2023 Dog Bite Fatality: Marion County Deputy Killed by Violent Dog, Her Son Injured, While Dog Sitting the Animal

Tamieka White, 46, a Marion County sheriff's deputy, was killed while dog sitting for a friend.

Deputy Killed by Dog
Indianapolis, IN - A Marion County sheriff's deputy is dead and her son is hospitalized after being attacked while dog sitting the animal in their home. 46-year old Tamieka White was pronounced dead at the scene Tuesday night. Indianapolis police officers were dispatched to the 1700 block of Forsythia Drive at about 8:00 pm Tuesday on reports of an aggressive dog. Officers located the adult female victim lying on the ground with injuries inside a garage adjacent to the residence.

Officers attempted to enter the garage but were stopped by an aggressive dog. Officers shot and killed the dog. White had been with the Marion County Sheriff’s Department since 2007 and worked in the Judicial Enforcement Division. “Deputy White was a bright light to all that knew her,” said Sheriff Kerry Forestal. “We are immensely grateful for her nearly 17 years of service to our agency. We will work to uphold her legacy as a courageous and dedicated public servant.”

Police found White's 8-year old son inside the residence, who had also been bitten by the dog. He was transported to a local Level 1 trauma center with non-life-threatening injuries and is listed in "good condition." IMPD Maj. Mike Leepper said that three other dogs were found inside the home, and only one of them belonged to White. She had been dog sitting three dogs, including the attacker, for a friend, according to police. The dogs were taken into custody by authorities.

"IACS said three live dogs, one dead dog, and one cat were impounded from the east side home following the deadly attack. IACS said all of the dogs, including the deceased dog, appeared to be “pit bull-type dogs.” IACS cannot confirm the breed without a DNA test, but does not plan on testing for the exact breed." - WXIN, Joe Schroeder, May 10, 2023

According to media reports, a man went to the scene Tuesday and told police the dogs belonged to his girlfriend, and he wanted them back. Police told him the dogs would continue to be held by animal control. Just three days earlier, on May 6, IACS was called to the same home on a report of two loose, aggressive dogs. The officer found two dogs in front of a broken fence on the side of the home, and a third dog in the backyard. The owner was also apparently notified about this.

WTHR reports that the fatal attack occurred in the fenced-in backyard. According to neighbors, White's son ran from the home and began knocking on doors asking for help. "He was in shock," said the neighbor. "He kept repeating several things over and over concerning his mom." The neighbor said the dogs weren't familiar. White confirmed to the neighbor she was dog sitting the day before the attack and also said she was going to fix the fence the dogs had broken through.

As recently as December 2022, White was tagged in a Facebook post about a litter of pit bull puppies by seller/breeder, Danica. "They are ready to go! Inbox me! There are 4 boys and 3 girls!" Danica said the dogs were "standard bullies," one of the four sizes of the American bully. Danica also commented on a photo on White's Facebook page that shows the "light skin" puppy from the December post. "She sooo spoiled I love it!" Apparently, White acquired that dog from the litter.

Marion County deputy killed by pit bull while dog sitting

Tamieka White, 46-years old, was killed and her son injured while dog sitting for a friend.

Marion County deputy killed by pit bull while dog sitting

Three days before the deadly attack, the pit bulls had broken out of the victim's fence.

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

Related articles:
10/19/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Grandmother Killed by Family Pit Bull in Matthews, Indiana
10/15/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: 84-Year Old Woman Killed by Son's Dogs in Indiana...

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.

2023 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Dog Kills Infant, Critically Injures Grandmother in Waterloo, Iowa

family dog killed infant in waterloo, Iowa
The home on Scott Avenue where a dog attacked two family members, killing one.

Family Dog Kills Infant
Waterloo, IA - An infant is dead, and a grandmother is seriously injured after a family dog attacked them both. First responders were dispatched to the 1200 block of Scott Avenue at about 7:20 am after a report of a dog attack inside the home. The 9-month old infant died at the scene. The child's grandmother, 49, was also critically injured in the attack. She was taken to UnityPoint-Health Allen Hospital and then flown to the University of Iowa Hospitals in Iowa City, police said.

A reporter from the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier captured a photograph of the dog as an animal control officer led the dog away on a snare pole. The dog is described as a 9-year old "neutered male boxer-hound mix." The animal has since been euthanized, and its remains were taken to the state veterinary lab at Iowa State University for testing, reports the Falls Courier. Authorities said there were no prior calls about this dog. The identities of the victims have not been released.

Fatal Dog Maulings in Iowa

Fatal dog maulings are rare in this Midwest state. From 2005 to the present day, our nonprofit has only recorded 8 deadly dog attacks in Iowa. Three of these deaths have occurred since January 2022. Preceding the infant's death are the deaths of 43-year old Mindy Kiepe, who was killed by a pack of her own great danes in Clay County last August, and 27-year old Chaille Morgan, who was killed by a pack of vicious dogs on the Meskwaki Nation Settlement in Tama County last March.

Identified as Pit Bull by Reporting Party

The audio dispatch log files from Black Hawk County Fire and EMS located on Broadcastify.com clearly state that the "reporting party," who was "also injured as well" -- indicating the caller was the grandmother -- identified the dog as a pit bull. A person inside the home, familiar with the dog, identified the dog as a pit bull, not a "boxer-hound mix." Several minutes after this exchange, while EMS was en route, EMS requested a second ambulance. "It's on the way," dispatch replied.

"334 for an animal attack on an infant ... The animal control, PD ... received a report that a 9-month old child possibly killed by a pit bull. Our reporting party was also injured as well ... Scott Avenue ... 10-4, send a truck ... Respond 334 for an animal attack ... for a pit bull that's attacked a 9-month old child, possibly killed it. We do have animal control and PD in route as well. Our reporting party was also injured. I don't know the extent. It does sound like the pit bull might be in the backyard, in a fenced-in backyard." - Black Hawk County Fire and EMS Dispatch

The father of the child, who today posted the baby's GoFundMe to his Facebook page, is a fan of pit bulls and identified the attacking dog, "Echo," as a pit bull in 2018. In 2019, the household also had a purebred pit bull and a boxer-mix, according to photographs posted by the father. Note the underbite and the docked tail. Echo, on the other hand, has neither boxer trait. Echo also has the distinct "rose ears" of a pit bull, as identified in the 1977 American Pit Bull conformation standard.

"His existence today was not because he was bred only for gameness. He was not bred only for power. He sure as hell was not bred only for his intelligence, loyalty, boldness, round eye, rose ear, red nose, or his inclination for dragging children from the paths of speeding trains. He was bred to win. That's right folks, he was developed for competition." - Pit Bull Gazette, Volume 1, Issue 3, 1977

The Falls Courier article has been updated to include that the grandmother was babysitting the baby at the time. The mother had started a new job, police said. At one point, the grandmother set the infant down and the dog attacked the baby. The grandmother intervened to save the baby and in the process was bitten on the arm, police said. Mind you, that "bite to the arm" caused the grandmother to be airlifted to a Level 1 trauma center, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

According to the family's GoFundMe organized by Chase Dunbar, the child victim was a female, named Navy. "After hearing tragic news on May 4th Tyler and Alyssa lost their sweet daughter Navy in an accident, we want to relieve them in any way we can," states the fundraiser. "Please consider helping our close friends with any expenses that come they’re way in this difficult time. All proceeds will go the Smith Family. Thank you." So far, the fund has raised over $15,000.

On May 8, the Falls Courier confirmed the child's identity is Navy Smith. The 49-year old grandmother, who intervened to try to save the infant, is Susan Smith. Her medical condition remains undisclosed. By May 22, the family's GoFundMe had reached over $36,000.

family dog kills infant in waterloo, Iowa

The attacking dog, "Echo," seen in photographs posted by the baby's father to Facebook.

Related articles:
08/18/22: 2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman, 43, Killed by Her Pack of Great Danes in Iowa
03/29/22: 2022 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Killed by Pack of Dogs on the Meskwaki Settlement

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.

2023 Dog Bite Fatality: Tulsa Woman, 71, Killed by Neighbor's Four Dogs While Searching for One of Her Beloved Cats

Tulsa woman killed by dogs while searching for beloved cats
Glennaroy Blackwelder, 71, was killed by four dogs belonging to a neighbor.

Attacked Through Fence
Tulsa, OK - Another adult is dead after being attacked by dogs in Tulsa. The fatal attack occurred on April 18, but no confirmation was provided by local news outlets until April 25. Glennaroy Blackwelder, 71-years old, died after being attacked by four dogs belonging to one of her neighbors. The attack occurred near Blackwelder's home in the 1400 block of North Delaware Place. The time of the attack was not released by police, nor was the breed of dogs involved.

In late March, 66-year old Donald Gibson of Tulsa died after being viciously attacked by at least one family pit bull after trying to break up a dog fight. That attack happened in east Tulsa, about 15 miles east from Blackwelder's home. Longtime neighbor and friend of Blackwelder, Diane Wise, spoke to KJRH. Wise said that "everybody liked Glenna." Wise has lived just a few doors away from Blackwelder since the 1980s. She has known Glennaroy Blackwelder for decades.

Wise affectionately called Blackwelder a "crazy cat lady," who rescued and cared for cats. Wise said that Blackwelder was looking for one of her cats when she was attacked by the four dogs. According to Wise, Blackwelder was walking between her friend’s house and another neighbor’s house, which had a short chain-link fence separating Glenna and the dogs. The dogs attacked Blackwelder through the fence, Wise said, grabbing ahold of one of her arms, killing her.

She died in a neighbor's yard who had known and cared about her, Wise said. “The guy that she died in his yard was just heartbroken,” she said. “‘She is such a good neighbor,'" he told her. “He had only lived there about five years, but he was very attached to her," Wise said. That man was not identified. A spokesperson for the city of Tulsa said the dog attack is still under investigation. The four dogs involved in the attack were surrendered to Tulsa animal welfare and euthanized.

Glenna was "was passionate about rescuing & feeding animals including cats, more cats, stray cats, birds, squirrels, a resident possum and OH! Did I mention her love of cats," states her obituary. She volunteered at "Catholic Charities and local animal shelters, often bringing home animals that needed extra love and care." It describes her death as a "sudden passing" that has left a "deep void in the hearts of her family, friends and cats." She will be dearly missed, it states.

In October 2020, Curtis Wickham, 26-years old, was killed by three pit bulls in west Tulsa. That attack occurred about 7 miles west of Blackwelder's home. The dogs' owner, Benjamin Ryan Spence, pleaded no contest to second-degree manslaughter in connection to Wickham's death in May of 2022. Prosecutors had initially charged Spence with second-degree murder for directing his three pit bulls to attack Wickham, but corroborating that in court proved to be too difficult.

More Unreported Fatal Dog Attacks in Tulsa

Several days after publishing the post, Animals 24-7 reported that at least two other adults were killed by dogs in Tulsa recently -- neither were reported by police, animal control or local media outlets. John "Pops" Hunter, 78 years old, was apparently killed by a family pit bull, possibly his own. The source of this information was Hunter's daughter, Becca, who told Animals 24-7 that she had previously been bitten by the same dog. The date of Hunter's death was not provided.

The victim in the other apparent fatal dog mauling in Tulsa was John Reed. “John Reed, 55-60 years old, badly bitten near Sheridan and 36th Street North,” who after the pit bull attack “went into his house and bled to death," according to a confidential source of Animals 24-7. A funeral for his death was apparently held on May 1, 2023, but it was not publicly announced. Reed is believed to have been killed by his own pit bull. The Reeds are said to be of Native American heritage.

Tulsa woman killed by dogs while searching for beloved cats

Blackwelder's home of 71 years in the 1400 block of North Delaware Place in central Tulsa.

Related articles:
03/24/23: 2023 Dog Bite Fatality: Man Killed by Pit Bull in East Tulsa After Trying to Break...
05/09/22: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Man Dies After Violent Pit Bull Mauling in West Tulsa...

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.

Macro-Level Forces Report: Covid Impacts of 2021 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Capture Rate of Nonprofit

Dog Bite Fatalities Surged in 2021; a 69% Increase from 2019

macro-level forces 2021

DogsBite.org - Last September, we published the 2020 Macro-Level Forces Report for U.S. dog bite fatality data. During 2020, the first Covid year, our nonprofit had a 15-victim deficit compared to CDC Wonder underlying cause of death (UCD) data, a 28% difference in the number of deaths. The victim deficit during the second pandemic year is even higher. CDC Wonder data shows there were 81 dog bite fatalities in 2021. Our nonprofit only recorded 52 deaths, a 44% difference.

81 fatal dog attacks in a single year are the most ever recorded by CDC data. This is a 69% increase from 2019 and a 131% increase from 2018.

Prior to these two pandemic years (between 2005 and 2019), the largest deficit of unreported deaths our nonprofit had compared to CDC data was 4 each for the years of 2005 and 2010. During the 2021 Covid year, there was a deficit of 29 unreported deaths. The disparity during the second year of the pandemic is greater than the first year, even though media reports only fell by 35% in 2021, compared to falling 47% in 2020 from the pre-Covid baseline year of 2019.

A regional breakdown of dog bite fatalities in 2021 shows that the South and West had the most unreported deaths. According to CDC data, 51% (41 of 81) of the victims in 2021 were ≥ 45 years old. Our nonprofit only captured 20 of these deaths, 49%. However, we already knew the 50 and older age group was underrepresented in media reports. We discussed this disparity in the 2020 discussion notes (Comparing 15-Year Data Sets - DogsBite.org Data and CDC Wonder Data)

Related report:
2021 Macro-Level Forces Report: CDC Dog Bite Fatality Data Compared to Nonprofit

2021 macro-forces report - dog bite fatalities

U.S. dog bite fatalities during the 2021 pandemic crisis by Census region and age group.

Characteristics of Unreported Fatal Dog Attacks (2005 to 2021)

Over the last decade, we have uncovered 20 unreported deaths through FOIAs or other means. The most likely unreported fatal dog attack from 2005 to 2021 is an adult ≥ 40 years old (14) killed in an attack involving a single or pair of pit bulls (12 of 14) in an urban area (11 of 14) within a state that prohibits or limits breed-specific laws. Of the 20 total deaths, 80% (16) involved pit bulls, and of that, 75% (12 of 16) involved a single or pair of family pit bulls killing a household member.

80% (16) of the total unreported fatal attacks involved family dogs killing a household member, and 70% (14) involved a single dog attacking.

During 2021, the 2 unreported deaths we uncovered involved infants in a rural area. Both infants were killed by a male family dog, a pit bull, and an American bulldog. Of the 5 total unreported deaths of children, including the ones just mentioned, 3 were killed by pit bulls, and 2 were killed by American bulldogs. The only other unreported death -- outside of the 14 deaths in the ≥ 40 years age group -- is a 21-year old male who was killed by his roommate's pit bull in 2017.

2021 macro-forces report - dog bite fatalities

Nonprofit dog bite fatality data compared to CDC Wonder data over 17 years (2005-2021).


Initially, the chart appears to reflect the pandemic kicked off a visible increase in year-to-year deaths. However, the largest increase is from 2018 to 2019, a 37% rise, which occurred pre-Covid. From 2019 to 2020, there was a 29% rise in deaths, and from 2020 to 2021, there was a 31% rise. The chart also shows that during the 37% rise in deaths from 2018 to 2019, our capture rate was not impeded. When Covid-19 macro-forces erupted in 2020, our capture rate declined.

The chart also shows that between 2005 and 2018, the average number of deaths per year captured by our nonprofit was 33.79, compared to CDC Wonder data of 33.64. The annual number of deaths during the period gradually increases but otherwise has slight variation. After two years of Covid conditions, between January 1, 2020, and December 31, 2021, the average number of deaths captured by our nonprofit rose to 49.5, and CDC Wonder data shot up to 71.5.

Thus, one must ask what happened between 2018 and 2021, when the number of deaths per year rose by 131% (from 35 CDC Wonder deaths to 81)? The number of dog bite fatalities increased during that period much faster than from 2005 to 2018. After years of annual deaths in the 30s range, CDC data skips deaths in the 50s range and skips deaths in the 70s range. CDC data shows that in 2019, there were 48 deaths; in 2020, 62 deaths; and in 2021, 81 deaths.

Pre-Covid Trends

In our nonprofit's data, several trends were rising before 2019. Between 2005 to 2018, the ages and genders of victims between the first and third periods (2005-2009 and 2015-2018) show that the percentage of fatal dog attacks involving adults, 50-69 years old, rose 82%. This rise was largely driven by females, 30-49 years old, which rose 108%, and females, 50-69 years old, which rose 91%. During this same period, the percentage of fatal attacks involving pit bulls rose by 30%.

While the number of "known" rescue dogs involved in dog bite fatalities is relatively small, the percentage of people killed by rescue dogs jumped from 2% of fatal dog attack victims during the first period (2005-2009) to 14.7% during the third period (2015-2018). Owner-directed deadly dog attacks rose from 10% during the first period to 16.8% during the third period. Those were some trends heading into 2019, which began the steep ladder increase in CDC data from 2019 to 2021.

Covid 2021 Conditions

By mid-April 2021, over 200 million Covid vaccines had been administered in the U.S., according to the CDC. Stay-at-home orders were over, and indoor gatherings and air travel had rebounded. Possible Covid conditions contributing to the disparity of 29 unreported dog bite fatalities in 2021 aren't as straightforward as in 2020. Though there continued to be a reduction in media reports and a reduction of media releases from police, which impacted our ability to capture more deaths.1

Previous report:
Trends: 14 Years of U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities in 3 Periods (2005 to 2018) - DogsBite.org


During the 2021 Covid year, there was a 35% reduction in dog bite fatality media reports, according to our citations. There was a surge in unreported fatal dog attacks, 29 deaths, and a rise in the total number of fatalities to 81 -- the highest ever recorded in CDC wonder data. This is a 69% increase from 2019 and a 131% increase from 2018. Victims ≥ 45 years old accounted for the most unreported fatal dog attacks, and most attacks occurred in the South and West regions.

Given the increase of fatal dog attacks during pre-Covid 2019 and the surge that followed, we predict another rise in unreported deaths in 2022.

Though there was a significant increase in deaths during the 2020 and 2021 Covid years, the growth began ramping up in 2019. The largest increase occurred between 2018 and 2019, with a 37% rise in dog bite fatalities. What drove that growth likely continued through the Covid years, combined with being impacted by Covid conditions (2- and 3-fold increase in dog bites2). At the same time, our nonprofit's capture rate declined due to lowered media reports instigated by Covid.

1"More than 6,150 news workers were laid off amid the COVID-19 pandemic," by Hana Joy, Columbia Journalism Review, December 10, 2021 (cjr.org) | "After increasing in 2020, layoffs at large U.S. newspapers and digital news sites declined in 2021," by Elisa Shearer and Emily Tomasik, Pew Research Center, October 13, 2022.
2At least in pediatric studies. No studies about adult dog bite injuries during the pandemic have been published so far. | Dixon, et al., Dog Bites in Children Surge during Coronavirus Disease-2019: A Case for Enhanced Prevention, J Pediatr, 2020 Oct; 225: 231–232. | Tulloch et al., Paediatric emergency department dog bite attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic: an audit at a tertiary children’s hospital, BML Pediatrics Open, 2021;5:e001040.

Related articles:
09/23/22: 2020 Macro-Level Forces Report: Covid Impacts of Dog Bite Fatality Capture Rate
01/12/22: 2021 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs - DogsBite.org