2018 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - DogsBite.org

Fatal Dog Attack Statistics
DogsBite.org recorded 36 fatal dog attacks in 2018. Pit bulls contributed to 72% (26) of these deaths -- over 8 times more than the next closest breed, "mixed-breed," with 3 deaths. Nine different dog breeds contributed to lethal attacks in 2018. Two deaths were unreported, but were captured through our records requests. The last time the CDC collected "breed" data about dogs involved in fatal human attacks was 1998. Pit bulls have killed over 370 Americans since.

  • 36 U.S. dog bite-related fatalities occurred in 2018. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 900 U.S. cities, pit bulls contributed to 72% (26) of these deaths. Pit bulls make up about 7% of the total U.S. dog population.
  • During the 14-year period of 2005 to 2018, canines killed 471 Americans. Two dog breeds, pit bulls (311) and rottweilers (47), contributed to 76% (358) of these deaths. 33 different dog breeds contributed to the remaining fatal dog maulings.
  • In the year of 2018, the combination of pit bulls (26), rottweilers (2) and mastiff-type guard dogs and war dogs (4) -- the types used to create "baiting" bull breeds and fighting breeds -- accounted for 89% (32) of all dog bite-related fatalities.
  • See full report: 2018 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - DogsBite.org
  • News release: Nonprofit Releases 2018 Dog Bite Fatality Statistics and Trends from the 14-Year Data Set (2005 to 2018)
This year's release includes statistics from our 14-year data set. From Jan. 1, 2005 to Dec. 31, 2018, canines killed 471 Americans. Pit bulls contributed to 66% (311) of these deaths. Combined, pit bulls (311) and rottweilers (47) contributed to 76% (358) of attacks resulting in death. When mastiff-type guard dogs and war dogs are added -- the types used to create "baiting" bull breeds and fighting breeds -- this small group of dog breeds accounts for 84% (397) of all dog bite-related deaths. In discussion notes, we examine 2018 trends, the rise of adult and female victims since 2005 and the escalation of pit bull-inflicted deaths since 2013.

Data Collection Method: How We Collect U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Data

Discussion Notes

DogsBite.org - From June 2018 to March 2019, our nonprofit sent out public records requests to 14 different jurisdictions regarding fatal dog maulings in 2018. In these filings, we uncovered two unreported fatal dog maulings, one in Nevada and California. Both fatal dog attacks were perpetrated by family pit bulls. These filings are also the primary reason why our annual and combined year statistics were not released in late February, our usual publishing timeframe.

In 2018, there was a surge in female victims, a surge in rescued or rehomed dogs killing a person, a surge in owner-directed fatal attacks (when a dog kills its owner), and the continued trend of adult deaths surpassing child deaths. Since 2016, we have been reporting on the rise of adult victims. In 2018, persons (≥ 10 years) comprised 58% of deaths. This is over a 90% increase from the early CDC study period (1979-1988) when only 30% of fatality victims were ≥ 10 years.1

This year, when examining 14 years of fatal dog attack statistics, we review a table and chart. The table is divided into 3 periods that examines multiple trends and the percent change between the 1st and 3rd periods. The dual pie chart shows the increasing domination of pit bulls in fatal dog attacks, accounting for 73% of deaths from 2013 to 2018, and indicates that only two categories may be relevant in fatal dog attack statistics in the future: pit bulls vs. all other dog breeds.

Surge in Female Victims Metric Shift

2018 marks the highest death count on record for female victims of fatal dog maulings. 78% (28) of all fatality victims were female. The breakdown is as follows, with males historically dominating child deaths (≤ 9 years): 0-9 years, 80% female (12 of 15) deaths; 19-49 years, 83% female (5 of 6) deaths; and 50-70+ years, 73% female (11 of 15) deaths. Of the 10 owner-directed fatal attacks in 2018, females comprised 80% of these victims, whose ages spanned from 28 to 64 years.

Of the 16 adult females killed by dogs last year, 31% (5) involved a husband returning home to find his wife dead or nearly dead due to a vicious family dog attack. In 2 cases, Kentucky and Texas, the dog had previously attacked the female. The Kentucky case resulted in the husband being charged with wanton endangerment in the second degree, but a grand jury later dismissed the charge. 75% (12) of the attacks involved pit bulls, 19% (3) mastiff-types and 1 rottweiler.

The rise in female fatalities is also reflected in the multi-year trend table: Trends: 14 Years of U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities in 3 Periods (2005 to 2018). The chart depicts 3 periods (5, 5, and 4-years) and examines the change between the 1st and 3rd periods. From 2005 to 2009, females made up 46.3% of dog bite fatality victims. This climbed to 56.6% in the third period (2015-2018), a 22% rise. Two age groups, 30-49 and 50-69, had significant rises, 108% and 91% respectively.

Rescue Dog-Inflicted Fatalities

2018 shows that rescued or rehomed dogs accounted for nearly 20% (7) of attacks resulting in human death; 57% (4) of these dogs were vetted by an animal shelter prior to adoption. Pit bulls inflicted 71% (5) of these deaths, including a pit bull on "death row" in West Virginia that killed its 64-year old adopter within 14 days. Susan Sweeney, 58, was killed even faster. Just days after her family adopted a mastiff-mix from The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas the dog brutally killed her.

Infant Khloe Williams was supposed to be "in good hands" while in the Florida foster care system. Her foster parent was a police detective too. But a female dog adopted from Pinellas County Animal Services 7 months earlier destroyed her. The dog belonged to the detective's mother, who was babysitting the child. The pair of male pit bulls that killed Bradley Cline, 62, in Nevada belonged to his son, who had adopted them from the Henderson Animal Shelter 8 months earlier.

The multi-year trend table shows that rescued or rehomed dogs involved in fatal maulings has increased by over 600% between the 1st and 3rd periods. Though the numbers are small, 3 deaths jumping to 21, it should serve as a "wake up call" to the shelter and rescue communities. Prior to 2010, fatal attacks inflicted by rescue dogs was an anomaly. If this growth rate persists, by 2023 rescue dog-inflicted fatalities will account for over 35% of fatal attacks within a single year.

Surge in Owner-Directed Attacks

Of the 10 owner-directed fatal attacks in 2018, 80% (8) killed adult females. Other attributes include: 3 deaths involved rescued or rehomed dogs; 2 deaths involved a married couple breeding Dogo argentinos when of one of the male dogs attacked and killed the owner's wife;2 2 deaths involved an owner being fatally injured while trying to break up a dogfight (both victims were male); and 3 deaths involved a longtime family pit bull suddenly, and brutally, killing it's female owner.3

The multi-year trend table shows that owner-directed fatal attacks increased by 67% between the 1st and 3rd periods. During the 3rd period (2015-2018), rescued or rehomed dogs were involved in one-third (8 of 24) of these fatal maulings. Pit bulls inflicted 67% (16) of these attacks followed by mastiffs (3), Dogo argentinos (2), rottweilers (2) and 1 mixed-breed. The combination of dangerous dog breeds and rescue pit bulls promises a continued rise in owner-directed attacks.

Adult Fatalities Continue to Rise Metric Shift

2018 marks another year when dogs killed more adults than children, 58% and 42% respectively. One can see by viewing the previous CDC study periods the dramatic change in the ages of victims killed by dogs. Children 0-9 years formerly dominated victims with 70%. This has since dropped to 40%. Since 2005, the fastest rising age group among adults is 50-69. We also know from the multi-year trend table that females within that age group have nearly doubled.

As children 0-9 years continue to fall over the 3 periods, 52%, 50% and 40%, and children 0-2 years continues to fall as well, 30%, 27% and 23%, there is still a painful eyesore. Infant deaths (< 1 year) are rising. Fatal infant attacks increased by 29% between the 1st and 3rd periods. During the 3rd period, infants comprised 15% of fatal dog mauling victims. Children 5-9 years, predominantly male victims, remained at a persistent level, making up 12% of all fatality victims.

Adults (≥ 10 years) Killed in Fatal Dog Attacks - Various Studies (1979-2018)
% AdultsYears0-910-2930-4950-6970+TotalEntity/Study
30%1979-198870%6%3%11%10%157CDC/Sacks 1989
43%1989-199457%5%9%10%19%108CDC/Sacks, 1996
48%2005-200952%8%10%13%17%149DogsBite.org, 2019
50%2010-201450%3%13%17%17%179DogsBite.org, 2019
60%2015-201840%5%12%24%19%143DogsBite.org, 2019

Pit Bull Victims by Age Groups

By viewing the full 14-year data set, one sees that pit bulls heavily contribute to the rising number of adult deaths. From 2005 to 2018, 53% of all victims (248 of 471) were adults ≥ 10 years. Pit bulls accounted for 73% (181 of 248) of these deaths. Unlike other dog breeds, pit bulls kill in every age group. They also kill more adults than children, 58% (181) v. 42% (130) respectively. It is also noteworthy that half of all infants killed by dogs since 2005 were struck down by pit bulls.

Percent of Pit Bull Deaths by Fatality Victim Age Group (2005-2018)
Category< 11-23-45-910-2930-4950-6970+Total
Total Deaths6165445324568682471
Pit Bull Deaths3040253521416455311
% Pit Bulls49%62%57%66%88%73%74%67% 

Pit Bulls Increasingly Dominate Fatalities

The last chart we examine breaks the 14-year period into two parts, 8 and 6-years respectively, and shows the increasing number of fatal dog attacks inflicted by pit bulls over the last 6 years. From 2013 to 2018, pit bulls were involved in 73% of dog bite fatalities, despite only making up 7% of the total U.S. dog population. During this same period, rottweilers fell to 6%, placing them in close proximity to German shepherds (5%), mastiff/bullmastiffs (4.6%) and mixed-breeds (4.6%).4

Deadly attacks inflicted by rottweilers are predictable; the breed has already killed two young children in 2019. Yet, the rate of these attacks has slowed since 2007. The estimated population of rottweilers is 2.4% (average of last 3 years) and nearly 3 times lower than the pit bull population. Despite being in close proximity to several other breeds over the last 6 years, over the 14-year period, rottweilers still account for over twice as many deaths as German shepherds.

14 years of dog bite fatalities in two periods

Summary and Call-to-Action

14 years of fatal dog bite statistical data is sufficient to evaluate the "breed-specific" issue. Pit bulls dramatically dominate attacks causing death, especially over the last 6 years, inflicting 73% of all deaths. The last time the CDC examined this issue was during the last century. Vigorous research, however, is ongoing across the country at Level 1 trauma centers regarding severe nonfatal dog bite injuries. The majority of these scientific studies also point to pit bulls as the leading culprit.

The multi-year trend table shows the dramatic change in the ages of victims of fatal dog maulings since the CDC study years (1979 to 1998). Over the last 4 years, adults have made up the majority of fatal dog attack victims, 60% vs. 40% children. Adults 50-69 years now comprise 24% of all victims; this is an 82% rise between the 1st and 3rd periods. Combined, females in the 30-49 and 50-69 age groups, now also make up nearly a quarter (24%) of all dog bite fatality victims.

Females made up 38.8% of fatal pit bull mauling victims from 2005 to 2009. This rose to 53.8% in the third period (2015-2018), a 39% rise.

Our call to action this year is simple: Do not adopt a pit bull or any fighting breed from a shelter or rescue, especially if you are a woman. Do not allow your family or friends to either. Attorney Kenneth Phillips of DogBiteLaw.com has been sharing this same message in videos since early 2018, usually with a Super Bowl theme (See: 2018 and 2019). In March, he also created a video directed at women because females are now the most frequent victims of pit bull violence.

Additional Annual and Combined Year Statistical Graphics (2005 to 2018)

14 years chart dog bite fatality statistics by year, 2005 to 2018

Chart - 2018 dog bite fatality statistics

Chart - 14-years of us dog bite fatalities statistics, 2005 to 2018

Data Collection Method: How We Collect U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Data

14 FOIA Requests: Offices we sent FOIAs to over the last 10 months to uncover unreported fatal dog maulings in 2018 and to gain additional records about reported dog bite fatalities: Clark County Coroner's Office, Nevada — Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Nevada — Henderson Police Department, Nevada — Siskiyou County Coroner's Office, California — Siskiyou County Sheriff's Office, California — Fresno Police Department, California — Fresno County Coroner's Office, California — Arcata Police Department, California — Hunt County Sheriff's Office, Texas — Carter County Sheriff's Office, Oklahoma — Pinellas County Animal Services, Florida — Milwaukee Medical Examiner's Office, Wisconsin — Cape Girardeau Police Department, Missouri — Logan County, West Virginia.
1A note about the ≥ 10 years age category. As indicated on the chart (14-Year U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Chart by Age Groups), there are so few dog bite fatalities in the 10-18 age group (1% of all deaths) we often combine the 10-18 and 19-29 groups into one group, 10-29, thus, combining all victims 10 and older into the adult category. The CDC began this practice during the last century, presumably because deaths in the 10-18 age group are so rare. We use the same age groups as they did in their studies so that we can make direct comparisons to them.
2The deaths of Jenna Sutphin, 28-years old (Huntington, MD), and Kristie Kelley, 44-years old (Greenville, TX).
3The deaths of Hong Saengsamly, 49-years old (Milwaukeem, WI), Della Riley, 42-years old (Cincinnati, OH) and Angela Smith, 55-years old (District of Columbia).
4During the 6-year period (2013 to 2018), canines killed 218 people. The top 5 killing breeds were: pit bull 72.9% (159), rottweiler 6.4% (14), German shepherd 5% (11), mastiff/bullmastiff 4.6% (10) and mixed-breed 4.6% (10).

Related articles:
05/03/19: Trends: 14 Years of U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities in 3 Periods (2005 to 2018)
04/21/19: 14-Year U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Chart by Breed (2005 to 2018)
04/21/19 14-Year U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Chart by Age Groups
01/08/19: 2018 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs

Recent multi-year reports:

2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Dighton Dog Attack Leaves a 14-Year Old Boy Dead and a Community Mourning

dighton dog attack kills teenager
Ryan Hazel, 14, was found dead after after a dog attack in Dighton, Massachusetts.

Fundraiser Soars
UPDATE 05/17/19: The fundraiser for the family of a 14-year old boy brutally killed by dogs has now surpassed $42,000. It's stated goal was only $5,000. On May 9, Ryan Hazel was killed by up to four dogs at 2477 Maple Swamp Road in Dighton while their owner was away. There were 11 adult dogs on the property and 9 puppies. Four dogs -- three Dutch shepherds and one Belgian malinois -- were loose in an outdoor fenced area during the attack; the other dogs were caged.

The property and four attacking dogs belong to Scott Dunmore, 49, who is a professional dog trainer and highly regarded in "Schutzhund," a competitive sport for protection dogs. Dunmore's website, 3 Dogs Running, states he is the "only decoy in the country to be certified in all four major dog sports (Mondio Ring, French Ring, PSA and IPO)." It is unknown what level of protection training the dogs that killed Ryan had. Dunmore has been cooperating with investigators.

During a news conference last week, Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn III said that Ryan regularly cared for the dogs when Dunmore was away. Last Thursday, Ryan's grandmother drove him to the property at 6:00 pm and waited in the car while he completed his tasks. When he did not return in 45 minutes, she called his parents. His parents quickly contacted a neighbor to check on Ryan who found him suffering from "traumatic injuries" and called 911 at 7:59 pm.

Ryan's parents, Dennis and Jennifer, were in New York for American Kennel Club field trials when Ryan was attacked and killed by Dunmore's dogs. His parents are dog trainers and German shorthaired pointer breeders. The couple operates Wolf Plain Brooks Kennel in Rehoboth. Ryan was a student at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical High School where he played football and ran track, according to his obituary. His Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, May 18.

dighton dog attack - -scott dunmore dog training

Scott Dunmore seen on the U.S. Mondioring website and his own website, 3 Dogs Running.

05/09/19: Teenager Killed by Pack of Dogs
Dighton, MA - A teenage boy is dead after being mauled by at least one dog. The Bristol County District Attorney's Office confirms that a 14-year old boy from Rehoboth was fatally attacked by dog(s) in the 2500 block of Maple Swamp in Dighton. Police responded to a 911 call about 8:00 pm. Police confirm they are investigating the boy's death as an apparent fatal dog mauling. "Multiple dogs" were taken into custody by animal control officials. No foul play is expected.

The Sun Chronicle reports the teenager was a student at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School in Taunton. A press conference is scheduled for noon Friday at the Dighton police station. In news clips, one of the dogs removed from the home appeared to be a German shepherd. On Friday, NBC 10 Tweeted that a man who has done restoration at the home said he had observed kennels in the basement of the home and at least 15 "German shepherd looking" dogs.

WCVB reports that the teenager had been taking care of animals on the property. As many as 12 dogs, primarily German shepherds, were in the area where the victim was found, a source told WCVB. The contractor told WCVB that the owner of the property at 2577 Maple Swamp Road runs a dog training business -- about 10 to 15 dogs are "trained for police work." The technical school has activated its Crisis Response Team to assist students during this time of grief.

The teenager was later identified as 14-year old Ryan Hazel from Rehoboth. Hazel was watching the dogs for their owner, Scott Dunmore, 49 while Dunmore was in Boston, according to Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn. The dogs were Dutch shepherds, Quinn said. The website, "3 Dogs Running," offers training by a Scott Dunmore in Boston, who has participated in AKC Obedience, Schutzhund (IPO), Mondio Ring, French Ring, PSA, and Dock Diving.

During the press conference, Quinn stated that Ryan took care of Dunmore's dogs and other animals on a "regular basis." On Thursday, Ryan's grandmother drove him to Dunmore's home and waited in the car while Ryan tended to the property chores. The grandmother told police that Ryan usually completed the chores in 30 to 45 minutes. After an hour passed, she became concerned and called his parents. His parents quickly contacted a neighbor to check on Ryan.

"The neighbor went onto the property at 2477 Maple Swamp Road. He eventually found Ryan lying on the ground in the rear yard suffering from traumatic injuries to various areas of his body. The neighbor also found four dogs in the yard and put them in the basement of the home. The remaining seven dogs are all believed to have been caged during the incident. The dogs that were outside were Dutch shepherds and a Belgium malinois. All 11 dogs were taken into custody ... by animal control and are being quarantined for up to 10 days ... The neighbor called 911 at 7:59 pm to report the incident and did attempt CPR on Ryan. However, the injuries he sustained were too severe and he was pronounced deceased at the scene by first responders. A full autopsy will be conducted..." - Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn

Later clarifications stated that three Dutch shepherds and one Belgian malinois were involved in the fatal attack -- both breeds are routinely trained as police dogs. Dunmore is highly regarded in "Schutzhund," a competitive sport for protection dogs. In February, there was a house fire on his property. Dunmore had been living in a trailer on the property while the damage was being repaired. Police do not know when during the two-hour window (6 to 8 pm) Ryan was attacked.

The Teenage Age Group

In our 14-year data set of 471 dog bite fatalities (2005 to 2018), teenage deaths are extremely rare. Within the 10-18 years age group, there are only 7 victims and 5 victims fall between the ages of 10-12 years, which are "tween" years. There are only two teenage victims, a 13-year old and 14-year old. Dunmore had 11 dogs on his property. It is unknown what level of protection training the four dogs that killed Ryan had. Dunmore has been cooperating with investigators.

Protection Trained Dogs

Ryan's death is the third death we have on record of a protection dog (trained in bite work) killing a person. The most recent involved a dual-certified police K-9 that broke out of its yard and killed a man. The 2.5-year old Belgian malinois was technically "retired" at the time, being in-between work gigs. In 2014, an IPO level 2 rottweiler, being spun as a "social protection dog with a switch," killed the trainer's 7-year old step-son when the boy took the dog outside to go to the bathroom.

At that time, Dutch animal behaviorist and author, Alexandra Semyonova wrote a 6-page response that explains: Bite threshold and bite inhibition, IPO bite work, Dogs with a "switch," Incompetent trainers, Breeding and other aspects about dogs trained for "personal protection" or police and military work. While the scenarios differ in all three deaths, two involved "experienced" attack trainers whose dog killed a juvenile. Readers new to this area may want to read her response.

The GoFundMe for Ryan Hazel has already exceeded $27,000. Ryan's parents, Dennis and Jennifer Hazel, are dog trainers and breeders. The couple operates Wolf Plain Brooks Kennel -- German shorthaired pointers -- in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. His parents were in New York on Thursday for American Kennel Club field trials when Ryan was killed by Dunmore's dogs.

Dighton dog attack kills teenager

Scott Dunmore was living in a trailer on his property while his house was being repaired.

Dighton dog attack kills teenager

Property in Dighton where 14-year old Ryan Hazel was mauled to death by dogs Thursday.

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04/18/19: Criminal Trial Ends for Former Officer Whose 'Retired' Dual-Certified Police K-9 Killed...
11/19/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: 7-Year Old Boy Killed by Trained Protection Dog in Dodge...

2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Volunteer at Humane Society of St. Lucie County Dies After Pit Bull Attack

volunteer humane society killed by dog
A volunteer died after being attacked by a pit bull at the Humane Society of St. Lucie County.

Violent, Traumatic Attack
UPDATE 05/15/19: Police released new details about a vicious dog attack that left a shelter volunteer of the Humane Society of St. Lucie County "mutilated" and "dead" last week. Christine Liquori, 52, was killed by a pit bull-mix named "Amos" that had been found wandering the streets a month earlier, not eight days earlier, as previously reported. Police concluded their investigation Wednesday and authorized the release of the 911 call made by an individual at the shelter.

Liquori arrived at the shelter about noon that day. She was found dead by a volunteer about 2:00 pm after he noticed that Amos was not in his kennel. The police report states that Liquori had "several lacerations and puncture marks to her right arm" and severe injuries to her face, which was covered in blood. A white plastic lawn chair, also covered in blood, was laying on its side next to Liquori, reports WPTV. Amos was found in the play area near Liquori with blood on its face.

Fort Pierce police said there was one surveillance camera outside the facility where the attack happened, but it was not working at the time.

In the 911 call, the dispatcher asks the caller, "Is she awake?" He replies, "No." The dispatcher next asks, "Is she breathing?" He replies, "No, I don't believe she is." The caller then states the condition of Liquori. "She's mutilated. And she's dead," he said. "She also has a severe laceration on her right arm," he added. David Robertson, the Executive Director of the Humane Society, said that Amos, who was available for adoption, had never shown any signs of aggression before.

05/12/19: Friends Mourn Woman's Death
Over the weekend, more information became known. David Robertson, the Executive Director of the Humane Society of St. Lucie County, said the dog that killed Christine Liquori, a longtime shelter volunteer, had arrived at the society's Fort Pierce Second Chance Shelter eight days earlier and had been up for adoption for two days. On Thursday, the dog brutally attacked Liquori, killing her, in an outside play yard pen. Liquori was alone with the dog when it attacked her.

Police spokeswoman Audria Moore-Wells told media outlets Friday via email, "The Fort Pierce Police Department is conducting a death investigation. This is an ongoing investigation and any comments will be provided at the conclusion of the investigation." Police have been tight-lipped from the get go. The initial story being spun was that it was "unknown" how she died. Fortunately, the coroner's office cleared that up quickly: She died of severe blood loss due to dog bites.

It is unknown how long Liquori was in the play yard with the new shelter dog, but death due to "severe blood loss" can happen within minutes if the bite severs a major artery. What is known is that the attacking pit bull-mix -- which the society has loads of -- had been cleared for "adoption to the public" six days after it arrived. Russian Roulette is a life-or-death "game" made famous by the Deer Hunter film. That is hardly what a potential adopter has in mind when visiting a shelter.

As mentioned earlier, Liquori was also a volunteer for Paws Fur Recovery, a group of "recovering addicts and alcoholics helping shelter dogs find new homes," according to their Facebook page. The group mainly rescues pit bulls. The group's founder, Lori Boettger, said that Liquori "loved loved loved what she did and she died doing what she loved." Except that no one knows how Liquori felt while being viciously attacked and bleeding out until her death -- Liquori died alone.

05/09/19: Volunteer Killed by Shelter Dog
Fort Pierce, FL - A volunteer at the Humane Society of St. Lucie County is dead after being bitten by a dog earlier today, Fort Pierce police said. Responders were called to the facility at 100 Savannah Road about 2:17 pm. "This incident involved an adult volunteer, who is deceased," police stated in a news release issued at 5:02 pm. The investigation was focused outside, in one of the "play group" pens, where they removed the body. No breed information was released.

WPTV reports that the female volunteer was found "dead inside a fenced play area, next to the shelter." Police say it's unclear if the victim died of a dog bite or from other causes. The "biting dog" is scheduled to be euthanized Friday. The victim was a member of Paws Fur Recovery, reports WPTV. A group of "recovering addicts and alcoholics helping shelter dogs find new homes," states their Facebook About Us page. The group primarily rescues pit bull-type dogs.

On Friday, the Human Society of St. Lucie County identified the woman as Christine Liquori, whose Facebook page indicates she primarily rescues pit bulls and American bulldogs (Scott-type). Another rescuer, Melissa McInturff, recently summed up her mauling death, "Another do-gooder gone too soon today..." McInturff's first and foremost goal was to advertise the adoption of unwanted pit bulls on behalf of Christine Liquori, "in her memory" so to speak -- Godspeed.

Statement of Sympathy on the Death of Christine Liquori. "It is with deep regret and with profound sympathy for her family and friends, that we must advise that on May 9, 2019, Christine was found deceased in the play area of our Fort Pierce Second Chance Shelter. Christine was a valued volunteer working with our good friends at Paws Fur Recovery. The circumstances of her tragic passing are under investigation by the proper authorities." - The Humane Society of St. Lucie County

The dog has since been identified as a pit bull-mix. Also on Friday, TC Palm reported that the coroner's office said the cause of death is exsanguination, or severe loss of blood, from dog bites. The manner of death was ruled an accident. David Robertson, the Humane Society’s executive director, said the facility is now reviewing all safety protocols, especially dog-walking protocols for volunteers. As the death investigation proceeds, the dog involved remains in a "limbo status."

The Humane Society of St. Lucie County joins a growing list of shelters involved with fatally attacking dogs, including: The Animal Foundation (NV), Henderson Animal Shelter (NV), Asheville Humane Society (NC), Jackson-Madison County Rabies Control (TN), Pinellas County Animal Services (FL), San Diego Humane Society (CA), El Paso Animal Services (TX), Rochester Animal Services (NY), Logan County Pound (WV), the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter (CT) and more.

volunteer humane society killed by dog - Christine Liquori

Christine Liquori was found dead in a "play yard" at the Humane Society of St. Lucie County.

volunteer humane society killed by dog - Christine Liquori

The Humane Society of St. Lucie County facility off Savannah Road in Fort Pierce, Florida.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: Florida Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

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2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Kills 2-Year Old Boy in Louisville, Kentucky

pit bull killls child Louisville
On Thursday, Isaiah Geiling, 2, was mauled to death by a family pit bull in Louisville.

Dog Attacked Child Before
UPDATE 05/03/19: On Friday, WLKY updated their report with new information. They spoke to the child's maternal grandmother, Cynthia Coy, who said the deadly dog mauling came just weeks after the dog had attacked Isaiah, ripping his ear. Coy provided a photograph of the child's injury. "So obviously the dog has attacked him before," Coy said. "Where was my daughter? Was she there?" Coy asked, referring to the fatal dog mauling Thursday at the home on Grand Avenue.

According to WLKY footage, Isaiah was with a "relative" at the home on Grand Avenue when the dog attacked. Shelby Chadwell, who along with his cousin risked his life to save the boy, stated yesterday, "The man that owns the dog had a very tough time wrestling the dog, pinning it, and getting it under control to take it back home." Unidentified neighbors told WLKY the dog was known for its aggressiveness and had gotten loose at least two or three times in the past.

05/02/19: Family Pit Bull-Mix Kills Boy
Louisville, KY - A 2-year old boy is dead after being attacked by a dog in Louisville's Chickasaw neighborhood. The attack occurred inside a home in the 3800 bock of Grand Avenue. Officers were dispatched to the home at 12:00 pm, after a report that a dog had bitten a child, according to Louisville Metro Police. When officers arrived at the scene, they found the injured boy and began performing CPR. He was transported to Norton Children's Hospital, where he later died.

A reporter from WLKY Tweeted earlier today that the attacking dog is a pit bull. The WLKY Facebook page shows an image of a dog appearing to pit bull-lab mixture being taken from the home on Grand Avenue. So far, police have not released breed information. The address of the home on Grand Avenue is also listed on the Foreclosure.com website. The dog was taken into custody by Louisville Metro Animal Services and will be held in quarantine for 10 days.

Audio Dispatch Logs

Audio dispatch from Louisville Fire on Broadcastify.com clearly states the dog is a pit bull and the child was bitten in the head. "Engine 19, I have you responding, this is EMS code 3. Police are responding along with EMS … Approximately a 3-year old child that has been bitten by a pit bull in the head. Heavy bleeding. Child is conscious. Time is 12:02," states dispatch. The dispatcher then quickly relays a critical update to Engine 19, "Update, advised, this child has stopped breathing."

Afternoon Updates

The Louisville Courier Journal reports that police responded to the home in the 3800 block of Grand Avenue about noon on reports of a child in the mouth of a pit bull, according to dispatch records. Officers performed CPR on the young boy before the ambulance arrived. A spokesman for Louisville Metro Animal Services, Teeya Barnes, confirmed to Courier Journal that her agency responded to the residence on Grand Avenue after reports that a child was injured by a pit bull.

"He was barely breathing on the floor, a lot of blood, face down. It was the worst. It's not something I want to relive." - Neighbor Shelby Chadwell

WDRB spoke to neighbors who rushed to help the boy. Shelby Chadwell, who lives next-door, said a woman pounded on his door Thursday morning asking for help. Chadwell and his cousin ran into the home and found the dog on top of the child. "It was a ferocious dog," Chadwell said. "We had to get the dog out of the room. So my cousin used sticks and bashed them together and scared the dog away. We put the dresser in the hallway to block the dog off and get out of there," he said.

WDRB also captured footage of the dog while animal control officers used control poles to contain it. The dog is seen biting the poles. Investigators say the only thing that is left to determine about the dog's breed is whether it is a purebred pit bull or pit bull-mix. Lt. Emily McKinley said that responding to the scene was difficult for everyone involved. "I know a lot of people are pretty shook up having to go through that and experience that, including our officers," McKinley said.

dog kills louisville boy

The male family pit bull-mix that attacked and killed 2-year old Isaiah Geiling on Thursday.

dog kills boy Louisville

The home on Grand Avenue where a 2-year old boy was killed by a pit bull-mix in Louisville.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google State Map: Kentucky Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

Related articles:
02/11/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull-Mix Kills Baby Boy in Guthrie, Kentucky
01/26/19: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Winchester Mother Dies After Pit Bull Mauling Inside Her Home

2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Baby Girl Mauled to Death by Rottweiler in Henderson, Nevada

killed by rottweiler hederson
Kyna Marie Pamela Deshane, 1-year old, died after being mauled by a rottweiler.

Rottweiler Kills Baby
Henderson, NV - A baby girl is dead after being attacked by a rottweiler, Henderson police confirmed. The deadly dog mauling occurred in the 100 block of Appian Way just before 8:00 am Saturday. The Henderson Police Department, animal control, and Fire Department responded to the home near Horizon Drive and Pacific Avenue. Officers arrived to find a 15-month old girl bitten and injured by a rottweiler. She was transported to Henderson Hospital, where she later died.

On Monday the coroner identified the victim as Kyna Marie Pamela Deshane from Ely. She died due to "multiple injuries from a mauling."

The rottweiler was 4-years old, according to police. Details of the child's injuries were not released. The dog was owned by a friend of the family and was euthanized at the owner's request, police said. The Clark County Coroner's Office will identify the child and the cause and manner of death. The baby's mauling death comes after an unreported fatal pit bull attack in Henderson last May. The dogs had been adopted from the Henderson animal shelter eight months earlier.

Top Counties in Fatal Dog Attacks

Clark County now joins three other counties in the U.S. for the highest rate of fatal dog attacks. As of April 27, 2019, Maricopa County, AZ, Harris County, TX, Riverside County, CA and Clark County, NV all share the distinction of having 8 fatal dog maulings since 2005, the highest ranking counties on record. The problem with Clark County is that they have reached this distinction due to the added number of deaths since 2016. Public shelters adopted out two of these killer dogs too.

In January, Henderson claimed the "no-kill" status. The absence of media scrutiny after two dogs they adopted out killed a man might have helped.

Both of the shelter dog inflicted human fatalities occurred in 2018. The grisly unreported fatal mauling of Bradley Cline, 62, occurred in late May. The attackers, a pair of male pit bulls (about 1-year old), had been adopted from the Henderson Animal Shelter in September 2017. The police report stated the attack lasted up to 20 minutes. In October, Susan Sweeney, 58, was killed by a 3-year old mastiff-mix her family adopted from The Animal Foundation just several days earlier.

killed by rottweiler Henderson

A 15-month old baby girl was killed by a rottweiler while visiting her grandfather's home.

killed by rottweiler henderson

The deadly rottweiler attack occurred in the city of Henderson. The dog was euthanized.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: U.S. Fatal Rottweiler Attacks By State

Related articles:
03/22/19: Fatal Rottweiler Attacks - The Archival Record - DogsBite.org
04/11/19: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Pair of Adopted Male Pit Bulls Killed Man in Henderson...
10/09/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Recently Adopted Mastiff Kills Owner in Las Vegas, Nevada
05/09/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Kills Baby in Northwest Las Vegas
08/19/16: 2016 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Kills 'Visiting' Child in Las Vegas

2019 Dog Bite Prevention Week: Protect Your Postal Carrier from Damaging Dog Bites, Highlights of Recent Carrier Attacks

Observing 2019 National Dog Bite Prevention Week®1

2019 dog bite prevention week

Read a brief history of National Dog Bite Prevention Week and how, over the years, various co-sponsors of the annual event have utilized this safety week to push their national agendas.
Last year, 5,714 Postal Service employees were victimized by dogs, down from 6,244 in 2017. Learn about the cities with the most attacks and view the 2018 Postal Service dog attack map.
We highlight two recent postal carrier dog maulings: a brutal pit bull attack in Kentucky in March and a violent attack on a Detroit letter carrier captured on a motorist's dash cam in February.

National Postal Service Attacks
DogsBite.org - On Sunday, the United States Postal Service kicked off their 25th National Dog Bite Prevention Week. The Postal Service was established in 1775 during the Second Continental Congress, when Benjamin Franklin was appointed the first Postmaster General. In this year's post, we briefly discuss how various special interest groups co-sponsoring the event have utilized this safety week to further their own agendas, including when the week first debuted in 1995.

We discuss the Postal Service dog attack national rankings for 2018 and how the double-digit increase of package deliveries by the USPS, including deliveries seven-days-a-week, caused a surge of attacks in 2016, the highest in three decades. We also discuss two recent high-profile maulings of mail carriers, one captured on dramatic video, and the reality that we live in an era of severe and fatal dog maulings, but few in the public sphere carry a risk as high as a letter carrier.

A History of Agenda-Ridden Co-Sponsors

Critics Outraged Over HSUS

The first National Dog Bite Prevention Week began in 1995 in a joint venture with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). It was a $15 million dollar campaign that included mailing a postcard to all 128 million U.S. households. This outraged HSUS critics, who stated the mailing provided the HSUS with free nationwide advertising. The postcard included the HSUS logo and its contact information to learn more "about dog bite prevention and responsible pet ownership."2

"The whole project was supposedly to prevent dog bites, but what it really does is to promote the HSUS agenda." - National Animal Interest Alliance, 1995

HSUS critics were also irate that the postcard titled, "Don't let your dog bite the hand that serves you!" contained as it's first tip: "Spay or neuter your dog -- unneutered dogs are more likely to bite!" Critics claimed the tip promoted the HSUS's agenda against "pet overpopulation," chiefly targeted at dog breeders. In 1995, this unneutered claim was supported by a single study published in 1994. Today, it is widely accepted that male castration does reduce roaming.3

According to an archive created by HSUS critics (we extracted 4 pages), Postal Service spokesman Mark Saunders said the order in which the tips appeared was random and he was unaware of any wider agenda on pets by the HSUS. "We approached the HSUS," not the other way around, Saunders said, who coordinated National Dog Bite Prevention Week in 1995 and for many years thereafter. As of 2018, Saunders was still a spokesman for the Postal Service.

AVMA & Insurance Groups

Thus began the politicking by various special interest groups behind a national week designed to promote the safety of postal carriers by reducing dog bites and attacks. By 2003, the American Veterinary Medical Association had "adopted" the event. In 2008, the AVMA received a trademark for the logo. In 2014, the AVMA received a trademark for the name and logo. So now, when the Postal Service uses the name, "National Dog Bite Prevention Week," it must be noted with an ®.

This year, the AVMA observed the national week on April 7-13. The event is listed on their Dog Bite Prevention page, which also lists their agenda items like, "Why breed-specific legislation is not the answer." State Farm, a co-sponsor of the week, boasts a more discreet anti-BSL agenda, "any dog CAN bite regardless of breed or type," along with a for-profit sales pitch, "State Farm is one of the few insurance companies in the country that does not have a breed restriction list."

The USPS National Dog Bite Prevention Week this year is April 14-20. The Postal Service describes the week in their campaign kit as, "a public service campaign that offers safety tips and emphasizes the need for increased owner responsibility" to help prevent dog attacks. "From nips and bites to vicious attacks, aggressive dog behavior poses a serious threat to our employees." Unlike animal and insurance organizations, the Postal Service has no piggybacking agenda.

Postal Service Dog Attack National Rankings

National & Local Dog Attack Data

Last year, 5,714 Postal Service employees were victimized by dogs. One gains vivid clarity of the volume of these attacks on their 2018 dog attack map. This is a decrease from 6,244 in 2017 and 6,755 in 2016, which was the highest in three decades. In 2017, the Associated Press attributed the surge of attacks to the double-digit increase of package deliveries by the USPS, including deliveries seven-days-a-week, due to agreements struck with Amazon in 2013 and 2014.

"The high for [mail carrier] attacks dated back to the 1980s, at more than 7,000, before maulings by pit bulls and other potentially aggressive dogs became a public issue." - Associated Press, April 2, 2017

Data from the Postal Service also shows that for the second year in a row, Houston led all cities in attacks on mail carriers, 75, followed by Los Angeles, 60. There were four Texas cities in the top 10 cities: Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Fort Worth. The only other state with multiple listings in the top 10 was Ohio (Cleveland and Columbus). When looking at top states, USPS carriers in California were victimized by dogs the most (794) and nearly twice as many as in Texas (462).

Also highlighted in this year's news release is the technology the Postal Service uses to support carrier safety. The hand-held devices used by carriers to confirm customer delivery, include a feature to indicate if a dog is at an address. Secondly, the Package Pickup app asks customers to indicate if dogs are at their address when they schedule pickups, which allows USPS to send alerts to those carriers. Hopefully, technology can keep the trends of attacks moving downward.

Help Protect Your Postal Carriers

  • Last year, many attacks reported by letter carriers came from dogs whose owners regularly used the phrase, "My dog won't bite."
  • When a letter carrier delivers mail or packages to your front door, place your dog in a separate room and close that door before opening the front door. Dogs have been known to burst through screen doors or plate glass windows to attack visitors.
  • Parents should remind children and other family members not to take mail directly from letter carriers in the presence of the family pet. The dog may view the letter carrier handing mail to a family member as a threatening gesture.

Vicious Dog Attacks Victimizing Mail Carriers

Kentucky Pit Bull Attack

On March 25, a U.S. Postal Service carrier was viciously attacked by a pit bull while on her mail route in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. USPS employee Jill Cooper was airlifted to TriStar Skyline Medical Center in Nashvillle. Debra Alexander, 54-years old, was immediately charged with harboring a vicious animal, Hopkinsville police said. The arrest citation stated, the dog "viciously attacked" Cooper and "it took two people to fight and remove the dog from the victim," reports WKRN.

A week later, local mail carrier Curtiss McColm spoke at a Hopkinsville City Council meeting. He read a letter that he prepared for the council, detailing his concerns about the hazards letter carriers face. Among them, "traffic obstacles, aggressive drivers, unsupervised children, walking obstacles and elevated risk of all these hazards when darkness falls and our ability to see is impaired. But, aggressive and vicious dogs are possibly our biggest hazard," McColm said.

Speaking on behalf of himself, not his employer, McColm also proposed several strategies to reduce these attacks, including banning pit bulls. McColm cited the Kentucky Court of Appeals decision in Bess v. Bracken County Fiscal Court, which upheld the county's pit bull ban. McColm also proposed muzzling, insurance or tethering requirements for pit bull owners and to place prioritization on animal control, especially when carriers make calls about aggressive dogs.

Debra Alexander (AKA Debra Jones and several other aliases) began a 5-year parole term on March 18, 2019, just one week before her dog violently attacked Cooper, according to the Kentucky Online Offender Look Up. She was convicted of robbery in the second-degree, a class C felony, in Christian County District Court on September 26, 2018. After the dog attack, Alexander was charged with harboring a vicious animal, which carries a fine and/or up to 60 days in jail.4

Back in February, 1-year old Ashton McGhee was killed by a family pit bull-mix while visiting his grandmother's home in Guthrie, about 35 miles from Hopkinsville. Ashton lived in Hopkinsville with his mother, Miranda McGhee. Alexander and the boy's mother are Facebook friends. Please take a moment to consider this. Alexander knows the parent of a child who was killed by a pit bull. Less than two months later, her own pit bull savagely attacked a mail carrier, requiring an airlift.

Detroit Pit Bull Attack

Also in February, a vicious attack on a Detroit mail carrier was captured on a motorist's dash cam. The six-minute video is difficult to watch. The pit bull is latched onto the carrier's foot, while the male carrier is lying on the side of a residential street (a scene not too different than an image released this year by the USPS for National Dog Bite Prevention Week). The man inside the vehicle is distressed and honking the horn, as a woman holding a broom tries to help the carrier.

A man wearing a red hat gets out of the vehicle and hurls a trashcan at the pit bull then beats the dog with a "Club." All the while, the carrier is screaming, still on the ground with the pit bull latched onto his foot. At 3 minutes, a person appears with a leash. By 4 minutes, they have extracted the dog from the carrier. By 4:22, the pit bull is loose again, but appears injured. Then a car door slams. "Thank you," says the mail carrier to the man in the red hat, now safely inside his car.

But the pit bull is not finished. Next, it goes after the woman who had been carrying the broom. The man wearing the red hat shouts, "Get in the house!" The camera gets flipped upside down and honking is heard. "Get her in the house, NOW!" he yells again. By 5:40, the camera is righted and the man in the red hat is back inside his car with the carrier. He considers moving his car before calling 911 then realizes, "You're the government bro (USPS) -- I'm calling right now."

The unnamed owner of the pit bull told WXZY, "I used to tease and say, 'Oh you know he's a little push over -- he wouldn't bite anybody.'"

After the video went viral, Detroit media reported the attack happened in the 20000 block of Ardmore Street on February 22. The letter carrier was reported to be in stable condition, but the pit bull was able to bite through his boot. At one point, the pit bull is seen latched onto the carrier's forearm and hand as well. The USPS released a statement thanking all of the people who helped the carrier. Detroit Animal Care and Control took the pit bull, named "Boss Hog," into custody.

On April 15, in alliance with 2019 Dog Bite Prevention Week, the victim of the Detroit pit bull mauling, postal carrier Todd Bridges spoke for the first time publicly. "I turn around, I see a pit bull charging at me in full force," Bridges said. "Each day I try to push it further and further back into my mind. I try not to do anything that is going to trigger it." Bridges said he unleashed his entire canister of dog spray on the pit bull. "I sprayed in his face, eyes and his mouth," Bridges said. "It's like it didn't even phase him." Oneil Colley was also at the public awareness event today, where he was presented with a Hero Award. - ClickOnDetroit, April 15, 2019

Summary & Call to Action

With a double-digit increase of package deliveries by the Postal Service, including deliveries seven-days-a-week, we remind all dog owners to be vigilant in your efforts to ensure the safety of your Postal Service carriers, as well as your UPS and FedEx carriers. All dogs are territorial and present a biting risk to these employees. If you are using the mobile USPS Package Pickup application (or website application), please let them know if there is a dog at your location.

For future observation of National Dog Bite Prevention Week, our nonprofit will only observe the week that is steered by the Postal Service, an entity that has no other agenda than to protect their employees and to remind dog owners that vigilance is needed to prevent bites and attacks. "Boss Hog," unsurprisingly, shot out of his home when the owner's nephew tried to leave. The hero in the red hat, Oneil Colley, drove up to the scene while the vicious attack was already in progress.

As the 2017 Associated Press article noted, "The high for [mail carrier] attacks dated back to the 1980s, at more than 7,000, before maulings by pit bulls and other potentially aggressive dogs became a public issue." These maulings are now a larger public issue than ever, but few in the public sphere carry a risk as high as a letter carrier. Remember what mail carrier Curtiss McColm said at the city council meeting, "aggressive and vicious dogs are possibly our biggest hazard."

2019 dog bite prevention week

National map showing the 5,714 dog attacks on U.S. Postal Service carriers in 2018.

2019 dog bite prevention week

Oneil Colley seen with postal carrier Todd Bridge on March 29, one month after rescuing him.

1National Dog Bite Prevention Week is a registered trademark of the American Veterinary Medical Association.
2We believe the extracted archive is mainly from a July-August 1995 NAIA newsletter, as is referenced in the piece ("Dog Bite Prevention Campaign Pairs Post Office with Animal Rights Organization," NAIA News, July-August 1995). The NAIA website dates back to 1997, so we could not find this specific newsletter source. It's certainly believable the NAIA would have taken this stance in 1995. This all occurred over two decades ago, when the spay/neutering message to the public was still being villafied. It's a rather fascinating piece of history!
3Surprisingly, little research has been done in this area. Which Dogs Bite? A Case Control Study of Risk Factors, was published in 1994. It was based on 1991 Denver County dog bite data, thus pit bull behavior was excluded since Denver banned pit bulls in 1989. The study concluded that dogs most likely to bite were "male, unneutered and chained." In 1997, the Effects of Castration on Problem Behaviors in Male Dogs with Reference to Age and Duration of Behavior, by Neilson et al., found that sterilizing males was "most effective in altering objectionable urine making, mounting, and roaming." Some aggressive behaviors were curbed in a fewer than one-third of the dogs.
4Sections 258.235 and 258.990 of the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS).

Related website pages: