This Is Who We Are Fighting For - We Fight For Those Who No Longer Have a Voice

Dangerous dog breeds do not discriminate when they attack. We do not discriminate in our advocacy.


children killed by pit bulls 2013 to 2017

Related report:
U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities: Breeds of Dogs Involved, Age Groups and Other Factors Over a 13-Year Period (2005 to 2017)

Related archives:
Fatal Pit Bull Attacks - The Archival Record by DogsBite.org
Fatal Pit Bull Attacks - Child Fatalities - The Archival Record by DogsBite.org
Fatal Rottweiler Attacks - The Archival Record by DogsBite.org
Fatal Wolf Hybrid Attacks - The Archival Record by DogsBite.org 

Shelters and Humane Groups Often 'Encode' and 'Conceal' Aggression in Adoption Advertisements for Unplaceable Dogs

What They Tell the Public vs. What They Tell New Holding Facilities

web advertisements of aggressive shelter dogs
Described as "loving, gentle," but has dog, stranger and handler aggression.

False Advertisement
DogsBite.org - In September 2016, we published an expose about what lies behind the web advertisements of aggressive shelter dogs available for adoption today. We determined that many shelters candy-coat dogs with aggressive behaviors in their zeal to increase "live release rate." Animal behaviorist Alexandra Semyonova provided a detailed analysis of the 34 case files we obtained from a county shelter, along with a special report about behavior testing shelter dogs.

Which brings us to today. We have another example. These advertisements aimed at the public are often deliberately fraudulent. However, there is a willingness on the part of shelters to disclose the dog's true nature when the intention is to obtain a different holding place for the dog. One of these facilities provided this recent example to us; primarily due to the many requests they receive for unadoptable dogs with "serial" aggression issues that will never find a "forever" home.

The fraudulence is driven by the holy grail of boasting a high "save rate" at any cost, including over the welfare of high-risk dogs and public safety.

First, we invite you to read the fraudulent advertisement of a dog named Hershey located on the Cherryland Humane Society's Facebook page (accessed May 4, 2018). Note, "I can be kind of anxious," decoded translates into "extreme anxiety" even after "medication and behavior modification." Also, "I am continuing to work on my self-confidence," decoded translates into "stranger aggression as well as dog aggression" and "aggression towards his person/handler."

Cherryland Humane Society
February 25, 2018

I'm ready for you.....are you ready for me? So questions HERSHEY! I'm a youngish (2 1/2 years old) lab mix and I am looking for a kind of calm, laid back home and best friend I can really connect with. So, I know most of the basic commands and like interacting with people but can be kind of anxious so that's why I am looking for someone to compliment my loving, gentle personality and who would love to have me as their only pet. I am continuing to work on my self-confidence and perhaps could use your help! Let's get together!1

Now, we invite you to read the letter sent to a potential holding facility. Ask yourself, "Why are the two so different? Why do they have to 'encode' for the public? Why would they create such false hope?" This dog was returned at least three times and has a multiple bite history. No-kill devotees will bend the truth or conceal it to place a high-risk dog like this into a home with an unsuspecting family with children, but they are factual when the intent is to unload the dog on a sanctuary.

My name is               , I am the Animal Behaviorist at the Cherryland Humane Society in Traverse City, Michigan. Best Friends, recommended that we reach out to you regarding a dog we currently have, Hershey, we are running out of options for him.

Hershey has extreme anxiety and with medication and behavior modification, it does not seem to help. We have had him for 7 months. He is very protective of his people to the point of stranger aggression as well as dog aggression. Hershey has a few bites on his record towards people and dogs. In Hershey's calm state he is affectionate, playful, loving, and kind of a goofball. Hershey can redirect his anxiety into aggression towards his person/handler. He has been returned twice and returned by a foster, which did not work out after almost a month.

We would appreciate any advice or assistance in finding Hershey an alternate place to live, as we are unable to adopt him out. Thank you,                Animal Behaviorist / Enrichment Coordinator Cherryland Humane Society...

In a desperate attempt to "save them all," shelters, humane groups and rescues try to place unadoptable and dangerous dogs at sanctuaries across the country. Entities that claim to accept numerous dogs like Hershey often become hoarding operations, such as Spindletop and Olympic Sanctuary. A dog like Hershey, who can't be handled safely and has both human and animal aggression, could only co-exist at a sanctuary by living in total isolation with no quality of life at all.

The very inventor of the term, "save them all," Utah-based fighting dog advocates Best Friends Animal Society (BFAS), is also mentioned in the correspondence. With an excess of $80 million dollars in donations in 2016, and adoption facilities in four cities, BFAS recommends referring this unplaceable dog to smaller, under financed sanctuaries that are already stretched thin. BFAS, apparently, did not even welcome this problematic dog into its own five square mile sanctuary.

The Dichotomy of Disclosure

The case of Hershey shows the dichotomy of disclosure. What is shared about the dog's true nature depends upon the intention of the shelter. If the intention is get the dog into the home of a gullible family, they encode and conceal the dog's aggression into a "baby talk" style adoption listing. If the intention is to obtain a different holding place for the dog, they are pragmatic: "stranger aggression as well as dog aggression" and "aggression towards his person/handler."

Due to the prevalence of fraudulent adoption advertisements, we remind the public to always request the uncensored behavioral and medical files prior to adoption. As noted in our earlier piece, it is critically important to understand that "disclosure" is not the same as "full disclosure." In order to gain full disclosure, you need to see the complete case file. Otherwise, you may wind up with a Hershey -- a dog disposed to mauling or killing a beloved pet or seriously injuring a person.

When Adopting From a Shelter

  • Do your research
  • Go in with questions
  • Bring a trainer with you to the shelter to evaluate for signs of aggression2
  • Request all behavior records for the dog
  • Request all medical records for the dog
  • Request all "outcomes" for the dog (if the dog was returned to shelter)

Animal behaviorist and author Alexandra Semyonova provides analysis and a special report: Behavior Testing Shelter Dogs -- A Summary of Where We Are Now


web advertisements of aggressive shelter dogs

"Save them all" is a myth with real life consequences. People pay. Beloved pets pay. The unplaceable dog pays and hearts are broken. There is no such thing as a "forever home" for dogs like Hershey. Not even reputable sanctuaries want dogs that cannot be safely handled and require a "prison-like" existence. We first obtained a copy of the letter to the sanctuary in late April. It is unknown what the final outcome was for this dog. Humane euthanasia would have been kind.


1The dog came into the shelter in October 2017 as a stray. It was adopted out the first time on November 10. So the February 25 advertisement was likely written after the dog was returned a second time (after two failed adoptions).
2Preferably a trainer who is not a fan of any breed in particular. The idea is to eliminate bias.

Related articles:
09/20/16: What's Behind the Click and Bait Web Advertisements of Aggressive Shelter Dogs Available for Adoption Today?

2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Baby Killed by Family Dog While Under Her Grandmother's Care

family dog kills baby sherman oaks rottweiler
A 3-month old baby died after being mauled by a family dog in Sherman Oaks.

Baby Identified
UPDATE 05/07/18: The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office has identified the baby girl killed by a family dog. Gaia Nova died shortly after arriving at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Saturday. At the time of the attack, Gaia was under the care of her grandmother. When she left the infant in a room to get a bottle, one of the three family dogs clamped down on the baby's head, killing her. Authorities seized all three family dogs: a rottweiler, labrador retriever, and small terrier.

Police do not know which of the dogs attacked the infant or if more than one dog was involved. Earlier news reports stated that DNA samples were taken to determine which of the dogs killed the baby. Authorities have not released the gender or spay/neuter status of the dogs or any photographs of the dogs. No criminal charges are expected. Police are calling the baby's death a "true tragedy." Gaia is the third baby girl mauled to death by a pet dog since March 7, 2018.

05/06/18: Family Dog Kills Baby
Los Angeles, CA - A baby is dead after being bitten on the head by a family dog in her Sherman Oaks home. The incident was reported at 3:25 pm Saturday in the 14400 block of Benefit Street, Officer Stacy Ball of the Los Angeles Police Department said. At the time of the attack, the baby was under the care of her grandmother. The grandmother rushed the infant to Sherman Oaks Hospital. She was then airlifted to Cedars-Sinai Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

This is a horrible case. It has touched all involved family, friends and first responders. Our hearts go out to the family and friends. - Capt. Lillian Carranza

At the time of the attack, the 3-month old baby girl was in her own home. There were three dogs present in the home, LAPD Police Services Officer Stacy Ball said. Police described the dogs as a 98-pound rottweiler, 89-pound labrador and 10-pound terrier. Animal control took all three dogs into custody. It remains unclear if one or more dogs inflicted the deadly attack. KABC-TV reports that DNA samples were taken to determine which of the animals fatally injured the infant.

Circumstances of how the attack happened are also vague. Detective Moses Castillo stated, "It's a reminder to those who may have a large dog in the family and maybe have some little ones at home to remain vigilant -- constant observation of their little ones." CBS Los Angeles reports the baby's grandmother turned her back for a moment and when she returned, she found the infant with head and face injuries. The investigation continues. Criminal charges are not anticipated.

infant in sherman oaks killed by family dogs

Related articles:
04/11/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Pet Wolf Hybrid Kills 8-Day Old Baby Girl in Virginia
04/06/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Dog Kills 13-Month Old Baby Girl at Babysitter's Home


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.

U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities Over a 13-Year Period; Breeds of Dogs Involved, Age Groups and Other Factors (2005 to 2017)

Multi-Year Report
DogsBite.org - Today we released our multi-year dog bite fatality report (2005 to 2017). The report identifies the breeds of dogs involved in fatal attacks on humans, victim age groups, number of dogs involved, household factors, criminal charges and more. The 9-page report also examines key changing metrics since a government body last examined this issue in 2000 -- the rise of adults killed by dogs and the increasing number of fatal attacks involving 2 or more dogs.

The report contains six table charts, including a list of all dog breeds involved, a comparison of two periods within the 13-year period, the rising number of adult victims and the decreasing number of attacks inflicted by a single dog. The tables also show the nine states with the most fatal dog attacks over the period, which states brought the most criminal charges after a fatal dog mauling, and in the case of one state, Illinois, how no criminal charges have been filed since 2005.


Download 9-Page Report  |  Read Full News Release

Austin, TX, May 03, 2018 --(PR.com)-- DogsBite.org, a national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks, releases a multi-year U.S. dog bite fatality report. From January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2017, canines killed at least 433 people. The majority of these victims were ages 10 and older. The 9-page report examines over 20 factors involved in fatal dog maulings and key changing metrics since a government body last examined this issue in 2000.
      
The 13-year report shows that pit bulls contributed to 66% of all dog bite fatalities. Within this period, deaths attributed to pit bulls rose from 58% (2005 to 2010) to 71% (2011 to 2017), a 22% rise. Rottweilers, the second most lethal dog breed, inflicted 10% of attacks resulting in death. This is a decrease from an earlier period (2005 to 2010) when rottweilers inflicted 14% of the total recorded deaths. Together, these two dog breeds accounted for 76% of all deaths.
      
The 9-page report examines the breeds involved in fatal attacks on humans, age groups and genders of the victims, the number of dogs involved, family and dog relationships, property statistics, household and time factors, criminal prosecutions following fatal dog attacks and states with the most occurrences. The report also compares two metrics -- the age of victims and the number of attacks involving 2 or more dogs -- to years previously studied (1979 to 1998) ... (Continue reading news release)

13 year dog bite fatality report by dogsbite.org

Related articles:
02/28/18: Discussion Notes: 2017 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - DogsBite.org
02/21/17: Discussion Notes: 2016 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics - DogsBite.org

Fatal Wolf Hybrid Attacks - The Archival Record

Why wolf hybrids are dangerous to children and inhumane
Illustration of wolves from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, The Animal Kingdom, 1829.

An introduction to wolf hybirds by animal behaviorist and author Alexandra Semyonova.
Jump to the Fatal Wolf Hybrid Attacks Archival Record from 1980 to present day.

Introduction by Alexandra Semyonova


The wolf-dog hybrid, also called ‘wolfdog’, is an emotional trap people walk into all too often. Sometimes it's about the latest macho fashion -- a rottweiler or a pit bull isn't good enough, you're not a real man until you have a half-wolf playing with your children. Sometimes it's about television dog trainers or romantic novels and movies, who tell us the dog is basically a dulled-down wolf, thus that a (half-)wolf becomes a dog if only you get it when it's young. Other times, it's simply the selfish wish to have the most exclusive pet in the neighborhood. All kinds of animals pay the price for these vanities, but as our archive shows, it is most of all our children who are suffering the consequences. Due to the misery and death the wolfdog phenomenon causes, both animal and human, we need some cold, hard biological facts here -- a reality check. Fact: The breeding and keeping of ‘wolfdogs’ is bad for dogs, bad for wolves, and above all bad for our human children.

As more and more research shows, the dog did not ‘descend from’ the wolf any more than you ‘descended’ from your sixth cousin. A wolf is not just some wild kind of dog, and the domestic dog is not merely some inferior or tame form of wolf. All of a wolf’s physiology, its senses, inherent motor patterns, reflexes and emotions are adapted to a rich but hard life in the wild. It took tens of thousands of years of evolution to make the domestic dog equally superbly honed for life with us. When you mix the two, you create creatures that are inferior to both wolf and dog, and that are destined to be miserably unhappy -- they fit neither in a wild world nor in our human one.

Hybrid character is generally unpredictable because it’s impossible to know which dog vs. wolf traits a particular animal has inherited. There are, however, some common behaviors almost all hybrids share. They are escape artists and roamers. They are extremely shy and may be aggressive with humans they haven’t known intimately all their lives. A hybrid often won’t let a human touch it and can respond with severe biting if someone tries -- even their owner. They don’t hesitate to kill small animals and other canids (including your neighbors’ dogs). Most tragic of all, a human infant or child can trigger the same reflexive hunting chain that a lamb does in a hungry wolf. These are genetically determined traits. You cannot socialize a hybrid into being a dog that just looks a lot or a little like a wolf.

None of this is the animal’s fault, but all that does is put the responsibility onto us to abandon our Game of Thrones fantasies (ditto Call of the Wild, White Fang, etc) and stay in the real, adult world. Keeping hybrids is dangerous for us, our children, our livestock and our pets. Keeping hybrids is cruel to the animals themselves. The hybrid is never really happy, no matter how much work you put in. In addition, most people dump the animal when reality overtakes the fantasy they held. The vast majority of hybrids end up abandoned before their third birthday. A few live on in a specialized refuge. Many go to shelters where in the end they are euthanized, too unpredictable and dangerous to place. Many more are abandoned in the countryside, where they starve, are shot by a rancher, or die hit by a car. Keeping hybrids is cruel to real wolves. Contamination of the wolf gene pool by these hybrids is a hindrance to attempts at wolf conservation. These are all reasons why hybrids are banned in a dozen states and strictly regulated in fifteen more.

Perhaps the worst of the lot are the breeders of hybrids. Some are extremely dishonest and uninformed, no matter their pretense of expertise. Others know what misery they’re causing, but don’t care about the animals -- wolf, dog and hybrid -- they exploit. None apparently care about the risk their product poses for the public, especially for our children. Hybrid breeding is a ruthless enterprise, based on ignorance, arrogance and love of cash -- and all other things be damned, from the wolf to the dog to the dead bodies of too many of our children.

Alexandra Semyonova is an internationally acclaimed animal behaviorist and author of The 100 Silliest Things People Say About Dogs. Academically educated in behavioral science and specialized in animal behavior, she has worked with dogs and their owners on a daily basis for more than 30 years. Visit her website at Nonlinear Dogs. View additional DogsBite.org posts that Semyonova has provided commentary for in the past.

Fatal Wolf Hybrid Attacks - The Archival Record


The Archival Record


  • 03/07/18: Baby Jane Doe, 8-days old (Lee County, VA)

    After 8-years without a wolfdog killing a child, a newborn was mauled to death by her family's wolf hybrid while lying in a bassinet. She suffered "very serious injuries to the upper body and the head," Sheriff Gary Parsons said. At the time of the deadly attack, the family was also fostering two young children that had been approved by the Wise County Department of Social Services to live in the wolfdog household.

    The family had obtained the wolf-malamute mix from AE Kennel in October 2014, a Florida-based wolf hybrid breeding operation co-owned by Erika Andreas and Antoine Robertson. Two days after the newborn was killed, AE Kennel removed their business website and their business page on Facebook. The kennel claimed they have been providing "quality northern breed mixes and wolfdogs" since 1998.1

  • 07/12/10: Kyle Holland, 5-years old (Lincoln Park, MI)
    Killed by a male wolf hybrid owned by his mother's boyfriend. The dog attacked and partially ate the boy while he was sleeping. He had over 80 puncture wounds and over 250 abrasions, Dr. Carl Schmidt, chief Wayne County medical examiner testified during the trial. "His buttocks were gone to the point that his sacrum was gone, part of his pelvis was gone, the right hip joint was only partially present," Schmidt said.2
  • 10/05/07: Jane Doe, 73-years old (Pahrump, NV)
    Killed by her son's eight wolf hybrids after entering into their "Fort Knox" dog pen. Neighbors said the owner, known only as "Malcolm," had two layers of fencing -- one chain link, the other wood along with concrete walls -- but the wolf hybrids were so tall, they could be seen over the top of the fence line. Due to the high amount of blood involved in the attack, all eight wolf hybrids were destroyed at the scene.3
  • 07/17/06: Sandra Piovesan, 50-years old (Salem, PA)
    Killed by her nine wolf hybrids she said she had a "spiritual connection" with who also gave her "unqualified love." Piovesan was found dead by her daughter on July 17 inside the pen where she kept her pack of wolf hybrids. She had extensive injuries, including being partially eaten by her wolfdogs. Animal Planet created a TV segment about her in their "Fatal Attractions" series, "Wolf-Dogs Kill Owner."4
  • 04/29/03: Andre Thomas, 13-months old (Mountain Home, ID)
    Killed by wolf hybrid while visiting the dog owner's home. The baby and his mother, Starla Thomas, had stayed the night with Brandon Jenkins, whose roommate owned a 1.5 year old female wolf hybrid name Koa. The next morning, the baby was found on the floor with over 100 bite injuries. The child died after the wolfdog tore out the baby's jugular vein. Previously, Koa had attacked and bitten a 7-year old boy.5
  • 06/09/02: Timothy Adams, Jr, 5-years old (Wickliffe, KY)
    Killed by a male wolf hybrid while visiting his grandmother's home. The wolfdog, which was attached to a long chain, attacked the boy in his grandmother's yard then dragged him into the dog's own yard. Latasha Laster, 23, was charged with second-degree manslaughter, but pleaded guilty to a felony count of reckless homicide. She was ordered to serve six months in jail with a picture of the child on her cell wall.6
    The picture Judge Will Shadoan ordered to be hung on her cell wall was an 8-by-11-inch photograph of T.J. Adams that was taken while he was hospitalized after the devastating attack by Laster's wolfdog. - The Associated Press, March 2004
  • 10/22/00: Oberen Burgin, 5-years old (Miami Township, OH)
    Killed by his grandmother's wolf hybrid while visiting her home. Obie was mauled to death by an 18-month old female wolfdog after he wandered into the "death radius" of the chained animal. Obie was under the care of his grandmother, Mavis Miller of Miami Township, at the time of the deadly attack. The boy's uncle, Mike Golden, 27, shot the 85-pound wolf hybrid with a .22-caliber pistol as firefighters arrived. 7
  • 08/21/99: Cody Fairfield, 4-years old (Egelston Township, MI)
    Killed after entering into the "death radius" of a chained wolf hybrid. The wolfdog, named Tanner, was tied up behind a barn when it crushed his throat. The cause of death was "strangulation and bleeding caused by the manual compression of the neck. The head and neck also suffered blunt trauma." The wolf hybrid came from a litter bred by Rick Buie, whose littermates and sire were killed due to aggression.8
  • 12/18/96: Debbie Edmonds, a 39-years old (Black Forest, CO)
    Killed by two wolf hybrids she had been caring for. Edmonds marked the first adult to be killed by wolf hybrids; previously only children were victims. The two wolfdogs, a male and female, had escaped their pen earlier and attacked Edmonds as she got out of her car. The wolf hybrids dragged Edmonds between one and two-tenths of a mile from the driveway, continuing their vicious attack in front of her two children. 9
  • 01/01/95 - Russell Evans, 2-years old (Black Hawk, SD)
    Killed when he wandered into the "death radius" of two chained wolf hybrids. Evans' death is referenced on the Hunt Talk Forum Board and a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (1995-1996) from the CDC. "In January 1995, a 2-year-old boy in South Dakota wandered into a neighbor's yard, where he was attacked and killed by two chained wolf-German shepherd hybrids." We found no other references.10
  • 10/22/93: Josh Garner, 12-years old (Eldorado at Sante Fe, NM)
    Killed by his neighbor's wolf hybrid, named Kodiak. The male wolfdog was 5-years old and stood nearly four feet at the shoulders. The Garners sued the dog's owners, Chuck and Velma Sanchez. A settlement was reached, but terms were not disclosed. Due to a 1989 savage attack by a hybrid on a child in the same area, the Sanchez' were required to have reinforced enclosures; it's unclear if they were compliant.11
  • 12/11/93: Kevin Lahey, 3-years old (Townshend, VT)
    Killed by a wolf hybrid after wandering away from his day-care center. The 120-pound, 2.5 year old female wolfdog sprang over a makeshift pen where she was confined with her nine puppies. Cathy Barrows, an animal control officer from Brattleboro, estimated the animal was three-quarters wolf and one-quarter dog. "It was extremely aggressive." The hybrid and her puppies were killed after the attack.12
  • 04/28/91: Nicholas Hinton, 2-years old (Fort Wayne, IN)
    Killed by a wolf hybrid and pit bull after climbing into their padlocked pen. At just two years old, Nicholas was able to climb a 6-foot chain link fence, where his father kept a male wolfdog and female pit bull. Police believe when he got to the top of the fence, he fell inside. The Allen County Coroner said the number of bite marks were "too many to count" and, "there wasn't a part of his body that was untouched."13
  • 09/05/90: Curtis Hawkins, 2-months old (East Orange, NJ)
    Killed and partially consumed by his family's 6-month old wolf hybrid. The baby's mother, Petera Hawkins, left the child in his crib on the third floor of their home and was visiting her in-laws on a lower level when the wolfdog killed the child. Officials said the baby died of bilateral fractures of the rib cage, collapsed lungs, multiple contusions, lacerations and puncture wounds and partial devourment by an animal.14
  • 04/13/90: Paul Mahler, 4-weeks old (Anchorage, AK)
    Killed by female wolf hybrid while being held in his mother's arms. Mahler died of extensive skull fractures after being bitten in the head by a wolf hybrid. Linda Borer took her baby into the Wasilla-area kennel of a friend's pregnant wolfdog and held him for the animal to lick. The dog clamped his jaws onto the baby's head. Borer had previously owned at least six wolfdogs and was active in local hybrid groups.15
  • 03/17/90: Tonya Elliot, 2-years old (Otisville, MI)
    Killed while playing near the "death radius" of a chained wolf hybrid. Tonya's death occurred while Michigan legislators were debating a statewide ban on wolfdogs. Ruth Wilson and her daughter were visiting the home of the dog's owner when Tonya wandered near the animal. The wolf hybrid grabbed the child by the neck and shook her, tearing out her throat and nearly decapitating her, according to news reports.16
  • 06/03/89: Alyshia Berczyk, 3-years old (Forest Lake, MN)
    Killed after wandering into the "death radius" of a chained wolf hybrid. Alyshia was visiting the home of her father, Joseph Berczyk, whose roommate owned a wolfdog named, Spock. Her father was only 25 feet away when the wolf hybrid grabbed her dress and slammed her to the ground so hard, she suffered massive liver damage. The medical examiner said her death was caused by multiple traumatic injuries. 17
  • 03/02/89: Angie Nickerson, 5-years old (National Mine, MI)

    Killed and partially eaten by a wolf hybrid after exiting her school bus. According to her mother's obituary, written by Animal People, the wolf hybrid-malamute was adopted from a shelter and given to Angie's aunt Tammi Alderton by a boyfriend five days before the fatal attack. Angie’s partially eaten remains were not found for more than an hour because each family thought she had gone to the home of the other.

    Angie's horrific death led to Michigan banning the breeding and ownership of wolf hybrids. "All I want is for the breeding to stop, and I will fight for that until I take my last breath," said her mother, Patti Nickerson, who spearheaded the effort to pass the "Wolf-dog Cross Act," enacted in memory of Angie Nickerson. Patti was murdered by her second husband -- shot to death -- three months after the act went into effect.18

  • 09/24/88 - Nathan Carpenter, 4-years old (Ft. Walton Beach, FL)

    Killed by a neighbor's wolf hybrid adopted out by the Pan Handle Animal Welfare Society in Florida two hours earlier. The shelter agreed to a $425,000 settlement, the highest ever at that time. Nathan's death caused many agencies to reevaluate their adoption policies for wolf hybrids and other potentially dangerous dogs. The animal that killed Nathan was a 5 year old, 75-pound male, neutered wolf-husky mix.

    The dog was advertised in the newspaper as "Pet of the Week -- Gentle Giant -- Well Behaved." After adoption, it was placed in a fenced yard while its new owner went to get groceries. The wolf hybrid quickly jumped the 4 foot fence and ran loose in the neighborhood. Nathan's mother saw the dog, and as she was calling it in, it rushed into her back gate where Nathan was playing. The wolfdog tore out his throat.19

    "Many wolf hybrids live out their lives locked indoors or chained up outside. Most of these animals escape at some point, and the HSUS has received many reports of hybrids hit by cars or killed while harassing or killing livestock or pets." - Randall Lockwood, PhD, HSUS, Shelter Sense Volume 14, Number 02 (1991)
  • 09/18/86 - Brandon Ingle, 4-years old (Forest City, NC)
    Killed after entering into the "death radius" of a chained wolf hybrid. The boy and his mother were visiting the home of Horace Bailey when the fatal attack occurred. The dog, part German shepherd and part wolf, was blind due to a shotgun blast to its face a few years earlier. It was tied to a stake behind Bailey's home. Brandon slipped away through the rear patio door. The wolfdog tore into his head, neck and arms.20
  • 05/05/86 - Nicola Martin, 2 years old (Big Lake, AK)
    Killed while playing near the "death radius" of a chained wolf hybrid. The Martin family was visiting the Schumachers, who owned the wolf-husky mix. Nicola was playing nearby with another 2-year-old when the wolfdog attacked, biting into her neck. Family members scooped her up, jumped into a pick up truck and raced toward a hospital. But they crashed into a tree while trying to get around traffic.21
  • 10/19/83 - David Hammer, 3-years old (Malad, ID)
    Killed by his family's pet wolf they were breeding. The female white wolf and her two cubs, wolf-husky hybrids, escaped their pen on DeVon Hammer's farm. While Hammer's children were trying to coral the animals and get them back into the pen, David started running and the mother wolf chased after him, Oneida County Sheriff Ken Wharton said. The wolfdog attacked the boy's head and neck, killing him.22
  • 09/13/81 - Eric Turner, 2-years old (Wayne, MI)
    Killed after entering into the "death radius" of a chained wolf hybrid. Eric wandered into his neighbor's yard where the wolfdog was kept. Brian Walsh, 20, was convicted of possessing an animal on the state endangered species list, a misdemeanor. The parents of the boy sued Walsh, Royce and Barbara Sissom, who where keeping the animal at the time of the attack, and Don Burroughs, who sold the wolf to Walsh.23
  • 04/12/80: Dusty Redding, 2-years old (Wheatland, WY)
    Killed after entering into the "death radius" of a chained wolf hybrid. After biting a child in Story, Wyoming, then escaping its quarantine at a veterinary clinic and killing a young calf, the wolf hybrid was shipped back to Ohio, where it had come from. The owner of the wolf, Randy Prater, went to Ohio and brought the wolfdog back to Wheatland, Wyoming, where he was a renter, living on the Redding property.24

Fact: The breeding and keeping of ‘wolfdogs’ is bad for dogs, bad for wolves, and above all bad for our human children.” - Animal behaviorist and author Alexandra Semyonova.


The Bastard Wolf - The Wolf Hybrid


Reading List & End Notes


Hollywood Influence


Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series that premiered on HBO on April 17, 2011. During the first season, six mythical dire wolf puppies (known as direwolves) were rescued and adopted by each of Eddard Stark's five "trueborn" children and his one bastard child, named Jon. The Game of Thrones series was credited with the rise in breeding and abandonment of huskies and wolf-like dogs, as early as late 2012 -- less than two years after its debute. The dire wolf (Canis dirus, "fearsome dog") is an extinct species of the genus Canis.
Dances with Wolves is a 1990 epic Western film starring, directed and produced by Kevin Costner. There was a massive upsurge in wolf hybrid breeding and ownership after this film during the 1990s. By 1992, the HSUS was already warning shelters and the public, Wolf Hybrids: Some Facts About a Growing Problem. By the end of the 90s, at least two dozen states were grappling with whether to prohibit or regulate the "unhappy half-dog, half-wolf creation of unnatural breeding" (The Bastard Wolf, by Merritt Clifton, Animal Protection Institute, Summer 1995).

End Notes

1Baby Jane Doe - Jordan Moore, "Wolf-hybrid put down after mauling, killing 8-day-old baby in Lee County," WJHL, March 8, 2018 (www.wjhl.com); Matthew Martinez, "‘Blood in the bassinet’: Virginia family’s wolf- hybrid kills their 8-day-old infant," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, March 11, 2018 (www.star-telegram.com) and "Va. parents may be charged after pet wolf hybrid kills newborn baby," WTVR, March 12, 2018 (www.wtvr.com) | View more citations
2Kyle Holland - Steve Pardo, "Boy in fatal mauling was missing body parts, medical examiner says," The Detroit News, September 16, 2011 (www.detnews.com) and "Medical Examiner: Boy Was Torn Apart By Dog," ClickonDetroit.com, September 16, 2011 (www.clickondetroit.com) | View more citations
3Jane Doe - A female wolfdog was in heat and inside the home at the time of the fatal attack; it was not euthanized. The son's breeding operation likely continued after his mother's death | Jonathan Humbert, "Pahrump Woman Dies After Attack by 8 wolf hybrids," Channel 8 Eyewitness News, October 5, 2007 (www.lasvegasnow.com) and Christina Eichelkraut, "Woman killed in attack by dogs," Pahrump Valley Times, October 10, 2007 (www.pvtimes.com)
4Sandra Piovesan - Annie O'Neill, "Woman's body found in pen of 9 hybrid wolves," Pittsburg Post-Gazette, July 18, 2006 and Linda Wilson Fuoco, "Wolf dogs killed owner, autopsy determines," Pittsburg Post-Gazette, July 18, 2006 (www.post-gazette.com) | View more citations
5Andre Angel Thomas - Jonathan Brunt, "Child killed by wolf-dog hybrid," The Idaho Statesman, April 29, 2003 (timberwolfinformation.org); "Mountain Home Baby Killed by Wolf-Dog Hybrid," The Spokesman-Review, April 29, 2003 (news.google.com) and Katy Moeller, "No charges to be filed after dogs maul 4-week-old baby," November 22, 2017 (www.idahostatejournal.com)
6Timothy Wayne "T J" Adams, Jr - Angie Kinsey, "Dog Owner Pleads Guilty In Boys Death," The Paducha Sun; Associated Press, "Woman to Hang Dead Child's Photo in Cell," Washington Post, March 6, 2004 (www.washingtonpost.com) and a collection of news clippings from the Hunt Talk Forum Board (www.onyourownadventures.com)
7Oberen "Obie" Burgin - Three months after the boy was mauled to death, his mother Kathy Phillips, 40, was killed in an apparent fire in her Cincinnati home in the 1500 block of Lingo Street | Joel Wessels, "Wolf hybrid kills grandson, 5," The Cincinnati Enquirer, October 22, 2000 and Tom O'Neill, "Northside woman dies in blaze at residence," The Cincinnati Enquirer, January 1, 2001 (www.enquirer.com)
8Cody Tyler Fairfield - "Killer dog came from ‘bad’ litter," The Muskegon Chronicle, August 23, 1999; Myrna Leslie, "Michigan Owners Brace for Aftermath of Boy's Death in Hybrid Attack," The Wolf Hybrid Times, October 1999 and Betsy Sikora Siino, "The Case Against Hybrids - Crossing the Line – The Case Against Hybrids," ASPCA Animal Watch – Winter 2000 (Posted to PetFinder.com)
9Debbie Edmonds - Marcus Montoya, Gazette Telegraph, Colorado Springs, December 18, 1996 (groups.google.com) and Deborah Mendez, "Unpredictable Wolf Dogs Pose Dangers, Animal Experts Warn," Deseret News, March 6, 1997 (www.deseretnews.com)
10Russell Evans - A collection of news clippings from the Hunt Talk Forum Board (www.onyourownadventures.com) and Dog-Bite-Related Fatalities -- United States, 1995-1996, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, CDC.
11Josh Garner - "Fear In Eldorado After Fatal Animal Attack," The Santa Fe Reporter, September 22, 1993 and "Killer Dog Was Hybrid, This Expert Says," The Santa Fe Reporter, September 22, 1993.
12Kevin Michael Lahey - "Wolf-dog protecting puppies kills Vt. boy, 3," Boston Herald, December 11, 1993; "Wolf-Dog Kills 3-Year-Old Boy Next Door To Day-Care Center," Rocky Mountain News, December 11, 1993 and "'Wolf-Dog' Attacks, Kills Boy, 3," Albuquerque Journal, December 11, 1993.
13Nicholas Hinton - David Allen, "Family's Dogs Maul 2-Year-Old To Death," Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, April 29, 1991; David Allen, "Dogs Who Mauled Boy Killed Tot Apparently Climbed Fence, Fell Into Kennel," Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, April 30, 1991 and The Hybrids Howl: Legislators Listen -- These Animals Aren't Crying Wolf, by Barbara J. Kramek, Rutgers Law Journal, Spring, 1992.
14Curtis James Hawkins - "Family's Hybrid Wolf kills E. Orange Boy," The Star-Ledger, September 4, 1990 and "Autopsy Report Released On Infant Mauled By Pet," The Star-Ledger, September 12, 1990.
15Paul David Mahler - The female wolf hybrid, named Kessie, was not put down after the deadly attack, and the Coroner's Jury findings could not be enforced | "Infant Girl Dies After Mauling By 80 Pound Hybrid Wolf In The Valley," Anchorage Daily News, April 12, 1990; "Mauling Of Infant Under Investigation," Anchorage Daily News, April 13, 1990; "Owner Fights To Spare Dog," Anchorage Daily News, April 14, 1990 and "Coroner's Jury Finds Mother Negligent In Case Of Baby Killed By Wolf-Dog," Anchorage Daily News, September, 1990.
16Tonya Elliot - Various archival findings from the Detroit Free Press, March 17, 1990; Detroit Free Press, March 18, 1990 and The Hybrids Howl: Legislators Listen -- These Animals Aren't Crying Wolf by Barbara J. Kramek, Rutgers Law Journal, Spring, 1992.
17Alyshia “Bunny” Berczyk - Other historical references to this attack state, "The wolf tore up her kidney, liver and bit a hole through her aorta," but we could find no media reports to confirm this | Mark Brunswick, "Big Lake girl, 3, dies after being attacked by a domesticated wolf," Star Tribune, June 5, 1989 and "Boy, 5, bitten by captive wolf, is still critical," Post Bulletin Minnesota, July 4, 1989.
18Angie Nickerson - Michigan Compiled Laws Annotated. Chapter 287. Animal Industry; Wolf-dog Cross Act, Michigan State University Animal Legal & Historical Center; Louis Sahagun, "Born Prisoners," Los Angeles Times, August 17, 1997; Woman whose daughter's death fueled anti-wolfdog fight killed," The Argus Press, September 25, 2000 and Human Obituaries, Patti Nickerson Manning, Animal People, November 2000.
19Nathan Carpenter - "'Pet of the Week' kills toddler," UPI, September 24, 1988 and "Shelter Agrees to $425,000 Settlement in Fatal Attack by Wolf-dog Hybrid," by Dr. Randall Lockwood, HSUS, Shelter Sense Volume 14, Number 02 (1991) and The Hybrids Howl: Legislators Listen -- These Animals Aren't Crying Wolf by Barbara J. Kramek, Rutgers Law Journal, Spring, 1992.
20Brandon Joel Ingle - Ken Soo, "Chained, Blind Dog Kills 4-Year-Old," Charlotte Observer, September 20, 1986 and "Chained Dog Kills Boy, 4, Child Was Mauled At Friend`s Home," Charlotte Observer, September 20, 1986.
21Nicola Martin - "Girl Attacked By Dog Dies After Frantic Race To Hospital," Anchorage Daily News, May 5, 1986 and "3 Hurt Trying To Help Girl With Fatal Bite," The Seattle Times, May 5, 1986.
22David Hammer - "Pet wolf kills child," Janesville Gazette, October 19, 1983 and a collection of news clippings from the Hunt Talk Forum Board (www.onyourownadventures.com)
23Eric Turner - Lansing State Journal, December 18, 1981; The Pantagraph, September 30, 1981 and The Star-Democrat, September 30, 1981.
24Dusty Marie Redding - "Wolf Attack Fatal for Two-Year-Old," The Platte County Record-Times, April 15, 1980 and Wolf Attacks on Humans by T. R. Mader, Abundant Wildlife Society of North America, 1995.

Related articles:
Fatal Pit Bull Attacks - The Archival Record by DogsBite.org
Fatal Pit Bull Attacks - Child Fatalities - The Archival Record by DogsBite.org by DogsBite.org
Fatal Rottweiler Attacks - The Archival Record by DogsBite.org

2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull-Mix Kills 4-Year Old Boy in Bexar County, Texas

pit bull-mix kills boy in Converse, bexar county
Noah died after a tethered, male pit bull-mix latched onto his neck and shook him.

Male Pit Bull-Mix
UPDATE 03/27/18: A member of Noah's family shared with KENS 5 News more details about the family dog that attacked and killed the little boy Sunday in Converse. The animal is a male pit bull-mix, named Bam Bam. The dog was given to the family as a gift three years ago. Jon Ramirez, a family friend, said he had seen Noah and Bam Bam interact well in the past. The pit bull-mix was chained to a fence in the backyard when Noah entered into the "death radius" of the canine.

Late Sunday, News 4 San Antonio reported that neighbors said the dog had previously escaped the family's property and fatally attacked neighborhood pets. The Bexar County Sheriff's Office is still trying to confirm those reports. Again, the extreme risk factors present in Noah's death -- a young child left unattended near a male (neuter status unknown) chained dog, and with a potentially lethal track record in killing animals -- is one of the most dangerous scenarios of all.

03/25/18: Family Dog Kills Boy
Converse, TX - A 4-year old boy is dead after a family dog latched onto his neck. The Bexar County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) was called to a home in the 8900 block of Twincreek Farm about 3:45 pm Sunday after a report of a dog attack. BCSO said the boy was in the backyard when the large canine attacked him. The child was airlifted to University Hospital in San Antonio with life-threatening injuries and "excessive trauma." He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

The 4-year old boy has been identified as Noah Trevino. It has also now been confirmed the dog was tied up when it fatally attacked the child.

"It appears that the child may have gotten too close to the dog," Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said. "One of the relatives of the child actually looked out into the backyard and saw that the dog had his mouth around the little boy's neck and was shaking him," Salazar said. Animal control took the dog. The dog is potentially a mixture of American bulldog, pit bull or mastiff; no confirmation at this time. Also, "too close" indicates the dog may have been penned or chained.

Late Evening Updates

A larger photograph Tweeted by David Caltabiano of News4SA shows better scale than the first one (which was a close up). Mastiff as a possibility can now be removed. This is a pit bull-type dog -- an American bulldog, pit bull terrier or a cross between these close breeds. Authorities are simply calling it a "large mixed-breed," yet the dog's behavior is very specific to these breeds: The dog latched onto the boy's throat and shook him to death. The sex of the canine is unknown.

Readers also may have noticed this statement in various news reports, "The family said the dog has never attacked people." In their evening broadcast, reporter Caltabiano stated that according to BCSO, neighbors told them the same dog had escaped the yard in the past and attacked and killed neighborhood animals. BCSO is still trying to confirm those reports. The risk factors posed by this canine -- a chained aggressor with a lethal track record -- were alarmingly evident.

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

pit bull type dog kills boy in Converse bexar county
pit bull type dog kills boy in Converse bexar county
location of fatal dog attack in Converse bexar county


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07/07/16: 2016 Dog Bite Fatality: New Haven Woman Dies After Mauling by Pit Bull-Type Dogs...
03/30/16: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Dogs Savagely Kill Elderly Woman in Miami-Dade
12/30/15: 2015 Dog Bite Fatality: Visiting Child Killed by Father's Pit Bull-Type Dog in Miami-Dade


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.

2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Milwaukee Woman Mauled to Death by Her Dogs Over the Weekend

Milwaukee kille by pet pit bulls
Hong Saengsamly, 49, was mauled to death by one or more of her three pet dogs.

Pet Dogs Kill Owner
Milwaukee, WI - After a 49-year old woman was found dead at her home over the weekend, the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Monday she died due to "maulings by dogs." Hong Saengsamly was found dead at her home in the 500 block of North 28th Street late Saturday after her son, Jack, stopped by for a well-being check. When Jack entered into the home, he encountered her three dogs guarding the body and growling -- two pit bulls and a chihuahua.

The medical examiner listed Hong Saengsamly's cause of death as "multiple puncture and blunt force injuries" due to "mauling by dogs."

Jack tried to get the dogs away from her, but one of the pit bulls became so aggressive, he had to shoot it multiple times, according to the police report. Saengsamly was found in the kitchen. In a separate room, connected to the kitchen, a large black and white pit bull was lying on its side after being shot twice. There were two more bullet holes in the north wall of the room, according to the report. Jack claimed none of the dogs were violent and "had never attacked a person before."

Related articles:
02/20/18: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: 22-Year Old Woman Dies in 'Grisly Mauling' by Her Pit Bulls
12/11/17: 2017 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Mauled to Death by Her Pet Pit Bull in Alsip, Illinois


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.

2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Dog Kills 13-Month Old Baby Girl at Babysitter's Home in Missouri

Babysitter Charged with Felony Manslaughter

dog kills baby in Cape Girardeau while under care of babysitter
Loxli Chavez, 13-months old, was killed by a dog while under the care of her babysitter.

Babysitter Charged
UPDATE 04/06/18: Police have charged a babysitter in connection to the mauling death of a baby under her care last month. Erica Nancy Jordan, 33, was charged with one count of second-degree involuntary manslaughter, a felony, for acting with criminal negligence that resulted in the death of 13-month old Loxli Chavez. Jordan admitted to police that she knew the dog was dangerous around children; the animal had "attacked" her own son last year, biting him in the head.

The dog belonged to Jordan's brother. After the baby's death, her brother told police the dog was a mixture of Labrador retriever, Alaskan malamute and pit bull terrier, only noting the pit bull aspect in the last part. Yet, it was a male dog that only weighed 40-pounds.1 We also now know the dog was 6 or 7 years old. Court documents more accurately depict "pit bull" as being the predominant breed (listed first), calling the canine a "pit bull labrador malamute-mix named Smokey."

Jordan was "temporarily" taking care of a known biter for her brother while she babysat two new children = felony manslaughter charges.

At the time of the deadly attack, Jordan was also watching the baby's older sibling. In the probable cause statement, the mother of the baby stated the attack happened in the first week Jordan had babysat her children. She said it was never disclosed to her the dog had previously attacked Jordan's child or that it was unsuitable around kids. Jordan told police the dog had been neutered since it attacked her son; Jordan falsely believed this would remove the dog's aggression.

The Southeast Missourian provided more details from the probable cause statement. Jordan said Smokey was drinking water from a dog bowl within a few feet of Loxli just before the attack. She said she suddenly "heard screaming and crying" and saw "blood everywhere," according to the statement. Jordan said she tried to pull the dog away, but "he was so aggressive" and "just kept going for the baby." If convicted, Jordan faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

Erica Jordan charged with manslaughter after pit bull kills baby


03/13/18: Attacker was Part Pit Bull
On Monday, KZIM KSIM Radio spoke to Cape Girardeau Police Public Information Officer Sergeant Rick Schmidt who said that the owner of the dog that killed the 13-month old baby stated the dog was a mixture of Labrador retriever, Alaskan malamute and pit bull terrier. Cape Girardeau Police also reiterated this on their Facebook page. The Alaskan pit bull is a designer breed involving 50% Alaskan malamute and 50% pit bull. One website even calls it a "Mally Pit."

Schmidt also confirmed the child was at the babysitter's home when the dog attacked the baby in the face. On Friday, police responded to a call about a "dog bite" incident at 2:12 pm to a home on North Hanover Street near Themis Street. When they arrived, they found the baby girl critically injured and quickly transported her to an area hospital. She was pronounced dead about 3:30 pm. The male mixed-breed dog, which weighs about 40-pounds, belongs to the owner of the home.

03/12/18: 13-Month Old Killed by Dog
Cape Girardeau, MO - On Monday, Cape Girardeau Police issued a media release about a 13-month old baby girl that was killed by a dog. Police did not release this information until three days after the child's death. Police received a call about 2:12 pm Friday regarding an animal bite in the 000 block of North Hanover Street. They discovered a dog that lived in the residence had attacked the young child. The baby was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The animal was impounded. Police have not released any breed information about the attacking dog. Various comments on the Cape Girardeau Police Facebook page suggest a babysitter was watching the child at the time of the deadly attack. "The child was not in the care of her parents," states one. It remains unclear if the baby lived at the North Hanover Street residence or if that residence is the babysitter's home. Ownership of the attacking dog remains unclear as well.

Afternoon Updates

The baby was attacked in the babysitter's home on North Hanover Street. Police described the dog as a 40-pound "mixed-breed" -- which can certainly indicate a pit bull-mix. KFVS reports police were told they were called in to investigate a "dog bite," but when they arrived, they found the baby severely wounded and immediately took her to an area hospital. She was pronounced dead about an hour later. The dog, referred to as a male, belongs to the owner of the residence.

This was not a dog bite; it was a violent dog attack involving a 13-month old baby girl. This information, combined with the description of the dog and questionable behavior of the person watching the baby (and the dog's owner if two people were involved), serve as strong indicators that a pit bull-mix may be involved and that a criminal element may be too. Over the 13-year period of 2005 to 2017, 75% of all dog bite fatalities resulting in criminal charges involved pit bulls.

1According to the AKC, an adult male malamute is about 85 pounds and an adult male Labrador is from 65 to 80 pounds. The UKC standard for pit bulls lists the desirable weight for a mature male between 35 and 60 pounds. There is a wide rage of variances in the pit bull breed. But there is rarely such a thing as a 40-pound, 7-year old male malamute-labrador mix. This is the type of case where police really should release of a photo of the dog.

Related articles:
03/09/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Pet Wolf Hybrid Kills 8-Day Old Baby Girl in Virginia


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.