2024 Dog Bite Fatality: Baby Boy Under the Care of a Babysitter Killed by Three Large Dogs in Duncanville, Texas

A baby boy under the care of a babysitter was killed by her three large dogs in Duncanville, Texas.

Babysitter's Dogs Kill Infant
Duncanville, TX - A 1-year old boy is dead after being attacked by three large dogs while under the care of a babysitter, police said. Officers were dispatched to a residence in the 1500 block on Lime Leaf Lane about 10:40 am for a report of a dog attack. The child was unconscious when officers arrived. He was rushed to Children's Medical Center in Dallas, where he died. Police described the dogs as "shepherd-mixes," weighing about 80 pounds each. The homeowner owns the dogs.

All three dogs were involved in the attack, police said. The dogs were confined to the property. "The dogs were not running loose," Duncanville Interim Police Chief Matthew Stogner said during the press conference. "The dogs were outside. 'Somehow' they made their way back inside the house" and attacked the baby. The dog's owner tried to free the boy from the dogs but was unable to. Neighbors said the woman who owns the home and dogs has been babysitting for family friends for years.

"The dogs were confined in the house. They were not loose. The resident at the location attempted to pull the dogs from the infant. Unsuccessfully. Until the officers got there. At which point she sustained some injuries as well. This is certainly a tragedy. Our fire personnel and police personnel worked very hard to try to save this child." - Duncanville Interim Police Chief Matthew Stogner

During the press conference, Stogner would not answer whether the home on Lime Leaf Lane was operating as a daycare. David Trout, a neighbor, told NBC 5 that he has a connection to the dog's owner; his brother used to be married to her. "She jumped in between and tried to, I guess, tear them apart," Trout said. Trout appeared shaken by the attack. "She’s a sweetheart, she means well, she’s taken care of kids down there forever without any kind of problems," Trout said. "I just hate it for her."

Stogner was asked during the press conference, "Any other incidents been there before?" Stogner answered, "No sir. Not involving the animals."

The baby, identified as Shiraz Asirvadam, did not live at the home. The relationship between the baby and the babysitter is unclear. Three other children were in the home when the dogs attacked, but they were unharmed. The babysitter was the only adult in the home, police said. Criminal charges are possible, authorities said. Police are working with the Dallas County District Attorney's Office and the family of the deceased baby to "figure out our best course of action moving forward," Stogner said.

On Tuesday, new details about the dogs emerged. One was male, weighing about 100 pounds and two were female, weighing about 80 pounds each. "The three dogs are now in quarantine pending surrender by the owner. If the owner does not surrender the dogs, the Duncanville Police Department will file with the court to have the animals declared Dangerous Dogs. The dogs will remain in quarantine pending the owner’s or a court’s final decision," Duncanville Police said in a statement.

"There were four children on the premises at the time of the incident. Only one child, who was not a resident of the household, was attacked.

Due to the severity of the injuries, Duncanville police officers provided an emergency escort while the child was being transported to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas by Duncanville Medics. Unfortunately, the child was pronounced deceased shortly after arriving at the hospital.

The homeowner owned four dogs. Three dogs were involved in the incident, one a male weighing approximately 100 lbs. and two females weighing approximately 80 lbs. each. Duncanville Animal Control has identified the three dogs as Sheppard mixes." - Vicious Animal Call Follow-Up, Duncanville Police, April 16, 2024

babysitter duncanville - dogs kill baby boy

The home on Lime Leaf Lane where a baby boy was killed by his babysitter's three large dogs.

Related articles:
07/10/22: 2022 Dog Bite Fatality: 4-Year Old Girl Killed by Dog in Southeast Dallas Neighborhood

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.

2024 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Killed by Three Pit Bulls with History of Aggression in Portsmouth, Virginia

A woman was killed by three pit bulls with a history of aggression in Portsmouth, Virginia.

Pit Bulls Kill Woman
Portsmouth, VA - A woman is dead after being mauled by three pit bulls in the middle of the night, police said. Portsmouth police responded to a residence in the 1800 block of Atlanta Avenue just after 1:30 am Friday. Arriving officers found the woman with life-threatening injuries. She was transported to a hospital, where she died. All three pit bulls were taken into custody, Portsmouth Police Chief Stephen Jenkins said. The investigation is ongoing, but no other details are available at this time, Jenkins said.

“It is still early in the investigation. Obviously animal control and my detectives are looking into the facts and circumstances surrounding it." - Portsmouth Police Chief Stephen Jenkins

WAVY reporter Brian Reese, spoke to neighbor Lawrence Davis, who confirmed the attack occurred at 1815 Atlanta Avenue. Davis said the woman was visiting the home at the time. The dog owner is a man, but Davis did not know his name. WVEC-TV spoke to neighbors who said the dogs have been involved in at least three prior acts of aggression recently, including biting a man and aggressively chasing children on bicycles. Police have not identified the owner of the dogs or the mauling victim.

Chief Jenkins later confirmed the previous attacks to WVEC-TV and suggested the victim had been trespassing. "It has come to light that Portsmouth Animal Patrol officers had indeed responded on three prior occasions over the last 12 months with one being for a bite injury," Jenkins said. The dogs were secure when the attack occurred, he said. "We urge residents to refrain from trespassing or attempting to interact with animals without explicit permission from their owners," Jenkins said.

Mauling Victim Identified

Neighbors and an eyewitness identified the victim as Cindy White, who is known by people who live in the home. According to the eyewitness, White walked into the home and moved the "bar and speaker" that were positioned to "barricade" the dogs in the back room. Then White went into the back room, where she was viciously attacked by the dogs. A woman who lives a block over could hear White's screams, WAVY reports. Apparently, White had been trying to visit a man who lives in the back room.

After hearing White's screams, some associates of hers came over to the house, neighbors said, and attacked the man who was sleeping in the back room. “Some people jumped on the person who lives in the house,” Davis explained. “They blame him, and they beat him up ... He was taken to the hospital ... and I don’t know the status.” WAVY shot drone video from above the house and captured images inside the home too. A person who lives in the home, shot pictures from a reporter's cell phone.

White had multiple Facebook pages. Friends and family members tagged her most recent one after learning about her death. One of her older Facebook pages appears to show her in the backyard of the home at 1815 Atlanta Avenue. On April 13, White's sister, Tamika, hosted a balloon release for White using white and gold balloon colors. White turned 50-years old on October 28, 2022, making her 51-years old at the time of her death. Portsmouth police did not release White's age or her name.

Covid Fatality in Portsmouth

Back in March of 2020, just as the Covid crisis erupted, Demi Witherspoon, 2-years old, was killed by a family pit bull in Portsmouth. That attack occurred in the 5600 block of Darby Close, about 15 miles to the northwest of this location. At that time, we reported that the dispatcher for Portsmouth Police and Fire stated in the audio log files on Broadcastify.com: "We have a pit bull who just bit the complainant's daughter's face completely off." There were no relevant audio dispatch log files for the recent attack.

woman killed portsmouth pit bulls

Home on Atlanta Avenue where three pit bulls with a history of aggression killed Cindy White.

pit bulls kill woman portsmouth

WAVY footage shows the "barricaded" entrance to the back room with a "bar and speaker."

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

Related articles:
11/10/22: 2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Church Leader Dies After Being Mauled by Pit Bull in Richmond
01/20/22: 2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Rottweiler Kills 7-Year Old Girl, Injures Adult Female in Waynesboro

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.

YouTuber Reviews Dramatic Fort Dodge Police Bodycam Footage After Violent Pit Bull Attack in November 2023

Dramatic Fort Dodge Police Bodycam After Violent Pit Bull Mauling
A Youtuber reviews the extended Fort Dodge Police bodycam footage of the November 24, 2023 violent pit bull attack of Brittany Skoland. All graphic scenes have been heavily blurred.

Watch Extended Video1
Fort Dodge, IA - Last fall, police shot and killed three pit bulls to stop them from killing Brittany Skoland. A YouTuber recently obtained the police bodycam footage. At about 11:25 am, an officer responded to a home in the 800 block of South 16th Street after reports of a person screaming. Upon arrival, the officer found the dogs attacking a woman in the front yard. He shot and killed the dogs, ending the attack. Skoland was rushed to a hospital then airlifted to Iowa Methodist Medical Center.

Rosemary Possehn, a neighbor, told KCCI, "I was sitting in my living room, and I was just sitting in there and all of a sudden I heard bang bang bang, and I come to the door and I seen all the cops, well there was only one at the time, and I seen the lady laying on the ground and the dogs going at her and the cops shot them. And it was quite a few rounds of ammunition to get them down." A GoFundMe was started for Skoland. Family members said, "She will lose both her feet, due to this attack."

A December update to the fundraiser described her injuries further. "She has had both legs amputated to her knees," the organizer wrote. "Brittany did not need surgery on her hands as we had originally thought. However, she is going to need facial reconstruction surgery, she also has serious head trauma and much more." The fund raised over $35,000. Part of the funds were designated for widening doorways, "to accommodate a wheelchair and a ramp" to allow her to go in and out of the house."

Skoland had been visiting the home on South 16th Street where the dogs lived, authorities said. "These dogs attacked the victim while she was inside the home of the dog owner, alone with the animals," according to a statement issued by Webster County Attorney Darren Driscoll. Skoland had visited the home in the past and was familiar with the dogs. The Webster County attorney determined that no criminal acts took place. The owner of the dogs was not publicly identified by police.

"The law enforcement investigation into the dog attack in Fort Dodge on November 24 has been completed. These dogs attacked the victim while she was inside the home of the dog owner, alone with the animals. Law enforcement responding to the scene shot and killed all three dogs involved in the attack. There was nothing revealed during the investigation to indicate that any criminal act occurred. This is a shocking tragedy and we wish the victim strength as she recuperates from her injuries." - Webster County Attorney Darren Driscoll

On December 5, KCCI published parts of the police bodycam video. "I put three dogs down, she's in bad shape," states the officer. The officer shot the dogs within 30 seconds of arriving. If he had not, Skoland may not have survived. Skoland had gone to the home to visit the dogs' owner, who turned out not to be home. The dogs were properly secured inside the home when Skoland arrived. The attack began inside the home then moved to the front yard, where police shot and killed the dogs.

Extended Bodycam Footage

The YouTuber shows the extended footage with his annotations. After the officer shoots the dogs, police at the scene say, "This woman is tore to shit by these three. Badly, like, you can see her bones." Another officer says, "Pieces of her everywhere. They were eating her. I bet if they did autopsies, she's in their guts." Immediately, police observed how the pit bulls consumed parts of the victim. We've noted this same behavior in multiple other pit bull attacks -- even attacks involving a single pit bull.

Notably -- not shown in the KCCI bodycam footage -- is that one of the three pit bulls did not immediately die after being shot by a police firearm. As responders begin to move the victim, police must shoot that dog again. Thus, Possehn's statement, "It was quite a few rounds of ammunition to get them down," takes on more accuracy. Turns out, there were more pit bulls inside the home too. Police must enter the "foreboding residence" to make sure that "nobody else is terminated in there."

Police also talk to neighbors about who lives at the home. One states, "They have like six dogs." So, there are two or three more dogs in the house. Another neighbor states, "We have complained about these dogs for years." But police are continually drawn back to the attack scene. As the video's narrator states, "The responding officers cannot stop describing the extent of the woman's injuries, relating horrifying details again and again, perhaps in an effort to come to terms with it themselves."

While at the scene, the officer that shot the dogs "did a recount." He fired 12 bullets. "I'm pretty confident that I hit every single shot that I took," he said.

More police and animal control officers arrive at the scene. One grabs a shovel, "to keep in front of me" as they prepare to go into the home. Then she uses a small table as a shield instead. The AC officers find an emaciated female pit bull in the kitchen, who might have recently had puppies. The conditions inside the home are dismal. Meanwhile, the victim's cellphone has been ringing. Police finally answer it. The caller is one of Skoland's daughters screaming, "Where is my mom?" Police have to tell her.

After a second female pit bull is removed from the home, an officer observed, "So all of the males were out here attacking and all the females were inside?" Most dog bite statistics we have reviewed over the last 17 years show a significant male dominance -- most recently 72% male to 28% female. Neutered or not isn't as relevant. The chief statistic is male vs. female. In fatal dog attacks, when gender is known, and when only counting attacks involving 1 dog, males dominate 84% to 16%.2


Overall, police made excellent assessments. The first being the speed and accuracy of the officer's shooting. The officer entered a high-stress, high-risk situation and within 30 seconds had shot all three dogs, stopping the attack. "I'm pretty confident that I hit every single shot that I took," he said after firing 12 times. We believe him. The same officer was also the first to spot that one of the shot pit bulls was still alive and a threat. Pit bulls routinely survive single and even multiple gunshots.

Another observation by police -- the pit bulls actually consumed parts of the victim (pack attack involving human predation) -- was also accurate. "They were eating her. I bet if they did autopsies, she's in their guts," one officer said. It's unknown if necropsies were performed on the dogs. Police also observed that only the male dogs were involved in the attack. "So all of the males were out here attacking and all the females were inside?" the officer asked. We are not surprised by this.

The female AC officer used a table as a shield to enter the home. It was such a simple self-defense action. Recall that a dozen responders, including armed officers, stood outside a home for 37 minutes while Jacqueline Durand was being mauled by two dogs. None of them thought to grab a shield and "GO IN" to rescue her. Finally, the ringing phone. Police do not answer Skoland's phone until the dogs have been removed. The officer that answered that call may have had the most difficult job of all.

Dramatic Fort Dodge Police Bodycam After Violent Pit Bull Mauling

Dramatic Fort Dodge Police bodycam footage after a violent pit bull mauling in November.

1After the video went viral, the YouTuber shut down the ability to "embed" the video in blog posts like ours.
2U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities 2020-2023 - DogsBite.org

Related articles:
04/13/21: Animal Advocate Posts Video After Adopted Pit Bull-Mix Viciously Attacked Carriage Horse
01/16/17: Bodycam Video Shows First 3 Minutes After Pit Bull Attack; Police Officer Rescues Victim

Review: Five Dog Bite Fatalities Between 2017-2022 in the United States Unreported by Media

Dog Bite Fatalities Between 2017-2022 non-media reported
Review: Five dog bite fatalities between 2017-2022 unreported by media.

DogsBite.org - We summarize five cases of adults killed by dogs between 2017 and 2022, where no media reports or police press releases were published. Our discovery of each death came from different sources, including a FOIA to the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner's Office, where three of these deaths were located. All five deaths involved bull breeds: pit bull (3 deaths), American bulldog (1), and presa canario (1). All five victims were 40-years and older, and most were men (3/5).

Since 2011, we have obtained verification for 31 non-media reported dog bite fatalities. 55% of these deaths occurred after the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, when media reports and police press releases of fatal dog attacks decreased, but the attacks were rising. Of the 31 deaths, 77% involved a family dog killing a household member; 71% involved one or more pit bulls; and 97% (30/31) involved pit bulls, "baiting" bull breeds, and mastiff-type guarding breeds used to create fighting breeds.1

Of the 31 recorded deaths, pit bulls were involved in 22 deaths, American bulldog (5); bull terrier (1)2; French mastiff (1), and presa canario (1).3

In our last published combined year dog bite fatality report (2005-2019), the combination of pit bulls, rottweilers and this small group of mastiff-type guarding breeds comprised 84% of all deaths. Since 2011, we have not discovered a single non-media reported rottweiler death, even though they are the second top killing dog breed. Instead, we see that non-media reported cases have an even higher percentage of pit bulls, "baiting" bull breeds and fighting breeds, even when rottweilers are absent.

When we compare the 31 non-media reported deaths to the 524 deaths in the 15-year baseline period (2005 to 2019),4 other differences stand out too. Attacks inflicted by family dogs are 42% higher in non-media reported deaths; adult victims ≥40 years old are 65% higher; and a single or pair of "family" pit bulls killing a household member ≥40 years old is 102% higher. Also, of the 31 non-media reported deaths, 23% occurred during June, which is 211% higher than the baseline period for this month.

Breeds of Dogs Involved in Non-Media Reported U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities 2008-2023

Breeds of dogs in non-media reported dog bite fatalities since we began capturing in 2011.

Nancy Mira

67-years old
Miami, Florida
March 17, 2017

Summary: Nancy Mira, 67-years old, died one month after being bitten on the neck by a family dog. According to the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner's Office, the attack occurred on February 21 at approximately 11:48 am in the 19200 block of SW 128 Court. Mira was at her home "when she became belligerent and attempted to strike her son. The son's American bulldog bit the deceased on her neck," states the report. She was transported to Jackson South Community Hospital where she underwent multiple procedures. "Her condition deteriorated, and she was placed in Vitas Hospice at University of Miami Hospital" where she died on March 17, states the report. The cause of death was ruled "complications of dog bite on neck." The Miami-Dade Police Department was the investigating agency. In December 2010, her son's partner shared a "Got a Pet" announcement on Facebook. "Got our crazy American bulldog Duley," she wrote. There were no media reports about this fatal attack.

Moise Maddox

87-years old
Miami Gardens, Florida
January 20, 2019

Summary: Moise Maddox, 87-years old, died while hospitalized after being mauled by a dog. On December 31, 2018, Miami Gardens police officers were dispatched to a home in the 2100 block of NW 153rd Street at about 10:19 am. "The victim was in the rear yard when the family pet, a presa canario, attacked the victim," states a report from the Miami Gardens Police Department. Maddox sustained severe injuries to both lower legs. He was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami for advanced medical treatment. Miami-Dade Animal Control took possession of the dog; it was later euthanized. "Maddox had both of his legs amputated below his knees" due to the severe damage, states the report. His left arm was going to be amputated, due to a developing infection, when he succumbed to cardiac arrest on January 20, 2019. The Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office determined the cause of death was "complications of canine mauling." There were no media reports about this attack.

"Information obtained on scene from officers revealed the victim was in the rear yard when the family pet, a Presa Canario attacked the victim. It could not be determined why the dog attacked the victim ... G. Maddox was the owner of the dog and indicated that he was in the front yard when he heard the victim screaming and ran to the rear yard and observed his dog attacking his brother and was able to separate the dog from his brother ... The report further indicated that the dog was surrendered to Animal Services and was euthanized." - Miami Gardens Police Department

Josefa Suarez

73-years old
Homestead, Florida
September 28, 2021

Summary: Josefa Suarez, 73-years old, was killed by a relative's adopted dog. According to Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS) records, at about 12:00 pm, "the victim was in the backyard cleaning and the dog just went up to her, jumped on her, and began attacking, biting her on her left arm." Her nephew came out to help get the dog off her, "but the dog wiggled off and grabbed a hold of her right arm." By the time he could remove the dog, she was unresponsive. Upon arrival, fire and rescue observed "multiple opened wounds" on her body. She was transported to Jackson South Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The dog's owner, L. Ramirez, was out of town at the time. Ramirez adopted the male neutered pit bull-mix "Clyde" on January 14, 2019 from MDAS. The dog had been taken in as a stray five days earlier, MDAS records show. According to the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner's report, Suarez had recently moved into the family home. The medical examiner determined her cause of death was "dog bites." There were no media reports about this attack.

Additional Details

MDAS estimated Clyde was 3-years old at the time of adoption. Making the dog nearly 6-years old when it violently attacked the woman. It is noted in the adoption records that "Josefa A Suarez, may also pick up pet," on the day of the adoption, January 14, 2019. So, despite Suarez only recently moving into the family home, she was familiar with the dog. She also took the dog to the MDAS Wellness Clinic for a license and vaccination service on March 26, 2021, 6-months before the attack.

Clyde killed a person within a 3-year period of being adopted from a tax-funded shelter, therefore this attack qualifies for our list. Miami-Dade Animal Services now joins 16 tax-funded shelters in the United States since 2014 that have adopted out or transferred a dog to a rescue that subsequently killed a person. This is the second occurrence for MDAS in a 13-month period. On August 28, 2020 Carolyn Varanese was killed by a dog that had recently been pulled from MDAS by Mastiff Recue of Florida Inc.

Shelter Dog-Inflicted Deaths (Tax-Funded)

Shelter Dog-Inflicted Deaths (Private-Funded)

Underreported Shelter Dog-Inflicted Deaths

In the 15-year baseline period (2005-2019), rescue and rehomed dogs account for 8.6% of dog bite fatalities. In the 31 non-media reported deaths, they account for 16.1%, which is over 85% higher. This begs the question of how many more non-media reported fatal attacks involving shelter dogs have occurred? It's hardly a matter a county, such as Miami-Dade, would want to publicize -- the second dog they adopted out in a 13-month period that killed a person, both during the Covid pandemic.

Clyde was not a "pandemic puppy" that went on a rampage 2.5 years after being adopted in 2019. Clyde was a 3-year old pit bull-mix with no known history prior to adoption. In our last series of non-media reported fatal dog attacks, we wrote about Ronald Adams, 79, who was killed by two adult pit bulls shortly after he adopted them from the Humane Society of Highlands County in August 2022. Media attributing the sharp rise of US "fatal" dog attacks to "pandemic puppies" alone is unproven.

We believe shelter dog-inflicted deaths are underreported and that "adoption source" information is omitted in certain media-reported cases.5

"Pandemic puppy" is a poor term that implies "breeder purchased," obfuscating the 6.2 million shelter dogs that were adopted during the pandemic (2020-2022), of which upwards of 70% were adult dogs, according to data at Shelter Animals Count. Many of these adult dogs have unknown histories. Further, there are clear motivations to withhold "adoption source" information after a fatal attack. As Adams' partner stated, "Highlands kept the death quiet cuz they did NOT want people to stop adopting dogs."

Adult John Doe

41 years old
Austin, Texas
May 14, 2022

Summary: John Doe, 41-years old, who was experiencing homelessness, was killed by multiple unrestrained dogs. First responders were dispatched to the 4600 block of East Ben White Boulevard around 1:50 am. Few details of his death were released by police. Through a FOIA, our nonprofit obtained records of the Severe Bite Investigation (SBI) conducted by Austin Animal Services. The dogs' owner lived in an "encampment in the woods with his six pit bulls," states the report. The owner had left the camp with his dogs "tied up." When he returned, he found his dogs had "broke loose from their makeshift leash." He discovered the man's body near a creek bed. The owner believed his dogs had killed the man; he found blood on two of his dogs. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. The location of the bite injuries is listed as "head." Authorities seized all six pit bulls. A court ordered all six dogs "destroyed due to the severity of injuries" that "ultimately led to his death." The victim had been familiar with dogs. There were no follow-up media reports about this attack.

Additional Details

This case did have a "media alert" (a brief mention) on May 14, 2022. It said "a dog attacked and killed" a homeless man. No dog breed information was released. In February 2024, while reviewing data showing a 198% rise of severe dog bites in Austin from 2018 to 2023, we also obtained animal control records for this man's death. To know that six bulls were involved in a fatal mauling at a homeless encampment in 2022 and that local media did not investigate or prioritize this case is alarming.6

In contrast, media and law enforcement in Bend, Oregon elevated the death of Joseph Keeton, who had been living at an encampment known as "Dirt World," into the public eye after he was killed by three pit bull-mixes with a bite history belonging to one of his campmates. There was discussion at a county commissioner meeting too. Vicious dogs and dog bite injuries are a reality at homeless encampments. The dogs' owner later pleaded guilty to multiple charges in connection to his death.

Dwayne Kessler

58-years old
Maricopa County, Arizona
May 5, 2022

Summary: Dwayne Kessler, 58-years old, was killed by his son's pit bull, according to a pair of fundraisers created by his partner and his best friend after his death. An autopsy report from the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office provided a narrative. "According to the investigative report, the decedent was reportedly at a storage facility with his significant other, a family member, and their pet dog (reportedly a pit bull)," states the report. "The decedent and his significant other reportedly became engaged in a verbal argument," triggering the dog to attack. "The decedent reportedly fell to the ground while the dog continued to maul him. The decedent's family member reportedly stabbed the dog multiple times in an attempt to stop the attack." The cause of death was "mixed modality blunt force and penetrating trauma." The injury occurred by a "canine attack followed by human inflicted sharp force injuries sustained during attempted canine neutralization," states the report. The manner of death was ruled an accident. There were no media reports about this attack.

"Multiple knives were reportedly recovered at the scene by law enforcement officials ... He was transported to the hospital where death was pronounced in the emergency department. Traumatic injuries including abrasions, lacerations, puncture wounds, and sharp force injuries were noted by medical personnel. Verbal conversation with law enforcement personnel at the time of postmortem examination revealed that the decedent's family member may have injured the decedent inadvertently with a knife while the family member was attempting to subdue the dog. Law enforcement officials stated that foul play was not suspected." - Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office

Additional Details

According to the autopsy, the dog latched onto his right wrist, fracturing bones and damaging the ulnar artery. "It is likely that the canine bit the decedent's right wrist causing crush type fracture of the distal ulna and transection of the right ulnar artery." The right radial artery injury was human-inflicted during the "canine neutralization attempt." The result of these injuries was "severe hemorrhage and blood loss," states the report. Methamphetamine and heart disease also contributed to his death.

Kessler and his partner received an eviction judgment against them a month-and-a-half before the fatal attack, according to court records. This may be why they were at the storage facility. Prior to receiving the autopsy report on March 25, 2024, confirming his cause of death, we sent FOIAs to agencies in Glendale and Phoenix, based on the eviction location and other indicators. Both came back empty. This fatal dog attack occurred off the owner's property at a storage facility in nearby Peoria.


In this report, we summarized five cases of adults killed by dogs between 2017 and 2022, where media reports or police press releases were absent or insufficient. All five victims were 40-years and older, and most were men (3/5). Three of these deaths occurred in Miami-Dade County, of which two died while hospitalized 20-24 days after the attack. All five deaths involved bull breeds: pit bull terrier (3 deaths), American bulldog (1), and presa canario (1). Family dogs inflicted 80% of these deaths.

The majority of dog bite fatalities that are unreported by media involve family dogs (77%); adult victims ≥40 years old (74%); and pit bulls (71%).

We also reviewed 31 non-media reported deaths collected since 2011, which have a higher percentage of pit bulls, "baiting" bull breeds, and fighting breeds than the 15-year baseline period (97% v. 74%) and are absent of rottweiler deaths. Adult victims ≥40 years old comprised 74% of deaths (23/31). Among these adults, a single or pair of pit bulls inflicted 70% (16/23) of deaths and a single or pair of "family" pit bulls inflicted 57% (13/23) of deaths. Most non-media reported deaths occurred in June.

Months with Most Non-Media Reported U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities 2008-2023

Months with the most non-media reported dog bite fatalities since we began capturing in 2011.

Dog Bite Fatalities Between 2017-2022 non-media reported

Some of the human victims and violent dogs discussed in our special report. Review: Five Dog Bite Fatalities Between 2017-2022 in the United States Unreported by Media.

1Mastiff-type guarding and war dog breeds primarily consist of: mastiff (Brazilian, English, French, Italian, Neapolitan, and South African), bullmastiff, presa canario, cane corso, and dogo Argentino.
2The 2020 death of Roxie Parker, 60-years old, involved a large bull terrier, not a miniature bull terrier.
3Two other breeds in non-reported media cases -- German shepherd (1 death) and mixed-breed (1 death) -- were involved in multi-breed attacks involving pit bulls. The breeds did not act alone in the fatal attack.
4Since publication of the 15-year baseline (2005-2019) in July 2020, three new deaths have been added (521 v. 524).
5On October 31, 2023, a family pit bull-mix killed 4-year old Colton Kline in Spokane, Washington. Through a FOIA, we learned the dog "Spud" had been adopted to the family on September 2, 2023 (two months earlier) by the county agency, Spokane Regional Animal Protection Service. We sent the information (proof of adoption) to local media, but they never reported it. Omitting the "adoption source" information, in this case, came from the media itself.
6Local Austin media did make it a priority to write about a recent homeless camp demolition (Homeless people scramble after Austin crews demolish camp - Austin American Statesman, March 6, 2024). The first 17 words were: "Jack Smith saved what he could. His pit bull mix, Lady. Her nine puppies, just eight days old." Homeless man brutally killed by six pit bulls of campmate -- not a story. Homeless man with "nine pit bull puppies" flees camp demolition -- feature story!

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04/18/23: Macro-Level Forces Report: Covid Impacts of 2021 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Capture Rate...
09/23/22: Macro-Level Forces Report: Covid Impacts of 2020 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Capture Rate...