Friday, January 11, 2013
DogsBite.org recorded 38 fatal dog attacks in 2012.1 Citations of each victim's story are located on the Fatality Citations page. The last year the CDC recorded human deaths by dog breeds was 1998. Likely due to pressures from animal advocacy groups, the CDC stopped further research into this area. Since 1998, pit bulls alone have killed 208 U.S. citizens. The only other known entity, in addition to DogsBite.org, that tracks this vital data publicly is Animal People.2
- 38 U.S. fatal dog attacks occurred in 2012. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 600 U.S. cities,3 pit bulls contributed to 61% (23) of these deaths. Pit bulls make up less than 5% of the total U.S. dog population.4
- Together, pit bulls (23) and rottweilers (3), the second most lethal dog breed, accounted for 68% of all fatal attacks in 2012. In the 8-year period from 2005 to 2012, this combination accounted for 73% (183) of the total recorded deaths (251).
- The breakdown between pit bulls and rottweilers is substantial over this 8-year period. From 2005 to 2012, pit bulls killed 151 Americans, about one citizen every 19 days, versus rottweilers, which killed 32, about one citizen every 91 days.
- Annual data from 2012 shows that 50% (19) of the victims were adults, 21-years and older, and the other half were children, ages 8-years and younger. Of the total children killed by dogs in 2012, 79% (15) were ages 2-years and younger.
- Annual data also shows that males were more often victims, 61% (23), than females. The majority of male victims, 61% (14), were ages 8-years and younger. Of the total female victims, only 33% (5) fell into this same age group.
- In 2012, roughly one-third, 32% (12), of all dog bite fatality victims were either visiting or living temporarily with the dog's owner when the fatal attack occurred. Children 8-years and younger accounted for 75% (9) of these deaths.
- 34% (13) of all fatalities in 2012 involved more than one dog; 13% (5) involved breeding on the dog owner's property either actively or in the recent past, and 5% (2) involved tethered dogs, down from a 14% average from 2005 to 2010.5
- In 2012, dogs referred to as a "rescue" accounted for at least 13% (5) attacks that resulted in death. Children suffered the brunt of these attacks with 3 deaths. The adults afflicted, 2 adult females, were killed by their own pack of "rescued" dogs.6
- Dog ownership information for 2012 shows that family dogs comprised 58% (22) of all fatal occurrences; 82% (31) of all incidents occurred on the dog owner's property and 21% (8) resulted in criminal charges, down from 29% in 2011.7
- California and North Carolina led fatalities in 2012, each with 4 deaths. 75% of the California deaths occurred in San Diego County. Pit bull-type dogs accounted for 88% (7) of the 8 deaths. New Mexico, Ohio and Texas followed, each with 3 deaths.
- See: Full news release.
2012 is the first year that DogsBite.org is adding a discussion section to our annual dog bite fatality statistics. Annual data from 2012 shows a continuation of existing trends and new trends as well, some of which we will track in the future. To start, in the 8-year combined results, we see a whole number drop again in the average number of days, 19, that a pit bull kills an American, down from every 20 days in 2005 to 2011 results and 21 days in 2005 to 2010 results.
By reviewing the Fatal Pit Bull Attacks website, one sees that in the 8-year period from 1997 to 2004, pit bulls killed an American every 48 days. If one reaches back further into the 1980s, when the pit bull problem erupted on a national scale and cities began adopting pit bull laws, the spacing is even further. In the 8-year period from 1981 to 1988, a pit bull killed a person about every 65 days. This is generous, as the CDC study reflecting the same years shows every 70 days.
There is no dispute that pit bulls are killing at an accelerated pace. What is unknown is the "magic number" that must be reached -- a pit bull killing a person every 15, 10 or 5 days? -- before more lawmakers respond with measures to reduce these injuries and deaths. It is also unknown when more parents will reject the propaganda about this dog breed, spread by pit bull owners and animal welfare groups, and become aware of the injuries and deaths attributed to them.
That roughly one-third of all fatal dog attacks in 2012 occurred when the victim was either visiting or living temporarily with the dog's owner, and that 75% of the victims in these circumstances were children should send a powerful message to parents. There is an extremely heightened risk factor when a child is placed into these two scenarios, especially when the dog is a pit bull or rottweiler. In 2012, these two dog breeds accounted for 78% of the child deaths in these scenarios.
The death of a child by a so-called "service dog" also occurred under these circumstances. Last January, a 6-year old boy and his family were visiting the home of a military serviceman in Oak Grove, Kentucky whose dog was allegedly trained to help him cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The dog horribly attacked the boy, killing him. There will be more "service dog" deaths, as the revised ADA fails to require certified training or licensing for a service dog.
In 2012, two "missing children" cases required multiple law enforcement agencies to carry out search and rescue missions. Kylar Johnson, 4-years old of Victoria, Texas was discovered dead 14 hours later, killed by a chained pit bull. Bryton Cason, 4-years old of Donalsonville, Georgia was discovered in his own front yard three hours later, killed by a loose dog. In the future, we might expect similar "missing children" search missions to be linked to a dangerous dog.
In 2012, two dog bite-related fatalities involved United States Postal Service employees. Dog bites and dog aggression have historically posed a problem for letter carriers, but the October attack on 55-year old Robert Rochester Jr., of New Castle, Delaware, further intensifies it. The dog in this instance escaped its owner's fenced property and viciously attacked Rochester who was collecting mail from a bin on a street, not making deliveries. Rochester died six days later.
In 2012, due to legal maneuverings by animal rights groups, two dogs that killed humans were spared euthanasia. On April 27, a Pennsylvania judge agreed to send a husky that killed a newborn to an out-of-state "sanctuary." The next case emerged on the same day, after a baby boy in Henderson, Nevada was killed by his grandmother's mastiff. The mastiff remains in quarantine awaiting a decision by the Nevada Supreme Court after intervention by the Lexus Project.
The circumstances and legal issues of the two cases differ, but the results are the same: the dog is sent to an out-of-state "sanctuary" to live out the rest of its life. Yet, after a dangerous dog is shipped across state lines, what oversight follows? In January, the Lexus Project gained ownership of a pit bull-type dog that was involved in a man's death. The group sent the dog, named Bones, to a residential home in Ohio that had 15 other dogs. Bones is currently missing.
The data from 2012 is painfully clear. Innocent people continue to be the suffers of the local and national battles waged by pit bull owners and animal advocacy groups, who have distorted the truth about pit bulls since the 1980s. Moreover, the government public health agency, the CDC, has abandoned the issue of dangerous dog breeds since their last published study in 2000, a study that had a 3-2 majority of animal authors, instead of medical doctors for human beings.
At that time, the CDC was led to believe by the animal authors that pit bulls had been replaced by a new killer breed, rottweilers, thus legislating specific dog breeds would be fruitless. Did the CDC doctors ever imagine back then that about a decade later an American would die every 19 days as the result of pit bull mauling? This is unknown, but the animal authors did know; each understood the unique attack behaviors of dogs selectively bred to fight to the death in a pit.8
If the public has to wait for the "magic number" to reach every 10 days, or worse every 5, to gain the attention of public health officials, the volume of serious and fatal maulings inflicted by well-documented dangerous dog breeds will be unspeakable.
2Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, by Merritt Clifton, Animal People.
3The decrease from previous years is due to recompiling the master list in late December to account for the loss of Ohio's pit bull law in 2012.
4More adoptions will not end shelter killing of pit bulls, by Merritt Clifton, Animal People, October 2011.
5Updated December 14, 2013 to reflect a change in 2011 tethering data.
6DogsBite.org defines a "pack" as four or more dogs. Dawn Brown was excluded, her dog was not termed a "rescue."
7Updated February 8, 2014 to reflect felony charges brought in connection to the death of Esteban Alavez.
8While working at the Humane Society of the United States, Randall Lockwood participated in three dog bite fatality studies. Ironically, Lockwood's research of fighting dogs (the PDF file) was used to uphold the Denver pit bull ban.
07/24/14: Nonprofits Urge CDC to Resume Tracking Richer Data Set for Children and Adults...
Please donate to support our work
DogsBite.org is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity organization. Learn more »
| 1/11/2013 7:48 PM |
It should be noted that Bones is at large in Toledo. This dog was too dangerous to remain in New York City so the Lexus Project sent him to a tiny private home in Toledo Ohio. I link to the Facebook page of the Northwest Ohio Underdog Rescue. http://www.facebook.com/nwo.underdog.rescue?fref=tsis Please scroll down to a post made on Tuesday 1/9/2013 about a sighting of Bones. At 6:17 p.m. Elizabeth Sugg,a supporter of NWO Underdog Rescue, asks if the dog was alone or with someone. At 7:42 p.m. NWO Underdog Rescue answers with one word, "alone." Flyers posted for this lost dog, a Craigslist ad for this lost dog, and the Toledo Blade article on this lost dog all fail to mention details of Bones violent past. David Shadha called 911 to report that his roommate sicced the dog on him. A Coroner's report was required to determine the cause of death for Shadha. Head injury (Shadha was also hit in the head with a pipe) v. the mauling. Failure to maintain adequate control of this violent dog should impact the ability of the Lexus Project to obtain custody of more violent dogs.
| 1/12/2013 10:28 AM |
Gizzarelli will relinquish ownership in exchange for San Francisco Animal Care and Control not putting Charlie to death. Instead, the dog will be placed with "a qualified third-party rehabilitation center or sanctuary."
Like the Lexus Project did in Ohio?
| 1/18/2013 1:55 AM |
You indicate (rightly) that together, pit bulls and rottweilers are responsible for 73% of DBRF in 2012.
I'd like to point out that if you add in the many 'molloser' type dogs that are in fact pit bull mixes or derivatives (cane Corso, dogo Argentino, BULL mastiff, etc), you see that this type of dog, anything with pit bull genes, is responsible for 86% of DBRF in 2012.
Pits, rottweilers, and pit derivatives are killing six times as many humans now as all other dog breeds and types combined.
Just a thing your ordinary citizen and shameless politician oughtta know...
| 1/18/2013 10:00 AM |
I wonder if there has ever before been a recorded death by a so called "service dog." I highly doubt it.
Thank you for finding the patterns in deaths you have found - the visiting dog scenario is extremely common, and hopefully parents will find this information and take heed!
The lexus project is a menace. They will literally give dangerous dogs to anyone, and there is a frightening pool of people who believe the propaganda that you can love aggression out of a dog and who are dying for it. This is a combination made in hell.
And as for the propaganda - it is becoming glaringly apparent that it is literally killing people. The nanny dog, judge dogs individually, Genetically determined aggression can be removed by love and guidance, all these arguments have literally underpinned decisions people made this year that ended up in a horrific fatal mauling.