Fatal Dog Attack Statistics
DogsBite.org recorded 33 fatal dog attacks in 2010.1 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 162 U.S. citizens. The only other known entity, in addition to DogsBite.org, that tracks this vital data publicly is Animal People.2
2010 Dog Bite Fatalities
- 33 U.S. fatal dog attacks occurred in 2010. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 600 U.S. cities, pit bulls led these attacks accounting for 67% (22). Pit bulls make up approximately 5% of the total U.S. dog population.3
- In 2010, the combination of pit bulls (22) and rottweilers (4) accounted for 79% of all fatal attacks. In the 6-year period from 2005 to 2010, this same combination accounted for 72% (131) of the total recorded deaths (182).
- The combined breakdown between the two breeds is substantial. From 2005 to 2010, pit bulls killed 106 Americans, about one citizen every 21 days, versus rottweilers, which killed 25 Americans, about one citizen every 88 days.
- 2010 data shows that 61% (20) of the attacks occurred to children (11 years and younger) and 39% occurred to adults. Of the children, 75% (15) occurred to ages 4 and younger. Within this same age group, males represented 60% of the victims.
- 2010 data also shows that 33% (11) of the fatal incidents involved multiple dogs.4 Nearly a third, 30% (10), involved breeding on the dog owner's property either actively or in the recent past, and 9% (3) involved chained dogs.
- Dog ownership information for 2010 shows that family dogs comprised 73% (24) of the attacks that resulted in death; 88% (29) of these incidents occurred on the dog owner's property and 12% (4) occurred off the owner's property.
- The state of California led fatalities in 2010 with 7 deaths; pit bulls contributed to 83% (6). Florida followed with 3 deaths and Georgia, Illinois, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas each had 2 deaths.
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
4Modified from 12 to 11 June 30, 2011 to reflect new data revealed by the Kyle Holland investigation.
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)?