CDC belatedly admits that fatal dog attacks are starkly up, but does not acknowledge that bully breeds are doing 90% of the killing
MODESTO, California––The demographic odds were 380-to-one against two consecutive dog attack fatalities being 93-year-old women who were minding their own business in their own yards when mauled, 2,000 miles away from each other, two weeks apart, but were more nine-to-one that both victims would be killed by bully breeds.
As they were.
Great-grandmother Chanthy Philavong, 93, “Maetu” to family and friends, was fatally mauled by two Cane Corsos on August 31, 2023, in Modesto, California, moments after arriving home from a medical appointment. Rescued by neighbors, Chanthy Philavong died in hospital two days later.
Cops say nothing
The two Cane Corsos, apparently notorious in the neighborhood for running at large and menacing residents, were impounded.
Said the Modesto police department, “Detectives with our Investigative Services Division have taken over this case. No further information will be released at this time, as this is an active investigation.”
Two weeks later further information has still not yet been released.
Neighbor charged in Arkansas killing
Two weeks earlier the 93-year-old dog attack victim was Jeane Bennett, of Blytheville, Arkansas. Attacked by three free-roaming pit bulls on June 3, 2023, Bennet was––like Chanthy Philavong–– rescued by neighbors, but succumbed to her injuries after hospitalization.
Neighbor David Veasey, 43, was charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault, two counts of unlawful dog attack, and various violations of Blytheville city ordinance.
Chanthy Philavong and Jeane Bennett were respectively the 40th and 41st known dog attack fatalities in the U.S. thus far in 2023, and the 36th and 37th U.S. victims of bully breeds, who in 2023 have done 90% of the killing.
Second beagle-caused fatality on record
The next known human fatality resulting from dog behavior came on September 1, 2023, when Brighton Penkacik, 12, of Jacksonville, Florida, fled from an aggressive beagle into a busy street, and was hit by a car.
Penkacik was only the second human fatality inflicted even indirectly by a beagle in the 41 years that ANIMALS 24-7 has logged fatal and disfiguring dog attacks in the U.S. and Canada, keeping similar logs of fatalities in the United Kingdom since 1991 and South Africa since 2004.
The previous beagle fatality was Nicole Ault, 6, strangled in her sleep on March 26, 1995 when her 15-pound beagle pulled a leash taut around her neck.
No fatal bite cases involve beagles
Neither beagle-caused human death involved a bite, belying the frequent claim by pit bull advocates that any dog can inflict a fatal bite.
Only 37 recognized dog breeds and their mixes, out of several hundred recognized by various kennel clubs, have killed humans in the U.S. since 1982.
Over that time, 636 of the 982 recorded deaths have been inflicted specifically by pit bulls; 164 more by Rottweilers, Cane Corsos, Dogo Argentinos, Presa Canarios, and other “bully breeds.”
CDC acknowledges 468 dog attack deaths, 2011-2021
On September 8, 2023 the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention [CDC] in Atlanta, Georgia belatedly acknowledged that dog attack fatalities in the U.S. are now occurring many times more often than 20 and 30 years ago, without delving into why.
Reported CDC scientists Jiaquan Xu, M.D. and Arialdi Miniño, M.P.H., “During 2011–2021, a total of 468 deaths from being bitten or struck by a dog occurred (average = 43 deaths per year).”
ANIMALS 24-7 also logs deaths from proximate causes, such as the victim running into traffic to avoid a dog attack, strangulations resulting from a dog tugging a leash, and victims suffering heart attacks while experiencing a dog attack.
What happened in 2021?
Subtracting proximate cause deaths from the ANIMALS 24-7 log, our total for the 11-year span 2011-2021 and the CDC total agree, except for the year 2021.
“The annual number of deaths ranged from 31 (2016) to 81 (2021),” Jiaquan Xu and Arialdi Miniño reported.
For 2021, however, ANIMALS 24-7 logged only 56 dog attack deaths, including those from proximate causes.
No other source identifies more than 56 individual dog attack victims in the year 2021. This suggests that either 25 people died from dog attacks that were not reported by news media, or died so long after being attacked by dogs that there was no reportage linking their deaths to having been attacked, or that the CDC somehow made a data recording error during the time that COVID-19 deaths were peaking.
Who is attacked most, men or women?
“During 2011–2016, more deaths occurred among males than among females during most years,” Jiaquan Xu and Arialdi Miniño observed.
“However,” Jiaquan Xu and Arialdi Miniño continued, “during 2017–2021, more deaths occurred among females than among males. From 2018 to 2021, deaths more than doubled for both males (from 15 to 37) and females (from 20 to 44).”
These were trends that ANIMALS 24-7 also noted.
Jiaquan Xu and Arialdi Miniño drew their data from the National Center for Health Statistics, National Vital Statistics System, Mortality Data, 2011–2021, https://wonder.cdc.gov/Deaths-by-Underlying-Cause.html.