DogsBite.org - From time-to-time, advocates and elected officials ask us for up to the minute statistical data regarding U.S. fatal dog attacks. Our combined results of just over five years show that pit bulls and rottweilers continue to be the top killers, just as they were in the 1979 to 1998 CDC report.1 During the 1980s and 1990s, fatal dog attacks averaged 17 per year.2 The death-by-dog-bite rate now is nearly double this amount at over 30 per year and largely due to pit bulls.3
Five Years and 67 Day Period
From January 1, 2005 to March 8, 2010, DogsBite.org recorded 158 U.S. fatal dog attacks.4 Pit bulls were responsible for 56% (88) of these deaths. This is equivalent to a pit bull killing an American citizen every 21.5 days during this time period.5 Rottweilers, the second leading killer and positioned far behind pit bulls, accounted for 15% (23) of these deaths. Combined, pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 70% (111) of attacks that resulted in the death of a U.S. citizen.
|Year||Total Deaths||Pit Bulls||Rottweilers|
|2010 (67 days)||10||6||2|
2This number is often misquoted as 12 by researchers, reporters and the CDC itself. Attorney Kenneth Phillips lays out an excellent argument as to why this number is actually 17. To summarize, it is more accurate to combine the multiple fatal dog attack reports during the 18-year period from 1979 to 1996, which shows that 304 U.S. citizens died from these attacks. This is an average of 17 deaths per year. It must also be noted that the 20-year CDC report (1979 to 1998) only focuses on deaths where breed identification is known (238), not the total number of persons killed by dogs during this time, and if one divides 238 by 20, the number 12 appears again.
3The 20-year CDC report (1979 to 1998) shows that pit bulls and their mixes killed 76 U.S. citizens, an average of 4 per year. In the last five years alone, pit bulls and their mixes killed 82 individuals, an average of 16 per year.
4Data was gathered through media accounts that were available at the time of the attack or found through Internet archives. A copy of each news article pertaining to each death is available at the "Bite Statistics > Fatality Citations" section of DogsBite.org.
55 years (1,825 days) plus 67 days in the year 2010.
2009 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - DogsBite.org
2008 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - DogsBite.org
2007 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - DogsBite.org
2006 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - DogsBite.org
2005 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - DogsBite.org