In the 14-year period of 2005 through 2018, canines killed 471 Americans. Pit bulls contributed to 66% (311) of these deaths. Combined, pit bulls and rottweilers contributed to 76% of the total recorded deaths. | More »
A woman was found dead after being attacked by dogs in a Costco parking lot.
Dogs Kill Woman Bakersfield, CA - Authorities confirmed that three dogs killed a woman in Northwest Bakersfield this weekend. According to Bakersfield Police spokesman Nathan McCauley, a pit bull and a mixed-breed dog escaped from a nearby business before the attack and the third dog, another pit bull, was a stray. The victim, who is in her 30s or 40s, is a Bakersfield resident. Police have not released her identity. A bystander discovered her body just before 6:00 am Sunday morning.
An earlier report by the same news group, 23 ABC, said the attack happened in the Costco parking lot off of Rosedale Highway. The woman's body was discovered with significant and "obvious" signs of trauma. At that time, the Kern County Coroner's Office was still determining the cause of death, though police suspected it was a fatal dog mauling. Animal control officers located and impounded all three dogs. Investigators are still seeking witnesses of the deadly attack.
More details were published in Bakersfield.com. McCauley said the business owner surrendered his two dogs to police. One of his dogs was already euthanized for being outwardly violent, McCauley said. Neither the man's nor the business' name was released. The remaining two dogs are being held at Bakersfield Animal Care Center. Both are also expected to be euthanized. The identity of the victim, described as a transient, will be released by the coroner's officer, police said.
Late Evening Updates
Late Monday, 23 ABC published surveillance video provided by a nearby auto shop showing one of the three dogs, which officials confirmed attacked the woman. Police believe the attack started in a commercial area adjacent to Costco shared by several businesses. As the dogs continued to attack, the woman tried to escape through a fence surrounding the Costco parking lot that had previously been slashed. She was discovered dead inside the Costco parking lot Sunday morning.
Jaime Camorlinga, the owner of Central Valley Performance auto shop who provided the footage, told 23 ABC he'd seen the two dogs before. "I've seen those two particular dogs walk around once in a blue moon," Camorlinga said. "I never thought about them as dangerous or anything." He also addressed the fence line surrounding the Costco parking lot. "I think that people cut that fence to have easy access to cross, instead of going all the way around [the parking lot]," Camorlinga said.
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.
Robert "Joey" Quick died after saving his daughter from a dog attack in Iowa.
Mother Mourns Son Fort Madison, IA - On June 1, the Lee County Sheriff's Office issued a news release stating that on May 31, the Fort Madison Police Department responded to a dog attack at 102 Avenue C. Upon arrival, they found a large dog attacking a man, lying on his back, in the front yard of the home. "The dog was very aggressive and did not release the man," states the release. "The officers on the scene did have to discharge a weapon to dispatch the animal to stop the attack."
After first responders rendered aid to the adult male victim, they found 33-year old Robert Joseph Quick Jr., of Dallas City, Illinois, lying in the doorway, also injured from the dog attack. Quick told officers to help his 5-year old daughter first, who had been bitten in the face by the dog. They located his daughter and rendered her first aid. Quick was later pronounced dead at Fort Madison Community Hospital, "after tremendous efforts to save his life on scene" were unsuccessful.
A GoFundMe created for Quick's funeral costs, states that he had a heart attack at the scene and could not be revived. As of Friday, June 7, no cause of death has been released by the coroner's office. His mother, however, Deb Newman, recently shed more light on his dog attack injuries. There were injuries to his jugular vein in the left side of his neck, his nose was "ripped open" and more. The severity of Quick's injuries classifies him as a dog bite fatality in our data collection.
"(There were) bites in Joey's jugular vein in the left-hand side of his neck, and then there was bites in his right arm," Newman said she was told. "His nose was ripped open, he had blood coming out his ears. There was a bite-mark on his temple, and there was bite marks on his hands. - Des Moines Register, June 7, 2019
Earlier news reports stated that one of the male victim's injuries were "superficial." If the coroner eventually makes that determination about Quick, his death will not be included in our fatality statistics. Otherwise, we include all cardiac arrest cases when the victim also suffers severe dog bite injuries. This method of classification has been true since we began collecting data in 2007. Police described the dog, which attacked two grown men and one child, as a brown male boxer.
According to Newman, Quick had recently moved into his mother's home in Dallas City, Illinois. His estranged wife and their two daughters lived about eight miles away across the Iowa border in West Point. On May 31, Quick brought two of his four children with him to retrieve an inoperable car at 102 Avenue C in Fort Madison. Newman said his daughters went inside the home and were attacked by a "very big" boxer. Quick rushed into the home to save his two young daughters.
"Joey ran into the house, and I guess he was the only one strong enough to pull the dog off," Newman said, recalling what she was told by a witness who was dog-sitting the animal in the home. "Joey threw the dog out of the house." - Des Moines Register, June 7, 2019
The dog not only went after Quick and his daughters, it attacked a 49-year old man who lived at the home. Persons at the home had been dogsitting the animal, according to police. Police have not identified anyone living at the home, nor the owner of the dog that attacked three people, sending all three to the hospital. "It's gonna take a long time to come to terms with it. My son is no longer alive because of that dog," Newman told the Des Moines Register. "Yeah, I'm angry."
Newman also said, referring to the family dogsitting the animal, "They haven't even apologized. They keep saying how nice the dog was, they can't believe it was mean." Quick's 5-year old daughter, who suffered dog bite injuries, "wasn't told (about her father's death) right away," Newman said. "She was finally told the other day that her daddy's sleeping in heaven. It's kind of hard to tell a young girl, and they don’t want her to feel guilty, so he's sleeping in heaven.”
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.
The Complaint Against Delta - Analysis & Discussion
On June 4, 2017, after Marlin Jackson boarded Delta Flight 1430 in the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, he was repeatedly attacked in the face by a large "support" dog seated on a man's lap.
On May 24, 2019, Jackson sued Delta Airlines and the owner of the dog in Fulton County state court. The complaint details the allegations against the two parties and asks for a jury trial.
Our report discusses the legal complaint and is divided into four parts: The Complaint Against Delta, The Complaint Against the Dog's Owner, Questions and Discussion; and a Summary.
Jackson v. Delta et al. Atlanta, GA - A man viciously attacked in the face by an alleged "support" dog onboard a Delta aircraft in 2017 has sued Delta Air Lines and the owner of the dog. A lawsuit filed in Fulton County state court alleges that Marlin Jackson was in a window seat when a large dog seated on the lap of a man next to his repeatedly attacked his face while pining him against the window of the plane. This occurred just after Jackson asked the owner multiple times, "Is your dog going to bite me?"
Leading Up to the Complaint
After this attack, we wrote a special report detailing the widely abused loophole in three federal acts pertaining to service and emotional support animals (ESA); the unprovoked attack on Jackson by a large unrestrained "support" dog onboard Delta Flight 1430; the case against Delta Air Lines and competing public interests; the inconsistent federal and airline safety policies in regards to service animals and ESAs; and an addendum about psychiatric service animals.
Seven months after Jackson was attacked, Delta announced an increased screening process for in-cabin service animals and ESAs. Delta's "enhanced requirements" included requiring a signed Veterinary Health form, verifying basic vaccinations, and a signed Confirmation of Animal Training form declaring, "this animal has been trained to behave in a public setting" and that "if my service animal acts inappropriately" the animal can be denied boarding or removed from the aircraft.
In July 2018, Delta banned pit bull-type dogs as service and support animals and limited ESAs to one per person. "We must err on the side of safety," Delta said in a statement. "Most recently, two Delta employees were bit by a pit bull traveling as a support animal last week. We struggled with the decision to expand the ban to service animals," but determined that "untrained, pit bull-type dogs posing as both service and support animals are a potential safety risk," Delta stated then.
In December 2018, Delta announced that ESAs would no longer be allowed on flights over eight hours and banned alleged service and support animals under the age of four months on all flights. In April 2019, Delta updated its forms for passengers traveling with ESAs or psychiatric service dogs (PSAs) by adding one new form, the "Acknowledgement Form," as well as by beefing up its existing three forms by adding new declarations and animal specific details to attest to.
One new declaration pertains to the size of ESAs and PSAs: "I am not aware of any reason that this animal would be too large or heavy to be accommodated under the seat or within my foot space onboard a typical aircraft."
The other new declaration pertains to liability: "I assume full responsibility for the behavior of this animal ... I understand that I will be expected to reimburse Delta or its passengers for any loss, damage or expense resulting from any misbehavior by my animal." - Delta Confirmation of Animal Training form, April 2019
Aspects About the Complaint
Because this "detail" carries significance in the often-abused loophole in the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), we start by pointing out that according to Delta, the estimated 50-pound dog that attacked Jackson was a psychiatric service animal (PSA) not an ESA. In terms of airline requirements at that time (and still today) PSAs fall under the same flying requirements as ESAs. Delta provided this information in their public comments to the Department of Transportation in July 2018.
"In June 2017, a Delta passenger required 28 stitches after being attacked by a psychiatric service dog sitting on its owner's lap. We recently had another incident in June 2018 where an emotional support dog bit a flight attendant on the face, and then bit a customer service agent sent to resolve the situation." - Delta Air Lines public comments to DOT, July 10, 2018
Also, the Delta policies that were in place when Jackson was attacked are the main subject of this complaint. "The attack on Mr. Jackson would not have happened had Delta enforced their own pre-existing policies concerning animals in the cabin," Jackson's two attorneys, J. Ross Massey and Graham Roberts of Alexander Shunnarah and Associates said in a written statement. However, the complaint also claims that more measures by Delta "were feasible at the time."
The Complaint Against Delta
On June 4, 2017, at approximately 11:30 am, Jackson boarded Delta Flight 1430 in the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Airport. He had been assigned a window seat in the 31st row. The complaint then spells out the escalating violent attack. The dog's owner, Ronald Kevin Mundy, Jr., then a 24-year old Marine Corps member, could not stop his dog from attacking, nor did Mundy heed the warnings Jackson asked him multiple times before the attack: "Is your dog going to bite me?"
The Complaint Alleges
"Upon approaching the three (3) seat row, Mr. Jackson encountered Defendant Mundy in the middle seat with his large dog attempting to sit in his lap. The animal was so large that it encroached into the aisle seat and window seat.
Despite Defendant Delta's stated policy for larger animals, to receive special seating accommodations onboard, Delta assigned Defendant Mundy and his large dog, a middle seat in the thirty first (31st) row.
Further, Defendant Delta's published policy states that animals, such as Defendant Mundy's dog, would be secured on the floor; however, Defendant Delta allowed the large animal to remain in Defendant Mundy' s lap while Delta employees passed through the area in open disregard of said policy.
Prior to taking his assigned seat, Mr. Jackson inquired of Defendant Mundy if the animal would bite. Defendant Mundy put his arms around the animal and indicated that it was safe for Mr. Jackson. As such, Mr. Jackson tentatively proceeded past Defendant Mundy and the animal and took his seat next to the window.
While Mr. Jackson was securing his seatbelt, the animal began to growl at Mr. Jackson and shift in Defendant Mundy's lap. Again Mr. Jackson asked if the dog was safe and Defendant Mundy again assured him that Mr. Jackson would be safe.
Suddenly, the animal attacked Mr. Jackson's face, biting Mr. Jackson several times while pining him against the window of the airplane.
The attack was briefly interrupted when the animal was pulled away from Mr. Jackson. However, the animal broke free and again mauled Mr. Jackson's face.
The attacks caused extensive facial damage including deep lacerations and punctures to the nose and mouth. In fact, Mr. Jackson bled so profusely that the entire row of seats had to be removed from the airplane." - Jackson v. Delta et al.
The complaint then lists the damages to Jackson, including that he suffered, "numerous lacerations and punctures to the face and upper body requiring twenty eight (28) stitches" and "permanent injury, scaring, and loss of sensation to the affected areas of his face." Jackson also endured "severe physical pain and suffering" along with sustaining loss of income and loss of life enjoyment. "His entire lifestyle has been severely impaired by this attack," states the complaint.
Allegations of Negligence
As we start to discuss the allegations of negligence against Delta, recall that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Delta restrict "lap infants" to under the age of two (about 30-pounds). Any child over this age is required to have its own seat. The FAA also recommends a government-approved child safety restraint system or device for young children instead of your lap because, "Your arms aren't capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence."
According to FAA regulations, the placement of lap-held service animals is reserved for service animals that need to be in a person's lap to perform a service for a person with a disability and "may sit in that person's lap for all phases of flight," provided that the "service animal is no larger than a lap-held child." Otherwise, service animals must be stowed underseat within the person's foot space or re-accommodated to a seat with more room if the service animal is larger.1
Count 1. Allegations of Negligence Against Delta
Count 1 of the complaint outlines why Delta breached the standard of care by failing to protect Jackson from reasonably foreseeable harm. "The harm of large, untrained, and unrestrained animals in the cabin of an airplane," states the complaint. Moreover, Delta "knew or should have known that subjecting passengers and animals to close physical interaction in the confined, cramped, and anxious quarters of the cabin, presented a reasonably foreseeable harm."
"Despite what Defendant Delta knew or should have known, it assigned Mr. Jackson a seat on an airplane confined between the window of the cabin on one side and a large animal without verified training on the other. Further, Delta allowed the large animal to encroach the space of others from the lap of its owner instead of being securely positioned on the floor." - Jackson v. Delta et al.
Count 1 also spells out how Delta violated their own policies and procedures intended to regulate animals traveling within the passenger cabin. This is the most irrefutable part of the complaint from our perspective -- Delta cannot skirt violating their own safety policies. "These safety policies, which were posted publicly for the protection of and reliance by all airplane occupants, serve as illustrative evidence of the standard of care and were violated as follows," states the complaint.
"Although Defendant Delta's policy states that 'no animals are allowed to occupy seats...' and that animals are, 'expected to be seated in the floor space below [your] seat', Delta allowed the large animal which attacked Mr. Jackson to remain in Defendant Mundy's seat during the boarding process;
Although Defendant Delta's policy states that with regards to 'larger service animals...[Delta] may need to re-accommodate...if the animal encroaches on other passengers', Delta failed to re-accommodate the large animal from its position in the middle seat, despite the animal, due to its size, noticeably encroaching the seats beside it;
Although Defendant Delta's policy states that Emotional Support Animals (hereinafter, 'ESA') 'must be trained to behave properly in public settings as service animals' and 'a kennel is not required' if the ESA is 'fully trained and meet(s) the same requirements as a service animal', Delta failed to require a kennel for the large animal and/or failed to verify that the large animal, allegedly an ESA, was trained and met the same requirements as a service animal." - Jackson v. Delta et al.
Count 2. Allegations of Negligence Against Delta
Count 2 of the complaint addresses hiring, training and employees. Delta was "negligent in hiring, training and supervising its employees working on the premises," alleges the complaint. Delta and its employees knew or should have known before and during the boarding process the animal would be on the plane, "thus presenting Delta's employees with numerous opportunities to evaluate the animal and take reasonable measures to ensure the safety" of its passengers.
"However, Defendant Delta's employees, who were in the area prior to the attack, failed to act reasonably in preventing the attack, including but not limited to, by failing to enforce Delta's own policies noted above. As such, Defendant's Delta's negligence in hiring, training and supervising its employees resulted in the vicious attack on Mr. Jackson." - Jackson v. Delta et al.
The Complaint Against Mundy
The allegations against Delta are re-alleged against Mundy along with several others, including that Mundy "knew or in the exercise of reasonable care, should have known that his large animal was foreseeably dangerous, especially when confined to the cramped and anxious quarters of the passenger cabin of an airplane," states the complaint. Finally, and horrifically, just after Mundy repeatedly assured Jackson his dog was safe, the dog viciously attacked him in the face.
"Subsequent to the animal's aggressive display of behavior, Mr. Jackson inquired of Defendant Mundy whether the animal was safe and/or would bite, at which time Defendant Mundy voluntarily undertook the responsibility for Mr. Jackson's safety by assuring Mr. Jackson that the dog was safe while physically securing the animal.
Subsequent to the initial assurance by Defendant Mundy, Mr. Jackson proceeded into the row and took his seat by the window. However, the animal's behavior became even more aggressive prompting Mr. Jackson to once again question Defendant Mundy regarding the likelihood of the animal to bite, only to be assured again that the animal was safe.
Mr. Jackson relied on Defendant Mundy's undertakings, prior to entering the row and then again prior to fastening his seatbelt, however Defendant Mundy failed to secure his animal and therefore was negligent under the principle of voluntary undertaking." - Jackson v. Delta et al.
Questions and Discussion
Discussion About Delta
Woven into the complaint are multiple claims of failure to verify training. "Delta took no action to verify or document the behavioral training of the large animal such as, but not limited to, requiring signed documentation that the animal is trained," states the complaint, and Delta "failed to verify that the large animal, allegedly an ESA, was trained and met the same requirements as a service animal." These measures were "feasible at the time but were not in effect until after this attack."
In other words, why weren't Delta's "enhanced requirements" in place to prevent Jackson's attack? Nine months after his attack, Delta began requiring passengers with ESAs and PSAs to sign a Confirmation of Animal Training form declaring, "I confirm that this animal has been trained to behave in a public setting and takes my direction upon command." Also, "I understand that if my service animal acts inappropriately" it can be denied boarding or removed from the aircraft.
When Delta published their comments to the Department of Transportation (DOT) in July 2018, they stated (pages 15-16) that DOT Guidance allowed for behavioral attestations because the key factor in "determining whether an animal presents a direct threat to others or a significant threat of disrupting operations" is to determine whether it has been properly trained and that "attestation forms are fully consistent with existing DOT's service animal regulations and Guidance."2
"In January 2018, when Delta announced modified procedures for bringing an ESA into the aircraft cabin, it added a requirement that those traveling with ESAs attest that their animal is trained to behave in public. As recognized by DOT Guidance, the key factor in determining whether an animal presents a direct threat to others or a significant threat of disrupting operations is whether it has been properly trained ... While behavioral attestation forms are fully consistent with existing DOT's service animal regulations and Guidance ... - Delta Air Lines public comments to DOT, July 10, 2018
While the complaint largely focuses on Delta's failure to comply with its existing safety policies, the complaint also sets forth that methods to verify training (attestations) were feasible when Jackson was attacked, but were not in effect until afterward. Delta's comments also provided statistical data about the number of pet "incidents" and "biting incidents" from 2014 to 2018. Both categories had been on the rise since 2014 (page 20). Could Delta have enacted the attestations sooner?
Discussion About Mundy
We only have one question regarding Mundy. Should the licensed medical or mental health professional who signed a letter authorizing his in-flight service animal be added to the complaint? Due to this signed letter, which presumably required no "airplane" training verification, Mundy was given permission to bring this untrained dog onboard any U.S. flight and keep it unrestrained in the cramped quarters of an aircraft cabin, as well as during high-pressured take offs and landings.3
These ethical questions are compounded by the fact that psychiatric service animals (PSAs) are treated differently under the ACAA than service dogs. Like ESAs, PSAs require a letter from a licensed mental health professional stating the passenger has a mental health-related disability. PSAs were not always treated differently than service dogs on airplanes. The letter requirement for in-flight PSAs only became necessary in 2008 after too many "fakers" abused the system.4
Delta might be concerned about these "letters" from mental health professionals too. Viewing Delta's 2018 vs. 2019 Medical/Mental Health Professional forms, one sees a critical difference. The new form requires the letter to "identify" the ESA or PSA accompanying the passenger. No longer can online letter mills be vague like in the Portland airport case, where the ESA letter only prescribed an "animal" for the owner, not even an animal type, much less the animal's name.
A Note About "Large" Dogs
After the attack, witness Bridget Maddox-Peoples estimated Mundy's dog weighed 50-pounds. Visual weight estimates of dogs are very difficult, even by police officers after a vicious attack. Some breeds, such as pit bull-types, have greater muscular density making them heavier than they appear too. Thus, it is unclear what the actual weight of Mundy's dog was. Some dog lovers will argue that 50-pounds is not "large," but it is large when the dog is sitting on your lap.
Labrador and golden retrievers, the most popular dog breeds in service work, average between 65 to 80-pounds for an adult male. Despite their size, well-trained service dogs curl up right beneath their partner's foot space or under the seat in front of them. Again, FAA regulations only allow lap-held service animals that are "no larger than a lap-held child," about 30-pounds or less. In the context of aircraft quarters, Mundy's dog was "large" and violated both FAA and Delta policies.
There appears to be little wiggle room for Delta by failing to abide by its own safety policies and procedures. As we noted in our July 2017 report, "Larger lap-held service animals may be a widespread practice too." Some airlines may not be re-accommodating these larger service and support animals to save money. We imagine those loose practices came to a resounding halt after Jackson was repeatedly attacked in the face by a large lap-held "psychiatric service animal."
A jury will determine whether Delta should have been requiring behavioral attestations prior to Jackson's attack and whether "the harm of large, untrained, and unrestrained animals in the cabin of an airplane was reasonably foreseeable to Delta." The loophole in the ACAA -- which favors "fakers" and frustrates airlines, who currently cannot ask for "certification of training" nor do they have a set of "clear standards" established by the DOT -- will also have to be examined by a jury.
What is undeniable is that Jackson suffered immensely during and after this vicious attack that pinned him against an airplane window -- he had no means of escape. "The area was completely covered in blood," witness Maddox-Peoples said. What is also undeniable is that Delta had a duty to enforce its own safety policies and procedures during the boarding process by requiring this larger-sized PSA to be stowed underseat or re-accommodated to a seat with more room.
"We are confident a jury of Mr. Jackson's peers will recognize the carelessness of Delta and Mr. Mundy and also appreciate the harm this needless danger caused Mr. Jackson," his attorneys provided in a statement to us. "Mr. Jackson is very appreciative of the encouragement received from so many air travelers, including those who regularly travel with service animals," added the statement. Our nonprofit prays Jackson is awarded all damages allowable under Georgia law.
Alexander Shunnarah & Associates have law offices in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Tennessee. Attorneys J. Ross Massey and Graham Roberts represent Marlin Termaine Jackson.
Marlin Jackson's injuries after being attacked in the face by a large dog onboard a Delta plane.
Alleged "psychiatric service dog" that repeatedly attacked a man in the face on a Delta plane.
1Flight Standards Information Bulletin for Air Transportation (FSAT 04-01A), Order 8400.10 (July 23, 2004) and Guidance Concerning Service Animals in Air Transportation, DOT, May 3, 2003 (govinfo.gov) 2First, there is DOT Guidance (nonbinding) and DOT regulations (binding). Existing governing DOT regulations, 14 C.F.R. § 382.117 (e), do not preclude airlines from requiring behavior attestation forms for passengers with ESAs and PSAs to substantiate they will behave properly in the cabin. Delta began using attestation forms on March 1, 2018, stating they are "fully consistent with existing DOT's service animal regulations and Guidance." On May 23, 2018, DOT issued an Interim Statement of Enforcement Priorities (currently, DOT has not issued a final rulemaking). The interim statement spells out what DOT intends to enforce or not while the rulemaking process (Traveling by Air with Service Animals) is ongoing. The statement said in part: "Enforcement Office does not intend to use its limited resources to pursue enforcement action against airlines for requiring proof of a service animal's vaccination, training, or behavior for passengers seeking to travel with an ESA or PSA. At present, the Enforcement Office is not aware of any airline requesting information from ESA or PSA users that would make travel with those animals unduly burdensome or effectively impossible." So, as of May 23, 2018, Delta was officially in the clear to use behavioral attestation forms. However, we also know that on July 10, 2018, Delta banned all pit bull-type dogs as service and support animals, which some groups will argue is inconsistent with existing DOT's service animal regulations. Delta did not wait for a DOT enforcement (or Guidance) response for either the attestation form requirements or banning pit bulls as service and support animals. So, how Delta responds to the complaint -- if Delta could have been requiring attestation forms nine months earlier -- will be interesting. 3It is unknown if Mundy's dog had ever flown in an airplane cabin before. Early news reports stated that Mundy "advised [police] that the dog was issued to him for support," implying a military issued ESA or PSA. While writing our July 2017 special report, we found no online documentation confirming that any U.S. military branch "issued" ESAs or PSAs. In fact, we wrote a whole addendum on PSAs, which noted that in 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) stopped funding PSAs because the agency is authorized to only pay for evidence-based therapies. From 2011 to 2018, the VA underwent a study of the benefits of PSAs that had to be revamped due to contracts being terminated due to bites and aggression. The results of that study are not yet available. 4Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel, 73 FR 27613, May 13, 2008 (govinfo.gov)
San Francisco, CA - This is the third and final installment in a series of videos about the Department of Animal Care and Control in San Francisco by Black Summers Productions, LLC. This segment is 34 minutes long and focuses on the shameless conflict of interest of Virginia Donohue in serving as the Executive Director of San Francisco Animal Care and Control (SFACC) while co-owning a private, for-profit animal boarding and dog training facility in the city, Pet Camp.
In the second installment, we saw a vicious attack at a dog training facility. The third installment expands upon this attack captured on surveillance video at Dan Perata Training, a competitor to Donohue's Pet Camp. Perata and his wife are interviewed about the incident and how SFACC -- which otherwise refuses to investigate attacks in "private facilities" at Donohue's request -- tries to railroad Dan Perata Training with false testimony at the Vicious and Dangerous Dog hearing.
SFACC requested the Vicious and Dangerous Dog hearing on behalf of "Tank," the attacker in the surveillance video, claiming the dog was the victim of a "fairly aggressive method of training," that he was "on the edge of his coping skills" and was "being assaulted and finally snapped." Sgt. Ellie Sadler of SFACC gave this testimony prior to seeing the video. As Perata states, Sadler "got up there and lied ... flat out made shit up." At that time, Sadler did not know there was a video.
Hearing officer John Denny, who is now retired, presided over the Vicious and Dangerous Dog hearing involving "Tank" in March 2016. Denny is also interviewed in the final installment. One sees Denny noting the unusual situation during the hearing, trying to confirm with SFACC, "Your contention is that Tank was provoked into his reaction that started the bite. Your reason for requesting the hearing then is to clear Tank? Do you see the point I am trying to make?"
After the video is played during the hearing -- Denny recalls his reaction as "his jaw hanging down" -- he asks Sgt. Sadler, "Now that you have seen this video, what are your thoughts?" She replied in part, "My concern -- and I know you don't want to talk about the training stuff -- is that with this kind of training it's not going to resolve. And he's going to keep being forced into feeling terror and reacting to that." Sadler also stated she still believed Tank was provoked to this behavior.
"Animal Control handles cruelty complaints," Denny states during the interview. "Why are we here? Why did you drag everybody involved, the owners of a competitor to Pet Camp, the dog trainer and the dog owner. Everybody's here because you don't like their training facilities?" Denny asks. "It almost seemed like Mrs. Donohue sent her people out -- made an exception for a standing rule [Donohue's refusal to investigate bites at training and grooming facilities] just to harass one of her competitors." - Retired hearing officer John Denny
The third installment then looks at Donohue, who was appointed in 2015 by and answerable only to the unelected City Administrator, Naomi Kelly. At the time of being appointed to lead SFACC, Donohue was the co-owner of Pet Camp (with her husband) and continues to be. Pet Camp has been featured on SFACC's government website, there is a Pet Camp "stipend" and sponsorship arrangement, and Pet Camp "50% off" flyers are placed into SFACC's animal adoption packets.
Ethics complaints came next, but to no avail. Dan Perata Training filed a complaint with his Board of Supervisors and the Ethics Commission. Denny filed a complaint with the Whistleblower Program and Ethics Commission. "If you blow the whistle on somebody who is liked downtown, they can fix it," Denny states in the interview. Denny then made a complaint to the Civil Grand Jury. "Very disappointing," he reflected. "It's just a coin toss," if you get a good grand jury or not.
Denny was forced out of his position as an independent hearing officer for the Vicious and Dangerous dog hearings at the end of 2017.1
The last portion deals with the new SFACC facility, which grew to a price tag of over $100 million dollars. The new facility is a historic building that requires retrofitting and has less kennel space for dogs and cats (84 dogs, 138 cats) than the current SFACC facility (107 dogs, 151 cats). The documentary refers to it's planning as a "game of capital planning musical chairs." When Donohue was hired, the projected cost was $26.5 million. Today, it is four times that amount with interest.
This documentary series began by examining the dereliction of duty at SFACC. Their findings include that SFACC does not keep track of and monitor officially dangerous dogs, SFACC has corrupted the hearing process for dogs accused of being dangerous, SFACC refuses to investigate "bites and attacks" at training and grooming facilities (unless it is owned by a Pet Camp competitor) and SFACC management has no public safety or law enforcement expertise.
The final installment, however, speaks to a much larger breach of trust. By the City continuing to entrust the shelter planning to Donohue, the City has betrayed public trust. Officials are supposed to make decisions based on what is good for the city as a whole -- not personal interests. By city officials ignoring Donohue's conflict of interest and opportunity for constant self-dealing, they have "rejected simple fairness," states the documentary, worsening this breach of public trust.
The owners of Dan Perata Training (top left), now retired hearing officer John Denny (right) and Pet Camp, a for-profit pet boarding and dog training facility co-owned by Virginia Donohue.
Vicious and Dangerous Dog Hearing for "Tank"
The March 10, 2016 Vicious and Dangerous dog hearing for "Tank" is an hour and 15 minutes long and exists only in audio format. We transcribed a significant portion to highlight the blatant false testimony by Sgt. Ellie Sadler of SFACC, the complainant in the case, in order to harass Dan Perata Training, a competitor to Donohue's Pet Camp training facility. Sadler testifies that Tank was "being abused" and was forced to "respond (attack the trainer) through primal urges."
The obvious problem with Sadler's unfounded testimony is that Tank's attack was captured on surveillance video, which was closely examined during the hearing. After 57 minutes of testimony by the dog's owner, the attack victim, and the owner of Perata Training, Denny asks Sadler again, "Now that you have seen the video, what are your thoughts?" Sadler persists, "the dog was forced into that kind of reaction" and that "with this kind of training it’s not going to resolve."
Denny ignores this absurdity. His role is to determine what to do with Tank, a dog with serious aggression issues that its owner cannot control. Despite Tank's owner stating many times the attack was an "isolated incident," Denny orders Tank to be leashed and muzzled when in public and for the owner to continue her training at Perata Training. In his closing statement, Denny also reminds the owner, "he's got a rap sheet as a biting dog" and "sometimes dogs can't be saved."
"Listen, I’m going to end this not on a sour note. Sometimes dogs can’t be saved. How far are you willing to go? How far are you willing to risk? No one would -- These are decisions that you have to make. But sometimes there is a time that you have to make a real tough decision. All right? And you’ll know it. It doesn’t have to be another bite. But if there’s just no way for you to get Tank under control by yourself then you are going to have to make a decision." - Veteran hearing officer John Denny
Finally, the blacklisting of Dan Perata Training (who uses praise and energy-based training) has been going on for at least three years. In the interview with Dan and Natasha, shot in February 2019, both are still outraged by SFACC's actions. Their complaints to a Board of Supervisors and the Ethics Commission went nowhere. SFACC continues to blacklist them by no longer releasing high-risk dogs to them -- cases that will likely end in euthanasia without specialized training.2
Sgt. Ellie Sadler of San Francisco Animal Care and Control at Tank's hearing in March 2016.
This is the first installment of a series about the dereliction of duty at San Francisco Animal Care and Control by Black Summers Productions, LLC. The segment is just over 7 minutes long and highlights how SFACC fails in their duty to prevent dog attacks by rejecting the enforcement of leash laws. One sees this clearly when SFACC executive officials "abandon the scene" of a stubborn pit bull owner. SFACC also relies on "police" to enforce leash laws in their own lobby.
The second installment focuses on the failure of San Francisco Animal Care and Control to properly manage the risks posed by vicious and dangerous dogs in the city. The segment is 44 minutes long. Findings by the documentary include: SFACC does not keep track of and monitor officially dangerous dogs; SFACC has corrupted the hearing process for dogs accused of being dangerous; and current SFACC management has no public safety or law enforcement expertise.
The final installment focuses on the shameless conflict of interest of Executive Director of San Francisco Animal Care and Control, Virginia Donohue, while co-owning a private, for-profit animal boarding and dog training facility in the city, Pet Camp. The segment is 34 minutes long and zeros in on an attack at Dan Perata Training -- one of Pet Camp's competitors -- and how SFACC tries to railroad the competitor with blatant false testimony at the Vicious and Dangerous Dog hearing.
1Denny was replaced by Jeff Foster, a "dog lover" and pit bull owner. Foster's stint as a dog court hearing officer did not last long. Foster was eventually removed after making a prejudicial remark to a dog attack victim. This is a MUST WATCH as Stephanie Hung confronts him in the hearing room about a month after his awful remark. 2Perata and Koral explain this during their interview starting at 37:06. Also, they tell a stunning story of an extremely dangerous protection bred dog that SFACC years ago referred to Perata at 42:35 -- that dog could not be saved.
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.
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.
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 VictimsMetric 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 RiseMetric 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)
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)
Pit Bull Deaths
% Pit Bulls
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
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.