach Counties, Florida
Also in March, animal control records from Broward and Palm Beach counties once again showed that pit bulls were the leading biters. "No other breed came close," notes the news article. (See: Related Sun-Sentinel graphic.) In Broward County, pit bulls (151 bites) led the second top biter, German shepherds (23 bites), by nearly 7 times. Of all reported dog bites in Broward County (305), pit bulls were responsible for about 50%. In Palm Beach County, pit bulls (330 bites) led the second top biter, Labs (122 bites) by almost 3 times. Of all reported dog bites in Palm Beach County last year (1,411) pit bulls were responsible for about 23%.
West Memphis, Arkansas
Also in March, West Memphis City Councilman Tracy Catt presented an Animal Control Commission report to city council members showing that pit bulls were responsible for 57% of the city’s 28 dog bites in 2012. The report states that of the 16 pit bull bites reported, 31% of the bite victims were children 14 and younger. 81% (13) of all pit bull bites happened at the dog’s house, while the dog was under the supervision of the owner. The report also states that pit bulls account for more than 30% of all dogs taken into the city's shelter. City council members are currently drafting a new dog ordinance, but have not released ordinance specifics.
Royal Oak, Michigan
In February 2013, Royal Oak again made the list of cities reporting pit bulls as the leading biters (scroll to see 2009). Royal Oak is a suburb of Detroit and has a population of about 57,000 and a total area of 11.8 square miles. The city is currently discussing new regulations for dogs classified as dangerous (dogs with a history of biting, attacking or damaging property). Of the 32 dog bites and 21 "vicious dog incidents" reported in Royal Oak in 2012, pit bulls were responsible for 31% of all biting incidents and 52% of all incidents involving vicious dogs. Pit bulls, however, only make up less than 7% of all registered dogs in the city.
San Bernardino County, California
Also in February, dog bite statistical data from San Bernardino County came to our attention. San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control reported 629 total biting incidents in 2011. Pit bulls led all dog breeds with 188 reported bites, out biting the second place breed by a whopping 3 to 1 margin, German shepherds with 60 total bites. 30% of all biting incidents in 2011 were attributed to pit bulls. In 2012, the department reported 704 total biting incidents. Pit bulls again led with 185 reported bites, out biting the next breed by a 2.8 to 1 margin, Labs with 65 total bites. 26% of all biting incidents were attributed to pit bulls in 2012.
Monroe County, New York
In October 2012, iTeam 10 Investigates obtained police reports from all major police departments in Monroe County over the course of one year. The news agency felt compelled to examine if their reporting was biased against pit bulls (as breed advocates had accused).1 What News 10 found is that pit bulls were the leading biters and heavy leaders in police calls. Of the 436 police calls for dogs in the City of Rochester, over half of them, 242 (56%), involved pit bulls. Of reported biting incidents in the suburbs, pit bulls were responsible for 28%, more than any other dog breed, followed by shepherds and their mixes with 17%.
1The irony is that pit bull advocates cried "media bias" before this investigation subsequently causing this investigation, which led to even more damning evidence against pit bulls.
In August 2012, DogsBite.org reviewed 5-years of Austin dog bite data (2007 - 2011). Pit bulls and their mixes led bite counts responsible for 22% (1,288) followed by Labs and their mixes, which inflicted 12% (682). Austin ended its Pet Licensing Program in 2008/2009. Thus, the last year anyone can evaluate the population of dog breeds is 2007. Though pit bulls weighed in as the second most popular dog breed in 2007, making up 10% (1,551) of the registered dog population (15,871), pit bulls out bit the most popular breed, Labs representing 18% of the registered dogs (2,832), by nearly a 2 to 1 margin over the 5-year period.
2007-2008 Austin Dog Breed Licenses - Austin Animal Services
In May 2012, Roanoke Valley SPCA confirmed that the number one breed brought into the regional animal control center is pit bulls -- a situation mirrored by nearly all open admission shelters in the country. Wsls.com stressed that a single breed, pit bulls, have been "taxing resources for both the Roanoke city animal control and adoption services" for some time. Roanoke police provided statistics showing that between May 2011 and April 2012, 41% (397 of 978) of all dogs brought into the center were pit bulls. During this same time period there were 169 biting incidents in Roanoke. Pit bulls were responsible for 38% (57).1
1Though technically the article did not show that pit bulls led all biting incidents, 38% is a very high percentage. It also must be noted that the dog population (by breed) of unwanted dogs in open admission shelters in no way reflects the dog population (by breed) in the community as a whole.
In April 2012, after Malden City Council passed an ordinance requiring unregistered and new pit bulls to wear a muzzle when in public, Councillor Neil Kinnon cited city dog bite data in a clarifying article: "According to Animal Control fifty-seven dog bites were recorded from 2009-2011. Eighteen of the bites were committed by pit bulls. The next closest breeds that bit were German Shepherds, Bull Mastiffs and Dobermans, which recorded only two bites each. The data broken down in its simplest terms means pit bulls account for approximately 6.7% of our registered dogs and committed 31.6% of the dog bites."1
1Under pressure from pit bull advocates, who didn't even understand the ordinance, Mayor Gary Christenson vetoed the measure, placing the "Maul" back into Malden.
Also in April, after 3 pit bull attacks in 3 days, the Victoria Advocate reported that so far in 2012, data from Victoria Animal Control showed that of the dogs quarantined for biting incidents, pit bulls made up 28%, twice as many as any other dog breed. Pit bulls were responsible for 10 biting incidents, followed by Labs and chow-mixes each with 5. Of the pit bull incidents, one involved the death of young boy killed by a chained pit bull on March 25. Just prior to the boy's death, the Advocate upset the pit bull advocacy community by publishing this photo and a story concerning 3 pit bull incidents in one week in mid-March.
In March 2012, Redeye Chicago published dog bite statistical data logged by the city's Commission on Animal Care and Control during 2011. Just over 1,830 animal bites were reported in 2011; canines were responsible for 98%. Notably, the agency separated pit bulls and their mixes into two categories -- a separation not done for any other dog breed.1 "Pit bull/Pit bull mixed" topped the list with 26.43%. When combined with the second category, "American pit bull terrier," (13.38%) the breed accounted for nearly 40% of all bites. Data from the City Clerks office shows that pit bulls and their mixes make up about 4.5% of the 37,546 registered dogs in the city.2
1It appears that pure bred American pit bull terriers have their own distinct classification. Failure to combine them into the overall "Pit bull/Pit bull Mixed" category creates misleading data.
2Though ranking far below pit bulls in biting incidents, German shepherds were the most popular AKC registered dog in Chicago for 2011.
Las Vegas, Nevada
Also in March, KTNV.com investigated whether or not pit bulls were "dangerous or docile?" The investigation came after a series of pit bull attacks in Las Vegas, Nevada. One victim, Sarah Chatley told the news group: "They went from tails wagging, to jaws clamping, in a split second ... I was down on the ground trying to protect my dog, and they were just ripping her apart. It was just so violent." Within the article, KTNV.com exposed the 2011 dog bite statistic data for the City of Las Vegas: "There were 364 reports of bites by pit bulls. That was the most of any breed. Next on the list were Chihuahuas with 122 bite reports."
Multiple Counties, North Carolina
In February 2012, WITN.com investigated the "pit bull debate" and discovered that pit bulls led bite counts in at least 4 North Carolina counties. The group then back peddled by buying into the myth that pit bulls make up a large part of the dog population (pit bulls make up less than 5% of the total U.S. dog population). The article states, "In 2011 in Pitt County there were around 250 dog bites. Pit Bulls had the most with 41. In Onslow County there were 334 dog bites. Pit Bulls lead the way with 55. Craven County had 211 dog bites. Pit Bulls had the most with 37. Lenoir County reported 69 dog bites involving people. Leading the way was Pit Bulls with 14."
Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin
In January 2012, when Fond du Lac City Councilman Rob Vande Zande proposed an ordinance that would prohibit new pit bulls, Zande provided research of the number of reported dog bites in the city over the past 5 years: "The percentage that is attributable to pit bull breeds has increased from 10.7 percent of the bites in 2007 to 33.3 percent of the bites in 2011." Zande also noted that he knows a resident who sustained a severe pit bull bite while delivering papers. The man incurred about $100,00 in medical bills related to his injury. Shortly after Zande's proposal, pit bull advocates bombarded Zande and he folded.
A free reference to this article is located at the Wisconsin law firm website Miller & Ogorchock.
Pima County, Arizona
In November 2011, KGUN9-TV aired a segment titled, "What's the truth about pit bulls?" The show followed the grisly mauling of Michael Cook, a Tucson man who was attacked by his pet pit bull in August and subsequently died. Before his death, doctors were forced to amputate both of his arms and infuse the victim with over 100 pints of blood. Dog bite statistics from Pima County Animal Control over the last four years were also featured on the episode, and once again, pit bulls led all biting incidents with 848 bites, followed by German shepherds with 633, Labs with 496, Chihuahuas with 361 and Chows inflicting 231 bites.
New York, New York
Also in November, the New York Post published updated dog bite statistical data from the city's health department. In February, the data showed that pit bulls were responsible for nearly 25% of all dog bites, now the data shows 28% -- over six times more than the second "toothiest" breed. Pit bulls and their mixes totaled 833 bites by November, compared to the next top biter, chihuahuas, with 128 "incisor incidents." City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. said, "People refuse to admit that pit bulls are bred to fight, they have higher pain tolerance, stronger jaws, and they do not have the instinct to back down -- they refuse to submit."
Also in November, after a pet pit bull, named Prince, nearly killed its 52-year old caretaker, Milwaukee Area Domestic Animal Control Commission (MADACC) released dog bite statistical data showing that pit bulls inflicted over four times more bites than the next closest breed. From 2008 to 2011, pit bulls were responsible for 302 biting incidents followed by German shepherds with 68 and Labs with 40. TODAY'S TMJ4 -- who set out to "find the truth" about pit bulls -- takes a nose dive into decades old erroneous territory by comparing "shelter intake" dog breed data to bite data instead of "registered" dog breed data to bite data.1
1Dogs that end up in open admission shelters are loose, unwanted or have bitten or displayed aggression and often times all three. Thus, shelter intake does not accurately reflect dog breed populations within a community. Pit bulls shoring up 40% occupancy at MADACC -- and open admission shelters across the U.S. -- is standard today; this in no way reflects the actual population of pit bulls, which makes up less than 5% of the total U.S. dog population. (See: ANIMAL PEOPLE Editor Responds to Fact Cooker Article by Mark Robison)
State of Delaware
In October 2011, The News Journal reported on the City of Wilmington's pit bull problem and its renewed effort to enforce their pit bull ordinance, which includes: registration, sterilization, a lease allowing a pit bull to be housed there, muzzled while in parks and owners must be 21-years old. The article also lists state dog bite statistics. According to the Delaware Division of Public Health, from January 2008 to October 2011 there were 5,156 biting incidents (See: Data chart). Pit bulls lead with 1,003 bites followed by "unknown"1 with 884 bites, Labs with 479 bites -- less then half of pit bull bites -- and German shepherds with 401 bites.
1The "unknown" factor may be the result of some counties not tracking dog bites by breed.
Also in October, after an infant was killed by a family pit bull-mix, Amarillo Animal Control statistics showed that pit bull bites were three times higher than those of any other single dog breed in the city. According to Shannon Barlow, assistant director of Animal Control, pit bulls accounted for 123 reported bites in Amarillo in 2009-10, the latest period for which city data was available. The breeds with the next-highest reports of bites were Labs and German shepherds, each with about 40 biting incidents, followed by boxers with 16 and rottweilers with 15. About 550 total dog bites are reported to officials each year, Barlow said.
San Diego County, California
In July 2011, after 75-year old Emako Mendoza was brutally attacked by her neighbor's two pit bulls, San Diego County Animal Services released data showing that pit bulls are the most prolific biters in the county. Of the 2,699 recorded dog bites in the past fiscal year, pit bulls were responsible for 389, nearly 15% (see graphic chart). Next in line, with almost half that number, were Labs with 199 bites and Chihuahuas with 174. To show how rare citations are issued after a biting incident, SignOnSanDiego.com pointed out that only 290 citations were issued during this same period even though almost 10 times as many incidents were reported.
Muskegon County, Michigan
Also in July, records from the Muskegon County Health Department showed that pit bulls were responsible for more biting incidents than any other dog breed for the past three years. In 2009, pit bulls produced 59 bites, in 2010, 75 bites, and in the first six months of 2011 already produced 41 bites. After two pit bulls brutally attacked a 60-year old Wyoming man, city lawmakers began discussing different pit bull regulations, including a breed ban for the City of Wyoming. The article also mentions a bill introduced by State Representative Timothy Bledsoe in June that would eventually ban the breed from the State of Michigan.
Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio
In June 2011, the Public Health Department of Dayton and Montgomery County posted animal bite statistics of the last fiscal year -- June 28, 2010 to June 28, 2011. Of the 736 total reported dog biting incidents, pit bulls were far and away the leaders, responsible for 16% (117 bites). The next closest breed, "mix," was responsible for 64 bites and Lab-mixes with 46. The department also posted statistics from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010. Of the 693 total reported incidents, pit bulls were responsible for 14% (95 bites), again, nearly twice the number of the next closest breed, Labs with 58 bites, followed by "mixed" with 56.
Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Also in June 2011, Severna Park Patch reported that from 2009 to 2010, there were 233 incidents involving pit bull attacks against people and dogs in Anne Arundel County. In that same period, the next closest breeds, German shepherds and Labs, caused just 93 incidents combined. Lt. Glenn Shanahan of Anne Arundel County Animal Control said that pit bulls lead all other breeds by at least two to one when it comes to attacks over the last five years. "The numbers say what they say. We're not making it up," Shanahan said. "It's demonstrably overwhelming." Officials said that pit bulls are also more frequently labeled "dangerous."
Ventura County, California
In May 2011, the Ventura County Star reported that in the fiscal year 2008-09 -- the latest that statistics were available -- 1,617 animal bites were reported to the Ventura County Animal Regulation Department. Of these, dogs accounted for 78%. Pit bulls had more recorded biting incidents than any other breed (121) followed by chihuahuas (119). Monica Nolan, the department's director, said, "Pit bulls are a terrier breed, and they are built to grab prey and hold on to prey." Chihuahua bites "are quick bites," she said. To help soften the damaging news, Noland also said that pit bulls are among "some of the gentlest dogs I have ever seen."1
1During this same year, a Ventura County pit bull savagely mauled to death 5-year old Katya Todesco. This incident was recorded as "one dog bite."
Maricopa County, Arizona
In March 2011, field manager Al Aguinaga of Maricopa County Animal Care told KPHO that pit bulls are the number one biting breed in the county -- inflicting 12% of all reported dog bites -- followed by German shepherds and chihuahuas. When asked if pit bulls are "truly more aggressive than other dogs, or are they simply getting a bad rap?" Aguinaga said, "Typically bites are more severe" and "people go to hospitals" and "animals are attacked or killed." Aguinaga also called out the pit bull’s physical strength. Referring to a recent pit bull berserking incident, he said, "It took five officers, a whole squad, to chase that [pit bull] down" Tuesday.
URL:http://www.kpho.com/news/27294714/detail.html. Accessed: 2011-03-24. (Archived by WebCite® at http://www.webcitation.org/5xQl2w7Bf)
New York City, New York
In February 2011, the New York Post published a tongue-and-cheek article about "pint-sized" chihuahuas and shih tzus, breeds among the top five biters in 2010, according to the city's Health Department. What's not so tongue-and-cheek is that pit bulls led biting incidents with 815, nearly 25% of all biting incidents recorded in the city. Rottweilers followed in second position. One hardly needs to state the difference between a pit bull or rottweiler bite and the bite from a pint-sized fashion accessory. Furthermore, it is irrational to assume that pit bulls and rottweilers make up anywhere near the majority of household dogs in New York City.
In January 2011, The Sacramento Bee published a story about Poppy Watson, who was bitten in the face by a pit bull in November. The article helped promote a fundraiser on her behalf, Popfest 2011. Restaurateurs organized the event to help Watson pay for reconstructive surgeries. Watson told the Bee that her face looked like "it went through a windshield" after the attack. The male pit bull, which had formerly slept with its owners, was put down after the incident. The Bee also noted that Sacramento Animal Care Services investigated 165 incidents of animal attacks and bites in 2010. "The vast majority of those cases involved pit bulls."
In October 2010, Pittsburgh Animal Control records showed that pit bulls comprise 5.2% of the registered dogs. Yet of the 133 biting incidents reported so far in 2010, pit bulls made up 40%. Animal Control Supervisor Gerald Akrie -- a shameless pit bull apologist -- tried to blame the disproportionate numbers on "knucklehead" dog owners. Back in April, Pittsburgh police officer Christine Luffey and her daughter were attacked by three pit bulls that jumped a fence. Akrie minimized that incident by calling it an "accident," requiring DogsBite.org to fire off an email to Public Safety Director Mike Huss. Yet Akrie is up to his pit bull distortions again.
Also in October, City of Memphis records showed that there were 388 biting incidents in 2009. Of those, nearly half were inflicted by pit bulls. Other biters included German shepherds and Chows. The My Fox Memphis news article notes that based on DogBiteLaw.com -- and other groups that track national fatal dog attack data, including DogsBite.org -- pit bulls also cause over half of the attacks that result in death. The article comes several months after the deadly attack of William Parker who suffered a heart attack after being severely mauled by two loose pit bulls. Four other people were bitten and hospitalized in the July 20 rampage.
In August 2010, when the City of Lynn was discussing the adoption of a pit bull ordinance, Police Chief Kevin Coppinger said that 51 biting incidents were reported in the city last year -- 29 involving pit bulls (57%). Coppinger added that there had been at least four pit bull attacks since July 10. The ordinance discussed defined pit bulls as "dangerous animals" with "powerful instincts for dominance" and "unyielding aggressiveness." The ordinance would require pit bull owners to register their dog; pay a $50 licensing fee; if a renter, to notify the landlord that a pit bull was on the premises and to muzzle the dog when off property.
In July 2010, City Manager Michael O'Brien recommended to City Council an ordinance intended to deal with rising public safety concerns about pit bulls. Councilor William Eddy, who has championed the city's adoption of a pit bull law, said that over the past three years, pit bulls caused 25% of all biting incidents even though pit bulls only comprise 2% of the dogs licensed by the city. The new ordinance would require pit bull owners to abide by supplemental licensing and registration rules, ensure their dog is leashed and muzzled when off owner's property, obtain landlord consent (if a renter), and post a warning sign on the property.
San Bernardino County, California
In June 2010, after two deadly pit bull attacks, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors approved a measure requiring all pit bull owners to spay or neuter their animals. Brian Cronin, Chief of County Animal Care and Control, said, "This year alone, we've had two human deaths, and four deaths1 in five years, because of pit bull attacks. No other death has been attributable to any other breed." He said that of the 686 reported biting incidents in the county in the 2008-09 fiscal year, 137 involved pit bulls (20%). He added that because pit bulls are the least likely to be adopted, the county must already euthanize about 1,300 annually.
1Omar Martinez, Nathan Aguirre, Kellie Chapman and Shaun Lee McCafferty.
Clark County, Nevada
In May 2010, Clark County biting statistics were brought to our attention. Clark County publishes these statistics online. Biting incidents by breed during the 7-year period from 2003 to 2009 show that of the 6,798 reported incidents, pit bulls were responsible for 1,474 (22%). The next closest breed was the German shepherd with 671 (10%) incidents. In 2008, pit bulls out bit shepherds by more than three times -- 234 pit bull bites versus 77 shepherd bites. The same was nearly true in 2009, 215 and 88 respectively. Essentially, the Clark County pit bull community sold dogs that produced over 200% more bites than the shepherd community.
Franklin County, Ohio
In April 2010, Bryan Wagner, Chief Environmental Specialist for the Franklin County Environmental Court, testified in opposition to HB 79, a bill that seeks to repeal the Ohio law that requires pit bull owners to securely confine and leash their dog and carry $100,000 in liability insurance. Wagner said statistics show more bites are attributed to pit bulls than other dog breed. In Franklin County, 126 of the 333 dog bites (38%) reported last year were attributed to a pit bull. Wagner added, "I believe that pit bull dogs represent a substantial and real threat to the citizens of a crowded, urban environment such as Franklin County."
In December 2009, Toledo Lucas County Health Department data showed that pit bulls led the number of biting incidents from January 1 to November 8. Of the 380 total biting incidents, 65 were attributed to pit bulls. This accounts for 17% of all bites, despite pit bulls accounting for less than 5% of the county's dog population. Though pit bulls are regulated under Ohio and Toledo laws, the breed still led biting incidents. The Lucas County Dog Warden's office keeps track of serious bite injuries. Of the 150 bites listed as "serious" this year, pit bulls and their mixes accounted for 42 (28%). In 18 of the cases, the victims were under 18 years of age.
In September 2009, it was reported that more than 2,400 dog bites had been recorded by animal control services in Bakersfield and areas of unincorporated Kern County since January 2007. "By a wide margin," the breed that bites most often is the pit bull, according to records compiled by the county. The city does not track bites by breed, which is an indicator that the city's animal service opposes BSL. The article also notes the questionable "mixed-breed" category: "Since 2007, pit bulls have bitten 389 victims in Kern. Mixed-breed dogs hold a dubious second place with 254 bites, and German shepherds are third with 140 bites."
Royal Oaks, Michigan
Also in September, another Detroit suburb discussed pit bull legislation (view related map). According to a report provided by City Manager Don Johnson on the 5,311 licensed dogs in Royal Oak, "Pit bulls account for only 1.7% of licensed dogs in Royal Oak but were responsible for about 35% of reported dog bite incidents this year." It is important to point out that Detroit is known as the "dogfighting capital" of the U.S., thus an area rich with the breeding and ownership of pit bulls with explosive aggression. The Detroit area is also the center of U.S. medical research regarding pit bull injury to humans1. This is not a coincidence.
1Pitbull Mauling Deaths in Detroit (case report) and A Ten-Year, Two-Institution Review of Pediatric Dog Attacks (study)
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina
In August 2009, it was reported that pit bull bites were up 20% in Mecklenburg County. According to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control, in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2009, pit bulls represented 208 bites. Labs were second with 152, followed by German shepherds and Chows. The news article followed the July pit bull attack involving 9-year old Jisseth Moquete. The girl's neighbor, Jonathan Hall, had been "showing" the pit bull to her family in hopes they would buy the dog. As Moquete was petting the pit bull, the dog latched onto her face. A stranger had given the dog to Hall "for free" one day earlier.
Also in August, the mayor of Springdale, Doug Sprouse, said that over half of the bites reported over the last 2 years have been by pit bulls. That can be a little misleading, he said, "but that's still a hefty number." City officials agreed that they wanted to "prevent bites before they happen," particularly by pit bulls, yet were hesitant about targeting a specific breed in the ordinance. The nearby city of Siloam Springs declares pit bulls "vicious" (Sec: 10-101) and requires owners to adhere to restraint requirements, attain liability insurance and to muzzle their dog when off property. The law specifically targets pit bulls to prevent future pit bull bites.
In July 2009, after a pit bull named "Monster" escaped its pen and attacked its owner's young daughter, the Hamilton Health Department released dog bite statistics. From 2001 to July 2009, pit bulls lead with 157 biting incidents, representing 19% of all dog bites. Despite the fact that Ohio declares pit bulls "vicious" and requires special restraint measures (955.22) and liability coverage, pit bulls were still the top biters. The closest follower was "mixed," with 133 incidents (16%). Yet this category is questionable given that U.S. dogs are rarely sold or adopted under the generalized name "mixed." Labs followed with 65 incidents (8%).
Hillsborough County, Florida
Also in July, the Tampa Tribune requested data on dog bites from the Hillsborough Department of Animal Services regarding the 2,400 cases recorded in the last 18 months. The data shows that 103 different dog breeds were responsible for the bites. Pit bulls topped the chart with 371 incidents, 15% of all bites during the period. Labs followed with less than half of this amount with 151 incidents (6%). German shepherds ranked 3rd with 105 incidents (4%) and Chows ranked 4th with 80 (3%). As depicted on the chart, the Tribune seemed to think it was no big deal that one dog breed accounted for such a large percentage of bites.
Ventura County, California
Ventura County Department of Animal Regulation released it annual data (July 2008 to June 2009) this month too. The report showed that pit bulls ranked 9th in licensing, down from 8th in the previous year, but were still the top biter producing 121 biting incidents, up from 117 in the previous year. Often cited by pro-pit bull groups as the leading biter, Cocker spaniels ranked 7th in licensing, but 9th in bite numbers producing only 19 incidents. Pit bulls also topped impounds with 1,399, up from 1,260 in the previous year. By comparison, Labs who rank 1st in licensing and are the most popular dog breed, had 580 impounds and 74 biting incidents.
Ventura County Department of Animal Regulation FY 2008-2009 Statistical Report (www.countyofventura.org) (Archived by DogsBite.org)
Woonsocket, Rhode Island
In June 2009, Capt. Kenneth Paulhus of the Woonsocket Police Department issued a 3-year report concerning the alarming pit bull trend. "In 2006, pit bulls accounted for 32 percent of all the dog bite cases in Woonsocket," Paulhus says in the report. "The number increased to 37 percent in 2007. The year 2008 reflected half of all dog bites in the city were attributed to pit bulls." He added that "many were serious." Animal Control Officer Doris Kay1 says in the report that she used to think all dogs were created equal. But she says she's learned that, "In Woonsocket pit bulls bite more often, and cause more injury, than any other breed."
1Nine months later, Officer Kay is attacked and seriously injured by a pit bull while in the line of duty.
Also in June, after a pit bull attacked 10-year old Baylee Harris, Lincoln Animal Control officials said that pit bulls are the leading breed in reported attacks. Since September of 2008, there have been 38 pit bull bites in the city followed by Labs with 27. The Lincoln County Animal Control 2008 Annual Report (truncated) shows that in 2008, a licensed population of 858 pit bulls and their mixes produced 60 biting incidents. The city's population of Labs and Lab-mixes, 5448 dogs, produced 39 bites in the same period. The data shows that 1 out of every 14 pit bulls in Lincoln is a biter, while its takes over 142 Labs to produce a bite.
Richmond County, Georgia
In the same month, it was reported that Richmond County had 139 complaints of animal bites so far this year, 26 of them involving pit bulls. This is about 19-percent and the most of all dog breeds, according to the article. Diane Downs, the Director of Richmond County Animal Control, said that pit bulls "tend to get the most exposure because unfortunately they do the most damage." The news article came in response to a pit bull attack that left an Augusta man hospitalized. As we see in so many of these cases, the pit bulls escaped owner property (through a gap in the fence) "just to attack" a man who had been walking down the street.
Syracuse, New York
In May 2009, it was reported that the Syracuse dog control department had responded to 19 pit bull bites since the start of the year. According to the article, this is nearly double the amount during all of last year. "It's the beginning of dog control officer Jason Driscoll's shift," the article states, "and already he's responding to a pit bull call." In this instance, the two pit bulls (with a history of bad behavior) had also escaped owner property. Last year one of the same dog's bit a young girl. Dog control officers told WSYR TV that they run into trouble with other dog breeds as well, but pit bulls make up the "majority of reported attacks."
In April 2009, after a 16-year old girl was attacked by loose pit bulls while walking down a street, the Dyersburg Police Department reported there were 21 "dog bite" reports written in 2008. The figures show that nearly half of those bites (10) were from pit bulls. In the first four months of 2009, three of the five police reports written on dog bites involved pit bulls. The article also includes information from the Dyersburg City Attorney's office. City records show there were 35 court cases involving dogs within the last year. Of the 35 cases, 29 of them involved pit bulls. There were also six dog bite cases and all of those were from pit bulls.
In March 2009, the City of Ogden considered a new ordinance that would toughen requirements for pit bull owners including carrying liability insurance. Bob Geier, director of the Ogden Animal Shelter, was in support of this new ordinance. Based on the APPA national survey statistics, Geier estimated that there are about 16,000 dogs in Ogden, including 3,200 pit bulls. During the last two years, pit bulls have accounted for about 20 percent of the dog population at the city animal shelter. During that same period, according to Geier, pit bulls and their mixes have been responsible for about 40 percent of reported dog bites in the city.
Lake County, Florida
Also reported in March, Marjorie Boyd, the director of Lake County Animal Services, said, "Pit bulls lead all breeds of dogs and cats in bite incidents the county has investigated in the past two years." According to Boyd, pit bulls represented 12.7 percent of bite cases in 2007, 12.5 percent in 2008 and 18 percent of cases thus far this year. The article came in response to the mauling of 22-year old Tracy Lindsey. At the time, Lindsey had been jogging down Getford Road when two pit bulls escaped their property and attacked her. Lindsay was airlifted by a Life Flight helicopter to Orlando Regional Medical Center and rushed into surgery.
Broward County, Florida
South of Lake County, the Broward County Dog Bite Database depicts a vivid picture of the "top biter." During the years of 2005 to 2008, Labs produced 151 biting incidents with 98 inflicted on humans and 53 on animals, while Cocker spaniels produced 16 biting incidents with 15 on humans and 1 to an animal. In the same period, the pit bull/American Staffordshire terrier community produced a whopping 618 biting incidents with 323 inflicted on humans and 296 on the county's pet and livestock population. The data shows that human-aggression is just as prevalent as animal-aggression in pit bulls produced by local breeders.
Pinellas County, Florida
According to a 2009 Florida Senate Interim Report by the Committee on Community Affairs, Pinellas County had a total of 122,225 licensed dogs in 2007 and a total of 1,233 dog bites. For a county in which less than 3% of the dog population (3,666) is made up of pit bulls, they accounted for over 19% of the bites (235). The registered population of pit bulls produced 1 bite incident per every 15.6 pit bulls. The next highest number of bites was attributed to Labs, which represent 9% of the dog population (11,000) and accounted for 11.5% of the bites (142). The registered population of Labs only produced 1 bite incident per every 77.5 Labs.
Altoona city records showed in March that of the 5,056 dogs licensed in 2008, 162 (3%) of them were pit bulls or their mixes. City dog law officer, John Iorio, handled 178 biting incidents in 2008. Of these incidents, 110 (61%) involved pit bulls. Iorio believes the actual number of pit bulls in the city to be 400 (8%), but this hardly reduces the alarming number of bites attributed to them. In July 2009, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDF) records showed that 112 dogs in a 5-county region were declared legally "dangerous." Pit bulls accounted for 42 (38%) of these dogs. No Cocker spaniels or Labs appeared on the list.
In February 2009, The Indianapolis Star reported that pit bull bites were at a record high -- 282 in 2008, an increase of 33 percent from the previous year and about three times the total from 2006. The Marion County Dog Bite Database shows that pit bulls produced 490 biting incidents while Labs produced 152 and Cocker spaniels only produced 27. The Star also reported that out of 3,000 pit bulls in animal care last year, nearly 2,500 were euthanized. Despite these statistics, the active pit bull community and the Indianapolis Humane Society, managed to "table" a new dog ordinance designed to reduce pit bull bites and deaths.
In January 2009, the Wichita Department of Environmental Services released a number of pit bull statistics. The figures are based upon the Wichita Animal Control department's investigation of 733 dog bites in 2008. Included in the data are pit bulls encountered by the Wichita Police Department. In the 1-year period, 95% of police encounters with aggressive dogs were pit bulls. The report also showed that the percentage of pit bull encounters had increased from 66% in 2004 to 95% in 2008. Subsequently, four months after the release of this data, the City of Wichita enacted a mandatory pit bull sterilization law.
- 55% of all dogs deemed dangerous were pit bulls (41 pit bull dogs deemed dangerous).
- 34% of attacks and bites involved pit bull dogs (246 pit bull attacks/bites).
- 28% of dogs found running at large were pit bulls (1,279 pit bulls found running loose).
- 25% of dogs impounded were pit bulls dogs (1,575 pit bulls impounded).
- 37% of all dogs euthanized were pit bull dogs (1,255 pit bulls euthanized).
- 23% of dog complaints involved pit bull dogs (2,523 complaints involved pit bull dogs).
In September 2008, when the City of Canton was in the process of adding American bulldogs to their existing pit bull ordinance (pit bulls are deemed "vicious" under Ohio state law), the Canton Repository published dog bite statistics from the Canton Health Department. From January 1, 2005 to September 2008, pit bulls led biting incidents with 89 bites. German shepherds (including police dogs) followed with 68, mutts with 50 and rottweilers with 33. It must be noted that under a 1991 Supreme Court of Ohio ruling, the court validated that "dogs commonly known as a pit bull dog" includes close breeds such as American bulldogs.
North Texas Cities
In August 2008, The Dallas Morning News reported that one third (33%) of all dog bite incidents from July 2007 to July 2008 in Duncanville, Cedar Hill and Mesquite involved pit bulls. Each of these cities passed resolutions urging the state Legislature to allow breed-specific laws, as lawmakers were hoodwinked by the dog lobby in 1991 and passed a preemptive state-wide anti-BSL measure (822.047). The next closest breeds were German shepherds (9.6%) followed by Labs (9%). While breed population data was not available in this article, it's presumable that the pit bull population is lower than the other two breeds.
Ventura County, California
In July 2008, Ventura County Department of Animal Regulation released a 1-year statistical report (July 2007 to June 2008). The report showed that pit bulls ranked 8th in licensing, but were still the top biter producing 117 biting incidents in this period. Often cited by pro-pit bull groups as the leading biter, Cocker spaniels ranked 6th in licensing, but 8th in bite numbers with only 28 incidents. In September 2008, 5-year old Katya Todesco of Simi Valley suffered catastrophic face and neck injury after she reportedly "bumped into" a pit bull. She died 6 days later. The pit bull mauling death of Katya was recorded as "one biting incident."
El Paso County, Colorado
In May 2008, after a pit bull burrowed under a fence and attacked a 5-year old boy, Ann Davenport of the Pikes Peak Region Humane Society said, "Pit bulls and pit bull mixes have accounted for more dog bites than any other breed in El Paso County this year. They were involved in 216 bites, about 18% of the 1,381 attacks reported. Labrador retrievers were second on the list, with 157 attacks, and German shepherds were third, with 93 bites." The attack occurred in Cimarron Hills, just east of Colorado Springs. The child received 2,000 stitches and underwent two immediate surgeries with many future facial surgeries expected.
In February 2008, the City and County of Lubbock experienced a "pit bull epidemic," which by March ended in the deaths of 23 animals due to loose pit bulls. The February article provided 2007 Lubbock Animal Services data regarding dog incidents. Of the 247 dog bites, pit bulls accounted for 75 incidents (30%). Labs followed with just 17 incidents (7%) and German shepherds with 15 (6%). Unfortunately, the writers of the article were hoodwinked into the myth that pit bulls are one of the "most popular" dog breeds in the nation. 2009 U.S shelter data shows that the total U.S. pit bull population is no greater than 5% of all dogs.
San Francisco, California
In July 2005, about 6 months prior to San Francisco enacting a pit bull sterilization law, the San Francisco Chronicle reviewed hundreds of dog bites logged by the city. According to Animal Care and Control department records, pit bulls and their mixes accounted for 27% of reported dog bites since 2003, even though they accounted for only 6% of licensed dogs. Of the 900 bite incidents recorded in this period, 626 traced to a specific dog. Of those, 169 bites were attributed to pit bulls. As the Chronicle writer points out, "that's more than the number of bites by German shepherds (69), Labradors (58) and rottweilers (34) combined."
06/22/09: Report: U.S. Police and Citizen Shootings of Pit Bulls 2008
04/22/09: Report: U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities January 2006 to December 2008