DogsBite Blog https://blog.dogsbite.org Some dogs don't let go Sun, 09 Aug 2020 06:28:54 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Baby Killed by Family Pit Bull While Under the Care of his Grandmother in Akron, Ohio https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/08/baby-killed-by-family-pit-bull-in-akron-ohio.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/08/baby-killed-by-family-pit-bull-in-akron-ohio.html#comments Sat, 08 Aug 2020 17:13:19 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=16730 A 7-month old boy is dead after being mauled by a family pit bull in Akron, Ohio. Baby Killed by Dog Akron, OH - A baby boy is dead after being mauled by a pit bull, according to Akron police. … Continue reading

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pit bull kills child in akron
A 7-month old boy is dead after being mauled by a family pit bull in Akron, Ohio.

Baby Killed by Dog
Akron, OH - A baby boy is dead after being mauled by a pit bull, according to Akron police. At about 3:48 pm Friday, officers were dispatched to a home in the 1300 block of South Hawkins Avenue in West Akron to assist paramedics at the scene. Officers found the baby and the grandmother had been injured by the dog. The child was transported to Akron Children's Hospital, where he died. The grandmother's injuries were minor; she refused treatment at the scene.

The child was under the care of his grandmother when the dog attacked, police said. It is unclear if the child lived at the home or if he was visiting his grandmother's home. No details about the circumstances of the attack were available late Friday. Summit County Animal Control seized the animal. An autopsy will be conducted on the child Saturday, according to the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office. The boy will likely be identified when the cause of death is released.

This child's death by a family pit bull comes after a string of similar deaths this summer. Brice Sanders, 2-years old, was killed by a pit bull while visiting a home in California. Jonah Jellison, 1-year old, was killed by a loose pit bull in Texas. Marley Wilander, 1-year old, was killed by a pit bull during the night while her family attended a July 4th party in Illinois. Scarlett Pereira, 1-year old, was killed by a pit bull while under the care of her grandparents in Rhode Island on July 16.

The other fatal pit bull mauling that occurred in Ohio this year is the death of 4-month old McKenzie Terwell in Dayton, Ohio in January. We expect criminal charges in the coming months. At the time of the baby's death, the mother was asleep on the couch after taking three prescription medications. When the baby's father returned home, he found the infant dead on the floor. Before police arrived, the father told officers he had thrown a Marijuana bong into the kitchen trashcan.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: Ohio Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
01/15/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Kills 4-Month Old Baby Girl in Dayton, Ohio


Baseline reporting requirements:
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.

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Teenager Suffers Critical Injuries, Crushed Trachea, in Violent Pit Bull Attack in Burrow's County, Georgia https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/08/teenager-suffers-crushed-trachea-violent-pit-bull-attack-georgia.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/08/teenager-suffers-crushed-trachea-violent-pit-bull-attack-georgia.html#comments Fri, 07 Aug 2020 20:53:24 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=16684 Joslyn Stinchcomb, 15, suffered critical injuries and a crushed trachea in pit bull attack. Medical Condition Updates Winder, GA - Last Friday, Joslyn Stinchcomb, 15-years old, was walking in her neighborhood near Bowman Mill Road NE when two pit bulls … Continue reading

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joslyn stinchcomb crushed trachea
Joslyn Stinchcomb, 15, suffered critical injuries and a crushed trachea in pit bull attack.

Medical Condition Updates
Winder, GA - Last Friday, Joslyn Stinchcomb, 15-years old, was walking in her neighborhood near Bowman Mill Road NE when two pit bulls belonging to a neighbor escaped their owner's property and viciously attacked her. The dogs attacked her head, neck and body; they crushed her trachea, ripped off her scalp and an ear. Joslyn continues to undergo multiple reconstructive surgeries and has been transferred to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, where long-term treatment is planned.

Among the horrific injuries she endured, doctors continue to try to reconstruct her badly damaged trachea. Doctors placed a stint in her airway to keep it open, and hopefully allow her to breath through it. Currently, she is able to breath due to having a tracheotomy procedure. The girl's grandmother, Sandra Stinchcomb, who is her legal guardian, and her aunt, Charity Stinchcomb Montgomery, provide regular updates to a Facebook group that our nonprofit has joined.

On August 6, Sandra provided another update. "It has been just over 6 days since Joslyn was attacked. Since then she has been in surgery for nearly 24 hours. The majority of this time has been spent to reconstruct and restore her a viable airway," she said. Sandra also described Joslyn's injuries as being worse than a horror movie. "Nothing I have ever seen, in EMT school or on any horror movie is as disturbing and graphic as seeing what these demons did to Joslyn."

"Then came the pictures of the skull. Nothing could have prepared me for that and no words can describe just how horrific they are. With this, we are being told it could be several months before she will be ready to see if they can try to get skin grafts to take. Right now Paul and I are just broken." - Sandra Stinchcomb, 08/06/2020

The family was originally told the tracheotomy could come out in about a month. However, doctors are unsure now how long it could be. Doctors "are saying it could be months, years, or possibly not ever that her tracheotomy can be removed. They are not certain if she will ever talk again and even if she does, her voice won’t be the same." Sandra asks people to continue to pray for Joslyn’s recovery and pray for her medical teams. This "is so far from being over," she said.

In an earlier update, Charity said that Joslyn will never have hair again. "As we have previously shared, Joslyn’s trachea was crushed and lacerated. She had surgery to repair it but it will take weeks to heal." The dogs "also grabbed her hair hard enough to pull her entire scalp off. She only has a small portion of skin left on her head. At this moment she does not have any hair left. She will never have her hair again." It will be over a year before those discussions can even begin.

Joslyn’s family is accepting donations at the #StayStrongJoslyn PayPal page.

Classic City News is also following the family's private Facebook group and is providing regular updates. Please check there for additional updates about Joslyn's current medical condition.

joslyn stinchcomb pit bull attack

Joslyn Stinchcomb, 15, seen in hospital after being attacked by two pit bulls in Barrow County.


Owner of the Pit Bulls

Fox 5 Atlanta recently spoke to Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith, whose deputies responded to the horrific attack scene. "She's been in and out of induced commas, has a lot of damage to her spine and her throat and she's also got some plastic surgery issues as well. She's a fighter, but she's got a long road to recovery," Sheriff Smith said. "She had grit and asphalt under her fingernails where she was pulling away from these dogs and they were pulling back at her."

When deputies arrived at the scene, they found the teenager lying facedown against a cement curb, while one pit bull was grabbing her neck and the other was biting the girl's head, Classic City News reports. Deputies shot one dog in the head. That dog fled and the other released its grip and also fled. Deputies tracked the dogs back to the owner's home. Alexandria Torregrossa, 29-years old, was arrested for reckless conduct after she returned home, according to a police report.

"The reason she was charged with reckless conduct was it was determined the dogs were not properly secured and ran out the back door of the house and viciously attacked the victim," Sheriff Smith said. In the State of Georgia, reckless conduct is a misdemeanor that carries up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine. In the State of Texas, this exact same off-property attack that nearly resulted in fatal injuries would be a felony and the owner would face up to 10 years in jail.

Barrow County Animal Control euthanized both dogs. The owner's Facebook page shows two large pit bulls, a male and female. Both were altered in 2016, according to the owner. The male, Capone, was altered first, because "he had been acting out more than ever," Torregrossa wrote. Sterilizing a dog does not alter breed-specific behavior and in this case, it did not reduce the need to roam either. The only benefit is that neither of these pit bulls can continue to reproduce.

Torregrossa is yet another exhausted cliché pit bull owner. Prior to her privatizing her Facebook photographs, we were able to capture several. In a January 2019 post, she states: "It's their world I'm just living in it." Torregrossa is admitting in this statement that she does not own her pit bulls -- her pit bulls own her. Torregrossa has little control over her dogs. In another exhausted cliché, Torregrossa had no clue why her puppies in 2015 were so fat. Folks, that's a belly full of worms.

pit bulls crush trachea, georgia teenager

The two pit bulls, a male and female, that violently attacked a teenager in Winder, Georgia.

Alexandria Torregrossa's pit bulls crushed a teenager's trachea

Alexandria Torregrossa's two "Gottiline" pit bulls inflicted catastrophic damage on Joslyn.


Related articles:
05/15/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Suspected Fatal Pit Bull Mauling in Crawford County, Georgia
05/10/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Doctor Killed by Suspected Roaming Dogs in Lyons, Georgia
04/28/20: Reward for Information Leading to Arrest and Indictment of Pit Bull Owner in Atlanta

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2020 Edition: 125 Behavior Terms for Shelter Dogs Decoded that Mask Aggression in Dogs Available for Adoption https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/07/125-behavior-terms-for-shelter-dogs-decoded.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/07/125-behavior-terms-for-shelter-dogs-decoded.html#comments Fri, 31 Jul 2020 17:22:34 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=16604 Coded Language and Shelter Jargon that Camouflage Aggression 2020 Edition: 125 behavior terms for shelter dogs decoded that mask aggression. Recent Investigation DogsBite.org - Since 2016, we have been examining how taxpayer-funded shelters conceal aggressive behaviors from adopters in order … Continue reading

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Coded Language and Shelter Jargon that Camouflage Aggression

125 Behavior Terms for Shelter Dogs Decoded
2020 Edition: 125 behavior terms for shelter dogs decoded that mask aggression.

Recent Investigation
DogsBite.org - Since 2016, we have been examining how taxpayer-funded shelters conceal aggressive behaviors from adopters in order to achieve the single metric 90% "save rate" of no-kill. Today, that goal has been upped to a 98% "save rate". In the last 4 years, there have been multiple investigations by news organizations exposing how some shelters are knowingly adopting out dangerous dogs to the public and do not disclose the bite history of the dog to the adopter.


Jump down to see our 125 behavior terms for shelter dogs decoded that mask aggression.


What became clear in our 2016 examination of Sonoma County Animal Shelter records is that anti-anxiety medications, such as Solliquin, are also being used to mask the dog's behaviors. This appears to have become routine as well. Last November, CBS LA investigators uncovered that some dogs up for adoption at Orange County Animal Care had a history of aggression, the shelter hid biting histories from adopters, and some dogs were drugged to mask their behavior.

During the interview, former Orange County Animal Care Director, Mike Kaviani, stated his reckless logic: "When you’re dating, on the first date do you say all the things that you're really trying to work on as a human being? No, you’re not airing that on the first date. Are you lying about that? Absolutely not." Kaviani resigned about a month later, just days before California became the second state in the nation to require shelters to disclose a dog's bite history to potential adopters.

"The worst possible scenario is if you had a bite dog that is being sedated to fool a prospective adopter." - Madeline Bernstein, SPCA LA

Who Architects the Shelter Terms

Prior to being hired by Orange County, Kaviani was the Director of "Lifesaving Operations" at Austin Pets Alive (APA), a no-kill entity that has a contract with Austin to ensure the city maintains its "no-kill" status. APA has also been investigated by the media for adopting out dangerous dogs, as has Pima County Animal Center while under the leadership of Kristen Hassen-Auerbach. In February 2018, both Kaviani and Auerbach gave presentations at the APA annual conference.1

  • The Decision to Kill for Behavior – Policy and Protocol (Kristen Auerbach, Mike Kaviani)
  • Almost There, How to Move up from 80% Live Release (Kristen Auerbach, Rebecca Guinn, Tawny Hammond)
  • Venturing Past 90%: Who are the Dogs in the Last 10% and How Do You Save Them? (Mike Kaviani, Marian Cannell)
  • Saving Dogs with Behavior Problems (Aimee Sadler, Mike Kaviani, Marian Cannell)
  • Dog Behavior (Aimee Sadler, Mike Kaviani, Aaron Caldwell, Marian Cannell, Carrie Morris)

Some of the very people, like Kaviani and Auerbach, who are on the national conference circuit teaching other shelter workers when to "Kill for Behavior" and "Venturing Past 90%" to save more shelter dogs (riddled with aggression) and "Saving Dogs with Behavior Problems" are the same people being investigated by news organizations for hiding bite histories from adopters and drugging dogs to conceal their aggression. Are they peddling practices that lead to lawsuits?2

No-kill philosophy groups like Austin Pets Alive, Austin Animal Center and Dogs Playing for Life (DPFL), who presented at that conference, also architect these terms. As the founder of DPFL stated, "This conference is going to give you the solutions to get through that 'really painful hump' to be really creative and find solutions other than euthanasia."3 Some of these "solutions" have devolved into deceptive language in advertisements, hiding bite histories and drugging dogs.

Four Years of Collecting Terms

Since 2016, we have been collecting shelter terms that use emotionally manipulative language or camouflage aggression in dogs available for adoption. Our list is not exhaustive; we selected the most common terms. If this jargon to obscure aggressive behavior was not bad enough, shelters are sedating dogs with drugs too, notably couched under "transitional medication," a shelter term that describes "take home" medications for the adopter, but does not disclose to the adopter why.

The over-arching goal of the reckless no-kill movement is to claim that the shelter environment is the source of virtually all aggressive behaviors.4 Terms such as barrier reactivity, cage crazy, kennel aggression, kennel stress, and the need for a dog to "decompress" after a shelter stay of any length, aptly describe this theme. In fact, there is a term used by no-kill to describe when a dog goes out of its way to attack while outside of the shelter environment: "offensive aggression."

Offensive aggression is the primary term used when the "shelter environment" cannot be blamed for the dog's aggressive behavior.

The distorted logic works as follows: Kennel aggression is due to being in a kennel, leash aggression is due to being leashed and dog aggression is due to the shelter building's structure (dogs in stacked kennels or facing each other). Therefore, most aggression seen in the shelter can be blamed on the environment itself. Thus, aggression displayed in the shelter -- complete with its own deceptive jargon -- is vastly different than aggression displayed in the community.

As you read through the shelter behavior terms, remember that only two states, Virginia and California, have a mandatory bite disclosure law. If you do not reside in either, you may interface with the below concealment terms and "drugged dogs" while visiting a taxpayer-funded shelter that has no obligation to disclose a dog's bite history. The only way to get "full disclosure" of the dog's behavior is to request in writing all uncensored behavior and medical records prior to adoption.


2020 Edition: 125 Behavior Terms for Shelter Dogs Decoded

There are a number of legitimate terms included that are used by animal behaviorists, trainers and shelter staff. These are included to help readers understand training/shelter terminology and the level of behavior risk. Our goal is to show readers legitimate terms, cloaking terms and deceptive language within adoption listings that indicate aggression and other risk factors. Also, a bold "Meaning" column (on the left) indicates the term came from an "actual" animal behaviorist.

There are different types and levels of aggression. The most dangerous ones include: Impulsive Aggression -- and all terms that try to mask this -- all terms marked "High" or "Very High" and any dog that is being sedated with anti-anxiety medication. Avoid these types of dogs at shelters or your family or pet could end up paying the cost. Requesting all uncensored behavior and medical records prior to adoption will be much easier than "returning" a shelter dog due to aggression.


2020 Edition: 125 Behavior Terms for Shelter Dogs Decoded
Meaning Risk Level Term Link
Aggression Mod-High Dog has "separation anxiety" - A term that can cloak severe aggression, like jumping out of a glass window. Link
Aggression Mod-High Dog has "kennel stress" or "shelter stress." Link
Aggression Mod-High Dog can be "pushy" with other dogs. Link
Aggression Mod-High Dog is "leash biting" or is a "leash biter." Link
Aggression Mod-High Dog is "grabby" with toys - Dog is resource guarding. Link
Aggression Mod-High Dog "needs proper introduction" to people. dog
Aggression Mod-High Dog has "poor kennel presence" or "poor kennel presentation" - Dog has kennel aggression. Link
Aggression Mod-High Dog has "barrier reactivity" - Dog has kennel aggression. Link
Aggression High Dog is an "orange dot" - A shelter marking system for the most problematic dogs; orange dots requires the help of the "Orange Dot Crew." Link
Aggression High If dog is a "red, blue or orange dot," it cannot be touched by any volunteer at the Austin Animal Center, a no-kill shelter. Unclear what shelter visitors are told. Link
Aggression High "Perfect dog" - Term always comes with "but" such as, it's a "perfect dog," but I can no longer trust it after it attacked me. Link
Aggression High We're trying to "reset dog back to his previous self." Decoded translates into extreme anxiety and resource guarding. Link
Aggression High Shelter will teach you "how to feed him so he doesn't feel protective of his food" - Dog is a resource guarder. Link
Aggression High Dog is "spunky" - Dog has aggressive flanking behavior. Link
Aggression High Dog likes to "body-crash" or is a "body-crasher." Link
Aggression High dog is "fence-fighting" or is a "fence fighter." Link
Aggression High Dog has "kennel aggression." Link
Aggression High Dog is "resource guarding." Link
Aggression High Dog is "food guarding." Link
Aggression High Dog is "alarm barking." Link
Aggression High Dog needs "transitional medication" - Behavioral medications that are sent home with adopter. Link
Aggression High Dog is "head shy." Link
Aggression High Dog is "fear reactive" that has "stolen many hearts" - The dog will attack people and pets and has been returned many times. Link
Aggression High Dog gets so excited, it "can't help but to jump on you." The dog is a potential a disaster. Link
Aggression High "Offensive aggression" - Describes aggression in a shelter dog that cannot be blamed on the shelter environment. Link
Aggression High Dog is a "ladies man" - The dog will attack men. Link
Aggression High Dog needs an "experienced owner." dog
Aggression High Dog came to shelter through "no fault of their own." dog
Aggression High "Defensive aggression" - Dog has no opportunity to choose flight, thus fighting is the only option. Link
Aggression High Dog is very "stressed being here" (at the shelter). Link
Aggression High Dog is "confused why she is here" (at the shelter). Link
Aggression High Dog "needs to decompress." Link
Aggression High Dog wants to become the "best dog we know she can be" - This means this dog is currently a disaster. Link
Aggression High Dog comes with "free lifetime behavior support" - This means this dog will always be a disaster. Link
Aggression High Dog is "strong willed" - Dog cannot be managed by an average dog owner. Link
Aggression High Dog has the "worst hard luck" story - Dog has been returned to the shelter 3 or more times. Link
Aggression High Dog is "still at the shelter" - Dog has been returned to shelter 3 or more times or is (urgent!) slated for euthanasia. Link
Aggression Very High Dog needs a "unicorn home." Dog is so animal-aggressive, anxious and a resource guarder that it can only tolerate a "fantasy" home with zero stimuli. Anti-anxiety medication is being sponsored for the dog. Link
Aggression Very High Dog "did not have one accident in my house." This indicates the dog had many "accidents," acts of aggression, previously in other homes. Link
Aggression Very High "Offensive aggression to humans" - Idiopathic aggression or low threshold dominance aggression. Link
Aggression Very High "Uninterruptible drive" - The dog will kill another dog on sight and will climb a fence to do it. Link
Aggression Scam Alert "Are you a Select family?" - Translates into "are you select enough" to own a problem dog? (Wine comparison hoax). Link
Aggression Scam Alert WCRASSelect Test - A "test" to determine which type of aggression is right for a family - (Wine comparison hoax). Link
Aggression Scam Alert Chardonnay - "Find guys scary" - Dog will attack men (Wine comparison hoax). Link
Aggression Scam Alert Riesling - "A hint of tartness, dog prefer no kids" (Wine comparison hoax). Link
Aggression Scam Alert "Unknown background" - Can indicate many things, including failing to tell adopter the dog has been returned 4 or 5 times. Link
Aggression Scam Alert Dog is a "staff pick" - Shelter is trying to offload a high-risk dog to the public. Link
Aggression Scam Alert Dog is a "staff favorite" - Shelter is trying to offload a high-risk dog to the public. Link
Aggression Scam Alert Dog is a "volunteer favorite" - Shelter is trying to offload a high-risk dog to the public. Link
Aggression Scam Alert Dog is a "velvet hippo" or "house hippo" - Shelter is trying to offload a high-risk pit bull to the public. Link
Animal Aggression Mod-High "Needs proper introduction" to dogs and cats. dog
Animal Aggression High Must be "only animal in home" - Dog will kill a dog or cat. Link
Animal Aggression High Must have a "low traffic, adult only home with no other pets" - Dog will kill a dog or cat. Link
Anxiety Mod-High Dog "needs to decompress." dog
Anxiety Mod-High Dog "needs time to warm up to new people." Link
Anxiety High Dog is "painting" - Dog is excretmenting all over the kennel, smearing it everywhere, spinning; "cage crazy." 2018 APA5
Anxiety High Dog is doing "arts and crafts" - Dog is excretmenting all over the kennel, smearing it everywhere, spinning; "cage crazy." 2018 APA6
Anxiety High Dog has "trust issues." Link
Anxiety High Dog has "PTSD." Link
Anxiety High Dog has "shelter anxiety" and "ongoing anxiety" Link
Anxiety Very High Dog is "vulnerable and apprehensive." Instead of fetching tennis balls, this dog destroys the ball then eats the pieces. Link
Anxiety Very High Dog is "kind of anxious" - Decoded translates into "extreme anxiety" even after "medication and behavior modification." Link
Anxiety Scam Alert Dog joined "elite #fosterwin club!" - Another gimmick "award." This dog has such extreme separation anxiety, his foster may be using a crate built for shipping "strong jawed" dogs in airplane cargo, upwards of $600 (CR-82 Compliant). Link
Cat Aggression Mod-High Dog needs a "dog-savvy cat." Link
Cat Aggression High Dog is "not cat-tested" - Dog could kill a cat. Link
Cat Aggression High Dog is "cat-selective" - Dog will kill some cats. dog
Cat Aggression Very High Dog is "waaayyy too interested in the furry creatures" - Dog will kill a cat. Link
Cat Aggression Very High Dog "doesn't like cats" - Dog will kill a cat. dog
Dog Aggression High The dog is "dog-reactive" - Dog-aggressive specific, as if it presents no danger to humans (redirecting onto a human, etc). Link
Dog Aggression High Dog "lacks self-confidence" - Decoded translates into dog has "dog aggression." Link
Dog Aggression High Dog was "kept in the bathroom" away from other dogs. Link
Dog Aggression High "Selective dog" behavior - Dog will kill some dogs. dog
Dog Aggression High Dog is "dog selective" - Dog will kill some dogs. dog
Dog Aggression Very High Dog is "reactive toward other dogs" - Dog will kill a dog. This dog's bite history was hidden from the adopter and was part of the CBS LA investigation into Orange County Animal Care. Link
Dog Aggression Very High Must be "only dog in home" - Dog will kill a dog. dog
Dog Aggression Very High Must be "only K9 baby in the house" - Dog will kill a dog. Link
Dog Aggression Scam Alert Merlot - Dog has "bold personality" and "dog savvy" - Dog is "dog selective" (Wine comparison hoax). Link
Dog Aggression Scam Alert Port - Dog will "turn their noses on dog parks" and believes in "moDOGamy" - one dog per family (Wine comparison hoax). Link
Dog aggression Scam Alert Dog is a "top dog trainee" - Shelter is trying to offload a high-risk dog to the public. "Floppy," is dog-aggressive, has a low children score and is too dangerous to be cat tested. Link
Drugged High Dog is taking Gabapentin - Anti-anxiety medication. Link
Drugged High Dog is taking Solliquin - Anti-anxiety medication. Link
Drugged High Dog is taking Trazodone - Anti-anxiety medication. Link
Escape Artist High Dog is a "runner" - Dog has a history of escaping. Link
Escape Artist High Dog has "great leaping ability" - Dog cannot be contained. Link
Failure to Test Mod-High Dog had a "Checkpoint" evaluation instead of an actual behavior assessment. 2018 APA7
Failure to Test Mod-High "I don't know" - A response to adopter's question of dog's behavior. Link
Fatal Attack Aggression Very High "Trigger stacking" - A fabricated term used by a professional to excuse a fatal dog mauling. Link
Handler Aggression High "Lacks self-confidence" - Decoded translates into dog has "aggression towards his person/handler." Link
Implusive Aggression High Must "limit his exposure to triggers" -- or the dog could explode into aggression. This dog did explode and severely attacked the author of the blog. Link
Implusive Aggression High Shelter will teach you how to get the "right routine down" - This translates into "limiting the dog's exposure to triggers." Link
Implusive Aggression High Dog needs "routine and structure" or "structure and consistency" - Both also translate into "limiting the dog's exposure to triggers," a list that could be exhaustive. Link
Implusive Aggression High Dog needs a "stable and structured" environment to stay "balanced." The 2019 advertisement omits that 8-year old "Bucky" had 4 different owners by 2012. Link
Implusive Aggression High Dog has had a "complicated road" - This is a "long stay" dog (over 60 days at the shelter), and indicates severe behavior problems, which the advertisement calls "all of his quirks." Link
Implusive Aggression High Dog has bad reactions to "loud noises and sudden movements." Link
Implusive Aggression Very High Dog has "toggle-switch" predatory aggression. Link
Implusive Aggression Very High Dog has impulsive "rage like" aggression. Link
Implusive Aggression Very High Dog has explosive, "disinhibited aggression." Link
Implusive Aggression Very High Impulsive aggression is "pathological." Link
Implusive Aggression Very High Dog has "lack of impulse control." Link
Implusive Aggression Very High Dog has "deficient impulse control." Link
Implusive Aggression Very High Dog has "deficient bite inhibition." Link
Implusive Aggression Very High Dog has "impulsive aggression" - Unpredictable aggression. Link
Implusive Aggression Very High Dog is "reactive" - Dog is aggressive and lacks impulse control. This dog killed a person hours after adoption. Link
Implusive Aggression Very High Dog is getting "more and more reactive." Kinks was part of the KVOA investigation into Pima Animal Care Center. The dog's kennel card only stated, "I need a dog introduction." Link
Implusive Aggression Very High Dog has "unpredictable aggression to humans." Link
Lacks basic obediance Mod-High Dog is still "learning some manners." Link
Lacks basic obediance High Dog "needs to learn manners." dog
Lacks basic obediance High Dog "can use some training." Link
Lacks basic obediance High Dog comes with "free obedience training." dog
Lacks Bite Inhibition Mod-High Dog exhibits "mouthiness." Link
Lacks Bite Inhibition Mod-High Dog is "mouthy" not aggressive. Link
Lacks Bite Inhibition Mod-High Dog has "persistent mouthing." Link
Over arousal Mod-High Dog has "bouncy play style." Link
Over arousal Mod-High Due to his "bounciness" children must be 8 years or older or dog is "too bouncy" for young children. Link
Over arousal Mod-High Dog is "rambunctious." Link
Over arousal High Dog is "overly-exuberant" - A term used by a senior state HSUS director after her dog killed a woman with a Level 6 bite. Link
Over arousal High Dog has a "happy, energetic tale" - dog hung self in kennel on collar; later tore her own cruciate ligament by kennel jumping. Link
Over arousal High Dog has "popping play style." Link
Over arousal High Dog is an "adventure buddy" or makes a "great jogging partner." Link
Over arousal High Dog needs to "work off my puppy energy." Link
Over arousal High Dog is "high energy." Link
Over arousal Very High Dog "can't be startled." Link
Over arousal Very High Dog knows the "agility course" - Dog has constant over arousal, jumping up and biting at staff. Link
Over arousal Very High Dog has "sudden over-arousal." Link
Over arousal Very High Dog is "chronically over-aroused." Link
Over arousal Very High Dog has "inability to self-dampen." Link
Over arousal Scam Alert Syrah - "Spicier than some" (Wine comparison hoax). Link
Stranger Aggression High Dog "lacks self-confidence" - Decoded translates into dog has "stranger aggression." Link
Stranger Aggression Very High "Stranger danger" - Dog will attack anyone visiting your home. Link
Uknown History Very High Dog "found roaming." Link

Cross-Coded as "Victimhood" - Painting Aggressive Dogs as "Victims"


2020 Edition: Shelter Terms Cross-Coded as "Victimhood"
Meaning Risk Level Term Link
Victimhood Very High "Trigger stacking" - A fabricated term used by a professional to excuse a fatal dog mauling. Link
Victimhood Very High Dog is "vulnerable and apprehensive." Instead of fetching tennis balls, this dog destroys the ball then eats the pieces. Link
Victimhood Very High Dog is "kind of anxious" - Decoded translates into "extreme anxiety" even after "medication and behavior modification." Link
Victimhood High Dog has "trust issues." Link
Victimhood High Dog has "PTSD." Link
Victimhood High Dog needs "transitional medication" - Behavioral medications that are sent home with adopter. Link
Victimhood High Dog is very "stressed being here" (at the shelter). Link
Victimhood High Dog is "confused why she is here" (at the shelter). Link
Victimhood High Dog "needs to decompress." Link
Victimhood High Dog has the "worst hard luck" story - Dog has been returned to the shelter 3 or more times. Link
Victimhood High Dog "lacks self-confidence" - Decoded translates into "dog aggression" or "stranger aggression" or "handler aggression." Link
Victimhood High Dog was "kept in the bathroom" away from other dogs. Link
Victimhood High Dog is taking Gabapentin - Anti-anxiety medication. Link
Victimhood High Dog is taking Solliquin - Anti-anxiety medication. Link
Victimhood High Dog is taking Trazodone - Anti-anxiety medication. Link
Victimhood Mod-High Dog has "separation anxiety" - A term that can cloak severe aggression, like jumping out of a glass window. Link
Victimhood Mod-High Dog has "kennel stress" or "shelter stress." Link
Victimhood Mod-High Dog needs "structure and consistency." Link
Victimhood Mod-High "Unknown background" - Can indicate many things, including failing to tell adopter the dog has been returned 4 or 5 times. Link

A Final Quiz - Test Your New Knowledge


To test your new knowledge of behavior terms for shelter dogs, we're going to show you Bucky again without any highlights. You must erase from your mind the history of this dog that was hidden from its adopter in 2019. All that you are aware of is the description in the 2019 Facebook advertisement. Which key phrases demonstrate how dangerous this dog is? Which key phrases place this dog into our highest risk category of impulsive aggression (unpredictable aggression)?

If you can answer those questions, then you would not have needed to see the 2012 listing of Bucky anyway. The 2019 owner put the dog down after the second assault then contacted us. She knew she had done the right thing. She was also sympathetic with the rescue, until we showed her the 2012 advertisement of this dog in Internet Archives. She was shocked and upset. We did not publish her story on DogsBite -- she had wanted us too -- because we told her to sue the rescue.


Recent Shelter Investigations & Lawsuits


125 Behavior Terms for Shelter Dogs Decoded

Taxpayer-funded shelters under the management of Mike Kaviani and Kristen Auerbach have been investigated by news organizations for adopting out dogs with undisclosed bite histories.

1,3,4,5,6,7The portion of the conference we listened to was Saving Dogs with Behavior Problems (Aimee Sadler, Mike Kaviani, & Marian Cannell) on February 12, 2018.
2The news investigation cameras seem to land on Mike Kaviani and Kristen Hassen-Auerbach the most. Kaviani was seen in both the 2016 KXAN Austin Animal Center/APA and the 2019 CBS LA Orange County investigations about adopting out dangerous dogs. Auerbach was featured in the 2018 KVOA Pima County 3-part investigation, is named in a lawsuit due to not disclosing a bite history, was working at Austin Animal Center (as second in command in 2016 during the KXAN investigation) and had left the Fairfax County Animal Shelter -- where she helped implement "no-kill" policies -- a year before that shelter exploded into a multi-part investigation by WUSA9.
3Aimee Sadler, founder of Dogs Playing for Life, claims that playgroups solve most aggression issues seen in shelter dogs. Playgroups are a "filtering tool" to spot the worst dogs. Playgroups are designed to increase save rate from 90% to 100%, to save the 10% of unadoptable, aggressive shelter dogs, many of which are pit bulls.
Sadler elaborates on the "crunchy period"
"When you are at a lower save rate, there is a really 'crunchy period' when you make that first leap [to reach 90% no-kill save rate] that it is going to be really painful, cause if you're using playgroups for your dogs specifically, just what he said, you will realize you don't have all of the problems that you thought. So how do you make that list? What I can share with you is that it forces -- if you are at this conference -- this conference is going to give you the solutions to get through that 'really painful hump' to be really creative and find solutions other than euthanasia."

4Sadler equates a shelter to a "prison cell"
"I always use that story, if I went to a foreign country and I was traveling, and I was just picked up by police and thrown in a cell [metaphor for a dog entering the sheltering system], and I couldn't speak the language, and I didn't understand and everybody was yelling and screaming at me, and threatening me [shelter workers are highly compassionate and do not yell and scream at dogs in their care and they certainly do not threaten them], and I was in that cell? I would not want to be judged by my behavior in that cell in that moment as a human being. That would not define who I am as a human being, if you decide to 'assess' the kind of person I was in that situation." [The idea is to dump all behavior assessments for shelter dogs.]

Related articles:
03/20/20: Do Not Adopt A Pit Bull; Shelter Shenanigans During the Coronavirus Crisis
10/16/19: A Pit Bull Adoption Disaster: Animal Aggression, Anti-Anxiety Medication and More
05/08/18: Shelters and Humane Groups Often 'Encode' and 'Conceal' Aggression in Dogs...
10/21/17: Pit Bull Attacking Decoy Dogs Shown to Courtroom; Judge Orders Dog-Aggressive...
09/20/16: Many Shelters Candy-Coat Dogs with Aggressive Behaviors in their Zeal to Increase...

The post 2020 Edition: 125 Behavior Terms for Shelter Dogs Decoded that Mask Aggression in Dogs Available for Adoption appeared first on DogsBite Blog.

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2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull-Type Dog Kills Toddler in East Providence; Officers Dispatch Dog at the Scene https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/07/pit-bull-kills-child-east-providence.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/07/pit-bull-kills-child-east-providence.html#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2020 18:59:17 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=16501 Scarlett Pereira, 1-year old, was killed by a pit bull in East Providence, Rhode Island. Clarifications and Updates UPDATE 07/18/20: On July 16, East Providence police were dispatched to 99 Brookhaven Drive at 2:45 pm for a report of a … Continue reading

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East Providence pit bull attack
Scarlett Pereira, 1-year old, was killed by a pit bull in East Providence, Rhode Island.

Clarifications and Updates
UPDATE 07/18/20: On July 16, East Providence police were dispatched to 99 Brookhaven Drive at 2:45 pm for a report of a "disturbance and confrontation." Police arrived to find a child dying with "significant" injuries from a vicious dog attack. Two adults were injured while trying to "intervene" to stop the attack, states a news release by police. The baby girl was transported to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, where she later died. Police described the dog as a "pit bull-type breed."

News footage revealed a large-scale police response, including a police investigator climbing onto the roof of the residence. On Friday, local authorities confirmed that police shot the dog from the roof of the home. Over the course of Thursday evening and Friday, Police Chief William Nebus told the media various -- and sometimes conflicting -- statements that we would like to address. The most egregious statement being that "maybe the dog didn't even know this was a child."

The dog that killed 15-month old baby Scarlett belonged to her grandparents. The young child was over at her grandparent's home on Brookhaven Drive when the dog violently attacked her. Chief Nebus told media outlets, "During lunchtime, there was some food set on the table outside, and the baby was crawling around in the yard where the dog had free reign." Then he categorized the attack as "unprovoked" because the child was not pulling on the dog or reaching for any food.

"There was no food on the ground both of them were going for, there was no hair pulling, no tail pulling, anything of that sort," Nebus clarified.

Chief Nebus then told WPRI: "It’s hard because even a family dog, a family-friendly dog, can suddenly lash out for whatever reason." Yet, the investigation had already categorized the attack as "unprovoked," which means there was "no reason." If a sliver of stimuli had been present, the pit bull's response was so disproportionate -- killing the child, attacking two adults and forcing police to open fire on the dog from the home's roof -- it can only be described as pathological.

Chief Nebus then excused the pit bull breed and denied it: "People might say this was just because it was a pit bull, but be careful of all breeds when you're introducing children," he said. "There was no fault here to throw around, whether it was the parents or grandparents, maybe the dog didn't even know this was a child and didn't realize the extent of what it was doing. I'm not trying to make excuses for that, but, the message is, be careful with all dogs and children."

Question: How can Nebus possibly make the argument of carefully "introducing children" when it is completely unknown (or unreleased by police) if the grandparents had ever babysat this 15-month before? Had the child ever been in contact with this dog in past? Had the child been in contact with the dog prior to lunchtime that day? Without knowing that information, carefully "introducing children" is an excuse Nebus dropped just after defending the pit bull breed.

He then excused the breed again, specifically, he excused fighting pit bulls. Nebus could have found this years-old insufficient justification, "maybe the dog didn't even know this was a child," in many places online. So, where does it actually come from? It stems from Dr. Randall Lockwood, who investigated dogfighting and fatal dog attacks during the 80s and 90s (See excerpts of Training Video Dog Bite Prevention for Law Enforcement and Other First Responders, 2004).

"I've seen many instances in investigating fatal dog attacks from pit bulls that were bred for the fight trade, that these were animals that simply had never learned to distinguish between another dog and a small human being. And the injuries that I've seen and some of the autopsies that I've assisted in, were of children who were essentially being treated by these dogs as another dog would be treated." - Randall Lockwood

It's bad enough to use a game bred dog excuse in the case of baby Scarlett -- unless there is reason to suspect her "grandmother" is raising fighting dogs -- but the second part of the sentence is even worse. Maybe the dog "didn't realize the extent of what it was doing." Normal dog breeds have bite inhibition. This dog had zero bite inhibition. This dog executed the killing bite, and did so without provocation. Then the dog attacked two adult family members who tried to intervene.

Next Nebus stated, "I'm not trying to make excuses for that, but, the message is, be careful with all dogs and children." Why? Because all dogs might have a similar pathological response? This type of obfuscation perpetuates an endless number of children being mauled, mutilated and killed by pit bulls every year. A dog breed that kills at a rate 6.5 times more frequently than the second top killing breed, rottweilers, and 12.5 times more frequently than third top killer, "mixed-breeds."

We agree that all dog owners should be careful with dogs and small children. Especially, when a child is visiting a dog owner's home. Over the 15-year period of 2005-2019, 27% (139 of 521) of dog bite fatalities involved the victim visiting or temporarily staying at the dog owner's home. Pit bulls carried out 75% of these attacks. Children ≤ 9 years old made up 62% of these victims. The risk factor is only amplified that much more when a young child is visiting a pit bull owner's home.

To be fair, Nebus appeared shaken during most of the media interviews. We imagine every single responder who saw the scene was too.

Lastly, we will address the new information published in the Providence Journal's article. East Providence City Clerk Samantha Burnette told the newspaper that her office could find no license for a dog residing at 99 Brookhaven Drive. Understanding the animal’s licensing status is a goal of police investigators, Major Christopher Francesconi told the Journal. The Rhode Island Department of Children Youth and Families has also been notified, Francesconi told the paper.


07/17/20: Pit Bull Kills Child in East Providence
East Providence, RI - Last night, WJAR reported that East Providence police were dispatched to the area of 99 Brookhaven Drive at about 2:45 pm for a "disturbance and confrontation," Police Chief William Nebus said. It may have sounded like a disturbance, because people were trying to control the dog, he said. Multiple people were taken to the hospital; the extent of their injuries was unknown. Today, Nebus' office issued a release stating that a baby girl died from her injuries.

WPRI video footage from Thursday, shows a police investigator on the roof of the family's home, while police, fire and animal control vehicles surrounded the residence. The release states that family members were eventually able to contain the dog in the backyard. The investigator may have been on the roof to determine how best to remove the dog from the backyard. If there were no safe options, police presumably shot and killed the dog ("dog was euthanized by police").

"They scaled the roof, I heard two shots, then another two shots, and then they just cleared everybody out." - Neighbor Heidi Dorazio, WPRI

In addition to the dog killing the baby, two adult family members were taken to Rhode Island Hospital for injuries sustained while trying to stop the attack. The dog is described as a "pit bull-type breed" that belonged to the family at the residence. The release states that family members injured the dog while trying to intervene to stop the attack. In another "multi-victim" attack, one family pit bull produced three victims, killing one. This is categorized as a "rampage attack."

Earlier this year, there was an "unprovoked" rampage attack in Plainfield, Illinois, after a male pit bull attacked four family members, killing one. The 25-year old victim who died, Devin White, was the owner of the dog. The pit bull also attacked three other people in the household: a 52-year-old woman, a 25-year-old woman and a 19-year-old man. All four victims were transported to local hospitals by ambulance. Plainfield police officers also dispatched that pit bull at the scene.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 17, 2020
East Providence Police Investigating Dog Attack

East Providence, RI -- On July 16, 2020, at approximately 2:45PM, East Providence Police responded to a residence on Brookhaven Drive for the report of a disturbance in progress. During the response, further information was obtained by dispatchers, and officers were advised that a child had been bitten by a dog.

Upon arrival at the residence, officers located a 15 month old female with significant injuries from the dog attack. Police immediately began life-saving procedures. The East Providence Fire Department arrived on scene and continued attempting life-saving care. The baby was transported to Hasbro Children's Hospital by East Providence Fire personnel. Sadly, the baby succumbed to her injuries shortly after arriving at the hospital.

Two adult family members were transported to Rhode Island Hospital for injuries sustained while attempting to intervene in the attack.

The dog, a pit bull type breed, was injured during the incident by family members attempting to intervene and contained in the back yard of the residence. With the assistance of East Providence Animal Control, the dog was euthanized by police. The dog belonged to the family at residence.

At this time we are not aware of any prior incidents involving this dog, but the case remains under investigation by the East Providence Police Detective Division and East Providence Animal Control.


Caitlin Callahan DeAngelis, who is organizing the fundraiser for baby Scarlett states, "Yesterday afternoon, my former brother in law and his wife had their baby girl tragically taken from them. She was 15-months old and just starting to walk. She was brutally attacked by a family member's dog and did not make it." She adds, "My heart aches so hard for them right now. I cannot imagine the burden of losing my baby so tragically and then bearing the unexpected expenses of burying her."

WLNE reports the dog belonged to the child's grandparents. At the time of the attack, the child was being babysat. "It started out like any other day, where a parent dropped their child off at their grandparents’ house for babysitting and a visit," Chief Nebus said. "During lunchtime, there was some food set on the table outside, and the baby was crawling around in the yard where the dog had free reign, it was a fenced-in yard, and the dog just, unprovoked, went after the child."

Chief Nebus reiterated that the investigation showed the violent attack was entirely unprovoked. The child wasn’t pulling on the dog or reaching for any food, reports WLNE. "It was horrific, I mean, everybody’s imaginations can run wild and it still wouldn’t be the true picture of what was there and seen by the officers that arrived first," Chief Nebus told reporters outside of the public safety complex building. Police said they are not aware of any prior incidents involving the dog.


East Providence Investigator on Roof

East Providence police investigator is seen on the roof of the home after a fatal pit bull attack.

East Providence pit bull attack

East Providence police gather outside home where a pit bull attacked three family members.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: Rhode Island Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.

Related articles:
02/11/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Attacks Four Family Members, Killing One in Plainfield
11/04/19: Pit Bull Attacks Rise in Pawtucket After State Preemption Law Muted City's Pit Bull Ban
10/31/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: 4-Year Old Boy Killed by Pit Bull His Family Was Housing...


Baseline reporting requirements:
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.

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2019 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - DogsBite.org https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/07/2019-dog-bite-fatality-statistics-discussion.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/07/2019-dog-bite-fatality-statistics-discussion.html#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2020 05:16:33 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=16468 Fatal Dog Attack Statistics DogsBite.org recorded 48 fatal dog attacks in 2019, the highest recorded in a single year. Pit bulls contributed to 69% (33) of these deaths, followed by "mixed-breed," involved in 6 deaths. For the first time, the … Continue reading

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Fatal Dog Attack Statistics
DogsBite.org recorded 48 fatal dog attacks in 2019, the highest recorded in a single year. Pit bulls contributed to 69% (33) of these deaths, followed by "mixed-breed," involved in 6 deaths. For the first time, the 30-49 age group sustained more deaths (13) than the 0-4 age group (12). Pit bulls inflicted 85% of these adult deaths. The last time the CDC collected breed data about dogs involved in fatal human attacks was 1998. Pit bulls have killed over 415 Americans since.

  • 48 U.S. dog bite-related fatalities occurred in 2019. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 900 U.S. cities, pit bulls contributed to 69% (33) of these deaths. Pit bulls make up about 8% of the total U.S. dog population.
  • During the 15-year period of 2005 to 2019, canines killed 521 Americans. Two dog breeds, pit bulls (346) and rottweilers (51), contributed to 76% (397) of these deaths. 35 different dog breeds were involved in the remaining fatal dog maulings.
  • In 2019, the combination of pit bulls (33), American bulldogs (1), rottweilers (4) and mastiff-type guard dogs and war dogs (1) -- the types used to create "baiting" bull breeds and fighting breeds -- accounted for 81% (39) of all dog bite-related deaths.
  • See full report: 2019 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - DogsBite.org
  • News release: Nonprofit Releases 2019 Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - Attacks and Adult Victims Rise and Trends from the 15-Year Data Set
This year's release includes statistics from our 15 year data set. From Jan. 1, 2005 to Dec. 31, 2019, canines killed 521 Americans. Pit bulls contributed to 66% (346) of these deaths. Combined, pit bulls and rottweilers (51) contributed to 76% (397) of attacks resulting in death. When mastiff-type guard dogs and war dogs are added -- the types used to create "baiting" bull breeds and fighting breeds -- this small group of dog breeds accounts for 84% (438) of all dog bite-related deaths. In discussion notes, we examine 2019 trends, the rise of adult victims, ages 30-49, and the rise of multi-dog attacks over the last 15 years.

Data Collection Method: How We Collect U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Data


Discussion Notes

DogsBite.org - From April to December 2019, our nonprofit sent out public records requests to 13 different law enforcement or coroner departments to uncover fatal dog maulings not reported in the media or to obtain more information about an existing case. We uncovered 2 new fatal pit bull maulings from earlier years (2008 and 2017). Both attacks occurred in Detroit. We also discovered that 1 dog bite fatality in 2019 was falsely attributed to a "cattle dog" instead of a pit bull-mix.

In 2019, there was a substantial rise in fatal dog maulings -- 48 deaths. There was also a larger diversity of dog breeds than we normally see. 14 different dog breeds were involved in the 48 deaths, and 8 of these dog breeds were attributed to 1 death each. 2019 also saw the highest year on record of adults killed by dogs. 73% (35) of all victims were ≥ 10 years old. This is likely due to the never-before seen high number of deaths in the 10-29 and 30-49 age groups in 2019.

In 2019, there were 5 victims in the combined 10-29 age group, a rare age group among dog bite fatality victims. Pit bulls were responsible for 80% (4) of these deaths. A pack of protection-bred dogs inflicted the other death. In 2019, pit bulls killed in every single age group: 0-2 years, 3-4 years, 5-9 years, 10-18 years, 19-29 years, 30-49 years, 50-69 years and 70+ years. Whereas, all other dog breeds combined primarily killed children ≤ 2 years old and adults ≥ 50 years old.


This year, when examining the single year of 2019 and the combined 15 years of fatal dog attack statistics, we review multiple tables and charts. In 2017, we first began examining how traditional dog bite fatality metrics have changed or remained the same since the early CDC studies. This review is a continuation of that process, as we measure these trends over a 15-year period.


Adult Deaths, 30-49, Rise Metric Shift

During 2019, the 30-49 age group suffered the most deaths (13). While deaths in this age group have been rising since 2005, odds are low this age group of able-bodied adults had more deaths than 0-4 years old. Pit bulls inflicted 85% (11) of these adult deaths. 31% (4) were owner-directed attacks, and all four victims were female. In 3 cases, the dogs had attacked the female owner prior to killing her. In 1 case, the dogs had attacked a neighbor eight days before killing the owner.

62% (8 of 13) of the dogs that killed in the 30-49 age group had a previous bite history. 62% of attacks involved multiple dogs, and 62% occurred off the owner's property, a rate over 2.5 times higher than the 14-year average (2005 to 2018). 62% of victims were female; two male victims were killed by "packs" of dogs; and two victims were homeless ages 36-38 years. Given these set of factors, for the first time, victims 30-49 years old sustained more deaths than 0-4 years old.

In fact, this single adult age group sustained as many deaths as children 0-9 years old in 2019, each comprising 27% of all dog bite fatalities.

Studies from previous years shows the 30-49 age group is the fastest rising group. There has been a 433% increase since the 1979-1988 study (3% to 16%). Children 0-9 years is the only decreasing group. Children 0-9 years used to comprise 70% of all fatality victims. The most recent 5-year period of 2015-2019 shows that children 0-9 years has fallen to 36% of victims, a 49% decrease. While percentages of victims ≥ 50 years have doubled since the 80s (21% to 41%).

Adults (≥ 10 years) Killed in Fatal Dog Attacks - Various Studies (1979-2019)
0-9 ≥ 10 10-29 30-49 50-69 70+ Total Years Entity/Study
70% 30% 6% 3% 11% 10% 157 1979-1988 CDC/Sacks 1989
57% 43% 5% 9% 10% 19% 108 1989-1994 CDC/Sacks, 1996
51% 49% 7% 11% 14% 17% 150 2005-2009 DogsBite.org, 2020
50% 50% 3% 13% 17% 17% 179 2010-2014 DogsBite.org, 2020
36% 64% 7% 16% 23% 18% 192 2015-2019 DogsBite.org, 2020
27% 73% 10% 27% 19% 17% 48 2019 DogsBite.org, 2020

Off Property Attacks

In 2019, off-property attacks rose to 42% (20), a 75% rise from the 14-year average of 24%. Pit bulls were involved in 75% (15) of off-property attacks and 95% (19) involved multiple dogs. Only 35% (7) of these cases resulted in criminal charges. In 13 cases, dog owners faced no criminal culpability after their multiple dogs (ranging from 2 to 8 dogs) escaped the owner's property and brutally killed a person. 70% (14) of off-property attacks occurred in the Southern United States.1

At least four more off-property attacks should have resulted in charges, but did not, including the death of Jaysiah Chavez, 2, who was in his own yard when two roaming rottweilers attacked him. Two deaths involved dogs with a reported history of aggression escaping their property and killing a person. Both victims -- Cledith Davenport and Medessa Ragsdale -- were discovered "dead in a ditch." Also, Dianne Reves was killed by a pack of 7 large dogs while in her own backyard.

In all four cases, the negligence was clear. Two of these deaths occurred in California and Texas too, states with a felony dog attack statue. The rottweilers in California had a history of digging out from under the fence. The pit bulls in Texas had a history of violence and had attacked another adult just before or after killing Ragsdale. The death of Reves in Mississippi should have resulted in manslaughter charges because a roaming pack of 7 large dogs is dangerous by default.

Prosecutors should not have to prove the owner had previous knowledge of the dogs' vicious propensities in cases involving dog pack attacks.


Poor Shelter Policies

2019 marks the first year when a volunteer or staff member was fatally mauled at a shelter facility by a dog currently up for adoption. 2019 also marks the first year when a person was killed by a dog at a veterinary facility. Thus, there were two dog bite fatalities that occurred within a county shelter or veterinary facility in 2019, indicating that safety standards at both are at historically low levels or that the housing of violent dogs has increased, in addition to poor safety standards.

In 2019, two fatalities occurred due to lack of bite quarantine space or a "limited" admission policy. After the Irving Animal Shelter refused to house two biting pit bulls due to quarantine space being "at capacity," the dogs killed their owner while in quarantine at a private veterinary facility. After a pit bull owner tried to surrender his dogs to Lubbock Animal Services for attacking a man and killing a dog, he was told he had to wait four days. Two days later, the dogs killed his neighbor.

One death involved both factors -- the owner was refused by the shelter, only to be killed at the veterinary clinic -- thus totaling only three deaths.

Poor shelter policies contributed to a fourth death in 2019 as well. In late June, a pit bull-mix killed its 54-year old female owner in Ventura County. In March, the same dog had violently attacked its owner, fully severing her right ear and mauling her face and arm. Despite the severity of the March attack, which was the second bite to the victim's face since that January, Ventura County Animal Services gave the dangerous dog back to the family. Three months later, the dog killed its owner.

Speaking of poor safety policies and leadership from shelters, 2019 also marks the year when a pit bull with a checkered past owned by Annie Hornish, a senior state director of the Humane Society of the United States, killed a woman visiting her home. Hornish then denied this act. At a recent dangerous dog hearing, we learned that Dexter was also unneutered. That surgery should have been done immediately upon Hornish adopting the dog, 4.5 months before the fatal attack.


Multi-Dog Attacks Rise Metric Shift

In 2019, 63% (30) of fatal dog attacks involved multiple dogs, a sharp rise from the 14-year average of 45%, and the highest percentage on record since 2005. 70% (21) of multi-dog attacks involved 2 or 3 dogs and 30% (9) involved 4 or more dogs. 63% (19) involved 1 or more pit bulls as well. In 8 deaths, only 1 dog was implicated, but the household had additional dogs. Thus, 79% (38) of cases involved households with multiple dogs, such as the death of Nicholas Farris.

Fatal dog attacks involving a single dog have been falling since the 1980s. During the early CDC study (1979-1988), 70% of fatal attacks only involved 1 dog. This has fallen to 49% in the last 5-year period of 2015-2019, a 30% decrease. Comparing the same two periods, attacks involving ≥ 3 dogs have risen from 11% to 29%, a 164% increase. In 2019, fatal attacks involving ≥ 3 dogs comprised 38% of dog bite fatalities and pit bulls were involved in 78% of these deaths (14 of 18).

Multi-dog attacks involving only 2 dogs are similar across all periods studied (19-23%). Only attacks involving ≥ 3 dogs is significantly rising.

Single Dog Involved in Fatal Dog Attacks - Various Studies (1979-2019)
% Single Dog Of Total % ≥ 3 Dogs Of Total Years Entity/Study
70% (76 of 108) 11% (12 of 108) 1979-1988 CDC/Sacks 1989
73% (62 of 85) 6% (5 of 85) 1989-1994 CDC/Sacks, 1996
67% (160 of 238) 12% (29 of 238) 1979-1998 CDC/AVMA, 2000
53% (80 of 150) 19% (28 of 150) 2005-2009 DogsBite.org, 2020
57% (102 of 179) 22% (39 of 179) 2010-2014 DogsBite.org, 2020
49% (95 of 192) 29% (55 of 192) 2015-2019 DogsBite.org, 2020
38% (18 of 48) 38% (18 of 48) 2019 DogsBite.org, 2020

Pit Bulls and Multi-Dog attacks Metric Shift

When analyzing a chart of year-by-year over the 15-year period, one can see that multi-dog attacks involving 1 or more pit bulls is the primary driver in the rise of multi-dog attacks resulting in death, especially since 2012. This trend continues to have an upward trajectory too. Whereas, multi-dog attacks involving all other dog breeds combined has a flat linear trend line. Over the 15-year period, pit bulls have been involved in 73% of all fatal multi-dog attacks (177 of 244).

Chart - 15 years dog bite fatalities - Multi-dog attacks

Dog ownership has changed since the CDC examined fatal dog attacks 20 years ago. Today, more owners have 2 or more dogs, and increasingly in fatal attacks, the household has 1 or more pit bulls included in the multi-dog mix. In the Farris case, his mother had just rescued another dog, "making it 4 dogs" in the home, 2 of which were pit bull-mixes. Few dog owners can successfully teach the "stay" command to 1 dog, much less responsibly manage multiple large bull breeds.

Having a "dog pack" with pit bulls in your home has become trendy too. When you have 1 dog, you manage your relationship with the dog and other household members. When you have 2 dogs, you also manage the relationship between the dogs. When you have 3 or more dogs and 1 or more are pit bulls, you must manage the relationships between all of the dogs and the "dog pack" mentality relationship. Again, all while none of the dogs can perform the "stay" command.

The family "dog pack" with pit bulls trend will continue to increase multi-dog attacks inflicted on family members and non-family members alike.

In the case of Tanner Kinnamon, he was killed by his aunt's 2 rescue pit bulls. At the time, 4 other pit bull-type dogs belonging to his aunt were crated in her home. His aunt owned a "dog pack" of pit bulls and only 2 of these dogs could be out of their crates at the same time. The 4 other dogs were kept crated in separate rooms. This is how the aunt "managed" her "dog pack" of pit bulls. The 2 pit bulls that did get along outside of their crates are the very dogs that killed the boy too.


Examining Death Rates Metric Shift

The last chart we examine discusses death rates across four periods. The first period, 1989-1994, is the most recent CDC study period where comparison data was available.2 The next three periods is 15 years of our nonprofit's data divided into 5-year periods. The "death rate" is deaths per 100 million population per year. Between the first and last periods (2015-2019), the death rate of dog bite fatalities has risen from 7.1 to 11.82. This is a 66% increase since the early 90s.

The pit bull death rate (or kill rate) has risen from 1.57 to 8.62. This is a 449% increase since the early 90s. In the last 5 years, more fatal dog attacks have occurred than ever before, and pit bulls are a primary factor driving the rising total death rate. We also measured fatal attacks involving 3 or more dogs, which were infrequent during this CDC study period. Deaths by 3 or more dogs have risen by 935% since the early 90s and by 82% since our first data set (2005-2009).

While writing this post, the question was put to us: "Is there a way to show that multi-dog attacks are additional attacks? Not just that the dynamics of dog ownership are changing over time?" Yes. The Death Rates chart shows that the pit bull and multi-dog attack death rates are growing at a faster pace than the total dog bite fatality death rate. The pit bull death rate is growing 2.5 times faster and the ≥ 3 dogs involved death rate is growing 4 times faster since the 2005-2009 period.

Chart - Dog bite fatality death rates over 4 periods
Download the PDF file to see all of the values: Death Rates Over 4 Periods (1989 to 2019).


Summary and Call-to-Action

In 2019, several new records were set, including: the most fatal dog attacks recorded in a single year, 48; the highest percentage of fatal multi-dog attacks, 63%; and the highest percentage of adults, ages 30-49, killed by dogs, 27%. There is no single reason why so many adults, chiefly females, in the 30-49 age group were killed by dogs, however, pit bulls were involved in 85% of these attacks, 62% of the dogs had a previous bite history, and 62% involved multiple dogs.

Looking at 15-years of data in 5-year sets shows that the pit bull death rate and the ≥ 3 dog death rate are rising much faster than the total death rate. Data from 1989-1994 shows this has been true for some years as well. Among pit bull victims, we released data last October showing that women ≥ 30 years old is the fastest rising gender and age group of pit bull victims. The year of 2019 only furthers this trend. Pit bulls were responsible for 65% of female deaths ≥ 30 years old.

Your Action Can Help

This year our Call-to-Action involves a U.S. Senate bill soon to be considered by the U.S. House of Representatives. The Pit Bull Lobby already sent out a robo-email to thousands of their members. Senate Bill 4049, which authorizes military spending, also forces the removal of all military pit bull regulations. Please write to your Representative and request that Section 1050 -- Department of Defense policy for the regulation of dangerous dogs -- be stricken from the bill.

Privatized housing for military has a high density of children. From 2009 to 2012, the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force enacted uniform pet polices prohibiting several breeds from base and privatized housing, primarily: pit bulls, rottweilers and wolf-dog hybrids. They did so because these breeds pose an "unreasonable risk to the health and safety" of personnel in family housing areas. Severe and fatal dog maulings had been occurring in military housing as well.

Find your U.S. Representative and send an email or call their office today.

Additional Annual and Combined Year Statistical Graphics (2005 to 2019)


Chart - 15 years dog bite fatalities - pit bulls and rottweilers

Chart - 2019 dog bite fatality statistics

Chart - 15 years of us dog bite fatalities statistics, 2005 to 2019


Data Collection Method: How We Collect U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Data


FOIA Requests: Offices we sent FOIAs to during 2019 to uncover unreported fatal dog maulings and to gain additional records about reported fatalities: Amarillo Police Department, Texas — Beaufort County Animal Control, North Carolina — Clearcreek Township Police Department, Ohio — Detroit Police Department (2 police reports), Michigan — Fort Piece Police Department, Florida — Fort Pierce Animal Control, Florida — Galveston County Sherriff's Office, Texas — Johnson County Sheriff's Office, Arkansas — San Bernardino Animal Services, California — Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office, California — Ventura County Animal Services, California — Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office (8 autopsy reports), Michigan — West Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
1Fatal off-property attacks in the Southern United States: Texas (5 deaths), Tennessee (2 deaths), Oklahoma (2 deaths), North Carolina, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia and Florida (each with 1 death).
2The most recent set of 5-6 consecutive years of data for comparison: Fatal Dog Attacks, 1989-1994, by Sacks JJ et al., Pediatrics, 1996. Of the 109 total deaths studied, information about the number of dogs involved was only known for 85 deaths, 78%. What is known is that 94% of the 85 deaths involved only 1 or 2 dogs.

Related items:
15-Year U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Chart by Breed (2005 to 2019)
15-Year U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Chart by Age Groups (2005-2019)
Summary of Factors and Scenarios Over 15-Year Period (2005-2019)
Dog Bite Deaths and Death Rates Over 4 Periods (1989 to 2019)
2019 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs

Recent multi-year reports:

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2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Kills Toddler in the Middle of the Night During July 4th Party in Joliet, Illinois https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/07/pit-bull-kills-toddler-middle-of-the-night-july-4th-party-joliet.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/07/pit-bull-kills-toddler-middle-of-the-night-july-4th-party-joliet.html#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2020 20:42:06 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=16435 Marley Wilander, 17-months old, was killed by a pit bull during a July 4th party. Dog Kills Toddler Joliet, IL - Another baby is dead after being mauled by a pit bull in the middle of the night. Joliet Fire … Continue reading

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middle of the night pit bull kills
Marley Wilander, 17-months old, was killed by a pit bull during a July 4th party.

Dog Kills Toddler
Joliet, IL - Another baby is dead after being mauled by a pit bull in the middle of the night. Joliet Fire and Rescue was dispatched to a home in the 1800 block of Cumberland Drive about 1:30 am Sunday. When responders arrived, the child's father was holding the 17-month old girl, who had been attacked by a pit bull-mix, Joliet Fire Chief Greg Blaskey said. She was transported by ambulance to AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center in Joliet, where she later died.

The baby was sleeping at the time of the attack, but the dog managed to get into the room and attack the baby, reports WJOL. The toddler's family was visiting the Joliet area home during the July 4th weekend. The child's family lives in Aurora. Earlier this year, 25-year old Devin White was killed by his own pit bull in Plainfield, about 6 miles away. White's pit bull also attacked three other family members, requiring all four victims to be transported by ambulance to local hospitals.

Middle of the Night Attacks

We do not track the time of a fatal attack. Perhaps we should, especially for ages 0-2 years old. In January, Dayton, Ohio police were dispatched to a home "just before midnight" after a family pit bull killed a 4-month old girl. In 2018, a similar attack to Joliet occurred in Florida. Citrus County deputies were dispatched to a home at 12:20 am after a pit bull climbed into a baby's crib and killed a 6-day old infant. At the time of the attack, the infant was visiting her grandparent's home.

There are many adults killed in "middle of the night" attacks by dogs too. In April, roommates of Frederick Shew, 70, awoke to him being attacked by his mastiff at 10:30 pm. In 2019, Dustin Bryan, 21-years old, was found dead at 7:00 am after being mauled by two pit bulls; he had spent the night sleeping on the owner's couch. Homer Utterback, 52-years old, was attacked by his own pit bull at 1:00 am. Homer had been asleep in bed when his girlfriend "heard something fall."

In 2019, a Central Texas pediatric study reported that parental presence was reported in 43.6% of cases involving serious dog bite injury to patients ≤ 18-years old. The study also found that most injuries occurred during the evening hours, 46.8% (from 5:00 pm to 8:59 pm). During the night hours (from 9:00 pm to 4:59 am), only 10.6% of injuries occurred. This may be true in fatal dog maulings too. Recently, however, there seems to be a number of late night fatal dog attacks.

Toddler in Playpen Upstairs

CBS Chicago reports more information. During a July 4th party, two dogs got loose and at least one of the dogs attacked the baby while she was in a playpen. The baby's parents had placed the toddler in a playpen in an upstairs bedroom. Two pit bull-mixes had allegedly been "locked" in the basement, but "somehow got out" during the night.1 About 1:30 am, the homeowner heard noises upstairs and went to investigate. They found one of the dogs attacking the toddler and called 911.

Also, while we were writing this post, Joliet Patch significantly updated their report. The toddler has been identified as Marley Wilander. "At sometime during the night, the dogs got out of the basement," Joliet police said. "The homeowner went upstairs to investigate a noise and located one of the dogs actively biting the toddler. The homeowner was able to separate the dog from the toddler and called 911." The dog involved will be euthanized later today and tested for rabies.

The second dog, also reported to be a pit bull-mix, was not seized by authorities, according to Will County Health Department spokesman Steve Brandy. It is an older dog and there is no reason to believe it was involved in the upstairs bedroom attack, Brandy indicated to Joliet Patch. Marley died around 3:30 am Sunday, according to Joliet police. The Will County Coroner's Office stated Monday afternoon that Marley sustained "multiple injuries due to being wounded by a dog."

7/6/20 @ 2:30pm - The Coroner’s Office is reporting the death of Marley Wilander, a 1 year old female resident of Aurora, IL who was pronounced deceased on 7/5/20 at 3:33am at the Amita Health St. Joseph Medical Center ER in Joliet, IL. The Joliet Police Department is investigating the incident. An autopsy has been performed today that showed the decedent sustained multiple injuries due to being wounded by a dog. The final cause and manner of death will be determined at a later date. - Will County Coroner, Patrick K. O'Neil

Home where Marley Wilander killed middle of the night by pit bull

Marley Wilander was killed by a pit bull in the middle of the night during a July 4th party.

two pit bulls on homeowner's facebook page

Two pit bulls seen on the homeowner's Facebook page. The right dog, called a "grand/pittie" by its owner, is presumably the older dog. The left dog is not a "mix." It's a full-blooded pit bull.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google Map: Illinois Fatal Pit Bull Maulings.
1Dogs do not get loose after being "locked" in a room, unless they bust through the door.

Related articles:
02/11/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Attacks Four Family Members, Killing One, in Plainfield
06/24/19: Central Texas Pediatric Study: Pit Bulls Inflicted the Highest Prevalence and Severity...
11/14/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Fatally Attacks Newborn in Crib in Citrus County


Baseline reporting requirements:
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.

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2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Attacks, Kills Owner in Jeffersonville, Indiana https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/07/pit-bull-kills-owner-jeffersonville-indiana.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/07/pit-bull-kills-owner-jeffersonville-indiana.html#comments Thu, 02 Jul 2020 00:25:06 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=16394 Donald Ryan, 62-years old, was killed by his own pit bull in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Pit Bull Kills Owner Jeffersonville, IN - A man is dead after being attacked by a pit bull, Jeffersonville police say. Officers were dispatched to 821 … Continue reading

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Donald Ryan, killed by pit bull in jeffersonville
Donald Ryan, 62-years old, was killed by his own pit bull in Jeffersonville, Indiana.

Pit Bull Kills Owner
Jeffersonville, IN - A man is dead after being attacked by a pit bull, Jeffersonville police say. Officers were dispatched to 821 West Larkspur Drive just after midnight on July 1 for reports of a canine attacking a man. The first responding officer arrived on scene to a man "actively being attacked by a large pit bull," states a news release issued by the Jeffersonville Police Department. The officer could not stop the attack using pepper spray and was forced to shoot the pit bull.

The victim is a man in his 60s, according to Detective Josh Shiller. Officers rendered aid to the victim until EMS arrived. When EMS workers arrived, they also rendered aid, but it was too late. The man died of his injuries at the scene. WLKY shows the residence where the attack occurred. This home contains one or more pit bulls that belong to a 62-year old man. The adult female pit bull had a litter of puppies in 2017 and the man noted on Facebook they were "full blooded pits."

The victim has since been identified as Donald Ryan, 62-years old.

On Thursday, the victim was identified as Ronald Ryan. In a 2017 Facebook post, Ryan talks about "adopting a new friend," which is a female pit bull. Ryan notes that she is a "good dog" and "more loyal than the other." One friend comments that "Dogs are better than most humans, loyalty!" An adult brown and white pit bull is also seen in his photo album. It is unclear which dog killed him. But the "Dogs are more loyal than humans" cliché, certainly has an ironic ring to it now.


During the early morning hours of July 1, 2020, Jeffersonville Police Department Officers responded to 821 W. Larkspur Dr. for the report of an individual actively being bitten by a dog. The first responding officer arrived on scene and found a male subject actively being attacked by a large Pitbull. The officer attempted to stop the attack with OC/Pepper spray but was unsuccessful. The officer then had to discharge his service weapon against the canine to end the vicious attack. Jeffersonville Police Department officers attempted to render medical aid to the victim until EMS arrived, EMS was able to enter the scene to attempt to administer aid to the male subject, however the victim had succumbed to his injuries and was found to be deceased. The investigation being conducted by the Jeffersonville Police Department Detective Division is still on-going.

The Jeffersonville Police Department would like to thank the citizens who provided valuable information and assistance that have helped further the investigation into this incident.


Jeffersonville, Indiana is located just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky. The Ohio River divides Indiana and Kentucky. Last year, there were two fatal dog maulings in Louisville. In May, Isaiah Geiling, 2, was killed by a family pit bull. Three family members were subsequently charged with a felony. In October, Steven Thornton III, 3, was killed by two rottweiler-mix dogs. Earlier this year, a newborn was fatally mauled by a family pit bull-mix in Lafayette, Indiana.

Pit bull kills owner in jeffersonville

Prior to being killed by his pit bull, Donald Ryan, 62, had one or more pit bulls at his home.

Pit bull kills owner in jeffersonville

Donald Ryan, 62, had a litter of pit bulls at his home in 2017 after taking in a female in 2016.

map iconView the DogsBite.org Google State Map: Indiana Fatal Pit Bull Attacks.

Related articles:
01/27/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull-Mix Kills Infant in Lafayette, Indiana


Baseline reporting requirements:
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.

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2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Pit Bull Escapes Yard, Kills Toddler Who Wandered from Home in Hunt County, Texas https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/06/dog-escapes-yard-kills-toddler-hunt-county-texas.html https://blog.dogsbite.org/2020/06/dog-escapes-yard-kills-toddler-hunt-county-texas.html#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2020 01:45:10 +0000 https://blog.dogsbite.org/?p=16359 Jonah Jellison left his enclosed yard and was killed by a loose pit bull in Hunt County. Pit Bull Kills Child Quinlan, TX - A toddler is dead after being attacked by a dog, according to the Hunt County Sheriff's … Continue reading

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Jonah Jellison, pit bull kills toddler hunt county
Jonah Jellison left his enclosed yard and was killed by a loose pit bull in Hunt County.

Pit Bull Kills Child
Quinlan, TX - A toddler is dead after being attacked by a dog, according to the Hunt County Sheriff's Office. On June 29, about 11:10 am, Hunt County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the 9900 block of Private Road 3820 in the Easy Living addition of Hawk Cover for a dog bite. The first deputy at the scene observed a toddler in the roadway who sustained major trauma due to a severe dog attack. The deputy began CPR until American Medical Response (AMR) arrived.

In the audio dispatch logs from the Hunt County Fire Department Dispatch on Broadcastify.com, one hears the AMR paramedic unit asking dispatch, "Do we know if this is a single bite wound? A multiple bite wound? Do we have any more information on this patient?" Dispatch responds, "It's a 2-year old male, bitten from head to toe. He's not breathing effectively at this time." The AMR paramedic unit then responds, "Let's go ahead and put a helicopter on standby please."

The child was transported to Hunt Regional Medical Center in Quinlan, but did not survive his injuries. Preliminary information from Hunt County Sheriff's investigators show the toddler had gotten out of an enclosed yard unnoticed by his family and walked down the gravel road. The dog, described as a pit bull, was in its yard enclosed in a four-foot chain link fence (an insufficient height for a pit bull). The dog was able to escape the yard and attacked the child in the roadway.

A family member has organized a fundraiser on GoFundMe to help cover funeral costs.

A similar tragic scenario occurred many times in fatal dog attacks during the 80s and 90s. A young child "wandered away from the home" and back then, entered into the "death radius" of a chained pit bull. The "wandering toddler" scenario is no longer common in dog bite fatalities. The most recent deaths occurred in Texas in 2012 and Arkansas in 2009. Both attacks involved boys, ages 2 to 4. In 2010, a chained sled dog in Alaska killed a 3-year old girl under similar circumstances.

The Hunt County fatal pit bull mauling did not involve a chained pit bull, but the concepts are similar. A chained dog in a yard accessible to children -- particularly a chained pit bull, rottweiler, sled dog or wolf-dog hybrid -- is a recipe for disaster. Attempting to confine a pit bull or other powerful, athletic dog breed with a four-foot fence is irresponsible. Even a six-foot fence is not meant to be a barrier "between life and death," but certainly might have better secured this dog.


comment, pit bull kills toddler hunt county

A commenter on the Herald-Banner News Facebook post left this comment.

comment, pit bull kills toddler hunt county

The same commenter left these comments on the Hunt County Scanner Facebook post.


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Related articles:
10/29/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Dies After Being Mauled by a Mastiff in Hunt County

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