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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

2017 Dog Bite Fatality: South African Boerboel Breeder Killed by One of Her Gladiator Dogs in Asheville, North Carolina

A Brief History of the South African Mastiff - The 'Farmer's Bulldog'

Boerboel breeder found dead in Asheville
Jane Marie Egle, 59-years old, was killed by her South African boerboel on May 1.

Autopsy Released
UPDATE 04/17/18: On May 1, 2017 the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office responded to a residence after receiving a call for assistance. They found Jane Egle, 59, dead on the floor of her home. One of the victim's South African boerboels was also in the home, exhibiting so much aggression that deputies "destroyed" it at the scene. Egle's cause of death was not released. The only incident report released by the sheriff's office indicated the victim had "minor" injuries.

On April 16, 2018, nearly one year later, Egle's autopsy results were released. The autopsy was performed May 3, 2017 under the presence of "representatives for Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office," states the medical examiner's report. The cause of death was "exsanguination due to multiple penetrating and blunt force injuries of the head and neck, consistent with canine bites due to dog mauling." The sheriff's office knew the cause of death on May 3, but misled the media.
The sheriff's office failure to release cause of death forced us to exclude Egle from our late February release of 2017 dog bite fatality statistics.
The Buncombe County Sheriff's Office delayed the release of any information about Egle's death until four days afterward. We noted that action as a "red flag" in our initial post. On May 5, Natalie Bailey, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, told the Citizen-Times, the exact cause of death had not yet been determined. Bailey stated the same thing to the Citizen-Times on May 9, six days after the autopsy was complete and the official cause of death was known by the sheriff's office.

On November 22, 2017, after three FOIA requests, we received a copy of the 1-page incident report from the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office. Within the "Injury" area, there are multiple boxes to choose from, including "Broken Bones, Severe Lacerations, Other Major" and more. The officer checked the "Minor" box only. His or her supervisor signed the report. We now know the incident report was fraudulent. The South African boerboel ripped out the front of Egle's throat.

South African boerboel name Moyo killed owner, Jane Egle

05/17/17: Time for Honest Dialogue
Asheville, NC - On May 5, it was a reported that a 59-year old woman was found dead in her home with an aggressive South African boerboel. Deputies had discovered her body four days earlier -- red flag. We looked into the case and quickly learned that Jane Egle was a breeder and seller of South African mastiffs. She had a dedicated website, "Beloved Boerboels," that notes she previously worked with rottweilers and bullmastiffs, along with Facebook and Instagram pages.

In addition to the delayed release of her death information, the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office quickly resorted to, "visible cuts on her body that are consistent with an animal attack, but her exact cause of death" is undetermined. It remains unknown today, 15 days later, if her death is an actual dog bite fatality -- red flag number two. In our ten years of tracking dog mauling deaths, when law enforcement limits the release of injury information, there may be other factors at play.
In the past, other factors have included trying to dampen public interest or media attention to the mauling case, which we have seen backfire too.
When deputies arrived at the scene, the gladiator dog -- one of the fiercest guarding breeds -- predictably would not allow first responders into the home. Deputies were forced to dispatch the massive dog to reach the woman. Seven other boerboels were also seized from Egle's yard along with a great pyrenees. Asheville Humane Society, which operates the Buncombe County animal shelter, stated right away the adult boerboels were dangerous and slated them for euthanasia.

One of Jane Egle's Boerboels

Memory Lane: In 2015, the Asheville Humane Society (AHS) adopted out a pit bull that passed a temperament test. Three weeks later, the dog brutally killed a 6-year old boy. No temperament test can measure unpredictable aggression. These tests can measure obvious aggression, as can observation, which is the case with the boerboels that Egle liked to dress up with bling. Recall that AHS also had a habit of anthropomorphizing pit bulls with bling to make them more palatable.

The Dog Behavior Consultant

On May 8, WLOS interviewed Kim Brophey, a certified dog behavior consultant that evaluated the South African boerboels, six adults and one 4-month old. As one would imagine, she was terrified of the dogs. "I was terrified, and I've done this a long time," Brophey said. "It was a difficult thing to do. Both myself and the other evaluator were appropriately cautious given the expressed threatening behavior of the dogs, it was warranted. We had a job to do, and we did it," she said.

Yet, Brophey's logic goes south with the young boerboel, which also should have been put down, effectively wiping out Egle's entire breeding operation.1 Pertaining to the adult boerboels she states, "Given their propensity to harm others, it would have been negligent to do anything other than what was done." Speaking about the breed as a whole, she states: "If we have no tolerance for the specific behaviors that dogs were bred for, maybe we shouldn't be breeding them."
"They were so highly threatening that one could not even interact with them in order to assess them -- all of them." - Kim Brophey, dog behaviorist
By May 15, as we began writing this post, Brophey spoke to the Citizen-Times and admitted the adult boerboels were so dangerous they could not even be assessed by personnel, outside of observation. In a stunningly forthright video, Brophey states, "Our message really is ... we should take the opportunity to open a very honest dialogue ... about the big picture of our dog's behavior. We like to act as if dogs are all simply just pets, and that it's all how we raise them," she said.

"The truth is there are many other factors that are facilitating their behavior. If we are not prepared for those behaviors, if we don't look into their history, understand the biology and the genetics, the interplay of their environment, their socialization" and more, Brophey said, "then we are going to continue to find ourselves surprised and in some cases, tragically so ... These incidents are doomed to continue to happen if we don't get honest and practical in our discussion," she said.

Two of Jane Egle's Boerboels

History of the South African Boerboel

The South African boerboel is one of several "reinvented" ancient gladiator breeds used for the purposes of guarding and fighting (combat dogs). There is no trustworthy source of information online, in English, about the breed's history -- most are written by boerboel breeders who glorify the dogs. As visually apparent, the bullmastiff was a heavy influencer in resurrecting the breed as they share common ancestors. Calling these dogs a "farm dog" or a "farmer's dog" is deceptive.
The boerboel name is more appropriately translated into the "farmer's bulldog" or "farmer's mastiff," according to academic researchers.
No one has done more to "resurrect" the ancient gladiator breeds than Dr. Carl Semencic, who was once billed as a "world-renowned authority on fighting dogs" and continues to get his aging books reprinted: The World of Fighting Dogs (1984), Pit Bulls and Tenacious Guard Dogs (1991) and Gladiator Dogs (1998). The Gladiator Dogs book "brings to life 13 breeds originally used as fighting dogs." All of the usual suspects are on the list, including the South African boerboel.

Semencic's book purports to explain the history of these gladiator breeds and their different "combat techniques." The fact that Semencic dedicates an entire chapter to the boerboel is telling, right along side the better known baiting, fighting and war dog types, such as pit bulls and presa canarios. South African boerboels are rare in the United States but certainly are not in South Africa. We reached out to animal behaviorist Alexandra Semyonova who provides more details.

Alexandra Semyonova - Gladiator Breeds
      The story of the "boerboel" (which means "the farmer's bulldog" in Afrikaner Dutch) is basically the same as that of the Cuban Bloodhound (second profile).
      They were created by crossing the bull / bear / horse baiting bulldog of Elizabethan England and the war dogs European colonists used to subdue, terrorize and sometimes help eradicate native populations. These bulldog-war dog mixes were introduced in South Africa by the Dutch in and after 1652, together with the introduction of slavery there. The "boerboel" was used to guard colonizers' farmlands from the natives the lands were stolen from, to guard and terrorize slaves, and in battles with the indigenous populations. To this day, the "boerboel" is still one of the most vicious and destructive guard dogs that exist in South Africa.
      In 2010, a South African surgeon warned that the "boerboel" was presenting an alarming new danger to children:

      "Speaking from his rooms at Somerset Aesthetic Surgery in Somerset West, Toogood said: 'Dog bite cases outnumber the cases I see involving motor vehicle accidents, incidents involving pedestrians, and domestic violence.
      'And of the dog bite cases, approximately 80 percent of the cases I see involve boerboels.
      'The remaining 20 percent (are made up) of all the other breeds of dogs combined.
      'I'm simply telling you what's coming through my doors and they are children bitten by boerboels.
      'This is not just an affable farm dog with big slobbery chops," said Toogood.
      'They are inherently dangerous, with a strong streak of unpredictability, but breeders are not saying so and hence they are being kept as house pets.'"
- Murray Williams, "Boerboel attacks on kids on rise," IOL News, February 24, 2010 (

      Cape of Good Hope SPCA CEO Allan Perrins, admits in the article, "I know that the pit bull has the 'killer dog' reputation. But I'm afraid it's being fast superseded by the boerboel," writes Semyonova.
      According to South African government sources, the export of "boerboels" suddenly greatly increased in 2011. In the United States, South African breeders were getting up to $9,600 for a single animal. It's not surprising then, as this surgeon remarked, that "boerboel" breeders are not honest about what they're selling: "[Boerboels] are inherently dangerous, with a strong streak of unpredictability, but breeders are not saying so and hence they are being kept as house pets," writes Semyonova.
Alexandra Semyonova is an internationally acclaimed animal behaviorist and author of The 100 Silliest Things People Say About Dogs. Academically educated in behavioral science and specialized in animal behavior, she has worked with dogs and their owners on a daily basis for more than 30 years. Visit her website at Nonlinear Dogs. View additional posts that Semyonova has provided commentary for in the past.

Two of Jane Egle's Boerboels

Who Worships, Breeds or Owns Boerboels?

It would be dishonest not to discuss the types of people who own and breed these dogs, including Egle, who graduated up to South African boerboels after raising rottweilers and bullmastiffs. There comes a point where people can't claim ignorance anymore about a dog breed's heritage, nor deny that the real motive is often pathological narcissism -- including the narcissist's insistence on living in a self-aggrandizing fantasy world. Neither of these photos are cute; they are disturbing.

A week before her death, Egle posted to Instagram: "Aslan and Mojo ... before they figured out how to break through that gate and take their boerboel five pack out to meet our suburban neighbors and their many adorable kiddos. Whew! Fortunately, they were only out a few minutes and were friendly and sweet. The neighbors were so charmed by them (all five dogs instantly came when I called them, YES!!), that I now have a new posse offering to take them on walks."
We are deeply thankful that no one else in the community was harmed by Egle's pack of gladiator dogs. They were certainly on track to do so.
Semyonova also points out that a neighbor interviewed by WLOS, Jennifer Odom, described Egle as very sweet, friendly and kind. "How sweet, friendly and kind is it to infest one's neighborhood with a type of dog that endangers the lives of every living thing within miles?" Asked Semyonova. "Ones that, as the surgeon pointed out in the 2010 article, are even deadlier than the smaller pit bull types?" Odom also plays the fantasy game by calling the dogs "very sweet, gentle giants."

This is in stark contrast to the heritage of the "Farmer's bulldog" -- selected for willingness to commit sustained, unprovoked attacks and with a physique that makes defense impossible -- that author Semencic worships and promotes in his book. As well as the honest assessment by Brophey, who said these South African boerboels "were beyond threatening and aggressive, as ferocious of an animal as I have ever met in a 20-year career specializing in aggression."


The South African boerboel is still uncommon in the United States. Their high purchase price and annual care costs make it unlikely for this gladiator breed to ever achieve remotely modest population numbers in this country. The American bully, a pit bull "designer" breed frequently infused with bullmastiffs and other mastiffs to create extreme exaggerations in the weight, size and features of a traditional pit bull, appears to be the larger and more troubling trend in the U.S.

Local media outlets are interested in this story and obtaining the cause of death. The Medical Examiner's Office told WLOS it could take 2-3 months to receive the official report -- this is fairly standard and can take much longer when contributing factors are involved. What is not standard in this case is the lack of receiving any preliminary autopsy report or reasons why. We are only left to speculate as to why, which might include trying to dampen public interest or media attention.

Lastly, as recognized by animal behaviorists Alexandra Semyonova and Kim Brophey and columnist John Boyle of the Citizen-Times, this case demands an honest discussion about dog breeds. Some dog breeds are vastly more dangerous than others, which is the focal point of our nonprofit's website. The consequences of believing the myth, "It's all you raise 'em," and ignoring the genetic heritage of a dog's breed results in life-altering injuries and deaths every year.

asheville boerboels jane hoffman egle
1Other news reports said there were three 4-month old boerboels discovered at the scene. Family members may have taken two, perhaps to continue the lineage. Also, calling these dogs puppies is misleading given that they are already over 50 pounds by the age of four months. Here is one of her 5-month old boerboels.

Related articles:
08/06/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Recently Adopted Out Pit Bull Kills 6-Year Old Boy...
11/19/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: 7-Year Old Boy Killed by Trained Protection Dog in Dodge...
05/05/09: Alexandra Semyonova: Heritability of Behavior in the Abnormally Aggressive Dog

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Child Killed by Two Family Pit Bulls in Hart County, Georgia

Authorities Charge Grandmother with Multiple Felonies

paris adams killed by family pit bull georgia
Paris Adams, 20-months old, was mauled to death by two family pit bulls in Georgia.

10 Years Probation
UPDATE 04/09/18: There will be no trial after two family pit bulls killed 20-month old Paris Adams on August 1, 2017. The day after his death, his grandmother Sandra Adams, 70, was charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and second-degree cruelty to children. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Adams pleaded guilty in Hart County Superior Court to involuntary manslaughter in a plea deal last month. Adams was sentenced to 10 years probation.

Prior to her grandson's death, Adams had been cited multiple times about these same two pit bulls. There were at least six ordinance violations from 2013 to 2015, including the dogs being tangled in their tether, running at large and being aggressive. Earlier news reports misstated her sentence as "10 years in prison." There will be no prison time for Adams, unless she violates her probation conditions, which we hope includes a prohibition of owning or harboring any dogs.

08/03/17: Important Clarifications
After viewing raw footage -- nearly an hour long -- published by WYFF on August 2, we learned that the fenced area is the holding facility near the sewage plant, not the grandmother's property. Currently, there is no photograph of the "fenced area" on her property. We know from earlier citations the grandmother has a fenced area where the dogs escaped. The night shot published by WYFF late August 1 was not labeled; the edit suggested it was on the grandmother's property.
Basically, we got an advance shot of the holding facility, which was unlabled, the night before this raw footage was posted to Facebook.1
Additional information gleaned from the raw footage is an interview with Hartwell Police Chief Anthony Davis. He explained that the mother of the child, Amy Adams, goes back and forth in her living situation. She sometimes lives with her sister and her mother. Said another way, baby Paris went back and forth living with his aunt and grandmother. Both households have multiple pit bulls and multiple white pit bulls too (See: aunt's dogs). Authorities are still piecing this part together.

Notably, there is a curious post by Amy on October 13, 2014, seven days after "Whiteboy," one of the fatal attackers, was issued its first citation for being at large (See: page 7). "I just found out that i CAME CLOSE to not being able to breed him anymore! But moms slick when she needs to be- shhhh- its a secret!! (sic)," Amy wrote. The "Goin for a ride," post suggests she may have whisked the dog away from her grandmother's home at that time to prevent a municipal neutering threat.
This "public" Facebook post Amy hopes is a "secret" also suggests her criminally charged mother lied in some way about Whiteboy back then.
Another post that coincides with a citation was by Laura, Amy's sister. On the morning of October 16, 2014, the grandmother was issued a citation after a brown pit bull menaced two joggers. On the same day, Laura tries to give away this pit bull (Babygirl) for free, stating, "My mom just cannot keep her anymore." Laura also clears up any questions on whether this dog is a mix. "She is full blooded," Laura writes. "She is jeep rascal and gator gotti. No mixing in that bloodline at all (sic)."

Finally, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) leads this investigation and filed the charges. The question remains whether the child's mother will also be charged. If she is charged, it will be GBI that makes this determination, along with the district attorney's office. The other unknown factor is how much skipping a 9-1-1 call -- and stopping to pick up Paris' mother before taking him to Urgent Care -- plays into the charges against his grandmother. He arrived dead at the facility.

08/02/17: DA Press Conference
District Attorney Parks White gave a press conference today providing new details. On Tuesday afternoon, 20-month old Paris Adams was mauled to death by two family pit bulls while under his grandmother's care. Sandra Adams, 70-years old, was subsequently charged with multiple felonies. After the death investigation is complete, a grand jury will determine if Adams is indicted. White could not provide any details about the autopsy results or the "family relationships."
Adams was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter, and second-degree cruelty to children.
Adams has been cited multiple times in the past about these same two pit bulls. There were at least six ordinance violations from 2013 to 2015. The previous citations involve the dogs being tangled in their tether (typical shoddy pit bull ownership), running at large (typical shoddy pit bull ownership) and running at large being aggressive -- typical pit bull behavior. The citations indicate the child's mother was the actual owner of the pit bulls; the two may have been living together.2
"In March 2015, officers were called to Adams home after a woman said she was walking her dogs and they were attacked by a white pit bull at large. Officers said Adams told them she was walking her daughter's two dogs when their leashes became crossed and she dropped one of them." - Fox Carolina, August 2, 2017
As we have seen in the past, this may be another case of an adult "dumping" her pit bulls on a parent who is 70-years old. No citations have been issued to Adams since 2015. This may be due to an apparent kennel system that was built (seen in the recent WYFF footage). At the time of the attack, the pit bulls were inside the home. Adams and baby Paris were outside. When Adams attempted to re-enter her home, the dogs bolted out, knocking her down, and savaged the baby.

The family owns multiple white pit bulls. Pictured below is Blueboy with baby Paris in August 2016. Blueboy is the offspring of Whiteboy (also a white pit bull). Amy Adams, baby Paris' mother, writes in the post, "Blueboy kissing Paris. If only Blueboy's parents (Whiteboy and Babygirl) were like him!!!" This indicates both of the dog's parents have aggression issues and are likely the two dogs involved in the baby's mauling death. The pair are also siblings; the family bred them together.

paris adams killed by family pit bull

Fox Carolina just posted footage of both pit bulls while under quarantine: Whiteboy and Babygirl. Fox Carolina also posted the previous incident reports -- we are just now going through them.

08/02/17: Criminal Charges Filed
Overnight, a number of new developments occurred. Authorities charged the child's grandmother with a range of offenses in connection to his mauling death. Sandra Bowers Adams, 70-years-old, was charged with second-degree murder, second-degree cruelty to children and involuntary manslaughter. A news release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation states Adams had been cited on multiple occasions by the Hartwell Police Department for maintaining disorderly animals.
      "Staff at the Urgent Care had requested assistance from EMS and Law Enforcement after Sandra Adams and Amy Adams entered the office with Amy Adams’ twenty-month-old son. The child had suffered extensive injuries following an apparent dog attack. Medical personnel and EMS determined the child was unresponsive and the child was pronounced dead at 3:36 pm ...
      Preliminary investigation suggests that Sandra Adams, the grandmother of the child, was at her residence located at 64 Highland Avenue Hartwell, Georgia babysitting the child. Adams and the child were outside. Adams attempted to re-enter her residence at which time two pit bulldogs that resided at the residence ran out the back door knocking Adams to the ground and attacking the child. Adams attempted to both shield the child from further attack and to pull the dogs away from the child. Eventually Adams was able to get the dogs back into the residence and pick up the child. Adams then transported the child to a nearby location where she picked up Amy Adams, the child’s mother, and the two transported the child to the Reddy Urgent Care in Hartwell.3
      Historical information indicates that Sandra Adams had been cited on multiple occasions by the Hartwell Police Department under a city ordinance maintaining disorderly animals." - Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Last last night, we did uncover the "cast of characters" in the brutal pit bull mauling death of this little boy. The child's mother and her sister have about seven or so pit bulls between them. Both sisters are pit bull owners, backyard breeders and know their "bloodlines" too. It seems the grandmother also owned her own set of pit bulls and likely more than two. "Boilerplate" pit bull advocacy runs heavily in the family. The below two memes are from the mother's Facebook page.

pit bull meme after family pit bull kills child in georgia
pit bull meme after family pit bull kills child in georgia

08/01/17: Pit Bulls Kill Child
Hart County, GA - Hart County Sheriff Mike Cleveland confirmed a young boy is dead after being fatally attacked by two family pit bulls Tuesday afternoon. The 20-month old boy was attacked in the backyard of a home on Highland Avenue, near Athens Street. Hartwell Police Chief Anthony Davis said they were called about 3:15 pm. Deputy Coroner Scott Boleman said the parents transported the child to Reddy Urgent Care, where he was called and pronounced the boy dead.

The young child lived inside the home with the dogs, Sheriff Cleveland said. Earlier reports stated one of the family pit bulls was a "white pit bull." The Hartwell Police Department, the Hart County Coroner's Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) are investigating the boy's death. The child's body has been sent to the GBI crime lab for an autopsy. The dogs will be observed for the next 24 to 48 hours before they are put down, according to the GBI, Sheriff Cleveland said.
map iconView the Google Map: Georgia Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

pit bulls that killed paris adams in georgia
pit bulls that killed paris adams are siblings
1It's also the oldest trick in the book to claim someone else owns the dogs when being given a citation. The grandmother does this several times. First she blames an unknown man, then claims her daughter owns the dogs. This is not only to deny responsibility it is to deliberately confuse law enforcement. As noted in the reports, the officer had not checked to see if there were more citations about these same dogs under the daughter's name.
2If there was any delay in getting this severely injured child to the emergency center -- apparently the family did not call 9-1-1 -- that could result in these types of criminal charges. The grandmother's home is only 1.5 miles away from the Reddy Urgent Care center in Hartwell, but she also stopped to pick up the boy's mother beforehand.

Related articles:
01/19/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bulls Kill Child, Critically Injure Another Child in Atlanta.
08/04/17: 2016 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Mauled to Death by Her Boyfriend's Pit Bull in Georgia

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Pet Wolf Hybrid Kills 8-Day Old Baby Girl in Virginia

wolf hybrid kills baby in lee county virginia
A pet wolf hybrid killed an 8-day old infant lying in a bassinet in Lee County.

No Criminal Charges
UPDATE 04/11/18: There will be no criminal charges after a newborn was fatally attacked by a pet wolf hybrid. The dog gained entry into a room and mauled the infant as it lay in a bassinet. The commonwealth's attorney for Lee County, H. Fuller Cridlin, stated in a news release today the baby's death was "simply a horrific tragedy, and our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the child that died." The attack occurred March 7 at the family's home in the Seminary community.

According to Cridlin, the mother had left the newborn in a bedroom and was preparing lunch when she heard the baby crying. When she returned to the bedroom, she found the wolf dog standing over the infant. Cridlin said the dog had been living in the home, along with two young foster children, for several months with no prior incidents. In fact, the Wise County Department of Social Services approved this wolf hybrid household for the placement of these two young children.
Wolf hybrids are restricted or banned in 12 states and are regulated in a dozen more. There is no approved rabies vaccine for wolf dogs either. 1
Currently, we are trying to get a full copy of the news release. Evidently, the Wise County Department of Social Services is either oblivious to the historical fact -- or has institutionalized "willed ignorance" -- that legislative battles were fought in many U.S. states over the last 25 years to prevent wolf hybrids from injuring and killing young children. Cridlin also appears to omit in the release that Virginia state law does allow jurisdictions to regulate and even ban wolf hybrids.

Not bringing criminal charges under these circumstances -- the mother stepped away from the baby, did not securely close the door and the dog had not shown aggression before -- is commonplace after fatal dog maulings. What is unusual, and frankly incredulous in this case, is that the Wise County Department of Social Services allowed the placement of two young children into a wolf hybrid household. Apparently, no alarm bells went off anywhere: W-O-L-F-D-O-G.

03/09/18: Wolf Dog Kills Newborn
Lee County, Virginia - An 8-day old baby girl is dead after being mauled to death by a family dog, according to Sheriff Gary Parsons of the Lee County Sheriff's Office. Parsons' office received a call for assistance around 11:40 am Wednesday from a home in the Seminary community, which is close to Big Stone Gap and near the Tennessee border. By the time deputies arrived, the father was already en route with his injured newborn to Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap.
It was "very serious injuries to the upper body, and the head, the child had been seriously mauled by the animal." - Lee County Sheriff Gary Parsons
Deputies were told the dog attacked the infant while she was in a bassinet. She suffered extensive injuries to her head and the upper portion of her body. She was taken to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport then airlifted to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, where she died. Parsons confirmed Thursday the dog involved was a wolf hybrid. The father's Facebook page shows a male wolf hybrid-malamute mix that was purchased from AE Kennel in October 2014.2

Parsons' said the newborn's death is being investigated by the sheriff’s office and the Lee County Department of Social Services. The family also has two other older children. "We are going to continue to look into it and see what develops and of course consult with our commonwealth’s attorney to see if any charges are to be placed," Sheriff Parsons said. On Thursday, Parsons confirmed the dog was destroyed after the baby's parent's relinquished custody of the animal.

Highest Age-Specific Fatality Rate

On February 28, we published our 2017 U.S. dog bite fatality statistics and statistics from our 13-year fatality data set (2005 to 2017). Despite being in the 21st Century, infants continue to have the highest age-specific fatality rate in fatal dog attacks. Infants ≤11 months made up 48% of all victims ages 0-2 and 13% of all dog bite fatality victims during the 13-year period. During the early CDC study period (1979-1988), infants ≤11 months comprised 16% of all dog bite fatalities.

Above and beyond this disturbing 35-year trend, the dog in this case is a wolf hybrid -- a canid hybrid resulting from the mating of a wolf and a dog -- and a blend of dog that is banned at a state-level in various states across the country, including Alaska, Michigan and others. In Virginia, wolf hybrids are legal, but can be subjected to local regulation. For instance, the city of Fredericksburg bans wolf hybrids. Wolf hybrids have always maintained a position on our Dangerous Dogs page.

wolf hybrid malamute kills 8-day old baby in lee county virginia
1Wolf Hybrids, by Claudine Wilkins and Jessica Rock, Founders of Animal Law Source (
2 By Friday morning, March 9, 2018, two days after an 8-day old baby was killed by a wolf hybrid that came from their kennel in October 2014, AE Kennels removed their business website on Weebly ( and their business page on Facebook ( One of the co-owners even removed her personal Facebook page. We have replaced live links with static screenshots of the cached website. One can also view the AE Kennel website at the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.
      A cached version of their site states they have been providing "quality northern breed mixes and wolfdogs" since 1998. The owners, Erika Andreas and Antoine Robertson, say they provide the following wolf dog blends: "Malamute Husky mix. Low content Eastern Timberwolf, Siberian husky mix. Low content Timberwolf, Malamute, husky mix. Mid content Timberwolf, malamute husky mix. And upper mid Timberwolf Malamute mix. We provide low contents with real wolf heritage for first time owners and mid contents for more advanced owners," according to their site. The kennel is located about 25 minutes from Tallahassee, Florida. An advertisement on for "Husky Whitefang" puppies states AE Kennel is based in Greensboro, Florida. An advertisement on Hobbly Classifieds for AE Kennel wolf dog hybrid puppies (70% content range), state the cost is $950 and the low content rage wolf dog puppies start at $850, according to their cached website.

Related articles:
09/29/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Fatally Mauls Infant in Knox County, Ohio
08/21/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: 2-Month Old Baby Killed by Family Dogs in North Houston
08/07/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Bangor Infant Injured by Family Dog Pronounced Dead

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

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Friday, April 6, 2018

2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Dog Kills 13-Month Old Baby Girl at Babysitter's Home in Missouri

Babysitter Charged with Felony Manslaughter

dog kills baby in Cape Girardeau while under care of babysitter
Loxli Chavez, 13-months old, was killed by a dog while under the care of her babysitter.

Babysitter Charged
UPDATE 04/06/18: Police have charged a babysitter in connection to the mauling death of a baby under her care last month. Erica Nancy Jordan, 33, was charged with one count of second-degree involuntary manslaughter, a felony, for acting with criminal negligence that resulted in the death of 13-month old Loxli Chavez. Jordan admitted to police that she knew the dog was dangerous around children; the animal had "attacked" her own son last year, biting him in the head.

The dog belonged to Jordan's brother. After the baby's death, her brother told police the dog was a mixture of Labrador retriever, Alaskan malamute and pit bull terrier, only noting the pit bull aspect in the last part. Yet, it was a male dog that only weighed 40-pounds.1 We also now know the dog was 6 or 7 years old. Court documents more accurately depict "pit bull" as being the predominant breed (listed first), calling the canine a "pit bull labrador malamute-mix named Smokey."
Jordan was "temporarily" taking care of a known biter for her brother while she babysat two new children = felony manslaughter charges.
At the time of the deadly attack, Jordan was also watching the baby's older sibling. In the probable cause statement, the mother of the baby stated the attack happened in the first week Jordan had babysat her children. She said it was never disclosed to her the dog had previously attacked Jordan's child or that it was unsuitable around kids. Jordan told police the dog had been neutered since it attacked her son; Jordan falsely believed this would remove the dog's aggression.

The Southeast Missourian provided more details from the probable cause statement. Jordan said Smokey was drinking water from a dog bowl within a few feet of Loxli just before the attack. She said she suddenly "heard screaming and crying" and saw "blood everywhere," according to the statement. Jordan said she tried to pull the dog away, but "he was so aggressive" and "just kept going for the baby." If convicted, Jordan faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

Erica Jordan charged with manslaughter after pit bull kills baby

03/13/18: Attacker was Part Pit Bull
On Monday, KZIM KSIM Radio spoke to Cape Girardeau Police Public Information Officer Sergeant Rick Schmidt who said that the owner of the dog that killed the 13-month old baby stated the dog was a mixture of Labrador retriever, Alaskan malamute and pit bull terrier. Cape Girardeau Police also reiterated this on their Facebook page. The Alaskan pit bull is a designer breed involving 50% Alaskan malamute and 50% pit bull. One website even calls it a "Mally Pit."

Schmidt also confirmed the child was at the babysitter's home when the dog attacked the baby in the face. On Friday, police responded to a call about a "dog bite" incident at 2:12 pm to a home on North Hanover Street near Themis Street. When they arrived, they found the baby girl critically injured and quickly transported her to an area hospital. She was pronounced dead about 3:30 pm. The male mixed-breed dog, which weighs about 40-pounds, belongs to the owner of the home.

03/12/18: 13-Month Old Killed by Dog
Cape Girardeau, MO - On Monday, Cape Girardeau Police issued a media release about a 13-month old baby girl that was killed by a dog. Police did not release this information until three days after the child's death. Police received a call about 2:12 pm Friday regarding an animal bite in the 000 block of North Hanover Street. They discovered a dog that lived in the residence had attacked the young child. The baby was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The animal was impounded. Police have not released any breed information about the attacking dog. Various comments on the Cape Girardeau Police Facebook page suggest a babysitter was watching the child at the time of the deadly attack. "The child was not in the care of her parents," states one. It remains unclear if the baby lived at the North Hanover Street residence or if that residence is the babysitter's home. Ownership of the attacking dog remains unclear as well.

Afternoon Updates

The baby was attacked in the babysitter's home on North Hanover Street. Police described the dog as a 40-pound "mixed-breed" -- which can certainly indicate a pit bull-mix. KFVS reports police were told they were called in to investigate a "dog bite," but when they arrived, they found the baby severely wounded and immediately took her to an area hospital. She was pronounced dead about an hour later. The dog, referred to as a male, belongs to the owner of the residence.

This was not a dog bite; it was a violent dog attack involving a 13-month old baby girl. This information, combined with the description of the dog and questionable behavior of the person watching the baby (and the dog's owner if two people were involved), serve as strong indicators that a pit bull-mix may be involved and that a criminal element may be too. Over the 13-year period of 2005 to 2017, 75% of all dog bite fatalities resulting in criminal charges involved pit bulls.

1According to the AKC, an adult male malamute is about 85 pounds and an adult male Labrador is from 65 to 80 pounds. The UKC standard for pit bulls lists the desirable weight for a mature male between 35 and 60 pounds. There is a wide rage of variances in the pit bull breed. But there is rarely such a thing as a 40-pound, 7-year old male malamute-labrador mix. This is the type of case where police really should release of a photo of the dog.

Related articles:
03/09/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Pet Wolf Hybrid Kills 8-Day Old Baby Girl in Virginia

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

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Thursday, April 5, 2018

2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bulls Kill 24-Year Old Woman in Jackson County, Alabama

Alabama Legislature Passes, "Emily's Law" After Her Death

pit bulls kill woman in Section, alabama
After pit bulls killed Emily Mae Colvin, the Alabama legislature passed "Emily's Law."

Criminal Charges
UPDATE 04/05/18: The owners of five pit bulls that killed a 24-year old woman in early December have been charged with criminally negligent homicide, a misdemeanor. A Jackson County grand jury indicted Brian Keith Graden, 43, and Melody Ann Graden, 45, in connection to the death of Emily Mae Colvin. Both were booked into the Jackson County jail. In addition to the negligent homicide charge, both Gradens were charged with four counts of failure to vaccinate for rabies.

Felony charges could not be brought against the Gradens due to insufficient state laws. Emily's horrific death prompted Alabama lawmakers to pass a bill that imposes felony charges under certain conditions when a dog seriously injures or kills a person. Governor Kay Ivey signed the new legislation into law in late March. In Alabama, criminally negligent homicide is a Class A misdemeanor. The Gradens face a maximum penalty of one year in jail if they are convicted.

03/20/18: Felony Dog Attack Law
On Monday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed into law a felony dog attack law for Alabama. The new act, "Emily's Law," is in memory of Emily Colvin, 24, who was killed by her neighbor's five loose pit bulls in December. Back then, Jackson Sheriff Chuck Phillips said the case would go before a grand jury in March on possible charges of negligent homicide. In January, a judge ordered the remaining four pit bulls belonging to Brian and Melody Graden be destroyed.

The dangerous dog legislation, sponsored by Representative Ledbetter and Senators Livingston and Scofield, easily passed both chambers. Emily's Law provides for a sworn affidavit process to request a dangerous dog investigation, which is similar to other states, an impoundment and hearing process for a suspected dangerous dog and the requirements for owning a dog legally designated dangerous, if the court determines the animal can be returned to its owner.

Like other states, the legislation defines a higher felony, Class B, if a dog legally declared dangerous attacks again. If a dog has not been declared dangerous -- which is the case in the vast majority of serious and fatal attacks, as well the dogs that killed Emily -- and attacks, causing serious physical injury or death to a person, and the owner of the dog had prior knowledge of the dangerous propensities of the dog, the owner of the dog shall be guilty of a Class C felony.
      Section 6. (a) If a dog that has previously been declared by a court to be dangerous, when unprovoked, attacks and causes serious physical injury or death to a person, the owner of the dog shall be guilty of a Class B felony.
      (b) If a dog that has not been declared by a court to be dangerous, when unprovoked, attacks and causes serious physical injury or death to a person, and the owner of the dog had prior knowledge of the dangerous propensities of the dog, yet demonstrated a reckless disregard of the propensities under the circumstances, the owner of the dog shall be guilty of a Class C felony.
The now codified "prior knowledge of the dangerous propensities" is typical in felony dog attack laws for criminal liability -- but should be avoided at all cost for civil liability (one bite rule). Criminal penalties are about showing beyond a reasonable doubt a criminal mindset. For instance, a defendant had knowledge of the dog's dangerous propensities, yet still failed to properly secure them. In Emily's case, the Gradens pit bulls had previously escaped and killed some llamas.

12/09/17: Tribute Video and Fund
Our hearts ache for Emily's husband and her family. A tribute video has been created for Emily Colvin's Funeral Fund. "Emily Mae Colvin was a bright light that shined onto this dark and stormy world. She was only 24 years old. She was a loving wife, devoted daughter, thoughtful sister, caring aunt, and beloved friend." On December 7, she was struck down by five vicious pit bulls belonging to her neighbor. The Jackson County sheriff has vowed to seek criminal charges.

She'd only been married to Eric for about two years. The tribute video has many photos of their lovely wedding. "All who knew and love her are shocked and devastated because of this tragedy. She was married to Eric a little over 2 years. They were eternally devoted to each other and were looking forward to starting a family together. Eric was a loving husband who put Emily's needs before his. Emily's death will test his will and faith to its limits," states the GoFundMe page.

12/07/17: Pit Bulls Kill Woman
Section, AL - Authorities confirmed that a pack of pit bulls killed a 24-year old woman and injured another Thursday morning. 24-year old Emily Mae Colvin was discovered dead on arrival, deputies said. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call about 9:00 am about a dog attack at County Road 121 in Section. A deputy shot and killed one of the dogs due to its aggression. Another woman was also injured. She was treated for her injuries and released.

Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputies, Scottsboro Animal Control and Section Police confiscated four dogs from the property. All five dogs were described as pit bulls by authorities. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office said they had never received a call about these particular dogs before and that Colvin was familiar with them. The second victim was not identified by police nor was the block area of County Road 121 where the attack occurred. Deputies continue to investigate.
One neighbor who would not go on camera said the dogs "never used to snarl, bark or nothing … if anything they would lick you to death."
WAAY reports that all five dogs belonged to Colvin's neighbor. A friend of Colvin's was talking to her on the phone and came to aid her when she heard the dogs attacking, Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips said. The dogs then attacked her too. She was taken to a hospital with leg and arm injuries. "Dogs can run loose, but still the owner is responsible for the damages that they do," Phillips said. "So we will be seeking charges here in this case, probably in the March grand jury."

Later in the day, Sheriff Phillips clarified an earlier statement. This is the first time these dogs have attacked a human, he told WHNT, but it’s not the first complaint on record for the animals. "We received a call back sometime ago, maybe these dogs and the victim’s dog had killed llamas that were in a pasture nearby. That’s the only complaint we have ever had on them," Phillips said. The owner of the dogs could a face charge of negligent homicide, which is a Class A misdemeanor.

Second Fatal Pit Bull Mauling

This is the second fatal pit bull mauling in northeast Alabama in a matter of days. On November 29, about 50 miles away in Guntersville, a pack of pit bulls killed 46-year old Tracy Cornelius and severely injured another woman who had been walking along Jason Road. The four dogs first attacked the woman. Cornelius intervened to help save her and the dogs turned on her. Cornelius was pronounced dead at the scene. The other woman was airlifted to a hospital in Huntsville.

home on county road 121 pit bulls kill woman

Always Release Photographs

We specifically posted this Tweet to call out the irrationality of it. There is an ongoing investigation in which Sheriff Phillips has vowed to seek criminal charges. Thus, there are 100 reasons to allow these dogs to be photographed by the media. Sheriff Phillips himself should have released photographs already so that members of the community who may have seen these dogs loose and behaving aggressively can identify them and provide testimony against the dogs' owner.

In our baseline reporting requirements, the #2 item is releasing identification photographs. Alone, police can rarely know the history of dogs involved in fatal attacks because many incidents go unreported. Yet, criminal charges greatly hinge on knowing this history. There may have been an incident a year earlier involving a neighbor that moved away. Without photographs released, that person will never have the chance to say, "That was the same dog that chased me last year."

One of five pit bulls belonging to Brian and Melody Graden that killed Emily Colvin
map iconView the Google Map: Alabama Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
12/06/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Pack of Dogs Kill Woman, Injure Another in Guntersville
10/05/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Autauga County Woman Killed by Family Dogs
07/01/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Kills 5-Year Old Boy in St. Clair County, Alabama

Baseline reporting requirements:
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.

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

Dog Biting Incidents: 2013 to 2018

Pit Bulls Lead Bite Counts Across U.S. Cities and Counties - From February 2013 to March 2018, Animal control and health departments in at least 17 U.S. states report that pit bulls are leading all breeds in biting incidents, including: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. The oft-quoted false claim that pit bulls "do not bite more than other breeds" is untrue. Along with dominating bite counts, the pit bull bite is also the most damaging, often inflicting permanent and disfiguring injuries. For earlier bite report years, please see Archived Dog Biting Incidents: 2005 to 2012.

Kansas City, Missouri
In April 2018, the Animal Health & Public Safety Department of Kansas City fulfilled a public information request by supplying a report of animal biting incidents in 2017. A total of 418 bites were reported to the department. Dogs inflicted 346 of these bites. Pit bulls inflicted the highest number of bites, 152 (44%), and four times more than the next closest breed, Labrador retrievers, which inflicted 38 (11%). German shepherds followed with 27 (8%) bites and American bulldogs with 14 (4%) bites. Notably, 21 (5%) of all reported animal bites in the entire city occurred at the Kansas City Pet Project Animal Shelter, which operates the city's open admission shelter.

2017 Dog Bites by Breed, Animal Health & Public Safety Department, Kansas City, Missouri, April 2, 2018.

Franklin County, Missouri
Also in April, the Franklin County Health Department stated that 31 animal biting incidents have been reported so far in 2018. 23 were dog bites and pit bulls inflicted 9 of them, 39%. Public Health Supervisor Tony Buel said that 2017 was the first year he began tracking breed information. "Pit bulls are the main breed we see bites from," Buel said, followed by Jack Russell terriers and mixed-breeds. For all of 2017, 219 animal bites were reported to the health department. Dogs inflicted 193 of those bites and pit bulls inflicted 43. Buel said the majority of severe injury dog bites come from pit bulls and cases with the worst damage almost always involve pit bulls.

Monte Miller, "Dog Bite Injuries May Lead to Action By County Commission,", April 4, 2018 (
URL: Accessed: 2018-04-05. (Archived by WebCite® at

Palm Beach County, Florida
In November 2017, Contact 5 published an investigation into dangerous dogs in Palm Beach County, Florida. By examining dog bite records, they discovered there were over 1,700 dog bites in the county last year, but less than 100 dogs were designated as dangerous, appearing on the county's dangerous dog list. The investigation broke down the dangerous dog list by breed (view related chart). Topping the chart were pit bulls (32) with over twice as many designated as dangerous than the next closest breed, labrador retrievers (14). Through their investigative research, they also uncovered a fatal dog attack that occurred in late August in Lake Worth.

Merris Badcock, "Contact 5 investigates 'dangerous dog' list, uncovers fatal dog attack in Palm Beach Co.," WPTV, November 1, 2017 (
URL: Accessed: 2018-04-05. (Archived by the the Wayback Machine)

Pima County, Arizona
In October 2017, the Green Valley News published a powerful piece (From the Editor: No, these are not nice dogs) after Pima Animal Care Center dropped breed labels in order to adopt out more pit bulls to the unsuspecting adopting public. The editorial also cites Pima County dog bite statistics. "Pit bulls were responsible for 319 bites last year in Pima County, more than 50 percent higher than No. 2 German Shepherd (197)." Back in 2011, after a 4-year calculation of reported dog bites in Pima County, reported bites inflicted by pit bulls were only 34% higher than the next closest breed, German shepherds (pit bulls 848 bites, versus German shepherds 633 bites).

Dan Shearer, "From the Editor: No, these are not nice dogs," Green Valley News, October 3, 2017 (
URL: Accessed: 2017-10-05. (Archived by WebCite® at

Sacramento, California
In September 2017, The Sacramento Bee analyzed 2,800 bite reports made from May 2012 to May 2017. Of the 23 zip codes included in the analysis, two adjacent ones in North Sacramento -- 95815 and 95838 -- made up a quarter of all bite reports. Pit bulls dominated bite reports, responsible for more than one third of them. Of the 2,800 reported bites, pit bulls accounted for 922, more than four times more than the next closes breed, chihuahuas, which accounted for 225. Despite the "massive" disproportion, local animal-welfare officials dismissed this statistic, indicating yet again why such types have should have "zero role" in public safety.

Brad Branan, "Why the North Sacramento area has a dog-bite problem," The Sacramento Bee, September 22, 2017 (
URL:http://about:blank. Accessed: 2017-09-24. (Archived by WebCite® at

Springfield, Missouri
In August 2017, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department released dog bite statistical data after a proposed pit bull ban. Despite already being regulated by the city, pit bulls lead all other breeds in biting incidents, accounting for 38 between 2015 and 2017. The agency also released severity of injuries using the Dunbar Scale, where 1 is aggressive behavior and 6 results in death. Pit bulls were responsible for 15 Level 2 attacks, 15 Level 3 attacks, five Level 4, and three Level 5 attacks. Pit bulls are the only breed responsible for a Level 5 attack (multiple bites at Level 4 or above; a concerted, repeated attack) during the period, according to the data.

Collin Lingo, "Ralliers Say SGF: "Blaming the Wrong End of the Leash,", August 25, 2017 (
URL: Accessed: 2017-08-26. (Archived by WebCite® at

Pueblo, Colorado
In June 2017, after two life-threatening pit bull attacks required victims to be airlifted to trauma hospitals, Pueblo Animal Services (PAS) released dog attack statistics. Of the 13 dog attacks on humans this year, 11 have involved pit bull-type dogs, according to Lindsey Vigna, lieutenant of animal law enforcement for PAS. The vicious attacks, occurring less than a week apart, involved two family pit bulls attacking an elderly woman who suffered severe facial, hands and torso injuries, along with a fractured jaw. The other attack involved an 18-month old boy mauled by a family pit bull-mix at his home. The boy suffered severe injuries to his head, face and neck.

Ryan Severance, "Pueblo boy severely hurt in attack by family dog; animal euthanized," The Pueblo Chieftain, June 14, 2017 (
URL: Accessed: 2017-06-15. (Archived by Archive Is at
Lena Howland, "Pueblo grandmother attacked by pit bulls," KOAA News, June 9, 2017 (
URL: Accessed: 2017-06-15. (Archived by WebCite® at

Broward County, Florida
Also in June, the Broward County's Animal Care and Adoption Division reported the county's top three biting breeds from June 2016 to June 2017. American Staffordshire terriers (an interchangeable name with pit bull terriers) led with 92 biting incidents, followed by pit bull terriers with 26 biting incidents. The third highest-ranking breed, labrador retrievers, had 22 biting incidents. Officials in Tamarac, also located in Broward County, said there had been only two pit bull-related bites in the city over the past few years. Tarmac has had a pit bull ordinance in place since 1985. Soon, only Sunrise and Miami-Dade County will regulate pit bulls in south Florida.

Lisa J. Huriash, "Pit-bull restrictions go up for repeal in Tamarac," Sun Sentinel, June 27, 2017 ( URL: Accessed: 2018-01-07. (Archived by WebCite® at

Dayton and Montgomery County, Ohio
In late April 2017, the Dayton Daily News reviewed dog biting incidents in the city and county after a pit bull broke free of its chain and fatally attacked a 60-year old man. According to the Public Health Department of Dayton and Montgomery County, there were 169 reported dog bites from owners who resided in Dayton last year. So far this year -- from January 1 to late April -- there were 56 reported dog bites from dogs whose owners live in Dayton. "In Montgomery County, there have been 245 reported dog bites so far this year. About 60 (24%) of the bites involved pit bulls, which was far more than any other breed identified," reports the Dayton Daily News.

Cornelius Frolik, Dayton man mauled by dog that neighbors had worried about," Dayton Daily News, April 25, 2017 (
URL: Accessed: 2017-04-26. (Archived by WebCite® at

Cape Cod, Massachusetts
In March 2017, the Cape Code Times reviewed dog bite and registration records across Cape Cod. Between January 2016 and February 2017, pit bulls had the most biting incidents, 58, nearly twice as many as the next closest breed, labrador retrievers, which inflicted 29 bites. German shepherds followed, inflicting 26 bites. Pit bulls represented 12.6% of the breeds listed on bite reports, but only make up 1.2% of the registered dogs. In contrast, Labrador retrievers were 6.3% of the breeds listed on bite reports and make up 11.5% of the registered dogs. German shepherds represented 5.7% of the breeds listed on bite reports and make up 2.2% of the registered dogs.

Madeleine List, "Cape Cod breeds by the bite," March 13, 2017 ( URL: Accessed: 2017-03-14. (Archived by WebCite® at

Montreal, Quebec
In a special addition, we are including statistics for the City of Montreal, poised to adopt a pit bull ban on September 27, 2016. The legislation comes three months after the brutal mauling death of Christiane Vadnais, killed by a neighbor's pit bull. On the eve of this historic vote, Montreal officials released dog biting incident statistics. Over the past 1.5 years, 362 serious dog bite incidents required police intervention. Since January 1, 2015, 137 people and animals have been badly injured or killed by pit bulls or pit bull crossbreeds. Pit bulls, which account for just 4.6% of registered dogs in Montreal, are responsible for 38% of all serious dog bite-related injuries.

"Montreal prepares to ban pit bulls," CTV Montreal, September 26, 2016 ( URL: Accessed: 2016-09-27. (Archived by WebCite® at

Port Huron, Michigan
In January 2016, after the back-to-back fatal pit bull attacks of 22-year old Rebecca Hardy in Port Huron and 4-year old Xavier Strickland in Detroit, The Times Herald published dog bite statistics for Port Huron, a city with about 30,000 people. In 2014, pit bulls were responsible for over half of all dog bites in the city. There were 61 reported dog bites in 2014, and 33 of those were inflicted by pit bulls. This is in contrast to the city of Toronto, a population of 2.6 million people, where pit bulls only inflicted 13 bites in 2014. The Province of Ontario adopted a pit bull ban in 2005. Since this time, attacks inflicted by pit bulls in Toronto, Ontario's largest city, have dropped by 92%.

"Still waiting for answers for Hardy, pit bulls," The Times Herald, January 25, 2016 (
Eric Andrew-Gee and Joel Eastwood, "Pit bulls were Toronto’s biggest biters, before the ban,", October 3, 2014 ( URL: Accessed: 2014-10-06. (Archived by WebCite® at
"Ontario’s pit bull ban is working and mustn’t be repealed: Editorial,", October 6, 2014 (

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

Maricopa County, Arizona
In January 2015, a study examining dog bite injuries at the level 1 trauma pediatric center in Phoenix was released (study years of 2007-2013). "Pit bulls were most frequently responsible, accounting for 39% (83/213) of incidents in which dog breed was documented," states the study. The study only examined patients whose intake was by ambulance. The study also examined county dog licensing records from 2008 and noted, "Pit bulls accounted for 6.25% of the licensed dog population, only the seventh most popular breed." Labradors were the most popular breed (25.7%) in the county, but only accounted for 3.5% of the patients in the dog bite injury study.

Morbidity of pediatric dog bites: A case series at a level one pediatric trauma center, by Erin M. Garvey, Denice K. Twitchell, Rebecca Ragar, John C. Egan and Ramin Jamshidi, Journal of Pediatric Surgery, February 2015, Volume 50, Issue 2:343-346.

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.

Related articles:
04/01/17: Cities with Successful Pit Bull Laws; Data Shows Breed-Specific Laws Work
10/20/16: Montreal Pit Bull Ban, What the Vets Omitted and How the Pit Bull Lobby Operates
10/10/16: Special Report: Level 1 Trauma Center Dog Bite Studies in All U.S. Geographical...
10/10/16: Table: Retrospective Level 1 Trauma Center Studies of Dog Bite Injuries - 2009 to 2016
08/31/15: Who Can Identify a Pit Bull? A Dog Owner of 'Ordinary Intelligence'...

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

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