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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Newly Adopted Rottweiler Kills Owner in Madison County, Tennessee

rottweiler kills owner, Jackson-Madison County Rabies Control
Anthony Riggs, 57, was killed within hours after adopting a rottweiler from a county shelter.

No Evaluation Policy
UPDATE 11/18/15: Earlier this week, The Jackson Sun reported that the rottweiler that killed Anthony Riggs was a stray picked up by a city employee 5-days before its adoption, according to Kim Tedford, the director of the Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department. At about 10:30 am on November 12, Riggs brought his new dog to show to his son Thomas Riggs. That was the last time Thomas saw his father alive, the animal brutally killed him about 3-hours later.

Tedford said the dog showed no signs of aggression during its short stay at Rabies Control. She also denied any rumors of the dog biting any Rabies Control Officers, which had gained steam on social media after the attack. Tedford said that officers handle the dogs while they are at Rabies Control and look for basic signs of aggression, such as growling, showing teeth and lunging. “We by no means would adopt an animal out that showed any signs of aggression,” Tedford said.

Tedford explained the stray pick-up and owner surrender protocols, which involves a 3-day hold. During this period, the dogs are fed and watered, but not examined or tested, she said. If they remain unclaimed, they are put online for adoption, subject to euthanasia when kennels are full. That is when URGENT no-kill rescue networks like, Save Madison County Animals, kick in to "save" the unevaluated dog at all costs through their social media and "transport" networks.

Outdated Shelter Policy

Rabies Control does no evaluation or assessment testing at all. Rabies Control releases animals unaltered and unvaccinated too.1 "Vaccinations and spaying or neutering are arranged by the owner after adoption," according to Tedford. This is untrue in other states, mandated either by state law or county policies. The current Tennessee law is many years out of date. Tedford even stated that she hoped this deadly attack would not stop people from adopting at the facility!
The director of the county health department is asking the public to accept the risk of death after admitting they have no evaluation policy.
What more could stop people from losing faith in a public pound than adopting out a dangerous breed with an unknown history, with no evaluation or testing, that in 3-hours kills its new owner? State-of-the-art temperament tests are not "science," and they do not measure unpredictable aggression. When administered properly, however, they can provide insights into the dog's behavior. Temperament tests are the very least a county shelter can do to protect public safety.

Family Members Dismayed

Adrienne Riggs, Anthony's ex-wife, and her son Thomas, the victim's son, spoke to Rabies Control after Anthony's mauling death. “I don’t believe what they said,” Adrienne said. She also expressed dismay and concern about the county's lack of evaluation policy. “They don’t assess the dogs, they don’t vet them, they don’t evaluate them, they just adopt them out,” Adrienne said. “You just can’t put a dog that may be dangerous out with an unsuspecting family. That’s just wrong,” she said.

Adrienne hopes that Rabies Control undergoes policy changes, including evaluating animals over a period of time. The Madison County Sheriff's Office continues to investigate Riggs' death. More details will not be released until the investigation is complete. Meanwhile, over at Rabies Control it's business as usual. Currently available for adoption are five stray pit bulls, the top killing dog breed, with unknown histories and no evaluation or temperament testing performed by the county.

11/15/15: Comments Left by Family
The victim's ex-wife, Adrienne Riggs, left several comments on the WBBJ Facebook thread. Anthony Riggs is the father of her son. The county shelter told the family the rottweiler was a stray -- no one knows its history, she said. The dog attacked two people after killing Anthony, her son's stepmother and a neighbor. Anthony was also an experienced dog owner and handler, she wrote. The two had raised many large breeds together over the years, including a rottweiler.
"Dogs loved him and he had a way with them. He only had this dog for about 3 hours before the attack," she wrote. - Adrienne Riggs
Like many family members who go to Facebook after a severe or fatal dog attack to express their grief and share information, Adrienne was shaken by the negativity of many commenters. From the crazy rescuers -- appalled the killer dog "was put down" -- to others who blamed the victim, she had no idea people could be so cruel. Normal people like Adrienne, however, are unaware that these zealots are solely on the thread to defend violent dogs, not to offer condolences.

In Summary

The mauling death of Anthony Riggs is the single most disastrous shelter "adoption" in modern times. Riggs was an able-bodied adult man and an experienced dog handler who had owned large breeds in the past. This rottweiler suddenly attacked and killed him 3 hours after being adopted. Of the 104 rottweiler fatalities we have on record, not a single one besides this dog, inflicted a fatal attack on an able-bodied middle-aged man. The others involved "pairs" or more of rottweilers.

Another person on the WBBJ thread, Shelby Hodges, who came close to adopting this rottweiler stated: "I saw that dog and thought about adopting. So glad I didn't !!!" If Shelby had, she would be dead presently. A dog this powerful and aggressive with an unknown history never should have been available for adoption at a public pound. This is outrageously inappropriate. At this stage, the public must consider the shelter adoption of a dangerous breed to be a "life or death" decision.

11/13/15: Killed Day of Adoption
On Thursday morning, Anthony Riggs adopted a 5-year old male rottweiler from Jackson-Madison County Rabies Control -- the county animal shelter. By 3:30 pm that afternoon, the rottweiler had attacked and killed him. A rottweiler from a public shelter killed its new owner just hours after being rehomed. The dog was not finished after fatally attacking Riggs either; it also tried to attack a woman in the home. Responding Madison County sheriff's deputies had to dispatch the animal.
The Madison County Health Department refused to comment on their pet adoption policy until the sheriff's office investigation is over.
According to Animals 24-7, with the inclusion of this fatal rottweiler attack, 42 dogs rehomed by U.S. shelters and rescues have participated in killing 39 people since 2010. These dog breeds include: 30 pit bulls, 7 bullmastiffs, 3 rottweilers, a lab and a husky. The website adds that only 5 shelter dogs killed a person from 1988 through 2009. The numbers since 2010 are staggering and reflect the "reality" of modern sheltering -- adopt out at all costs to keep euthanasia rates low.

We remind readers that no temperament assessment test, not even a "state-of-the-art" one, can measure unpredictable aggression. This is the risk every person accepts, knowingly or not, when adopting a pit bull, rottweiler or other dangerous breed. Facebook commenter and witness Teresa Sanchez wrote: "He wasn't growling or showing teeth, he just bit us like he did it all the time or something. It was unreal what that dog did and he should have NEVER been adopted out period."

11/13/15: Adopted Rottweiler Kills Owner
Madison County, TN - The Madison County Sheriff’s Office reports that a pet rottweiler killed a 57-year old man yesterday. The sheriff's office responded to a call about a dog attack about 3:30 pm Thursday in the 2200 block of Highway 70 East. Deputies found Anthony Riggs, 57, on the floor and unresponsive. EMS pronounced him dead at the scene. The investigation showed that Riggs was attacked and killed by his newly adopted rottweiler, according to the sheriff's office.

Arriving deputies shot and killed the animal. A commenter on the Jackson Sun Facebook page, Jennifer Dinkins, added more details: "The dog was shot because he was also attacking two other people who were first to arrive; they were bit also," she wrote. "The dog rushed the officer, so yes it was killed." Dinkins added, "He was family, my husband was there that's how I know." No information was provided about the shelter or rescue that adopted out the fatally attacking dog.2

Jackson Rabies Control adopted out rottweiler that killed man three hours later
map iconView the Google Map: U.S. Fatal Rottweiler Attacks.

1This county agency calls itself "Rabies Control" and does not even vaccinate?
2Facebook commenters are pointing to an entity named JRC, Jackson Rabies Control, and saying the dog was adopted yesterday. This would indicate the rottweiler carried out a lethal attack the very same day it was adopted.

Related articles:
08/06/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Recently Adopted Out Pit Bull Kills 6-Year Old Boy...
03/13/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Texas Woman Mauled to Death by Pet Rottweiler
11/19/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: 7-Year Old Boy Killed by Trained Protection Dog...
05/04/14: Fatal Rottweiler Attacks - The Archival Record

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull-Mix Kills Child in Oneida County, New York

family pit bull kills boy in Deansboro, Oneida County New York
The obituary of Carter Hartle, 11-months old, was published on November 19.

Dog Euthanized
UPDATE 11/17/15: The dog involved in the death of an 11-month old boy has been euthanized, according to officials. Verona dog warden Susan Gardinier said that Diesel, identified as a 2-year old pit bull-shar pei mix,1 was put down today at the veterinarian in Wampsville. On Sunday night, the dog fatally attacked Lisa Cittadino's baby while the animal was in the living room playing with three of the baby's sisters, ages 7, 10 and 12. All three sisters witnessed the horrific attack.

The investigation into his death is still ongoing, but police do not anticipate filing any criminal charges, according to investigators. The Onondaga County Medical Examiner's officer will conduct an autopsy on the little boy. Currently, the baby is still only known as Baby Carter, without a last name. A co-worker of Cittadino, Jennifer Girard, started a GoFundMe page to help the family with medical expenses and funeral costs. The family has also been offered counseling services.

11/16/15: Family Pit Bull Kills Baby
Oneida County, NY - A family pit bull attacked and killed an 11-month old boy in the town of Marshall last night, according to the Oneida County Sheriff's Office. The dog, a 2-year old pit bull named "Diesel," was with the baby and three other children in the home when the family pit bull suddenly attacked the boy. Responding deputies found 32-year old Lisa Cittadino trying to give the child first aid. Cittadino said she struggled to pull the family pet off the baby then called 911.
The baby died due to facial and neck injuries, according to deputies. reports the ages of Cittadino's other children, all daughters, are 7, 10 and 12. At the time of the attack, all four were playing with the family pit bull in the living room. Cittadino turned her back momentarily then heard screams from her baby boy and her daughters. When she saw the dog attacking her son, she frantically tried to get the animal to release its grip. Cittadino told deputies the family pit bull has never been aggressive since joining the family 2-years ago.

The still unnamed baby was transported to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Utica, where he died. The pit bull was taken into custody by the town of Verona animal control officer and will be euthanized at Cittadino's request. WKTV stated in their update that the family told the sheriff's office they had raised the 2-year old pit bull from a puppy. A press conference is expected later this afternoon. Also, the jurisdiction of the family's home is being reported as both Marshall and Deansboro.

Developing Updates

In an afternoon update, spoke to Susan Gardinier, the Verona animal control officer. Gardinier was called out to the scene because the town of Marshall dog warden "didn't want to deal with the dangerous dog," states the article. Gardinier told the news group the same thing that appellate courts have ruled about the breed for 25-years. Pit bulls are in part more dangerous than other dog breeds due to their tenacity, their refusal to terminate an attack once it has begun.
"The thing about pit bulls is if things go wrong, they go very, very wrong. If one attacks, it's very hard to get them to stop. They are bred to latch on, to hang on, and that's what they do." - Susan Gardinier, Verona animal control
The candid voice of Gardinier is not one we hear too often at She even added, "It's very difficult to get them to release whatever they've latched onto, much more so than say with a German shepherd." The "hold and shake" bite style of the pit bull, combined with their refusal to terminate an attack once it has begun, is primarily why the breed shows up so disproportionately in fatal attacks. Pit bulls were also selectively bred for explosive, unpredictable aggression.

family pit bull kills baby in Oneida County, deansboro
map iconView the Google Map: New York Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

1The photograph from a family member's Facebook page posted a year ago (November 20, 2014) shows a pit bull-shar pei mix at about 1-year in age. Color and size descriptions were not provided in any media reports.

Related articles:
11/09/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Tenant's Pit Bull Kills Visiting Child on Long Island
06/24/15: The Mechanics of a "Classic" Unprovoked Pit Bull Attack -
04/29/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Kills Baby Boy in Dallas, Texas

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Monday, November 9, 2015

2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Tenant's Pit Bull Kills Visiting Child on Long Island

images of pit bull kills girl in elmont
pit bull kills girl in long island backyard
Top right image is from Carlyle Arnold's Facebook page with his pit bull dubbed, "The Beast."

Child Identified
UPDATE 11/09/15: Nassau County officials have identified the child who was stuck down by the powerful jaws of a pit bull on Sunday. Amiyah Dunston, 9-years old of Baldwin, was visiting a home on Holland Avenue and playing with two other girls outside when a pit bull suddenly executed the killing bite -- the dog latched onto her face and neck and shook her violently. The male pit bull belongs to Carlyle Arnold, who is a tenant on the second floor of the building.

Arnold's Facebook page indicates this pit bull was possibly being trained for bite work. The male pit bull, dubbed "The Beast" by Arnold, is also wearing a weighted collar, as seen on O'Brien's Canine Supply website that specializes in products for pit bull terriers. The organization notes on their home page that since 1984, they have enjoyed keeping some of the "best old family pit bull lines" which is code language for saying, keeping some of the "best old family fighting bloodlines."

Lastly, an update by the New York Post today reports that the dog is a 2-year old male pit bull named Kane. The Post also notes that Arnold is "engaged in a playful tug of war" in the Facebook photo, while wearing the weighted collar and clenching down on the ropes of a tug training toy. Whether Arnold was training for bite work or not, this same equipment is used for bite work training and certainly this activity is designed to strengthen the already powerful jaws of a pit bull.

Monday Evening Updates

The New York Post reports that Amiyah Dunston was visiting her biological father1 at 236 Holland Avenue when she was savagely killed by a pit bull its owner dubbed, "The Beast." Her mother, Mayra Castillo, was too anguished to speak to the media, but her finance, Brian Willis, who helped raise Amiyah, did make a statement. "Amiyah Kayla was a phenomenal little girl who has touched many lives with her presence, smiles and laughs. We thank you for all your support and prayers."

New information was also reported about Carlyle Arnold, the owner of the pit bull. Arnold, who is currently unemployed, has two open cases in Nassau County, a child endangerment case from 2014 and criminal possession of stolen property from October, according to court records. On Monday, he was arraigned on a new charge of criminal-contempt after being arrested Sunday for violating an order of protection involving his girlfriend, states the Post. His bail was set at $10,000.

The Nassau County District Attorney's Office and police are investigating whether to bring charges against Arnold in the mauling death, sources told the Post. CBS New York adds more details. Acting DA Madeline Singas told 1010 WINS, a radio station owned by CBS Radio, "We’re looking to see if this dog did have violent propensities and what kind of dog ultimately it was and if it should have been left with children." strongly encourages this criminal investigation.
Please visit the GoFundMe page for Princess Amiyah set up by her family members.

11/08/14: Child Dies After Violent Attack
Elmont, New York - Nassau County authorities report that a 9-year old girl has died of her injuries after being attacked by a pit bull at 10:30am in a Long Island backyard. The child was visiting the home when the attack occurred, police said. She had been dropped off at 236 Holland Avenue to play with her friends and was in the backyard when the pit bull attacked her. A responding police officer shot and killed the dog. She was pronounced dead at Franklin Hospital around 1:45pm.
“I am not going to get into the details of what took place, but it was a violent attack.” - Nassau County Detective Michael Bitsko
At the time of the attack, the victim was playing with two other children in the backyard when the male pit bull suddenly attacked her. A woman who lives on the ground floor of the home tried to pull the dog off the girl, but could not. The owner of the dog, Carlyle Arnold, 29, was a second-floor tenant of the building. He was arrested at the scene for an unrelated charge of violation of an order of protection. Police do not believe there is any criminality regarding the child's brutal death.

In many places in the U.S., there are no criminal penalties for the owners of pit bulls and other well-documented dangerous breeds after their dog savagely tears out a child's throat, killing him. Pit bulls, which have an unmatched track record of killing people for over a century, frankly have carte blanche to murder innocent American children -- the law says it's okay. It begs the question: How "civilized" of a modern culture do we live in? The child's identity has not yet been released.

Late Evening Updates

The ABC 7 update reports that when police officers arrived, the pit bull was still mauling the 9-year old girl. The dog then dropped the girl and charged one of the officers, who fired several shots into the animal killing it. The pit bull, weighing between 70 and 80lbs, was carted off in a black bag. Witnesses told ABC 7 that the dog latched onto her neck and head, and fiercely shook her. At least one of the two other children she had been playing with witnessed the horrific attack.
Officials do not believe the pit bull's owner, Carlyle Arnold, was home at the time of the fatal attack or if he could have stopped it even if he was.
The Associated Press picked up quotes from Newsday, the local paper that is behind a paywall. Anthony Tyron Jett, 53, who also lives at the house described the pit bull (as seen in the top right photo) as "gentle" and was shocked when he learned of the child's death. "He was a beast. But he was gentle," Jett said. "He was strong. He was a pit bull. Like any animal comes into the yard, a bird or squirrel or whatever, he would chase it, but he was very people friendly," Jett alleged.2

We hope police examine Arnold's "training program" for his pit bull he dubbed, "The Beast."

Amiyah Dunston killed by pit bull in long island
map iconView the Google Map: New York Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

1Amiyah's biological father was later identified as Tramel Dunston, who had been staying at 236 Holland Avenue, and was friends with the dog's owner Carlyle Arnold. Anthony Tyron Jett, who made the bogus Beauty and the Beast claims, is also Arnold's uncle and lives at the home. All three obviously were quite familiar with "The Beast."
2This individual is truly sickening. The lies perpetuated by Jett have taken the lives of hundreds of innocent people since the early 80s and the livelihoods of thousands more. We have all read Beauty and the Beast Jett -- it's a fairy tale. Jett's fantasy claim, "He was a beast. But he was gentle," helped cause the horrific death of this child.

Related articles:
11/12/15: Maul Talk Manual Term: "Defeated Prosecutor Syndrome" -
10/29/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Visiting Child Killed by Two Pit Bulls in Orange County, Texas
06/24/15: The Mechanics of a "Classic" Unprovoked Pit Bull Attack - DogsBite,org
05/29/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: 5-Year Old Boy Fatally Attacked by Pit Bull in Chicago
02/23/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Visiting Child Killed by Family Pit Bull in Pittsburgh Suburb
08/08/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Visiting Child Killed by Aunt's Pit Bulls in Fanning Springs...
07/29/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Visiting Child Killed by His Uncle's Two Pit Bulls...
05/08/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Visiting Child Killed by Pit Bulls Owned by Friends in Felton...

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Visiting Child Killed by Two Pit Bulls in Orange County, Texas

orange county, texas boy killed by pit bulls
Tanner Smith was attacked and killed by two pit bulls while visiting a home near Vidor.

Family Shares More Details
UPDATE 10/29/15: Funeral services were held for Tanner Jacob Smith on Saturday. Many photographs and comments have been left on his Celebration Wall. Tanner's obituary states that he had only been living in Texas for 9-months. Tanner was a native of Little Rock, Arkansas and was raised in Lincoln, Arkansas before moving to Vidor. The Orange County Sheriff's Office has not released any new information since we learned of the two previous attacks by the dogs.

Tanner's family did provide more information about the attack to Inside Edition. The video and article published on October 21 explains that Tanner and his mother Ashley Phillips were visiting a friend whose father owns the home and the two pit bulls. Tanner's aunt, Melinda Greathouse, told Inside Edition that Tanner had been jumping on a trampoline in the homeowner's fenced-in yard. “When one of the dogs came running in the house and was covered in blood,” she said.

That is when her sister ran outside and found Tanner's body next to the porch, she said. Ashley had believed Tanner was under the supervision of the homeowner while he was playing outside, but he was not there during the attack and no one heard Tanner cry out, Greathouse said. For readers who do not know, victims who are attacked in the face and neck region like Tanner was, cannot cry out. They are instantly silenced as soon as the pit bull executes the killing bite.
“His whole left side of his head had a hole in it. His ear was gone. There was a lot of what looked like road rash on his face.” - Melinda Greathouse
This morning, Tanner's mother left a comment on our Facebook post. "I am tanners mother I was there when it happened he was on the trampoline two feet off the ground the next thing we knew he was gone... They drug him off the trampoline. There wasn't anything we could do," Ashley Phillips stated. She added in another, "Karen is right, he wasn't able to make a sound why because the first bite killed him immediately." One can only imagine the horror of this scene.

No information about the autopsy report has been released. Authorities have not identified the owner of the dogs either, despite two previous attacks and the fatal mauling of a child. It is unknown if criminal charges are possible. At what point will county officials admit that the local ordinance is insufficient, particularly regarding dangerous dog breeds? Simply calling the horrific and preventable death of Tanner, "a terrible tragedy" will not prevent new life-altering attacks.
The family of Tanner Smith has set up a donation account through Wells Fargo Bank. Please send donations to "Donations for Tanner Smith" at account #5817642019 (branch locator).

10/20/15: Previously Attacked Child and Dog
On Monday evening, 12 News published a follow up report. Resident Garrett Bean came forward and shared the story of his 9-year old daughter and her mother, who were both attacked by the same two pit bulls that killed Tanner October 18. The attack happened in February as his daughter, Shealyn Kendall, and her mother walked home from the grocery store. The mother said they were the same two dogs kept at the home on the corner of Aloha Street and Bahama Drive.
"It could have been prevented,” said Garrett Bean about Tanner Smith’s death. “When I found out it was the same dogs, I was furious."
As the two were walking by, both pit bulls and a chihuahua also owned by the homeowner, escaped under the gate and attacked them. Bean showed photos of his daughter's injuries after the attack. Bean also filed a report with the sheriff's office. He was told the dogs would be placed under the standard 10-day rabies quarantine. Then afterward, the dogs were returned to the owner. Bean said he is coming forward with the information now because it has happened again.

Previously Attacked Pet Dog

Today, 12 News published another follow up. The same pit bulls attacked a woman's puppy last year. The Orange County Sheriff's Office also confirmed the details of Shealyn's attack. Neighbor Jessie Moore told 12 News that the two pit bulls belonging to her next-door neighbor attacked her dog named Rocko in March 2014. She had Rocko chained next to her neighbor's fence when the pit bulls dragged him underneath. The attack left one of Rocko's teeth permanently deformed.
"To me it's not how you're raised. It's the breed. You don't hear cocker spaniels attacking and killing a kid you know." - Jessie Moore
A year and a half later, she is still paying vet bills for Rocko's injuries. "It was like a blood bath out there, just attacking each other," Moore said about the incident. Moore is also upset that sheriff's officials did not give the pit bulls' owners a warning. "They could have done something about these dogs a long time ago," Moore said. Sherriff's officials found neither owner at fault, but told Moore that she had her dog tied too close to the fence (so a free mauling was par for the course?)

The Owners of the Pit Bulls

There is nothing elusive about the owners of these pit bulls. They were very easy to track down on Facebook, along with photos of their dogs. What must be addressed now are earlier reports by family members who said the pit bulls had been around children before, thus severely attacking 5-year old Tanner came as a total shock. The shock factor holds no water now that it is known there were at least two previous documented acts of aggression, one on a person and a pet.

Just days after the March 2014 attack, one of the pit bulls' owners shared with her Facebook friends this particular AP article.1 Bam! This was right after her two pit bulls nearly ripped off Rocko's face. Notably also, the sole person who Liked the AP post had warned the owner in 2012, after the owner got a new chihuahua, that the new dog "was a keeper as long as you keep those pits away from him." Doesn't it make you wonder what happened to the previous chihuahua?

10/19/15: No Charges; Family Mourns
An autopsy is scheduled tomorrow for a 5-year old boy mauled to death by two pit bulls near Vidor, Texas on Sunday. Tomorrow is Tuesday, October 20, 2015 and would have been Tanner Smith's 6th Birthday. This morning his kindergarten classmates spent time making cards for his family. Imagine a teacher trying to tell a classroom of kindergartners that their classmate is never returning. Dear Tanner, heart Blake, read one. His family is overwhelmed and overflowing in grief.
"It is difficult because he is like one of my own … I hurt but I can only imagine the pain that [his mom is] in." - Melinda Greathouse, Tanner's aunt
Family members said that in Tanner's short life, he had already had multiple heart surgeries for a medical condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. They also said that Tanner's Scooby-Doo themed birthday party will still take place at a local park. The only difference is that Tanner will be celebrating up in the sky. "We know he's celebrating without us up there," Greathouse said. Family members said that donations can be made to the American Heart Association in Tanner's name.

No Criminal Charges are Expected

The Beaumont Enterprise reported this afternoon that the Orange County Sheriff's Office did not expect any criminal charges to be filed, citing that the two pit bulls were in a fenced yard when the deadly attack occurred. The family said that the dogs' owners were also devastated. An older couple lives at the home, according to Greathouse, and the dogs had been around other children before, including their own grandchildren. So the attack came as a total shock, Greathouse said.2

We remind readers what the founder of told The Dallas Morning News columnist Steve Blow after a family pit bull attacked and killed a baby boy in Dallas last April, "They're always shocked." The simplest way to avoid these horrific tragedies is for parents to never allow their children to be near these dogs. Tanner Smith is the 141st child mauled to death by pit bulls since the CDC stopped tracking breed data in 1998. Parents, please make this wise choice.
pit bullIn a scene almost too sickening to imagine, a 2-month-old baby in a bouncy seat was attacked and fatally mutilated by the family’s pit bull.
pit bullThe baby’s grandmother expressed the family’s complete shock. The dog had been in the family and around other children for eight years without problems, she said.
pit bullBut it’s no surprise at all for Lynn. In fact, it’s disgustingly familiar.
pit bull“It’s what they always say. They’re always shocked,” she said. - April 22, 2015, The Dallas Morning News
10/19/15: Pit Bulls Kill Boy in Texas
Orange County, TX - A 5-year old boy is dead after being mauled by two pit bulls Sunday evening. The Orange County Sheriff's Department identified the kindergartner as Tanner Smith of Vidor, Texas. At the time of the deadly attack, Tanner was with his mother, Ashley, who was visiting a friend at a home in the 1700 block of Aloha Street near Vidor. Ashley believed he was outside with her friend's husband, but then learned the husband was not home, according to the sheriff's office.
Once she realized the husband was not at the house, his mother went outside and discovered her son gravely injured by the two pit bulls.
Deputies and EMS arrived on scene and began life saving measures on the injured boy. He was transported to a hospital in Beaumont and was later pronounced dead. When the friend's husband learned what happened, he quickly returned home and shot and killed both pit bulls. Tanner would have turned 6-years old on Tuesday. His grandmother, Melissa Phillips, said he was bitten 16 times, including a horrific bite to the main artery of his neck. The investigation is ongoing.

Visiting Children Killed By Dogs

So far in 2015, dogs have killed 26 Americans. Pit bulls are responsible for 81% (21) of these deaths. 35% (9), of all dog bite fatality victims were either visiting or living temporarily with the dog's owner when the attack occurred. Of these deaths, children 7-years and younger accounted for 78% (7), and 89% (8), involved pit bulls. Texas leads all fatal attacks in 2015 with 5 deaths. Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma and West Virginia follow, each incurring 2 deaths.

Tanner Smith, 5-years old of Vidor, Texas, is the 470th American mauled to death by pit bulls.
map iconView the Google Map: Texas Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Texas Dog Bite Victims' Advocacy - Join our Texas email list to stay informed

Tanner Smith kindergarten classmates make cards for his family
1Bill Draper, Attitudes and laws against pit bulls soften, Associated Press, March 11, 2014 (
2Subsequent updates to the 12 News article later revised this to "terrible shock."

Related articles:
05/29/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: 5-Year Old Boy Fatally Attacked by Pit Bull in Chicago
04/29/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Kills Baby Boy in Dallas, Texas
04/22/15: As Family Mourns, Propaganda Hides Danger of Pit Bull Attacks - Steve Blow
04/04/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: 7-Year Old Boy Mauled to Death by Dogs in Canyon Lake, Texas
02/23/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Visiting Child Killed by Family Pit Bull in Pittsburgh Suburb
03/12/13: Report: Texas Dog Bite Fatalities, January 1, 2005 to February 17, 2013
05/21/11: Texas Doctors Produce Study: Mortality, Mauling and Maiming by Vicious Dogs

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day Arrives

take action on national pit bull victim awareness day, pit bull spay neuter laws
Pictured: Mia DeRouen, 4-years old, was killed by her family's pit bull in 2014.

Ways to Take Action
North America - Ten days ago, we wrote about a new information website launched by a coalition of over 50 support groups in the United States and Canada declaring October 24, 2015 the first ever National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day. The new website explains the multi-part pit bull crisis: innocent people and animal victims suffering serious and fatal injuries inflicted by pit bulls and the open admission shelter crisis caused by the rampant number of overbred and unwanted pit bulls.

Imagine if the volume of these victims and the pit bull shelter crisis -- extremely high pit bull intake, occupation and euthanasia rates -- were cut by a third or even by more in just a few years? Smart cities and counties that have adopted mandatory pit bull sterilization laws are seeing some of these results. More jurisdictions are following suit too. A mandatory pit bull sterilization law is a powerful step toward achieving a safer community and reigning in pit bull-related shelter issues.

Ways to Take Action

The new website lists ways that you can take action. Please help honor the victims of these attacks and prevent new life-altering maulings by voicing the concerns of victims. Encourage your community leaders and policymakers to review the successful results jurisdictions have achieved after adopting breed-specific pit bull laws. Advocate for breed-specific legislation and support education about the genetic inheritance of aggression and attack traits in pit bull type dogs.
About is a research and education nonprofit organization dedicated to conducting research on the growing, but underreported, public safety issue of severe and fatal dog attacks inflicted by well-documented dangerous dog breeds. We publish the results of our research to educate the public, law enforcement, journalists, attorneys and policymakers and to prevent new life-altering attacks. The public has the right to know information that helps them keep their families safe.

A very special thanks to Dogs Bite Decatur AL who has created so many posts about this day!

Related articles:
10/22/15: Protection for People, Pets and Pit Bulls - Lori Welbourne
10/15/15: Announcement: Happy Birthday; Nonprofit Turns 8-Years Old
10/14/15: Coalition of Victims' Groups Announce National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day...
09/01/15: Cities with Successful Pit Bull Laws; Data Shows Breed-Specific Laws Work
05/05/09: Alexandra Semyonova: Heritability of Behavior in the Abnormally Aggressive Dog

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Oklahoma Man Dies After Vicious Attack by Five Pit Bulls

Pit bulls kill oklahoma city man
Area where Edgar Brown was viciously attacked by five pit bulls on October 6.

Man Dies After Attack
Oklahoma City, OK - An Oklahoma City man viciously attacked by five pit bulls while tending to a rental property on October 6 died on Sunday. The media did not report the attack. Edgar Brown, 60-years old, spent 12-days hospitalized before dying of complications due to his injuries. His brother, Dexter Brown, said he was brutally mauled by the dogs. While hospitalized, his health quickly spiraled, including suffering a heart attack, which led to a triple bypass surgery, he said.
Doctors also had to amputate both of the victim's legs and part of one arm due to infection from the severe dog bite injuries.
At the time of the attack, Edgar was helping out a friend. According to his brother, Edgar was asked to go to a friend's rental home to take out the trash. The trashcans were located just inside of the gate on the side of the home. The pit bulls, which belonged to a nearby property, jumped the fence and charged him.1 Edgar was able to keep the gate closed, staving off the dogs, but the pit bulls found a hole in the fence, ran through it and attacked him on the other side of the gate.

He was hollering for help, Dexter said. Then somebody honked their horn and the dogs fled back through the hole in the fence. "He had blood all over him, all over the floor, everywhere," Dexter said. "Flesh was hanging off his arms. It was the most awful mess I’ve ever seen." Edgar was taken to OU Medical Center where doctors tried to save his life. "We buried him today. We had his funeral today,” Dexter said. "He was the most wonderful little brother you’ve ever had in your life."

All five pit bulls have since been euthanized.2 Oklahoma City police are investigating the case. The mauling death of Edgar Brown marks the third Oklahoma citizen struck down by vicious dogs in 2015. All three deadly attacks involved pit bulls. Previous victims include, Carolyn Lamp, 67-years old of Coweta, who was killed by a pack of dogs in Redbird and Jordan Charles Collins-Tyson, 3-years old of Lawton, who was killed by a family pit bull while visiting a relative's home.
map iconView the Google Map: Oklahoma Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

1Edgar's sister left a comment on the News 9 article indicating that the pit bulls belonged to a residence located behind the rental home -- the backyards of both homes were bordering and separated by a fence.
2The owner can now go out and buy a new crop of breeding pit bulls. There is nothing to stop him.

Related articles:
07/24/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Pack of Dogs Kill Woman in Wagoner County, Oklahoma
06/29/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Kills Child Under Babysitter's Watch...
09/30/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: Oklahoma Woman Killed by Pit Bull in Her Home
08/27/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: Elderly Oklahoma Man Killed by Two Pit Bulls
09/28/11: 2011 Dog Bite Fatality: Ardmore Man Mauled to Death by Chained Pit Bull

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Announcement: Happy Birthday!

Dog Bite Victims' Advocacy Group Turns 8-Years Old turns 8-years old
Austin, TX - October 15, 2015 marks the eighth year that has been operating on the Internet educating the public, dog bite victims, attorneys, doctors, law enforcement, journalists and policymakers about the growing epidemic of serious and fatal dog maulings in this country. The great majority of these attacks are inflicted by a select group of dangerous dog breeds: pit bulls, rottweilers and mastiff-types that were used to create "baiting" bull breeds and fighting breeds.

The end of 2014 marked a significant milestone for, the collection of 10-years of U.S. dog bite fatality data. When we began recording this data, we tracked 18 unique parameters for each attack. By 2013 those parameters had grown to 30. Over the course of 2015, we have been closely reviewing earlier years and adding these additional parameters to the earlier fatality records. We also closely track the few criminal trials where serious felony charges are pursued.
We track this data because the fundamental U.S. government agency that should be tracking this information, the CDC, stopped in 1998.
Each year our country moves beyond 1998 -- we are now 17-years beyond -- the failure of the CDC to reinvestigate this issue becomes more of a national embarrassment. We know through our correspondence with the CDC exactly where they stand on this matter: They will not reexamine. The very agency that demands "good data" in order to "save lives" refuses to collect it. Meanwhile, more and more medical studies are naming pit bulls as the leading inflictor of severe injuries.

In 2011, we launched Fatal Pit Bull Attacks - The Archival Record, tracking the growing number of Americans killed by pit bulls. As of today, 277 people have been mauled to death by pit bulls since the CDC stopped tracking breed data in 1998, and since 1980, 354 killed. Last year, we launched a separate page: Fatal Pit Bull Attacks - Child Fatalities. As of today, 140 children have been fatally struck down by these dogs since 1998, and since 1980, 191 dead. This is shameful.

More Advocacy Groups Form

Just yesterday a new website was announced, National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day, which occurs on October 24. A coalition of over 50 pit bull attack victims' groups across North America joined in the effort. This is very significant. Please view the partners and friends of this initiative. When we launched in October 2007, there were only four other websites online (action groups & blogs) and only two specific to pit bulls. Our Links page back then was very thin.
Facebook, first limited to colleges and high schools, opened to the public in September 2006 and introduced Facebook Pages in late 2007.1
We all have seen what has happened to Facebook since! Facebook Pages catapulted the ability for "non coders" to quickly set up advocacy websites, share content and create friendships with others who share a similar perspective. Developing all websites became simplified during this time too with free blogging platforms like Blogger and Wordpress. The ability for many non-technical people to become involved in our advocacy cause was finally realized with these tools.

What we still face, however, is social fear. Many people will not speak out in social media about the "pit bull issue" in fear of backlash from pit bull defenders. Much of the backlash is juvenile, but is still hurtful. We know there is a silent majority who understands that pit bulls are inherently dangerous based on the wide-margin voting victories in Aurora, Colorado and Miami-Dade. We have to motivate more of the silent majority to step forward and openly support our cause.

Key Benchmarks in Past 12-Months

In our Happy Birthday post last year, we published the key benchmarks from the previous 7-years. For our eighth Birthday anniversary, we will just post highlights of the last 12-months. From helping to stop six state preemption bills barring municipalities from adopting pit bull laws,2 to multiple rehomed "allegedly" safe pit bulls killing innocent people, and finally, to a wide-margin victory in Aurora choosing to keep their pit bull ban, the last 12-months have been very impactful.
1History of Facebook, Wikipedia and Facebook Declares New Era for Advertising, by Rob Hoff, Bloomberg Business, November 6, 2007 (
2So far in 2015, state preemption bills in six states have failed: Arizona, Georgia (two bills), Kentucky, Montana, North Carolina (two bills) and Washington. Currently, a live state preemption bill is pending in Michigan.
3The Page County sheriff originally described the dogs as 6-month old mixed-breeds with at least "some bulldog."

Related articles:
09/08/15: Releases New FAQ about Breed-Specific Legislation (BSL)
07/13/15: Criminal Trial: Babysitter Jena Wright Found Guilty After Her Pit Bull Brutally...
01/07/15: 2014 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs -
10/15/14: Announcement: Happy 7th Birthday!
07/24/14: Nonprofits Urge CDC to Resume Tracking Richer Data Set for Children and...

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2015 Dog Bite Fatality: 2-Year Old Boy Fatally Attacked by Dog in West Virginia

Kearneysville boy killed in dog attack, martinsburg, west virginia
No Criminal Charges
UPDATE 10/15/15: There will be no charges against the caretakers of a 2-year old boy that was killed by a chained dog in a yard accessible to children. Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely said, "It's just a horrible, horrible tragedy on all sides," and remarked that the death of Lemarkus Hicks was accidental. The cause and manner of death has yet to be released by the medical examiner's office, but evidence indicates the child died due to facial bites.

Games-Neely described the boy's death as occurring when Lemarkus was playing with several other children inside and outside a cluster of neighboring homes and in each other's yards. Somehow the 2-year old slipped away. He was discovered badly injured by the dog's owner in the backyard of the dog owner's home, but authorities did not release how many houses away this was. Games-Neely said that nothing occurred that rises to the level of criminal neglect.
"Everyone thought he was with the other kids (in one of the homes), but he wasn't." - Pamela Games-Neely, Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney
According to the Herald-Mail Media report, the dog's owner also had a pit bull and puppies that were not involved in the deadly attack. The owner surrendered the attacking dog, described alternatively as a "boxer-mix" and a medium sized brown "mixed-breed" in different media reports. It was euthanized Wednesday. He also signed over the pit bull and puppies to animal control for adoption, according to Games-Neely. The owner of the dogs wished to remain anonymous.

What is Not Believable

According to at least two commenters who claimed to know both parties involved, the dog's owner "only had pit bulls," and a third, Laurel Davis, even expressed the dog's owner was "breeding pits." But apparently, it was a 14-month old "boxer-mix" that killed the child. The chaining is believable, but a pit bull breeder with one adult dog and puppies in the home, along with a male young-adult chained boxer-mix outside is not.1 Pit bull breeders by definition breed pit bulls with other pit bulls.

Lastly, in addition to the horrific loss of this child, a lingering community horror will remain for many years. Even within a "cluster of neighboring homes" where children would play together, going in and out of each other's yards and homes, a death trap lay not far away: a chained dog in a yard accessible to children. The previous sense of safety and trust amongst nearby homes in the Baker Heights area is gone for good. No one is to blame, and the child is now buried in the ground.

10/06/15: Obituary is Published
On September 28, a 2-year old boy was attacked and killed by a dog after wandering into the owner's unfenced yard near his home. The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office still has not identified the boy. Despite an outpouring of social media posts memorializing the child, no local media released his name after the attack either. Lamarkus Hakeem Hicks died at Children's Hospital in Washington D.C. after being airlifted to the trauma center from a hospital in Martinsburg.
He is survived by his mother Kayla Tucker and other family members.
The degree of insufficient reporting -- or at the very least conflicting -- in combination with very sparse details released by the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office, some of which were also conflicting, further compounds this tragedy. On top of this, the breed labeling game was activated, primarily by WHAG-TV. Key commenters, who claim they know both families well and also defend the pit bull breed, state resolutely that the dog involved in the little boy's death is a pit bull.2

Additionally, other commenters chimed in about the dog's owner being a pit bull breeder. On the Herald Mail thread, Laurel Davis alleges, "the neighbor was convicted of animal cruelty and court ordered not to have dogs. But he was violating this restriction and breeding pits. Apparently he had at least 4 and no fence."3 Chelsea Lambert also commented early on that the owner has multiple dogs, "The man only has pitbulls and isn't supposed to have any dogs at all," she wrote.

Let the rumors keep flying? That is an all but certain outcome when authorities do not release consistent information after the dog mauling death of a child. The location of the attack also remains undisclosed, referred to only as the "area of Baker Heights," which is technically part of Kearneysville (population 6,716). Back in late June, there was a significant dogfighting bust in Kearneysville. We estimate the bust was less than 6-miles away from where the boy was killed.
Pit bulls, breeding and dogfighting are hardly new to Kearneysville.
Finally, in the most recent article by The Journal, published on October 1, Lt. Willie Johnson with the Berkeley County Sherriff's Department said that the fate of the attacking dog is still unknown, he does not know the breed of the dog, except that it is not pure bred and declined to comment if the dog has since been seized by animal control. Johnson said that the investigation is ongoing and asked that anyone with information about the attack to contact him or the anonymous tip line.

09/30/15: More Questions Raised
As more information is learned about the death of a 2-year old boy, even more questions are being raised. The Journal reports the dog is a "medium-sized brown dog of a mixed breed." Dramatically different property estimates are being made as well, from the boy wandering "about four houses away" from his own home, to "about two houses away" and The Journal reporting that the two properties were actually adjacent and not separated by a fence. These differences are profound.
"Part of the investigation is why didn't anybody know, how did the child get there, and what exactly happened?" - Captain Scott Richmond
Horrifically, in the most recently updated WHAG-TV report, Captain Scott Richmond with the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office states that the dog's owner discovered the severely injured child, but officials, "have no idea at this point how long that child laid there before he was found." Lt. Willie Johnson stated to The Journal that he had a "list of names" of people who were at the home at the time the boy wandered into the neighbor's yard, but is withholding their relation to the boy.

So far, the boy's name has not been released nor his caretakers, no address has been released for the boy's residence or where he was found,4 at best debatable information has been released about the chained, attacking dog -- county law does have chaining limitations. Of course the dog's owner has not been named either, after killing a toddler the dog is still being quarantined at the dog owner's home and not even authorities know, apparently, how long the child was missing.

Furthermore, officials are not even sure now if the dog was chained due to conflicting statements!

09/29/15: Dog Kills Young Boy
Berkeley County, WV - The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office reports that a 2-year old boy was attacked and killed by his neighbor's dog in the Baker Heights area Monday evening. The preliminary investigation shows that the toddler wandered from his property on Charles Town Road onto the property where the dog was located. The boy was found unresponsive lying near the dog at about 5 pm by the owner of the animal, according to the sheriff's department.
The neighbor's yard is about four houses away from the boy's home, sheriff's department spokesman Lt. Willie Johnson said Tuesday.
The little boy was transported to Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg then airlifted to another medical facility due to the severity of his injuries. The name of the second hospital was not released by the sheriff's office, nor was the identity of the child or the dog's owner. The breed of dog was also not released or whether the animal was chained, penned or loose at the time of the fatal dog attack. No information was provided about the boy's parents or caretakers either.

Late Afternoon Updates

A late afternoon update by WHAG-TV reports that the dog was a 2 to 3-year old "boxer-mix." The term is often in quotations by because a "boxer-mix" is the most common label used by pit bull owners to mislabel their dogs. Another update at 6:12 pm (video only), said the attack occurred in the neighbor's unfenced backyard, the dog was chained at the time of the attack and the child was attacked in the face. It remains unclear who was supervising the boy at the time.

Meanwhile, Chelsea Marie Lambert has been commenting on the Herald Mail thread, stating to people that the attacking dog is a pit bull. "It was a pit bull, my mother's house is in between the house where the babies grandparents live and the yard where the dog was.... The man only has pitbulls and isn't supposed to have any dogs at all," she writes. Then later writes, "Angie Rhodes it was a pitbull they did CPR on the boy on my mother's walkway the neighbor only has pitbulls."

Currently, and unbelievably, the fatally attacking dog is being quarantined at its owner's home.

1Presuming anything about this poorly reported fatal dog mauling of a child is a bad idea, but the attacking dog's name was "Bubba," so we assume it was a male dog. Note how the media could not even report the most bottom-of-the-barrel basics? Such as was the dog male or female? (Way beyond scope to ask if it was spay or neutered!)
2Both Chelsea Marie Lambert and Brandon Michael claim to have inside knowledge, both defend the pit bull breed and still say the dog was a pit bull. See more in our Comment section below or The Journal's Facebook post.
3Chasing rumors. The allegation that the dog's owner was previously convicted of animal cruelty may have begun on The Journal's Facebook post published on September 29. The third reply to the first comment is by Melanie Ann Eaton who asks, "Can you please get his prior probation too for animal abuse, from my understanding he was not suppose to have any animals and this dog was living on a chain also which is against our law." Eaton works at Berkeley TNR and Rescue (a cat only rescue), according to her Facebook page. Lambert and Davis also make similar references to the dog owner's past on The Journal and Herald Mail Facebook news post threads.
4We do have all of this information now -- every last bit of it thanks to the Internet. It is unclear to us why this boy has not yet been identified by sheriff's officials or the local media. As if the boy's photo has not been published on multiple public Facebook pages already? His mother also has a public Instagram page. Baffled and concerned!

Related articles:
03/19/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Kills Man Trying to Save Heart Attack Victim in Wheeling
01/25/13: West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Upholds Town of Ceredo's Pit Bull Ban
06/27/12: 2012 Dog Bite Fatality: 2-Year Old Boy Killed by Dogs in West Virginia
12/10/09: 2009 Dog Bite Fatality: 70-Year Old Dies After Violent Maiming by Pit Bulls

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Coalition of Victims' Groups Announce National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day, Launch Advocacy Website

National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day - October 24, 2015

October 24, 2015
National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day (NPBVAD) - October 24, 2015

Advocacy Website Launches
North America - Over 50 pit bull attack support groups in the United States and Canada have joined in a coalition to launch a new website -- -- that coincides with the unofficial National Pit Bull Awareness Day, also occurring on the same day. The first national pit bull day event, started by Tennessee-based Bless the Bullys, was launched 8-years ago in October 2007, at approximately the same time was launched.

The new advocacy website, National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day, was developed to raise awareness of the social and financial costs of pit bull attacks and provides information on the growing epidemic of serious and fatal pit bull maulings across North America. The new website combines statistics and information from multiple sources and is intended to help citizens, policymakers and elected officials quickly understand the scope of this urgent public safety issue.

The new initiative evolved out of the need to amass the growing number of pit bull victim groups into a central online support hub, states the news release. "As the numbers of dead and disfigured by pit bulls continue to increase, our concerns are still not being sufficiently addressed by elected officials," states Jeff Borchardt, founder of Daxton's Friends for Canine Education and Awareness. Borchardt's 14-month-old son was mauled to death by his babysitter's two pit bulls in March 2013.

We invite readers to explore the new advocacy website, which features state-by-state reports of pit bull fatality and bite statistics, breed-specific laws pertaining to many U.S. states and recent pit bull attacks in Canada. The Scope of Issues section addresses why pit bulls are dangerous to people, our families and our pets, why pit bulls are a health and safety threat to communities, and why pit bulls are a tax-payer issue, a police and paramedics issue, a legislation issue and much more.

The Articles section contains a collection of excellent recent articles by U.S. and Canadian news publications and writers -- the standouts, those who are willing to state the truth and face the consequences -- and is led chronologically by attorney and author J. Thomas Beasley, editor of Animals 24-7, Merritt Clifton, syndicated columnist Lori Welbourne and National Post columnist and author Barbara Kay, who has been writing pointedly about this issue for a number of years.

Finally, the new website drives in how long -- over three decades now and counting -- victims and communities have been struggling with these issues. During this time, pit bull maulings and fatalities have dramatically increased, along with the ever rising total population of pit bulls. The Scope of Issues caused by pit bulls will also continue to expand until more citizens, policymakers and elected officials understand and support preventative breed-specific legislation solutions.

Partnering organizations for National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day include Daxton's Friends,, Dangerous by Default, Protect Children from Pit Bulls and Other Dangerous Dogs, a popular Facebook Page, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and Awareness for Victims of Canine Attack (AVOCA), the organization that launched the first ever Canine Victims Awareness Week last November, headlined with the PSA, "Won’t Back Down."

Hashtags:      #NationalPitBullVictimAwarenessDay      #WeAreAllVictims

Meme campaign, National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day
Also explore their extensive meme campaign, and Like and share their Facebook Page.

comparing the Pawtucket pit bull ban to national statistics
The chart used in the news release is a subset of the Merritt Clifton report, visually charted by, along with the Vick overlay. It was created in September 2013, when we compared Pawtucket's pit bull ban results to national statistics. This chart is now updated each year.

Related articles:
04/20/15: 2015 First Quarter Report: Municipalities Beat Back State Preemption Bills...
04/01/15: Book Review: Misunderstood Nanny Dogs? A Critical and Objective Analysis...
11/13/14: Canine Attack Victims' Group Releases Open Letter to Arianna Huffington
11/10/14: Canine Attack Victims' Group Releases Public Service Announcement...
07/24/14: Nonprofits Urge CDC to Resume Tracking Richer Data Set for Children...
09/17/13: Dramatic Decline in Attacks by Pit Bulls Since Pawtucket Adopted Pit Bull Ban...
10/22/11: Mother of Two Responds to 'Pit Bull Awareness Day' in Massachusetts
10/24/09: 2009 Pit Bull Awareness Day by YouTube Artist Zupf -
10/25/08: On Pit Bull Awareness Day, Releases Video of Attack Victims

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Pit Bulls Lead 'Bite' Counts Across U.S. Cities and Counties

Dog Biting Incidents: 2008 to 2015

Pit Bulls Lead Bite Counts Across U.S. Cities and Counties - Animal control or health departments in at least 28 U.S. states report that pit bulls are out biting all other dog breeds, including: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. The oft-quoted claim by pro-pit bull groups that pit bulls "do not bite more than other breeds" is wholly false. Along with dominating bite counts, the pit bull bite is also the most damaging, often inflicting permanent and disfiguring injuries.

Cleveland, Ohio
In November 2015, Cleveland 19 published dog bite statistical data from Cleveland showing the results of two time periods. In 2014, pit bulls were responsible for 40% of all dog bites where the dog's breed was identified. During the next 8-month period, January 1, 2015 to August 12, 2015, pit bulls were responsible for 41% of all dog bites involving an identified breed. Despite this, the city's Chief Animal Control Officer, Ed Jamison, denied that pit bulls posed a danger to the public and also denied that the city shelter -- with a pit bull occupancy rate of 40% -- posed a problem to the shelter. Cleveland 19 dubbed the city shelter, "The Pit Bull Motel." (View: full data file).

Carl Monday, Carl Monday Investigation: Pit Bulls in Cleveland, Cleveland 19 News, November 4, 2015 ( (Archived by, Accessed: 11/05/2015, 16:38:04 UTC:

Hastings, Michigan
In October 2015, Hastings city officials discussed repealing their pit bull ordinance that prima facie declares pit bulls "dangerous." During discussions, Hastings City Police Chief Jeff Pratt shared statistics on dog-related complaints dating back to 2011. The statistics showed that 48% of all dog bites involved pit bulls, 41% of dangerous or aggressive dog complaints involved pit bulls and 66% of dogs shot by officers were pit bulls. Overall, “45.7% of our dog calls involve the pit bull breed,” Pratt said. “To me, this is a very significant number." These statistics clearly show that removing the existing ordinance, which does not prevent people from owning pit bulls, is injudicious.

Sandra Ponsetto, City asked to reconsider eliminating breed-specific dog ordinance, Hastings Banner, November 12, 2015 ( URL: Accessed: 2015-11-12. (Archived by WebCite® at
Sandra Ponsetto, Dog discrimination to be a thing of the past for City of Hastings, Hastings Banner, October 29, 2015 ( URL: Accessed: 2015-11-12. (Archived by WebCite® at

Orange County, Florida 
In June 2015, WKMG 6 News published the results of county dog bites over a 1-year period. From October 2013 to September 2014, Orange County Animal Services issued 331 citations to dog owners for failing to control their pets that resulted in a bite. Pit bulls and their mixes were responsible for 35% of all bites. Labs followed in distant second place with 7%. German shepherds and chihuahuas each made up 6% of all reported bites. The records showed that 7% of all bites occurred when someone tried to break up a fight between two dogs or rescue a dog being attacked by another dog and 2% of the owners were repeat offenders. (View: graphic chart).

Mike DeForest, "Dog bite cases examined," WKMG 6 News, June 2, 2015 ( URL: Accessed: 2015-06-03. (Archived by WebCite® at
"Web Extra: Animal Bite Statistics," WKMG 6 News, June 2, 2015 ( URL: Accessed: 2015-06-03. (Archived by WebCite® at

Portland-Area, Oregon
In March 2015, the Oregonian released results of an investigation of Portland-area dog bites since 2010. The investigation showed that there were 3,940 total reported biting incidents. Pit bulls inflicted 510 of these bites and were responsible for more bites than all other dog breeds. Labs, which outnumbered licensed pit bulls by nearly 5-to-1, fell at a distant second with 427 bites. Among the highest biting rates by breed, pit bulls were number one with a 120 rate, followed by chows with a 100 rate, rottweilers 87 and mastiffs 76. The lowest biting rate breeds were golden retrievers, poodles and pomeranians with 12 and 13 rates accordingly (View: graphic chart).

Fedor Zarkhin, "Pit bulls are No. 1 in Portland-area bite investigations, data show," The Oregonian/Oregon Live, March 16, 2015 ( URL: Accessed: 2015-05-02. (Archived by WebCite® at

Houston, Texas
In November 2014, ABC 13 Eyewitness News did an investigation into the number of dog bites in the City of Houston. This is the first known reporting of total dog bites in Houston on record in many years (and possibly ever). Statistics pertain to January 1, 2014 to September 24, 2014 and were supplied by the Bureau of Animal Regulation and Control (BARC).1 Of the 1540 total reported bites during this period, pit bulls led with 518, double the number of the next topmost biting breed, German shepherds with 253 biting incidents. Labs followed in third place with 171. Notably, Belgium malinois were also represented in fifth place with 37 (View: graphic chart).

Jessica Willey, "Are you living near one of Houston's most dangerous dogs?" ABC 13 Eyewitness News, November 26, 2014 ( URL: Accessed: 2014-11-28. (Archived by WebCite® at
Houston Dog Bites, January 1st through September 24th, 2014, Source: BARC (Archived by

1 We do not believe bites reported in unincorporated Harris County were included.

San Diego County, California
Also in November, NBC 7 released an investigative report after examining 7,600 bite reports between July 2011 and June 2014 in the jurisdiction of Animal Services, which includes the unincorporated portion of the county, and the cities of San Diego, Carlsbad, Santee, Solana Beach, Del Mar and Encinitas. Pit bulls had the most bites, a total of 851 during the 3-year period. Followed by German shepherds with 349 (less than half). In the 11-month period of December 2011 to November 2012, dogs in San Diego County killed four people, five if one includes a San Diego pit bull that was taken across the border and within a week killed a little girl in Tijuana.

Wendy Fry, "Tracking San Diego's Serious Dog Bites," NBC7 San Diego, November 4, 2014 ( URL: Accessed: 2014-11-07. (Archived by WebCite® at

Des Moines, Iowa
Also in November, after city council wrestled with pit bull advocates about their ordinance that declares pit bulls "vicious," assistant Des Moines city manager Kandi Reindl presented data showing that pit bulls are still out biting the most popular dog breed despite being regulated. The fist six months of data from 2014 showed that pit bulls were responsible for 27 biting incidents, more than any other breed, out of 150 incidents. Labs followed with 14. However, there are 1,831 licensed Labs compared with 466 licensed pit bulls, according to licensing data. "We have more bites by a pit bull than a Lab and there are four times as many Labs in the city," Reindl said.

Timothy Meinch, "Pit bulls 'high risk' in new proposed ordinance," The Des Moines Register, November 17, 2014 ( URL: Accessed: 2015-01-08. (Archived by WebCite® at

Pennsylvania State
In September 2014, after a 20-month old boy was badly bitten in the face by his grandmother's pit bull in Manheim Township, the LancasterOnline wrote an editorial (Pit bulls and small children may be dangerous mix) and provided state dangerous dog designation statistics. Of the 562 dogs on the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Dangerous Dog registry, pit bulls accounted for a whopping 41%. The next highest category on the list, mixed-breeds (non-pit bulls), accounted for 23%. "That is not even a single breed," notes the editorial. The single breed with the second-highest percentage on the list were German shepherds, accounting for just 7%.

The Editorial Board, "Pit bulls and small children may be a dangerous mix," LancasterOnline, September 19, 2014 ( URL: Accessed: 2015-09-23. (Archived by WebCite® at

King County, Washington
In August 2014, after a series of pit bull attacks in Western Washington, KIRO 7 obtained bite statistics from area municipalities and learned that pit bulls are 8.5 times more likely to attack than other dog breeds. Of the areas investigated, King County, Pierce County, Snohomish County and the City of Tacoma, only King County collected dog bites "by breed." In that county (presumably excluding Seattle), there were 178 total dog bites in 2013. Pit bulls topped the charts with 36 bites, followed by Labs with 28 bites. However, there are 16,651 labs and only 2,520 pit bulls registered in the county, which means that pit bulls are 8.5 times more likely to bite than Labs.

David Ham, "Pit bulls 8 and a half times more likely to attack," Kiro 7, August 4, 2014 ( URL: Accessed: 2014-08-04. (Archived by WebCite® at

Boston, Massachusetts
In June 2014, published an article titled, 'But, My Pit Bull Would Never Attack' May Be Wishful Thinking. The publication then plowed through several years of dog bite statistics. From January 2012 to June 2014, there were 661 total dog bites in Boston, which includes bites against human, animal and unknown victims. Pit bulls and their mixes were responsible for 27% (180), despite pit bulls only making up 3% of the registered dog population. In 2012, a state anti-BSL law signed by Governor Deval Patrick struck down the City of Boston's Responsible Pit Bull Ownership Act. Ever since, attacks by pit bulls have been on the rise. See: related graphic.

Megan Turchi, "'But, My Pit Bull Would Never Attack' May Be Wishful Thinking,", June 24, 2014 ( URL: Accessed: 2014-06-25. (Archived by WebCite® at

Hamilton County, Ohio
Also in June, after one of the worst attacks the region has ever seen, Hamilton County Health Department data showed that from January 1 to May 11, 2014, there were 38 biting incidents involving pit bulls and their mixes. In 2013, there were 74 total pit bull biting incidents. 2014 is on pace to top the total reported in 2013. Notably absent from the data is 2011 comparison statistics when Cincinnati still had a pit bull ban. Cincinnati repealed their longstanding ban in May 2012. The recent victim, 6-year old Zainabou Drame, suffered unimaginable injuries, including her tongue ripped out and her jaw torn off. Two pit bulls latched onto her face and pulled it apart.

Mark Nichols, "INTERACTIVE: Pit bull dog bite incidents in Hamilton County on the rise," WCPO Cincinnati, June 10, 2014 ( URL: Accessed: 2014-06-21. (Archived by WebCite® at
Tom McKee and Greg Noble, "Girl's family says 6-year-old suffered horrific injuries in pit bull attack in Westwood," WCPO Cincinnati, June 6, 2014 ( URL: Accessed: 2014-06-21. (Archived by WebCite® at

Franklin County, Ohio
In May 2014, Franklin County Department of Animal Care and Control released 2013 statistical data showing Nuisance, Dangerous and Vicious Designations by Breed (See: data chart). This data is a reflection of the new state law adopted in 2012. Pit bulls topped the charts in all three categories. Of the 208 total Nuisance designations in 2013, pit bulls received 79 (38%), followed by "mix" with 69 and Labs with 8 -- pit bulls towering over Labs by a 990% margin. Of the 291 total Dangerous designations, pit bulls received 124 (43%), followed by "mix" with 87 and German shepherds with 15. Of the 23 total Vicious designations in 2013, pit bulls received 13 (57%).

"Mother’s Day Dog Attack Sends Columbus Woman To The Hospital," WBNS-TV, May 12, 2014 ( URL: Accessed: 2014-05-13. (Archived by WebCite® at

Madison, Wisconsin
In February 2014, Alderman John Strasser introduced a pit bull sterilization ordinance to combat shelter overpopulation and a disproportionate number of attacks by pit bulls. Statistics complied by Public Health Madison and Dane County showed that: "More than half of the dogs euthanized at the humane society during 2010-12 were pit bulls … Pit bulls accounted for 12 percent of incidents involving dogs biting humans and 38 percent of the dog-on-dog attacks in the city in 2013. They also made up 21 percent of the cases of dogs running at large and 48 percent of abandoned dogs. Of the 15 dogs that were declared dangerous during 2011-13, 14 were pit bulls."

Dennis Punzel, "City hopes to take a bite out of pit bull overpopulation," Wisconsin State Journal, February 3, 2014 ( URL: Accessed: 2014-10-20. (Archived by WebCite® at

Bullhead City, Arizona
In January 2014, after a pit bull repeatedly escaped its yard terrorizing citizens and killing a pet dog, Bullhead City Police Department released dog bite statistics. The statistics showed that pit bulls were responsible for nearly half of all biting incidents. In 2013, animal control officers responded to 126 dog bites. Of these bites, (48%) -- 60 -- were inflicted by pit bulls and their mixes. The other half was spread among a variety of breeds. The release of the statistics and discussion of creating a stronger dog ordinance came just weeks after a Bullhead City man was fatally injured by his own five dogs trying to break up a dog fight in late December.

Cat Smith, "City to host forum on dog ordinances," Mohave Daily News, January 23, 2014 ( URL: Accessed: 2014-01-23. (Archived by WebCite® at

Medford, Oregon
Also in January, Medford City Council began considering ways to crack down on the growing number of attacks by dangerous dog breeds. In the past three years, 89 reports of dog bites were received, according to the Medford Police Department. Pit bulls were involved in half of the attacks, and pit bulls or their mixes were responsible for 8 of the 11 fatal attacks on animals. Councilor Karen Blair began looking into the matter after a series of aggressive dog-on-dog attacks. Blair wants to review how other cities have controlled the problem, which includes reviewing cities with pit bull bans, mandatory pit bull sterilization or insurance requirements.

Damian Mann, "Medford looks at possible pit-bull ban," Mail Tribume, January 9, 2014 ( URL: Accessed: 2014-01-09. (Archived by WebCite® at

Chicago, Illinois
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%.

Robert McCoppin, "Pit bull overload floods shelters, strains rescuers," Chicago Tribune, December 5, 2013 ( URL:,0,1261355.story. Accessed: 2013-12-07. (Archived by WebCite® at

Lubbock, Texas
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.

Gabriel Monte, "Nearly one-third of Lubbock dog bite reports in 2012 blamed on pit bulls, trend continues to '13," Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, November 15, 2013 ( URL: Accessed: 2013-11-17. (Archived by WebCite® at
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, 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.

Aaron Luna, "Dog bite incidents by the number,", August 20, 2013 ( URL: Accessed: 2013-09-03. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

Lisa Hutson, "Garland Co. discussing vicious dog ordinance," THV 11, June 17, 2013 ( AUTHORNAME. TITLE. SOURCE. . URL: Accessed: 2013-06-20. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

Jeff Wiehe, "Dog bites leave marks well after attack occurs," The Journal Gazette, May 26, 2013 ( URL: Accessed: 2013-06-09. (Archived by WebCite® at

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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.

Katie DeLong, "MADACC releases dog bite numbers from 2012,", March 7, 2013 ( URL: Accessed: 2013-03-08. (Archived by WebCite® at

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%.

Brittany Wallman, "Pit bulls far outpace other breeds in bite reports," Sun-Sentinel, March 8, 2013 ( URL:,0,3878298,full.story. Accessed: 2013-03-09. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

"West Memphis Considers Dog Ordinance,", March 14, 2013 ( URL: Accessed: 2013-03-21. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

Catherine Kavanaugh, "Royal Oak setting new rules for ‘dangerous’ dogs," Daily Tribune, February 6, 2013 ( URL: Accessed: 2013-02-08. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control Dog Bite Summary, 2011. San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control Dog Bite Summary, 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%.

Berkeley Brean, "Update: I-Team10 Investigation: Cop reports show pit bulls bite the most," WHEC-TV, October 30, 2012 ( URL: Accessed: 2012-10-31. (Archived by WebCite® at
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.

Austin, Texas
In August 2012, 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.

2007-2011 Austin Dog Bite Data - Austin Animal Services
2007-2008 Austin Dog Breed Licenses - Austin Animal Services

Roanoke, Virginia
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. 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

Scott Leamon, "Pit bulls are number one breed coming into Roanoke's dog pound,", May 25, 2012 ( URL: Accessed: 2012-05-25. (Archived by WebCite® at
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.

Malden, Massachusetts
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

"Councillor Kinnon answers critics of Pit Bull ordinance," The Malden Advocate, April 11, 2012 ( URL: Accessed: 2012-05-25. (Archived by WebCite® at
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.

Victoria, Texas
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.

Sonny Long, "Victoria animal control responds to 3 pit bull attacks in 3 days," Victoria Advocate, April 30, 2012 ( URL: Accessed: 2012-05-25. (Archived by WebCite® at

Chicago, Illinois
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

Mick Sawsko, "When animals attack," Redeye Chicago, March 21, 2012 ( URL:,0,2905321.story. Accessed: 2012-03-25. (Archived by WebCite® at
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, 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, 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."

Katie Crowther, "The debate over pit bulls: dangerous or docile?", March 1, 2012 ( URL: Accessed: 2012-03-02. (Archived by WebCite® at

Multiple Counties, North Carolina
In February 2012, 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."

"The Pit Bull Debate, Part 2,", February 9, 2012 ( URL: Accessed: 2012-03-02. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

Laurie Ritger, "Fond du Lac considers ban on pit bulls,", January 21, 2012 (
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.

Tammy Vo, "What's the truth about pit bulls?" KGUN9-TV, November 2, 2011 ( URL: Accessed: 2011-11-03. (Archived by WebCite® at

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."

Gary Buiso, "Leash the hounds," New York Post, November 27, 2011 ( URL: Accessed: 2011-11-30. (Archived by WebCite® at

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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

Lindsay Morone, "Expert: Pit Bull attacks are quite rare," TODAY'S TMJ4, November 22, 2011 ( URL: Accessed: 2011-11-27. (Archived by WebCite® at
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.

Esteban Parra, "Wilmington cracks down on illegal pit bulls," The News Journal, October 30, 2011 ( URL: Accessed: 2011-11-13. (Archived by WebCite® at
1The "unknown" factor may be the result of some counties not tracking dog bites by breed.

Amarillo, Texas
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.

Yann Ranaivo, "Animal Control: Pit bulls responsible for most bites," Amarillo Globe News, October 4, 2011 ( URL: Accessed: 2011-10-23. (Archived by WebCite® at

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, pointed out that only 290 citations were issued during this same period even though almost 10 times as many incidents were reported.

John Wilkens, "What's being done about dog bites,", July 16, 2011 ( URL: Accessed: 2011-07-29. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

Bob Brenzing, "Lawmakers looking at pit bull bans," WZZM 13, July 27, 2011 ( URL: Accessed: 2011-10-23. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County Animal Bite Report, 2010-2011 ( (Archived by

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."

Jonathan Moynihan, "Pit Bull Incidents Outnumber Other Dog Attacks 2 to 1," SevernaParkPatch, June 20, 2011 ( URL: Accessed: 2011-06-20. (Archived by WebCite® at

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

John Scheibe, "Pit bull dogs seen as both vicious and very gentle," Ventura County Star, May 13, 2011 ( URL: Accessed: 2011-05-14. (Archived by WebCite® at
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.

Steve Stout, “Pit Bulls No. 1 In County For Reported Bites,” KPHO Phoenix, March 23, 2011 (
URL: Accessed: 2011-03-24. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

Lorena Mongelli and Kevin Fasick, "Tiny dogs major culprits behind record number of bites," New York Post, February 18, 2011 ( URL: Accessed: 2011-02-18. (Archived by WebCite® at

Sacramento, California
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."

Chris Macias, "Sacramento restaurateurs organize auction to help dog-bite victim," The Sacramento Bee, January 19, 2011 ( URL: Accessed: 2011-01-30. (Archived by WebCite® at

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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 to fire off an email to Public Safety Director Mike Huss. Yet Akrie is up to his pit bull distortions again.

"Official Discusses Concern After Latest Dog Attack,", October 11, 2010 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-10-11. (Archived by WebCite® at

Memphis, Tennessee
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 -- and other groups that track national fatal dog attack data, including -- 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.

Jill Monier,"Dog Attacks Growing Problem," My Fox Memphis, October 19, 2010 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-11-20. (Archived by WebCite® at

Lynn, Massachusetts
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.

Thor Jourgensen, "Kennedy to sign or reject pit bull ordinance by Friday," The Daily Item, August 19, 2010 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-11. (Archived by WebCite® at

Worcester, Massachusetts
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.

Nick Kotsopoulos, "Proposed rule would restrict pit bulls," News Telegram, July 19, 2010 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-08-31. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

Phil Willon, "San Bernardino County to require spaying or neutering of pit bulls," Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2010 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at
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."

Statehouse Report by County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO), April 16, 2010 ( (Archived by

Toledo, Ohio
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.

Lou Herbert, "Pit bulls bite most in Lucas County," WNWO NBC24, December 22, 2009 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

Bakersfield, California
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."

Steven Mayer, "Neighborhood safety going to the dogs,", September 19, 2009 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-06. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

"Local news: Dangerous dogs on agenda in Royal Oak,", September 21, 2009 ( (Archive unavailable)
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.

Lisa Miller, "Pit Bull bites up 20% in Mecklenburg County," WFAE 90.7 FM, August 13, 2009 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

Springdale, Arkansas
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.

"City To Crack Down On Dangerous Dogs," KHBS NW Arkansas, August 12, 2009 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

Hamilton, Ohio (Butler County)
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%).

Richard Wilson, "Pit bull owner stands by the breed," The Oxford Press, July 19, 2009 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

Dennis Joyce, "Dog bite data doesn’t add up for lovers of Labradors," Tampa Tribune, July 29, 2009 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

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 ( (Archived by

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."

Russ Olivo, "Police push pit bull law," The Call, June 14, 2009 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at
1Nine months later, Officer Kay is attacked and seriously injured by a pit bull while in the line of duty.

Lincoln, Nebraska
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.

Jason Volentine, "Updated Lincoln Boy Recovering After Pit Bull Attack," KOLNKGIN, June 3, 2009 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

Samantha Andre, "Pit bull attack sends man to hospital,", June 23, 2009 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

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."

"Pit bull attacks in Syracuse on the rise," NewsChannel 9 WSYR, May 29, 2009 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

Dyersburg, Tennessee
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.

"Pit bull attack causes injury and outrage," State Gazette, April 4, 2009 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

Ogden, Utah
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.

Scott Schwebke, "Tougher rules for pit bulls," Standard-Examiner, March 29, 2009 ( (Archive unavailable)

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.

Benjamin Roode, "Pit bulls maul jogger," The Daily Commercial, March 31, 2009 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

"Search Broward County animal bite reports" South Florida Sun Sentinel, 2009 ( (Archived by

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.

"Review of the Viability of City or County Pre-emption of Banning Certain Dog Breeds By Ordinance," Committee on Community Affairs, Florida Senate Interim Report 2009-102. (Archived by

Altoona, Pennsylvania
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.

William Kibler, "Dog attack highlights city's problem with pit bulls," The Altoona Mirror, March 8, 2009 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

Indianapolis, Indiana
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.

Heather Gillers, "Can pit bulls be saved?" The Indianapolis Star, February 1, 2009 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

Wichita, Kansas
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).
"Wichita Pit Bull Dogs in 2008," Wichita Department of Environmental Services, January 2009 ( (Archived by

Canton, Ohio
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.

Ed Balint, "Canton may designate American bulldogs as vicious animals," The Canton Repository, September 14, 2008 ( (Archived by

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.

Jon Nielsen, "North Texas cities seek breed-specific regulations as statistics show pit bulls lead in bite incidents," Dallas Morning News, August 22, 2008 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

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.

Lance Benzel, "Pit bull mauls a 5-year-old boy," Colorado Springs Gazette, May 30, 2008 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

Lubbock, Texas
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.

Joshua Hull and Robin Pyle, "Dog attack concerns growing in Lubbock," Lubbock Online, February 24, 2008 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

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."

Todd Wallack, "Dog bite reports show pit bulls likeliest culprits," San Francisco Chronicle, July 11, 2005 ( URL: Accessed: 2010-09-01. (Archived by WebCite® at

Related articles:
08/31/15: Who Can Identify a Pit Bull? A Dog Owner of 'Ordinary Intelligence'...
02/11/15: 2014 U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities - Dog Bite Statistics -
01/07/15: 2014 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs -
06/01/14: Cities with Successful Pit Bull Laws; Data Shows Breed-Specific Laws Work
01/20/14: 2013 U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities - Dog Bite Statistics -
01/03/14: 2013 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs -
04/22/09: Report: U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities January 2006 to December 2008

Photos: German shephered: Brigitte Mardorf and Labrador Retriever: Elf, both: CC BY-SA 3.0

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