Dogs kill & disfigure more people in U.S. & Canada than Jihadis & far-right “wing nuts” combined
Who is most likely to kill or disfigure you or your child––a Jihadi terrorist armed with guns and bombs, a far-right militia member practicing “open carry” of weapons, or a dangerous dog?
The correct answer is the dog. And dog attack mayhem is rising by far the most steeply.
Jihadi violence in North America has mostly trended down since 2001. Right wing terrorism, though rising in recent years, peaked in 1995.
Pit bull attacks up 830%
But fatal and disfiguring pit bull attacks are up 830% since 2007, when the Humane Society of the U.S., Best Friends Animal Society, and American SPCA ramped up pit bull advocacy after the arrest of football player Michael Vick on dogfighting charges for which he was eventually convicted.
Jihadists, or Islamicist extremists, by one commonly cited reckoning, killed 48 people in the U.S. and Canada during 2015. Far right extremists killed 47 people.
Jihadists and far-right terrorists have each injured about 260 people in the U.S. per year, on average, over the past decade.
Record numbers of deaths
A record 46 people were killed by dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada during 2015, including an also-record 34 people killed by pit bulls, two more than the previous record of 32, reached in 2012.
Dogs committed 614 fatal or disfiguring attacks in the U.S. and Canada during 2015, more than Jihadists and far-right terrorists combined.
Record disfigurements too
Pit bulls alone disfigured 459 people––five more than ever before.
Among the 648 total human victims of pit bull attacks in which at least one person was killed or disfigured were at least 209 children and 354 adults.
The number of known child victims in 2015 declined from the 2014 record of 266, and from the previous record of 214, reached in 2013, apparently because word is getting out that allowing children to be around pit bulls is potentially deadly, but the 209 child victims in 2015 would have been a record in any earlier year.
The 354 adult pit bull victims in 2015 was 73 above the previous record. 2015 was the eighth consecutive year that the number of adult pit bull victims increased.
2015 deaths were triple the toll 1930-1960
The dog attack death toll in 2015 alone was triple the U.S. toll for the entire 30 years 1930-1960, during which time almost all dogs ran free and under 1% were sterilized in any manner. But pit bulls accounted for “only” 60% of the fatalities between 1930 and 1960, compared to 73% in 2015.
Retrospective data collection has established that pit bulls have accounted for half or more of all fatal dog attacks in every 10-year time frame since 1844, while making up less than 1% of the U.S. dog population for most of that time, and less than 6% now.
Even before 2007 the frequency of fatal and disfiguring pit bull attacks had risen explosively for 25 years.
In the entire decade from 1982 to 1992, 104 pit bulls attacked 44 children and 60 adults, killing 18 of the victims, disfiguring 36. Fifty victims escaped without fatal or disfiguring injuries in attacks in which others were killed or disfigured.
Most of those totals were exceeded in 2002 alone, and in almost every year since. 2011 was the last year with fewer than 30 pit bull attack fatalities; 2008 the last year with fewer than 20.
Agencies squelch breed info
The pit bull contribution to total deaths and disfigurements in recent years might be much higher, except that under pressure from pit bull advocates many animal control agencies and humane societies, and even some news media, have begun withholding breed-specific information about attacks.
From 1982 through 2013, only 45 documented fatal or disfiguring attacks were by dogs of unidentified breed, but in 2014 alone, 36 fatal or disfiguring attacks were attributed to dogs of unidentified breed.
In 2015 the number of fatal or disfiguring attacks by dogs of allegedly “unidentified” breed more than doubled to 78––even though in most instances the dogs were impounded by law enforcement.
49 attacks by shelter dogs
Forty-nine fatal or disfiguring attacks in 2015, or about one in 7.5, were by dogs who had been rehomed by animal shelters, among them 39 pit bulls. No other breed type was involved in more than two attacks by shelter dogs.
ANIMALS 24-7 is still tabulating and evaluating the 2015 data on dog attacks against other animals. Pit bulls in recent years have accounted for more than 95% of all dog attacks in which other pets and/or livestock were killed, resulting in upward of 50,000 animal fatalities per year.
Our complete tables on Dog attack deaths & Maimings, U.S. & Canada, September 1982 to December 31, 2015 appear below, followed by a separately compiled set of notes on fatal attack victims from volunteer Jan Smith.
Further particulars on the 2015 dog attack fatalities from Jan Smith, with her prefatory comments:
Here is my updated list of U.S. and Canadian fatalities, by date, name and age of victim, and details about the dog(s) and mode of attack. Foreign deaths are listed separately at the end.
Please note that I do NOT participate in the kennel club game of putting fictional labels on “breeds” that are in truth pit bulls or pit bull mixes. For example, where some “breed” is in truth a mastiff/pit bull dog mix (such as the bullmastiff or the Cane Corso), I list it as a pit bull type dog/pit mix.
Stars (**) indicate that the killer was someone’s beloved “family pet” pit bull who was never abused or neglected. The double dagger (‡) indicates that the “family pet” pit bull belonged to the deceased person or the person’s family.
Child fatalities by pit bull type dog (12):
Declan Dean Moss – 18 month old – Brooksville, FL ** ‡ [January 19, mother’s pit bulls]
Malaki Mildward – 7 years old – College Springs, IA – ** ‡ [January 22, two six months old pit mixes]
Taylynn DaVaugn – 2 years old – West Mifflin, PA — ** ‡ [February 21]
Brayden Wilson – 2 months old – Dallas, TX — ** ‡ [April 19 – an 8-year-old pit bull that had been ‘peaceful’ until it killed the child]
James W. Nevils III – 5 years old – Chicago, IL — ** ‡ [May 25 – owned by his adult cousin; pit bull didn’t let go despite being stabbed multiple times]
Jordan Tyson ‘Jo Jo’ Collins – 3 years old – Lawton, OK – ** ‡ [June 28 – owned by his grandparents]
Joshua Phillip Strother – 6 years old – Henderson, NC – [July 7 – neighbor’s adopted, one-year-old shelter pit bull; the child had played with this pit bull before]
Lamarkus Hicks – 2 years old – Baker Heights, WVA — ** [September 28 – neighbor’s pit bull]
Tanner Smith – 5 years old – Vidor, TX — ** [October 18 – pit bulls owned by friend of mother]
Amiyah Dunstan — 9 years old – Elmont, Long Island, NY — ** [November 8 – while visiting friend]
Carter Evan Hartle – 11 months old – Marshall, Oneida County, NY — ** ‡ [November 17 – his own mother’s ‘beloved’ pit bull that the family had raised from pup]
Xavier Strickland – 4 years old – Detroit, MI ** [December 2 – snatched from his mother on the sidewalk, disemboweled]
Adult fatalities by pit bull type dog (17):
Eugene Smith – 87 years old – Frederick, MD ** ‡ [January 7; “rescue” pit bull, kept as indoor family pet]
Frederick Crutchfield – 63 – Coal Hill, AK ** ‡ [February 4, found dead in woods with “multiple canine injuries” inflicted by his son’s pit bulls]
Roy Higgenbotham Jr. – 62 y.o. – Wheeling, WV — ** ‡ [March 8, killed by his pit bull while trying to do CPR on David Wallace; the two men owned the pit bull jointly, had raised it from pup]
Julia Charging Whirlwind – 49 years old – Rosebud Reservation, White River, SD [March 14]
De’Trick Johnson – 36 years old – Pine Bluff, AR – [March 21]
Kenneth Lawrence Ford – 79 years old. – Pahrump, NV ** [attacked March 13, died April 14; two of the three pit bulls kept attacking even after being shot]
Nolberto Legarda – 83 years old – Pecos, TX ** [July 2]
Matthew Brigmantas – 38 years old – Hamilton, Ontario ** [July 8 – killed by pit bull mix he was walking]
Annie Williams – 71 years old – Shaker Heights, OH ‡ [July 12 – killed by her son-in-law’s pit bull]
Carolyn Sue Lamp – 67 years old – Redbird, OK ** [July 24 ]
Porsche Nicole Cartee – 25 years old – Spartanburg, SC ** ‡ [August 22 – DOA, her own 10-year-old pit bull]
Cathy Wheatcraft – 48 years old – Cooleemee, Davie County, NC ** [August 24 – DOA, neighbor’s pit bull]
Barbara McCormick – 65 years old – Billingsley, AL — ** ‡ [September 4 – pit bull mix]
Emilios Rios Sr. – 65 years old – North Shore, Riverside Co., CA [September 8]
Carmen Reigada – 91 years old – Miami-Dade, FL ** ‡ [September 22 – live-in grandson’s pit types]
Edgar Brown – 60 years old – Oklahoma City, OK ** [Attacked October 6, died October 16]
Rebecca Hardy – 22 years old– Port Huron, MI ** [Attacked December 3, died December 4]
Rottweiler killings (2):
Betty Wood – 78 years old — Sulpher Srings, TX – ** ‡ [March 12]
Anthony Riggs – 57 years old – Madison County, TN – [November 12 – killed just hours after adopting the Rottweiler from the Madison County shelter]
Fatalities by “breed unknown” (2)
Unidentified Native American – about 40 years old – Gallup, NM [January 2, found dead at the roadside after altercation with ‘feral dogs’]
Neta Lee Adams – 81 years old – Washington County, GA – [found dead in a ditch due to dog attack on March 31]
Fatalities by “breed being hidden from the public” (1):
Gaege Ramirez – 7 years old – Canyon Lake, TX — ** ‡ [May 2]
Foreign deaths by pit bull type dog that we know of (12):
Maxi Millian Guscott – 2 years old – St. Ann, Jamaica ** ‡ [January 2 – bullmastiff, which is a pit bull – mastiff mix]
Emilia Mitroi – 53 years old – Drobeta Turnu Severin, Romania [March 9 – attacked while feeding her son’s pit bull]
Itamir Fogaca da Silva – 45 years old – Sao Paolo, Brazil ** ‡ [March 12 – killed by his mother’s six pit bull mixes when he went to check on her]
Rhona Greve – 64 years old – Ely, Cardiff, Wales, UK ** ‡ [March 20]
Michael Dany Kassouah – 7 years old – Zahle, al-Kark region, Lebanon [April 7]
Sheikh Kousar – 6 years old – Kakumanu Village, Andhra Pradesh, India [April 15 – roaming pit bulls]
Unidentified man – age not reported – Lauro de Freitas, Brazil ** ‡ [April 22 – killed in his home by his own pit bull]
Fred Savage – 13 years old – Otjomuise, Namibia ** [June 27 – the pit bulls continued to maul the boy even after being shot]
Matias Reynoso – 21 months old – Leon, Mexico ** ‡ [July 18 – in his own home by his parents’ own pit bulls]
Mamun – 7 years old – Delhi, India ** [mauled to death by “stray” owned pit bulls]
Unidentified boy – 20 months old – Hyderabad, India [September 18 – roaming owned pit bulls]
Unidentified boy – 2 years old – Stavropol, Russia ** [week of October 19 – neighbor’s’ pit bulls]
Foreign killings by other dogs that we know of:
Elizabeth Claire Wright – 55 – Watamu, Kenya ** ‡ [British woman killed by husband’s Rottweilers]