Wednesday, February 11, 2015
DogsBite.org recorded 42 fatal dog attacks in 2014, the highest on record in the last 10-years of statistical data we have collected. Citations of each victims' case history are located on the 2014 Fatality Citations page. The last year the CDC collected "breed" information about fatal human dog attacks was 1998. Since this time, pit bulls alone have killed 262 U.S. citizens. The only other known nonprofit in addition to DogsBite.org that tracks this vital data publicly is Animals 24-7.1
- 42 U.S. dog bite-related fatalities occurred in 2014. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 700 U.S. cities, pit bulls contributed to 64% (27) of these deaths. Pit bulls make up about 6% of the total U.S. dog population.2
- Together, pit bulls (27) and rottweilers (4), the second most lethal dog breed, accounted for 74% of the total recorded deaths in 2014. This same combination also accounted for 74% of all fatal attacks during the 10-year period of 2005 to 2014.
- The breakdown between these two breeds is substantial over this 10-year period. From 2005 to 2014, pit bulls killed 203 Americans, about one citizen every 18 days, versus rottweilers, which killed 38, about one citizen every 96 days.
- In the year of 2014, the combination of pit bulls (27), rottweilers (4) and mastiff-type guard dogs and war dogs (4) -- the types used to create "baiting" bull breeds and fighting breeds -- accounted for 83% (35) of all dog bite-related fatalities.3
- Annual data from 2014 shows that 48% (20) of the fatality victims were children 13-years and younger, and 52% (22) were adults, 20-years and older. Of the total adults killed by dogs in 2014, 73% (16) were ages 50-years and older.
- Annual data shows that when combining all age groups, female victims (24) were greater in number than male victims (18). Amongst adults 50-years and older, females were excessively victims 81% (13), versus males 19% (3).
- In 2014, 19% (8), of all dog bite fatality victims were either visiting or living temporarily with the dog's owner when the fatal attack occurred, down from 38% in 2013. Children 6-years and younger accounted for 88% (7) of these deaths.
- 57% (24) of all fatalities in 2014 involved more than one dog; 19% (8) involved a pack attack of four or more dogs; 31% (13) involved breeding on the dog owner's property either actively or in the recent past and 5% (2) involved tethered dogs.
- Dog ownership information for 2014 shows that family dogs comprised 48% (20) of all fatal attack occurrences, 40% (17) of the attacks occurred off the dog owner's property, up from 22% in 2013, and 21% (9) resulted in criminal charges.
- Texas led lethal dog attacks in 2014 with 7 deaths. 86% (6) were attributed to pit bulls and 43% resulted in felony charges, up from 0% in 2013. Florida followed with 5 deaths, North Carolina 4 deaths and Alabama and Ohio each with 3 deaths.
- Jurisdictions in two states each incurred 2 dog bite fatalities in 2014 -- Bell County, Texas and Montgomery County, Ohio. Both attacks in Montgomery County occurred in the City of Dayton. No felony charges resulted from these 4 deadly attacks.
- See: 10-Year U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Chart (2005 to 2014)
- See: Full news release
Each year, certain aspects of annual dog bite fatality statistics stand out in comparison to adjacent or recent years, but do not necessarily indicate a new trend. The two striking aspects of 2014 is the total number of fatalities -- 42 is the highest on record since we began collecting data -- along with the surge of off-property attacks. In 2014, 40% (17) of all fatal dog attacks where inflicted by loose dogs off their owner's property. This is also the highest on record since we began tracking.
DogsBite.org underscored the accelerated rate of dog bite fatalities in 2014 in an April report and again in an August report. On average last year, a fatal dog attack occurred in the U.S. every 8.7 days. The majority of these deaths, 60%, occurred in the Southern United States, primarily Texas, Florida, North Carolina and several other Gulf Coast states. Texas and Florida dominated with 7 and 5 deaths respectively. National, regional and local media were mainly absent on this issue.
The overwhelming majority of breed-types that killed in 2014 are longtime killing culprits. Pit bulls, rottweilers and mastiff-type guard dogs and war dogs comprised 83% (35) of all deaths. Removing these breeds from the equation leaves 7 dog bite fatalities in 2014, an annual death rate similar to the mid-1970s before these breed-types gained in popularity. Of the 7 deaths, 5 were off-property attacks involving multiple dogs in semi-rural areas and 2 were family dog attacks.
Rise In Off-Property Attacks
In 2014, an alarming 40% (17) of all fatal attacks were inflicted by loose dogs off their owner's property. This is a sharp rise; the 10-year rate (2005 to 2014) of fatal off-property attacks is 24%.4 In 2014, 88% (15) of these attacks involved dog owners that were direct or close neighbors to the victim or nearby property owners unfamiliar to the victim. Of this subset, 6 occurred in large and midsized cities including, Houston, San Antonio, Modesto, Dayton, Paterson and Killeen.
Of the total number of off-property attacks, at least 35% (6) occurred in semi-rural jurisdictions with minimal animal control resources or no leash laws and struggling Indian reservations, which in addition to these two shortfalls also have longstanding roaming dog problems. These areas include: Tallapoosa County (AL), Riverside (AL), Benton County (MS), Grant Parish (LA), Pine Ridge Reservation, Shannon County (SD) and Wind River Reservation, Fremont County (WY).
Rise In "Unknown" Breeds
2014 also marked a rise in "unknown" breeds involved in fatal dog attacks. In the 10-year period of 2005 to 2014, there were 326 total recorded dog bite fatalities. Only 2.5% (8) of these deaths involved unknown breeds, 3 of which occurred in 2014, 1 in 2012, 1 in 2010 and 3 in 2009. Attacks by unknown breeds on or near Indian reservations account for 50% (4) of all occurrences. In 2014, there were 2 fatal dog attacks on Indian reservations involving multiple unknown dog breeds.
The other fatal attack in 2014 involving unknown dog breeds occurred in Grant Parish, Louisiana and involved up to 15 dogs, 14 of which belonged to the same owner, the victim's next-door neighbor. The dogs were quickly seized, DNA samples taken and an out-of-state lab performed an analysis. The lab results came back in early January and all 15 dogs were euthanized. The Grant Parish Sheriff's Office refused to release any specific dog breed information to the local media.
High Profile Criminal Trials
Though 2014 seemed dominated by fatal dog mauling trials, only 21% of the 42 fatal attacks resulted in criminal charges -- 21.5% is the 10-year national average. What did occur in 2014 were two high-profile second-degree murder cases against dog owners. The conviction of a California man, Alex Jackson, whose loose pit bulls brutally killed a woman in 2013 and the preliminary examination of a Michigan married couple whose cane corsos fatally attacked a jogger in July.
Progress on a national average level may be stalled, but not in certain states. 2014 marked the first time that Michigan prosecutors brought second-degree murder charges in a fatal dog mauling case. In Texas, 2014 marked the first year, to our knowledge, that two of its largest counties -- Harris County (Houston) and Bexar County (San Antonio) -- filed charges under the state felony dog attack law after a fatal mauling. The state law carries a penalty of up to 20-years in prison.
"We had evidence the dog had killed another dog and had been involved in two other attacks against people. Frankly, we're going to make an example of these two owners." - Harris County District Attorney Devon AndersonTrends that Must Be Stopped
In 2014, after police gunned down an attacking 130-pound family pit bull that brutally killed a little girl in Louisiana, readers were introduced to the "designer" XL and XXL pit bull breeding trend. Within a few hours of the attack being reported, DogsBite.org was able to locate the dog owner's extensive Instagram page and document these disturbing images for readers. This appalling designer trend of breeding quite literally monster-sized dangerous pit bulls must be stopped.
We also shined a light on a growing industry of "family" protection dogs with a "switch" after a protection trained rottweiler named Ozzy killed a boy at his home. The boy's stepfather operated a business at the home, "Platinum K9 Protection - Social Protection Dogs with a Switch" and had formerly worked for Vohne Liche Kennels. The alleged "switch" failed and the boy lost his life. We hope to see this trend dry up fast; attack bred and trained dogs do not make reliable family pets.
Finally, another trend revealed in 2014 that must be stopped is fearful media. News groups too afraid to "name the breed" after a fatal pit bull mauling due to backlash from pit bull owners who often flood their inboxes with nasty messages and cause a scene on their corporate Facebook page. Also, news groups that are fearful and incompetent emerged in 2014 when KIII-TV failed to name pit bulls as the attacking breed and instead hedged it under the "large breed" scenario.
Photographs of the 19 children and one young teenager fatally attacked by dogs in 2014.
2Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to December 31, 2014, by Merritt Clifton, Animals 24-7, December 31, 2014.
3These breeds include: mastiff-mix (1 death), bullmastiff (2 deaths) and cane corso (1 death).
4If one excludes 2014, the 9-year rate (2005 to 2013) of fatal off-property attacks is even lower at 21.5%.
01/07/15: 2014 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs
08/22/14: U.S. Fatal Dog Attacks Continue to Rise from Previous Years...August 13, 2014
07/24/14: Nonprofits Urge CDC to Resume Tracking Richer Data Set for Children and Adults...
04/21/14: U.S. Fatal Dog Attacks Accelerate During First Part of Year...April 11, 2014
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| 2/12/2015 2:09 PM |
Regarding the disturbing trend of breeding ever-larger pit bulls, please check out this monstrosity.
This is the reality of what may be coming next to your neighborhood, your local dog park. A very sobering thought.
| 2/13/2015 11:51 AM |
Can a FOIA request be made to determine where this attack K9 was purchased from and where it received its training?
| 2/13/2015 2:36 PM |
Hulk is an XXL pit bull. Niko, the 130-pound killer that was gunned down with 13 bullets last year, was technically an XL pit bull. There are two different classes (apparently). There may also be a triple X. This is "designer" pit bull breeding; the breeders make up the names and weight classes as they go along (See: XXXL classified from 2009). Here is the breeder of Hulk's Instagram page and website:
As for the recent K9 mauling, we captured some information in cache yesterday. The officer's K9 tore off his son's foot in the attack and may have been fatal without immediate human intervention. Now it appears doctors had to amputate the boy's entire left leg. "According to police. Jango has never showed any signs of aggression toward people he knows." Until suddenly it "switched" on a family member.
Michael Mastaler has been with the police department since 2007. He has worked patrol, gangs, narcotics, and is a member of the Inland Valley SWAT team as an operator. Michael Mastaler was selected to be a K9 handler in January of 2014. Jango is a 6 year old Belgium Malinois and was born and trained in Holland. Jango's commands are in Dutch