2008 dog bite fatalities ::

Information gathered by DogsBite.org is verifiable1 through Internet archive services. Our Fatality Citations section documents each source used in our dog bite-related fatality research.

2008 statistics

  • 23 U.S. fatal dog attacks occurred in 2008. Pit bulls were responsible for 65% (15). Pit bulls make up approximately 5% of the U.S. dog population.2
  • In 2008, only one U.S. citizen over the age of 3 was killed by a breed other than a pit bull. 74-year old Lorraine May was fatally mauled by her two dogs: an Australian shepherd-mix and a golden retriever-mix.
  • 70% of the attacks occurred to children (11 years and under) and 30% occurred to adults (21 years and older). Of the children, half (8) occurred to ages 1 and younger.
  • 39% of fatal attacks in 2008 involved multiple dogs; 9% involved chained dogs.
  • 78% of the attacks occurred on owner property and 22% off owner property. All off property attacks (5) that resulted in death were attributed to pit bulls.
  • 61% of the victims were male; 39% of the victims were female. Of the male victims, over half (8) were 3 years and younger.
  • In at least three fatal attacks, a grandmother was watching a child aged 2 and younger. Two of these attacks occurred in Las Vegas; both involved pet pit bulls.
2008 U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities
2008 fatal dog attacks by breed
2008 dog bite fatality chart

In 2008, one fatality involved dogs from two different breeds, thus producing a "death credit" total of 24, rather than 23. Six dog breeds each contributed to one death and included a doberman pinscher, jack russell terrier, australian shepherd-mix, golden retriever-mix, sheepdog-mix and labrador.

2008 victims

Andrew Stein

8-months old | Brooklyn, NY

Andrew Stein, 8 months old, had been playing on the floor when the family's Doberman pinscher bit his head and crushed his skull. At the time, the grandmother was in the kitchen. She rushed into the living room upon hearing the child scream. She frantically alerted the neighbor, who helped pull the dog off the child. Andrew's parents were not present at the time of the attack. The dog, Macabee, was a seven-year old, neutered male and had been living with the family since he was a puppy. [source citations]

Date of death: January 4, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Doberman pinscher Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Parents
Spay/Neuter: Yes Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Unknown

Justin Mozer

6-weeks old | Lexington, KY

Justin Mozer, 6-weeks old, was sleeping in a bedroom when the family's Jack Russell Terrier attacked him. According to the uncle, Jeff Mozer, the baby was lying on a king-size bed -- not in a crib. Authorities say the infant died of suffocation and blood loss in the attack. The mother was in another room, bathing a child when the tragedy occurred. The Fayette County Coroner's office ruled the death as accidental. The Jack Russell and the other family dog, a pit bull, were removed from the home after the attack. [source citations]

Date of death: January 17, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Jack Russell terrier Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Female Owner of dog: Parents
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Unknown

Kelli Chapman

24-years old | Longville, LA

Kelli Chapman, 24-years old, was killed by two pit bulls while sleeping in her home. She and her husband had raised the dogs since they were pups -- a four-year old male and one-year old female. Relatives of the woman believe she may have had a seizure while sleeping and the dogs reacted to it by killing her. It's unknown if she had a seizure. What is known is that Kelli died of bite trauma and blood loss. Authorities say she had injuries to her forearms as well, indicating possible defensive wounds. There was damage to furniture and other items in the bedroom too. [source citations]

Date of death: January 20, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Unknown

Abraham Jonathan Tackett

2-years old | Fort Yukon, AK

Abraham Tackett, 2-years old, was killed after he wandered into a neighbor's yard and was attacked by a chained dog. There were a number of chained dogs in the neighbor's yard that had recently been fed and were still eating. The child approached a 3-year-old husky mixed breed and the dog attacked, apparently protecting its food. This is the second fatal attack in the last dozen years in Fort Yukon (145 miles from Fairbanks). Between 1991-2002, Alaska led the nation in dog bite injuries and death. [source citations]

Date of death: April 28, 2008 Chained: Yes
Breed of dog: Husky-mix Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No

Julian Slack

3-years old | Camp Lejeune, NC

Julian Slack, was at home with a babysitter when he was severely mauled by a pit bull. The little boy bled to death on route to the hospital after being bitten multiple times on the head and neck. According to base officials, a civilian friend of the family had brought the dog over to the house. Several years ago, at the same military base, Amy Gaston's daughter was attacked by a rottweiler after it got out of its fenced yard. Gaston subsequently filed a $5 million lawsuit against the U.S. Marine Corps. The current status of this lawsuit is unknown. Nearly one year after the fatal attack of little Julian, Camp Lejeune enacted a new animal control policy that bans pit bulls, rottweilers, wolf breeds and their mixes. (Please see: related blog post) [source citations]

Date of death: May 14, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Guest
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Tanner Joshua Monk

Tanner Joshua Monk

7-years old | Breckenridge, TX

Tanner Joshua Monk, 7-years old, was found alone about 150 yards from his house and 50 to 75 yards from his neighbor's house where he had been playing with some friends. A passing driver saw Tanner lying next to the road with two pit bulls nearby. When she left her car, the dogs became aggressive and she called 911. Deputies arrived and shot the two dogs. The two pit bulls, along with two others seized at the scene, belonged to Tanner's neighbors. Both neighbors are being charged with a felony under Lillian's Law. [source citations]

Date of death: May 18, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (4) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Yes
Fatal dog attack, Pablo Lopez

Pablo Lopez (Hernandez)

5-years old | Weslaco, TX

Pablo Lopez, 5-years old, was at home when the family pit bull named Greco flew into a rage at a dog passing by the home. When Pablo stepped out the back door, Greco seized the boy by his torso and dragged him to the ground. In a matter of seconds, the dog locked its jaws around the boy's neck, killing him. It is reported that the dog had a history of chaining but was unchained at the time of the attack. Because the attack happened on-property and authorities did not find evidence of "neglect," no charges were brought. [source citations]

Date of death: June 18, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Uncle
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No

Lorraine May

74-years old | Titusville, FL

Lorraine May, 74-years old, was killed by her two dogs. She suffered a dislocated shoulder and many bites in the attack. Police believe May was breaking up a fight between the dogs. The animals, which she had owned since puppies, had a history of fighting with each other, and were reportedly mother-and-son. One was a female golden-retriever mix and the other was a male Australian-shepherd mix. A neighbor described May as a quiet lady who took good care of her pets. "She loved her dogs from ear to ear. You could tell the dogs brought her a lot of joy." [source citations]

Date of death: June 28, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Golden retriever-mix (1)
Australian shepherd-mix (1)
Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Tony Evans Jr

Tony Evans Jr.

3-years old | Jackson, MS

Tony Evans Jr., 3-years old, was killed by a neighbor's pit bull. The boy had been playing with other children in front of his house when he wandered into the neighbor's carport where a pit bull was chained. No one heard the attack or saw the boy being dragged into the doghouse. After being alerted that Tony was missing, the dog owner, Shannon Reason, found the boy's lifeless body next to his male pit bull named Blue Eyes. The attack happened on the dog owner's property and the dog was constrained. No charges where filed against Reason. [source citations]

Date of death: July 22, 2008 Chained: Yes
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Addison Sonney

Addison Sonney

1-year old | Millcreek, PA

Addison Sonney, 1-year old, was attacked and killed by her family's English sheepdog mix at the family's home. Her mother, Kari Sonney, tried to stop the attack and suffered injuries as well. The toddler was airlifted to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburg where she later died from wounds to her head, neck and torso. After the attack, the dog escaped the home. Police followed the dog into a nearby neighborhood with their guns drawn and killed it. The death was ruled as accidental. [source citations]

Date of death: July 25, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Old English sheepdog-mix Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Parents
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No

Zane Alen Earles

2-months old | Tulsa, OK

Zane Alen Earles, 2-months old, was killed by the family's Laborador puppy. At the time of the attack, the baby's mother, 17, and grandmother were sleeping in their bedrooms on one side of the house and the baby was in a baby swing in the livingroom. The father, 18, and grandfather had left the baby swinging prior to their departure that morning. The infant was declared dead upon arrival of the police. Details were not released due to an ongoing investigation. The Lab puppy was euthanized at the request of Tulsa police. [source citations]

Date of death: July 28, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Labrador (6-weeks old) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Parents
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Yes
Fatal dog attack, Robert Howard

Robert Howard

35-years old (est.) | Detroit, MI

Robert Howard, estimated to be 35-years old, was killed by a pit bull that was attacking a woman's dogs. Police said a woman came out of her home when she saw a pit bull attacking her two chained dogs. When she tried to stop the attack, the pit bull went after her. She grabbed a shovel and beat the dog. Robert Howard came out of his house to help. The pit bull, which was reportedly a loose or stray fighting dog, tore into Howard's calf. His friend, Isaiah Brown, said, "[The dog] just snatched and pulled all the arteries out. He was lying on the steps, and when I checked his vital signs he was already dead then." Police said the dog bit a main artery in Howard's leg. [source citations]

Date of death: August 14, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Stray
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Unknown
Fatal dog attack, Isis Krieger

Isis Krieger

6-years old | Anchorage, AK

Isis Krieger, 6-years old, was violently attacked by the family pit bull on August 12th. At the time of the incident, she had been playing with the dog named Dozer. The babysitter, who had been watching Isis and her younger sister, tried to stop the attack and was also injured. In the midst of the attack, two neighbors heard the babysitter screaming and intervened. Troy Danforth shot the attacking dog and Specialist 4th Class Kyle Mayeaux of the U.S. Army Alaska tried to stop the bleeding until emergency responders could arrive.

Isis was taken to Alaska Native Medical Center and underwent immediate surgery. Simultaneously, her father, a soldier in Iraq, was flown home on emergency leave. Isis suffered a broken neck in the attack and was declared legally dead on August 14th. The family kept her on life support systems until her father could arrive and see her one last time. Upon his return, she was taken off the machines and died. The complete story was not released to the press until August 18th, a day when many family and non-family members mourned. [source citations]

Date of death: August 14, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Parents
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Henry Piotrowski

Henry Piotrowski

90-years old | Staten Island, NY

Henry Piotrowsky, 90-years old, was brutally attacked by his neighbor's two pit bulls as he stood in his own backyard. The World War II veteran initially suffered extensive injury to his face, neck arms and right leg; his left leg was amputated. Henry remained in the intensive care unit at Richmond University Medical Center for 47 days. On August 6th, it was reported that his eyes rarely opened, he needed a tracheotomy tube to breathe and a feeding tube for nourishment. On August 17th, it was reported that he died.

Prior to his death, the owner of the pit bulls, James McNair, was charged with second-degree assault, a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison if convicted at trial. In October 2009, McNair pleaded guilty and is expected to be sentenced to three years in jail. Following his death, Henry's family filed a notice of claim -- the first step in the process of suing the city -- against the City of New York seeking $7 million in damages. The final suit papers were delivered to the city in September 2009 and the matter is now pending litigation. [source citations]

Date of death: August 17, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Yes
Fatal dog attack, Luna McDaniel

Luna McDaniel

83-years old | Ville Platte, LA

Luna McDaniel, 83-years old, was severely injured after being attacked by three pit bulls while taking a morning walk. The dogs broke out of a shed to attack her. When police arrived, they shot one of the dogs and took the other two into custody. The owner of the dogs, Theo Doucet, told reporters that Luna must have "walked into his yard looking for empty cans" whereby prompting the violent attack. Luna was attacked on the street -- not on Doucet's property. Doucet was subsequently charged with negligent homicide.

Luna was taken to the I.C.U at Opelousas General Hospital in serious condition. Both of her ears were injured in the attack; her leg was amputated just below the knee and one arm was severely injured as well. Family members reported that she faced about 20 surgeries. It was also reported that Luna did not lose consciousness during the attack. By August 29th, Luna's condition had worsened as she fell into pneumonia and fever. Luna died September 4th. [source citations]

Date of death: September 4, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (3) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Yes

Alexis Hennessy

6-days old | Hopatcong, NJ

Alexis Hennessy, 6-days old, was bitten by the family dog while she lay in her crib. The 3-year old husky dog named Shadow bit the baby on the head and inflicted the mortal wound. The infant was rushed to Morristown Memorial Hospital, where she died. Hopatcong Police Chief John Swanson said the baby's mother "left the room momentarily and came back in and discovered it (the bite) either ongoing or just done." The dog had no history of violent behavior. Hennessy's tragic death marks the 5th fatality this year -- of 16 total -- when a baby, 12-months old and younger, was killed by the family dog. [source citations]

Date of death: September 9, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Husky Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Parents
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No

Cendi Kia Carey

4-months old | North Las Vegas, NV

Cendi Kia Carey, 4-months old, was brutally attacked by the family's 2 pit bulls. Police Chief Joseph Forti said the dogs were in the backyard of the home prior to the attack. The dogs managed to enter the home, possibly by bursting through a screen door, and began attacking the baby as she lay in a stroller. "They just went right for the little girl," he said. The grandmother managed to grab the baby and escape into a different room. She tried to close the door behind her, but one of the dogs forced its way into the room followed by the other. The dogs began attacking the infant again and killed the child. The grandmother was also injured in the attack. [source citations]

Date of death: September 12, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Parents
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No

Jane Doe

3-days old | Warren, OH

Jane Doe, 3-days old, was tragically killed just after being born. At the time of the attack, she was lying in a bassinet. Warren Police Lt. Don Bishop said the 3-day-old baby girl suffered bite marks and scratches by the family's husky and was pronounced dead at Forum Health Trumbull Memorial Hospital. Bishop says the infant's father left the room briefly and discovered the attack when he returned. Fire Chief Kenneth Schick says the baby was in full cardiac arrest when the rescue squad arrived. Police investigated the accident, but ruled the child's death accidental. This marks the 7th fatality this year when an infant was killed by the family dog. [source citations]

Date of death: September 22, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Husky Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Parents
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Katya Todesco

Katya Todesco

5-years old | Simi Valley, CA

Katya Todesco, 5-years old, was brutally attacked by a pit bull and died several days later due to her injuries. Initial reports from police indicated Katya lived at the home where the attack occurred. But her mother, Katia Todesco, said the tragedy occurred at a friend's house. Todesco said her daughter wandered into the backyard with the friend's 13-year-old daughter, and the dog attacked when Katya "bumped into it." Katya lost a massive amount of blood, but doctors at Simi Valley Hospital were able to revive her, and she lived for two more days at Childrens Hospital.

Police did not release information about Katya Todesco until 6 days after she was attacked and three days after she was pronounced dead. Police Capt. Roy Jones said that they did not report the incident partly because they did not find any criminal conduct in the matter. About 2 weeks later, police released a conflicting statement: "Information obtained during the early stages of the inquiry into this incident resulted in an immediate expansion of this investigation to determine any criminal culpability by the person(s) involved." The investigation continues to unfold. [source citations]

Date of death: September 26, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Family friend
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
Fatal dog attack, Iopeka Liptak

Iopeka Liptak

2-months old | Waianae, HI

Iopeka Liptak, 2-months old, was killed while under the watch of Opal Sao, the baby's great-aunt. Sao said she left the baby on her bed, asleep, and had gone to the kitchen for a drink of water just after midnight. Her dog, Penelope Rose, a pit bull-mix, followed her to the kitchen, but while Sao was drinking, she realized the dog had left. Panicked, she ran to the bedroom to find the dog standing on the bed over the baby. The bed, according to Sao, had always been off limits to the dog. By the time she handed the baby to his mother, the toddler was seriously injured. Iopeka Liptak was pronounced dead shortly thereafter at Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu. [source citations]

Date of death: October 5, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Female Owner of dog: Great-aunt
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending

Chester R. Jordan

62-years old | Muncie, IN

Chester Jordan, 62-years old, was killed by three pit bulls. Jordan, his daughter, Aretha, and her boyfriend DeWayne Benning, lived at the house with the three pit bulls and six new puppies. Benning found the victim in the basement after he returned from work. Police Lt. Al Williams said Jordan lived with the dogs in the basement, given there were furnishings and a television there. Delaware County Coroner James Clevenger Jr. said the victim suffered major tissue damage and was repeatedly bitten by the dogs. He also said that the victim had a history of dementia and had older bite marks on his body. Authorities are investigating "neglect" issues in his death. [source citations]

Date of death: October 31, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (3) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Daughter
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending

Alexander Adams

2-years old | Las Vegas, NV

Alexander Adams, 2-years old, was killed by his family's pit bull-mix. Just before the attack, Alexander's grandmother was walking with the dog's food bowl in her hand into an area where the dog was normally fed. The toddler had been following his grandmother. The dog suddenly attacked the child. Alexander was dead by the time first responders arrived. The grandmother, who had been watching Alexander and his younger brother while their parents were away, suffered minor injuries. Two months prior to this fatal attack, Las Vegas suffered a similar tragedy. Cendi Carey, 4-months old, was being watched by her grandmother when the family's 2 pit bulls broke through the screen door of the house and tore little Carey out of her stroller killing her. [source citations]

Date of death: November 26, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Parents
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No

Gerald Adelmund

60-years old | Rubidoux, CA

Gerald Adelmund, 60-years old, was standing in his back yard having a cigarette when his two pit bulls mauled him to death. He was declared dead by authorities as soon as they arrived. Authorities do not know "who" dragged the victim back into his home. There were reportedly no witnesses to the attack either. The dogs were described as a large male pit bull mastiff-mix weighing 107 pounds and a female pit bull weighing 52 pounds. Nine puppies were also in the back yard at the time of the fatal attack. The family of the victim authorized authorities to euthanize all of the dogs, including the female's nine puppies. Adelmund lived at the house with his son, daughter-in-law and their three children, who are 2, 7 and 12 years old. [source citations]

Date of death: December 19, 2008 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (1)
Pit bull-mix (1)
Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Son
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Unknown

Additional victims

Deaths involving non-dog bite injury, minor dog bite injury or cases that lacked a "reasonably clear" determination of death due to dog bite injury are not included in DogsBite.org statistical fatality data. Victims falling into the latter category may be added at a future time.
  • Autumn Franks, 3-years old (Lakewood, WA)
  • Michael Warner, 55-years old (Parkland, WA)
  • Amber Strode, 22-years old (Springfield, IL)
  1. DogsBite.org contains verifiable information about U.S. citizens killed by dogs including the name and age of each victim, location of attack, dog breed and up to 18 other factors. Information was gathered through media accounts that were available at the time of the attack or found through Internet archives, including, but not limited to, Google News Archive and AccessMyLibrary. Each fatality also lists "source citations," which links to its related citations.
  2. Decade of Adoption Focus Fails to Reduce Shelter Killing, by Merritt Clifton, Animal People, July/August 2009.