Nonprofit Captured 75% of Breed Identification Images in 2022
Photographs of six fatally attacking dogs in 2022 obtained from multiple sources.
Jump down to view all 2022 breed identification photographs or read our analysis first.
DogsBite.org - In 2013, we began the tradition of publishing breed identification photographs of fatally attacking dogs when available through news reports, animal control agencies, police departments, social media and public information requests. Of the 54 dog bite fatalities recorded in 2022, 44% (24) had some form of an identification photograph. Our nonprofit was responsible for capturing 75% of them. Pit bulls and their mixes represent 63% of images collected in 2022.
Of the 24 cases with breed identification photographs, 42% (10) comprised images captured or republished by news media; 79% (19) comprised images located on social media pages of the dog's owner or family members; and 75% (18) comprised images that were the result of DogsBite research and otherwise may have gone unpublished. Police and animal control agencies released breed images in 3 cases, yet 65% of all deaths (35 of 54) involved dogs taken into quarantine.1
(Percentages are higher than 100% due to a single death containing multiple dog images, each attributed to a different source, as well as images that fall into overlapping publishing categories.)
Identification Photographs (2013-2022)
From 2013 to 2022, images captured by our nonprofit have risen from 26% to 75%. Images captured by media have fallen from 79% to 42%.
Chart shows 10 years of breed identification photograph collection between 2013 and 2022.
Unreleased Breed Data 2022
The most controversial aspect in 2022 is that authorities did not release breed information in one-third of all cases, 33% (18). We were able to obtain breed photographs in 5 of these cases, but photographs for 2 had to be suppressed from this post. Of the 18 cases where breed data was not released, 56% (10) involved restrictive data, such as, fatal attacks on Indian reservations and unwitnessed attacks. For this reason, the quarantine status in 7 deaths in 2022 is "unknown."
About 22% of the fatally attacking dogs were shot at the scene in 2022, which often diminishes the ability to collect breed identification images.
Additional characteristics of the 18 cases where authorities did not release breed data include: 78% of victims are adults ≥ 25 years old; 67% of victims are classified as marginalized; 61% of attacks occurred in or near a city with a population of less than 10,000; 72% occurred in the Southern United States; 17% occurred on Indian reservations and 3 cases involved pit bulls. In 10 other cases, pit bulls were suspected. Thus, 72% of these cases could have involved pit bulls.
Breed Misidentification Conflicts
Several breed identification conflicts arose in 2022. They began with "Gladys of the Glades," a 125-pound mastiff-type dog that killed a volunteer at a southern Florida rescue facility in February. Authorities identified the dog only as a "mixed-breed," despite the dog's weight, coloring (blue) and physical characteristics. One volunteer at the rescue identified the dog as an American bully (XL), which makes sense, given that the XL can be a mixture of pit bull and Neapolitan mastiff.
XL bully breeders in southern Florida should also be taken into account, especially given the female dog's extreme size. For example, note this "Rockefeller" line and his large offspring at this Miami area breeder, who aims to "create the biggest, widest XL bully puppies with massive bones and heads." The Neapolitan mastiff influence is quite pronounced in some of these dogs. Gladys is certainly a mixed-breed, but it is a disservice to remove "mastiff" or "bully" from her breed-type.
Double Fatal Mauling in Alabama
We may never learn the breeds involved in the back-to-back fatal dog maulings of two women in Franklin County, Alabama, who were killed by the same dog pack 1.5 days apart. The owner of the dogs, Brandy Dowdy, reportedly had upwards of 25 dogs on the property and was a devoted pit bull advocate. Dowdy is currently facing two counts of manslaughter, and a slew of other offenses in connection to the deaths of 58-year old Summer Beard and 44-year old Michele Sheeks.
Further, Beard's estate is now suing Franklin County, two animal control officers, four officers from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, the Franklin County Emergency Communications District and the Franklin County 911 Center due to their bungled investigation. The attacking dog pack should have been seized after the first attack. According to the lawsuit, Beard went to Dowdy's property the day after Sheeks was attacked under the belief that authorities had already seized the dogs.
Double Fatal Mauling in Tennessee
There was no breed identity controversy after a pair of family pit bulls killed two children, 5-month old Hollace Bennard and 2-year old Lilly Bennard, and left their mother with severe injuries. The father had previously called his two XL pit bulls, "house lions," and both parents advocated for the pit bull breed on their social media pages. What was controversial, and remains so today, is that these XL pit bulls, both likely papered, and their bloodlines were not scrutinized in media reports.
The female pit bull, "Mia," came from the King Lion bloodline, a dog that is billed as "the Godfather of the XXL Movement," serving as the foundation stock for many kennels. The owner of King Lion advertises his dogs as "lions on leashes." Thus, the father's reference to "house lions," was descriptive, but also may have been a reference to the bloodline in one or both of his dogs. After two children were killed by these dogs, their bloodlines should have been publicly scrutinized.
In 2022, 44% of dog bite fatality cases had some form of a breed identification photograph, the lowest percentage recorded by our nonprofit since 2013, and a fall from the 9-year average of 63% (2013 to 2021). Certainly, the 18 cases in which authorities did not release breed information heavily contributed to our lowered collection of breed identification images in 2022. Of the 24 cases that did have breed identity photographs, our nonprofit captured three quarters of them.
The Covid years (2020 to 2022) show a continued decline in capturing breed identity photos, falling from 84% collection in 2019 to 44% in 2022.
Finally, likely due to 10 cases where authorities did not release breed data in 2022, and pit bulls were suspected in each one, based upon information we obtained about the dog's owner or other case details, the pit bull death count fell from 36 deaths in 2021 to 25 deaths in 2022. That is a significant drop and can be seen most easily on the breed identification chart (2013-2022). The green line sharply falls in 2022. There may not ever be a way to capture this breed data either.
2022 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs
Charlotte Hollman - Gulf Breeze, Florida
Photo of fatally attacking family French mastiff-mix, "Roxy" (social media & dogsbite)
Saad Al-Anazi - Las Cruces, New Mexico
Photos of two fatally attacking male German shepherds (social media & dogsbite)
Olivia Floyd - Waynesboro, Virginia
Photos of fatally attacking male family rottweiler, "Ranger" (social media & dogsbite)
Lola Farr - Columbia, Mississippi
Photo of fatally attacking male family pit bull, "Ace" (social media & dogsbite)
Pam Robb - Oakland Park, Florida
Photos of fatally attacking mastiff-type rescue dog (news media, social media & dogsbite)
Drué Parker - Baytown, Texas
Photos of one of four fatally attacking family pit bulls belonging to relatives (news media)
Serenity Garnett - Martinez, Georgia
Photos of fatally attacking American bulldog-mix, "Blade" (social media & dogsbite)
Debbie Boyd - Seymour, Tennessee
Photo of family rottweiler used as victim's Facebook profile (social media & dogsbite)
Nicolas Vasquez - Harris County, Texas
Photos of two of three fatally attacking pit bull-mixes (news media & animal control)
Apollo Duplantis - New Orleans, Louisiana
Photos of family bull breed-mix seen on mother's Facebook page (social media & dogsbite)
Freddy Garcia - Fort Bend County, Texas
Photos of two pit bull-mixes involved in the pack attack (news media, social media & dogsbite)
Marina Verriest - Albertson, New York
Photos of fatally attacking family pit bull, "Zeus" (news media, social media & dogsbite)
Richard "Hutch" Barry - Selma, California
Photos of two of five fatally attacking English bulldogs (news media, social media & dogsbite)
Joan Caffiel - Las Vegas, Nevada
Photos of fatally attacking male family pit bull, "Buc" (news media, social media & dogsbite)
Mindy Kiepe - Rossie, Iowa
Photos of a female great dane seen on victim's Facebook page (social media & dogsbite)
Pamela Rock - Putnam County, Florida
Photos of fatally attacking American bulldog-mixes and pit bull-mixes (sheriff's office)
Rusty Burris - Polk County, Tennessee
Photos of fatally attacking male family pit bull (social media & dogsbite)
Mary Gehring - Golden, Colorado
Photos of one of two fatally attacking family pit bulls, "Knoxy" (social media & dogsbite)
Hollace Bennard - Millington, Tennessee
Photos of two fatally attacking family XL pit bulls (social media & news media)
Lilly Bennard - Millington, Tennessee
Photos of two fatally attacking family XL pit bulls (social media & news media)
Rosetta Gesselman - Troup County, Georgia
Photos of female pit bull and offspring on owner's Facebook page (social media & dogsbite)
Samuel Sullivan - West Memphis, Arkansas
Photos of two of 14 dogs seized from the dog owner's property (news media)
Post Publication Identification Photographs
Breed identification photographs discovered after the publication of this post on January 20, 2023. These photographs are not included in our overall analysis; they were unavailable at that time.
Melanie Catley - Hampstead, North Carolina
Photos of both fatally attacking chained dogs obtained through a FOIA (dogsbite)
How We Track Photograph Sources
We track the identification photograph's original source. There may be multiple images of a dog, thus multiple sources may be attributed to a single death. We also track where the image was published. For instance, after Richard Barry's attack, local media outlets obtained video footage of the dogs being captured. We obtained an image of one of those dogs, "Chelsea," on the breeder's Instagram page. Thus, the images were sourced to news media, social media and DogsBite.org.
What is simpler to measure in our tracking and analysis is the rising number of breed identification photographs located on social media, from only 16% of all collected images in 2013 to 79% in 2022, a 394% rise. It is also easy to see the routinely low number of images provided by law enforcement even though the majority of dogs after a fatal attack are held in a quarantine facility. Police released identification photographs after 3 deaths this year, 13%, of cases with images.
Photograph Tracking Categories
- DogsBite.org published only; no news media republished the photograph
- U.S. news media supplied original photograph and/or republished photograph
- Social media website supplied breed identification photograph
- Law enforcement or animal control department supplied photograph
- Canines shot to death at the scene of a fatal dog attack
- Canines held in a quarantine facility after a fatal dog attack
01/12/22: 2021 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs - DogsBite.org
01/12/21: 2020 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs - DogsBite.org
01/07/20: 2019 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs - DogsBite.org
01/08/19: 2018 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs - DogsBite.org
08/31/15: Who Can Identify a Pit Bull? A Dog Owner of 'Ordinary Intelligence'...
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.