Fatal Dog Attack Statistics
DogsBite.org recorded 32 fatal dog attacks in 2009.1 Citations of each victim's story are located on the Fatality Citations page. The last year the CDC recorded human deaths by dog breeds was 1998. Likely due to pressures from animal advocacy groups, the CDC stopped further research into this area. Since 1998, pit bulls alone have killed 140 U.S. citizens. The only other known entity, in addition to DogsBite.org, that tracks this vital data publicly is Animal People.2
2009 Dog Bite Fatalities
- 32 U.S. fatal dog attacks occurred in 2009. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 600 U.S. cities, pit bulls led these attacks accounting for 44% (14). Pit bulls make up approximately 5% of the U.S. dog population.3
- In 2009, the combination of pit bulls (14) and rottweilers (4) accounted for 56% of all fatal attacks. In the 5-year period from 2005 to 2009, this same combination accounted for 70% (105) of the total recorded deaths (149).
- The combined breakdown between the two breeds is substantial. From 2005 to 2009, pit bulls killed 84 Americans, about one citizen every 22 days, versus rottweilers, which killed 21 Americans, about one citizen every 87 days.
- 2009 data shows that 63% (20) of the attacks occurred to children (11 years and under) and 38% occurred to adults. Of the children, 60% (12) occurred to ages 2 and younger. In all attacks, males were more often victims, 59%, than females.
- 2009 data also shows that 38% (12) of all fatal attacks involved multiple dogs, and 19% (6) involved chained dogs. 75% (24) of these deadly attacks occurred on the dog owner's property and 25% (8) occurred off the owner's property.
- The state of Texas led fatalities in 2009 (5) followed by Georgia and Illinois (each with 4) and California and Virginia (each with 3). Of the Texas deaths, the combination of pit bulls and rottweilers (4) accounted for 80%.
2Dog attack deaths and maimings, U.S. & Canada, by Merritt Clifton, Animal People.
3Decade of Adoption Focus Fails to Reduce Shelter Killing, by Merritt Clifton, Animal People, July/August 2009
04/22/09: Report: U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities January 2006 to December 2008
12/11/08: Who Authored the CDC Fatal Dog Attack Report (1979 to 1998)?