Review: Three dog bite fatalities between 2022-2023 unreported by media.
DogsBite.org - We summarize three cases of people killed by dogs between 2022 and 2023, where no media reports or police press releases were published. Our discovery of each death came from a citizen who contacted us. We then submitted FOIA requests to the responding sheriff's offices. Two deaths occurred in Florida; 2 deaths occurred in rural areas (< 5,000 population); 2 deaths involved men 68-years and older, and all 3 deaths occurred on the owner's property and involved family dogs.
Multiple cases remain pending, including 3 dog bite fatalities in 2023, and at least 2 deaths in 2022 that lacked media reports. Additional John and Jane Doe cases have been reported to us since 2020 that we cannot FOIA due to lack of information. In 2021, we recorded 6 unconfirmed deaths, which we define as, "a high probability of a fatal dog mauling given the information we have received, but a low to zero probability of our obtaining confirmation" due to an inability to FOIA or state privacy laws."1
Since 2011, we have obtained verification for 26 non-media reported dog bite fatalities. 54% of these deaths occurred after the onset of the pandemic in 2020, when media reports and police press releases of fatal dog attacks declined, but the attacks escalated. Even CDC issued a report last fall showing the increasing number of people killed by dogs. Of the 26 verified cases without media reports, 77% involved a family dog killing a household member and 73% involved 1 or more pit bulls.
Gulf Breeze, Florida
January 25, 2022
Summary: Baby Charlotte, 3-months old, was killed by a family dog. Santa Rosa County sheriff's office deputies were dispatched to the 2700 block of Sanibel Place at approximately 11:48 am in response to a dog bite to an infant. Upon arrival, deputies observed EMS preparing to transport the baby to Baptist Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The autopsy report listed cause of death as "multiple bite force traumatic injuries of the head." The manner of death was an accident. During a sworn audio recorded interview conducted with the infant's mother, she told the deputy that the female French mastiff-mix, "Roxy," had not been aggressive with anyone. Prior to the attack, the mother was lying in bed with her baby, who was sleeping. She got up to use the bathroom and left Charlotte on the bed. About a minute later, she heard a noise coming from the bedroom. She exited the bathroom and saw Charlotte's head in the dog's mouth. The mother swatted at the dog, causing it to drop her baby. She then called 911. There were no media reports about this attack.
"She was in the bathroom for approximately a minute before she heard a sound coming from the bedroom. xxxxxx described it as a noise coming from the bed which Charlotte would not have been capable of producing. She came out of the bathroom and observed Charlotte’s head in Roxy’s mouth. xxxxxx swatted at Roxy which caused her to drop Charlotte and then ran out of the room ... I attended Charlotte’s autopsy and observed her injuries after the bandages were removed. Charlotte had a deep penetrating wound on the left side of her head ... There were other smaller penetrating wounds around this wound. There were corresponding wounds on the bottom of her head which also penetrated her skull. It appeared her injuries were from multiple bite marks and not a single bite." - Portions of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office Incident Report
Lake Placid, Florida
September 7, 2022
Summary: Ronald Adams, 79-years old, was killed by his newly adopted pit bulls. Highlands County sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the 600 block of Bell Place at 2:12 pm to conduct a welfare check. Adams was found dead on the dining room floor. "The decedent's right arm had its flesh removed to the bone from the shoulder to the hand," states a report from the Highlands County Sheriff's Office. Two pit bull-mixes were inside the home. The male dog was covered "from the face towards it's tail with blood." A day earlier, the dogs had killed a cat at the residence. Both dogs had recently been adopted from the Humane Society of Highlands County, where Adams had been a volunteer in the past. He "had to stop due to health issues," states the report. Adams died of "multiple lacerations and puncture wounds to upper limbs with loss of soft tissue and muscle due to being attacked by canine(s)." A contributing factor was atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, states the report. The manner of death was an accident. There were no media reports about this attack.
"xxxxxx stated the decedent recently adopted a dog from the Highlands County Humane Society and made the comment, "I hope the dog didn't get him". xxxxxx advised the decedent already had a dog who was friendly but the dog he recently adopted could be aggressive. She further advised the decedent went to the hospital a few weeks ago because one of the dogs knocked him over and he hit his head as a result of the fall. xxxxxx stated there was also an incident yesterday where the adopted dog had killed a cat at the residence ... While speaking with the neighbor who requested the welfare check, xxxxxx, she advised Ronald had recently adopted two large dogs from the humane society and she was in fear that the dogs were too much for Ronald ... An unhooked dog collar was found next to Ronald's body ... The male dog was missing his collar, this leads me to believe the male dog is the one that attacked Ronald." - Portions of the Highlands County Sheriff's Office's Incident Report
Based upon narratives provided in the GoFundMe and the sheriff's report, it was roughly a two week period between the adoption and the fatal attack.2 As seen in a 2016 Facebook post, the couple had owned a rescue pit bull before. But this time, and at the age of 79, Adams adopted two large pit bull-mixes while his partner was away. During that time, he underwent a hospital visit because one of the dogs knocked him down, the dogs killed a cat at his home and one day later, they killed Adams.
The Humane Society of Highlands County (HSHC) is a "no-kill for space" nonprofit that "strives to provide temporary safe refuge for the unwanted animals of Highlands County," states their tax filings. They do not receive government funding. But with revenue of over $1 million annually and 1,431 adoptions in 2022, they qualify for our list. HSHC now joins 17 tax-funded shelters in the United States since 2014 that have adopted out or transferred a dog to a rescue that subsequently killed a person.
Shelter Dog Inflicted Deaths (Tax-Funded)
- 2023 - Spokane Co. Regional Animal Protection Service (WA) - Colton Kline, 4-years old
- 2021 - Animal Services Center, Mesilla Valley (NM) - Avery Jackson-Dunphy, 6-years old
- 2021 - Wake County Animal Center (NC) - Jayden Henderson, 7-years old
- 2020 - Miami-Dade Animal Services (FL) - Carolyn Varanese, 84-years old
- 2019 - Humane Society of St. Lucie County (FL) - Christine Liquori, 52-years old
- 2018 - Pinellas County Animal Services (FL) - Infant Khloe Williams
- 2018 - The Animal Foundation (NV) - Susan Sweeney, 58-years old
- 2018 - Logan County Pound (WV) - Robin Conway, 64-years old
- 2018 - Henderson Animal Shelter (NV) - Bradley Cline, 62-years old
- 2017 - El Paso Animal Services (TX) - Jacob Brooks, 4-years old
- 2017 - New York City Animal Care Centers (NY) - Margaret Colvin, 91-years old
- 2017 - Kent County Animal Shelter (MI) - Infant Susannah Murray
- 2016 - San Diego Humane Society (CA) - Infant Sebastian Caban
- 2015 - Jackson-Madison County Pound (TN) - Anthony Riggs, 57-years old
- 2015 - Asheville Humane Society (NC) - Joshua Strother, 6-years old
- 2015 - Rochester Animal Services (NY) - Anthony Wind, 26-years old
- 2014 - Branford Animal Shelter (CT) - Rita Pepe, 93-years old
Shelter Dog Inflicted Deaths (Private-Funded)
- 2022 - Humane Society of Highlands County (FL) - Ronald Adams, 79-years old
February 10, 2023
Summary: Duane Osadchuk, 68-years old, was mauled and killed by multiple dogs. The fatal attack occurred inside a residence at around 2:00 pm in the 200 block of County Road 4777 in Warren, where Osadchuk had been staying. The autopsy report from the Forensic Medical Management Services of Beaumont states the cause of death was "multiple sharp and blunt force injuries." The manner of death "is best deemed accident," states the report. On August 9, 2023 the Tyler County Sheriff's Office denied our nonprofit's public information request, stating the case was still pending. About a year before the fatal dog mauling of Osadchuk, at the same residence, Tyler County sheriff's deputies issued a dangerous dog citation to then 44-year old Robert Gryder for multiple loose and aggressive dogs, an episode that was captured on an outdoor surveillance camera. There were no media reports about this fatal attack when it occurred. A local resident reported it to our nonprofit on February 12, 2023. Osadchuk, originally from North Dakota, was a United States Army veteran.
Some days after the East Texas News article was published, Gryder posted to his Facebook page, "F##king weirdos put me in the news paper behind 14 dogs that I had to TERMINATE immediately IN FRONT OF THE SHERIFF'S" (sic). He claimed that his dogs -- which are large mixed-breeds3 -- only chased squirrels and that he had cameras all around his house. "NOT ONE TIME HAVE MY DOGS TRIED TO ATTACK OR PLAY WITH THE KIDS WALKING FROM SCHOOL OR GETTING OFF THE BUS!"
In a foreshadowing moment, two days before the fatal attack, Gryder shared more about his routine. He explains that between 6:30 am to 7:45 am and 3:30 pm to 4:00 pm, while children walk to and from the bus stop, he secures his pack of 14 dogs. "After 4:45 they get to run the yard," he wrote. "Be aware of your surroundings, and the people around you," he wrote. But apparently be mindless to an elderly person in your own home with your dog pack that he describes as his "football team of dogs."
Gryder's rental property on County Road 4777 adjoins the Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve, which is a mix of Big Thicket habitats on the east side of Lake Hyatt. One year before the fatal attack, surveillance cameras from the Watson Preserve captured Gryder's dogs bolt off-property and menace a group of volunteers at the preserve. At least six volunteers filed complaints to the Tyler County Sheriff's Office (TCSO), which is when deputies issued Gryder the dangerous dog citation.
A Tyler County Commissioners Court was held on August 14, 2023. Watson Preserve board members Jim Willis and Pauline Singleton spoke at the meeting. Gryder's dogs had been harassing people on the preserve since 2021. Repeated complaints about his aggressive dog pack had been made to authorities to no avail, the dogs killed a man inside Gryder's home in February 2023, yet the problem persisted. After Gryder shot all or most of his pack of 14 dogs on February 10, he acquired new dogs.
Our FOIA to TCSO was denied on August 9, 2023, citing "a pending case." It was denied again on November 20, citing "this case was turned over to the district attorney." The good news, is that on November 17, Gryder and his girlfriend were evicted, "due to unfortunate circumstances." Suddenly, they had to get rid of their 11 dogs, which they falsely claimed were "rescue dogs." Hopefully now, volunteers and visitors to the Watson Preserve will no longer be harassed by Gryder's pack of dogs.
"There were at least 6 of us who filled out complaint forms and turned them over to the sheriff’s deputy who was sent out in response to a phone call ... Evidently a ticket was written for a dangerous dog. The deputy told us there was nothing that law enforcement could do until the dogs' bit somebody. Well, they finally did. I want to summarize some of the pathologist’s findings. There were lacerations on both hands, predominantly on the dorsal side of the hands ... There were 48 lacerations/tears and puncture wounds on face, neck, forehead and scalp. There were punctures on the chest, back and abdomen. A 12-inch tear on the abdomen exposed his intestine ... Both arms had the muscle torn off exposing the bones. A foot had crushed bones and toes missing. This man died a terrible death." - Portions of Pauline Singleton's statement
As one can see, even when we do have enough information to submit a FOIA, it can still be denied. This is due to that state's public records act -- some states even block out-of-state requests. The most common denials are due to an "ongoing criminal investigation" or privacy laws. Two of the cases we summarized occurred in Florida, a state with a strong public records act. Two cases involved adult victims too, because cases involving minors are often protected by statutory privacy exemptions.
We are more likely to capture dog bite fatalities that are unreported by media when the victim is an adult (≥40) that resides in certain states.
Of the 26 non-media reported dog bite fatalities we have verified through FOIAs or other means since 2011, over half, 54%, occurred after the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, when media reports and police press releases of fatal dog maulings declined, but the number of attacks rose. 69% of these victims were 40-years and older. 50% of these victims resided in California, Florida, and Michigan, which are high population states, and for our purposes, have a good public records response rate.
2From the GoFundMe: "My companion wanted to get another pit bull for over a year since we had put down both old dogs during the last year. I did NOT want another dog especially with the ferals and my little dog. I went out of town with my little dog to visit family and my companion was to care for cats for 2 weeks. He told neighbors he was scared to be home alone & was going to surprise me with a dog (he knew I didn’t want another dog hence the reason he never told me). He adopted 2 pit bulls (long story about why he ended up with 2) and the Tuesday before I was to return, the 2 dogs killed one feral cat. He didn’t tell me when I called to check in - he merely asked when I was coming home. The next day, Wednesday, around 4 pm I got a call from sheriff’s department that my companion was dead so I needed to come back immediately. I thought he had heart attack or the like. I was shocked to returned to a house full of blood. The dogs weren’t there & have since been put down (which also breaks my heart)."
3Since 2019, Gryder has posted multiples photos of his different packs of dogs. In 2019, it's a pack of pit bulls. The most recent possible pit bull-mix, "Big Hank" was posted on March 26, 2022 (5:46 am) -- later that same day (11:40 am) some of his dogs escape his property and harass volunteers at the preserve. On the Big Hank post, Gryer tags his buddies Black Diamond Kennels and Olympian Gamefarm -- both kennels breed and sell game-bred pit bulls, according to promotions on their Facebook pages. Black Diamond Kennels also appears in gamedog pedigrees, and a notable post, "Not for the Bshitters" published on December 22, 2022, which shows a bloody dogfighting pit and a game-bred pit bull. It's unclear if "Big Hank" came from either kennel, but Gryder is into "top of the line catch dogs." Gryder also has packs of tree walker coonhounds and catahoulas (and combinations thereof), all prior to the February 10, 2023 fatal dog attack. After he shot and killed most of his pack "IN FRONT OF THE SHERIFF'S," he acquired more dogs that his girlfriend called "catahoula and terrier."
02/12/24: Testimony from Duane Osadchuk's Brother Gary at Tyler County Commissioner's Court
04/18/23: Macro-Level Forces Report: Covid Impacts of 2021 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Capture Rate...
09/23/22: Macro-Level Forces Report: Covid Impacts of 2020 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Capture Rate...