2012 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.

2012 statistics

  • 38 U.S. fatal dog attacks occurred in 2012.2 Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 600 U.S. cities,3 pit bulls contributed to 61% (23) of these deaths. Pit bulls make up less than 5% of the total U.S. dog population.4
  • Together, pit bulls (23) and rottweilers (3), the second most lethal dog breed, accounted for 68% of all fatal attacks in 2012. In the 8-year period from 2005 to 2012, this combination accounted for 73% (183) of the total recorded deaths (251).
  • The breakdown between pit bulls and rottweilers is substantial over this 8-year period. From 2005 to 2012, pit bulls killed 151 Americans, about one citizen every 19 days, versus rottweilers, which killed 32, about one citizen every 91 days.
  • Annual data from 2012 shows that 50% (19) of the victims were adults, 21-years and older, and the other half were children, ages 8-years and younger. Of the total children killed by dogs in 2012, 79% (15) were ages 2-years and younger.
  • Annual data also shows that males were more often victims, 61% (23), than females. The majority of male victims, 61% (14), were ages 8-years and younger. Of the total female victims, only 33% (5) fell into this same age group.
  • In 2012, roughly one-third, 32% (12), of all dog bite fatality victims were either visiting or living temporarily with the dog's owner when the fatal attack occurred. Children 8-years and younger accounted for 75% (9) of these deaths.
  • 34% (13) of all fatalities in 2012 involved more than one dog; 13% (5) involved breeding on the dog owner's property either actively or in the recent past, and 5% (2) involved tethered dogs, down from a 14% average from 2005 to 2010.5
  • In 2012, dogs referred to as a "rescue" accounted for at least 13% (5) attacks that resulted in death. Children suffered the brunt of these attacks with 3 deaths. The adults afflicted, 2 adult females, were killed by their own pack of "rescued" dogs.6
  • Dog ownership information for 2012 shows that family dogs comprised 58% (22) of all fatal occurrences; 82% (31) of all incidents occurred on the dog owner's property and 21% (8) resulted in criminal charges, down from 29% in 2011.7
  • California and North Carolina led fatalities in 2012, each with 4 deaths. 75% of the California deaths occurred in San Diego County. Pit bull-type dogs accounted for 88% (7) of the 8 deaths. New Mexico, Ohio and Texas followed, each with 3 deaths.
  • See: 8-Year U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Chart (2005 to 2012)
  • See: 8-Year U.S. Dog Bite Fatality State Map (2005 to 2012)
  • See: Discussion notes | See: Full news release
2012 U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities
2012 fatal dog attacks by breed
2012 dog bite fatality chart

In 2012, one fatality involved dogs from three different dog breeds, thus producing a "death credit" total of 39 rather than 38. Up to nine dog breeds contributed to one death: American bulldog, husky, boxer-mix, bullmastiff, labrador-shepherd mix, presa canario, mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix, cane corso and a golden retriever-mix.

2012 victims

Fatal dog attack, Mable McCallister

Mable McCallister

84-years old | Cleveland, TN

Mable McCallister, 84-years old, was attacked by her grandson's pit bull on December 18, 2011. Police officers said that she was bitten in her face and neck. The injuries caused her hospitalization in Erlanger hospital's trauma unit for over four days, according to Bradley County Medical Examiner Dr. Jeffery Miller. Mable died on New Year's Eve while in hospice care. The owner of the pit bull, Jerry Harrison, Jr., lived on his father's property where several other pit bulls were kept. No one from the Harrison family called police or animal control after the attack. "We became aware of the dog attack only after Ms. McCallister was brought to Erlanger," Officer Evie West said. The Harrisons also "home-quarantined" the pit bull after the incident; it's unknown if the dog was ever put down. The victim's great-granddaughter left a message at the news article: "A woman, an amazing woman dies from this dog and nothing is being done about it." [source citations]

Date of death: December 31, 2011 Chained: Unknown
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Grandson
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Jace Valdez

Jace Valdez

16-months old | Magnolia, TX

Jace Valdez, 16-months old, was mauled to death by a pit bull while in the care of his grandmother. His grandparents owned the 7-year old male dog, and his grandmother was the only adult present during incident. Arriving deputies shot and killed the pit bull inside the home. Though not physically injured in the attack, the grandmother was immediately hospitalized for shock. Several days after the deadly attack, the child's father, Jeremy Valdez, issued a statement to the media. "Baby Jace had been in Mr. Valdez's sole care and custody for over the past year; however the child was visiting his mother for the week where she resides with her parents at their home in Montgomery County and where the attack occurred." At the time of the attack, Jace's mother was visiting friends in Spring. Detectives continue to investigate the child's death. As of January 26, 2012, no criminal charges have been brought. [source citations]

Date of death: January 14, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Grandparents
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending

John Doe

6-years old | Oak Grove, KY

John Doe, 6-years old, was mauled to death by a medical service dog that had allegedly been trained to help a Fort Campbell serviceman who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Part of the dog's training was to wake its owner up in the event he was experiencing a nightmare. Instead, the animal brutally mauled a child to death. At the time of the attack, the young boy and his family were visiting the Fort Campbell serviceman's home. The boy was outside in the backyard with the service dog, described as a "small German shepherd," when it attacked. The dog inflicted severe facial injuries to the boy. He was helicoptered to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, but did not survive. The serviceman surrendered his service dog along with two other dogs to authorities. The service dog was quickly put down. No identities were released. As of February 18, 2012, there is no new information about this incident. [source citations]

Date of death: January 30, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: German shepherd Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Family friend
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending

Howard Nicholson Jr.

2-days old | McKeesport, PA

Howard Nicholson Jr., 2-days old, was severely bitten on the head by the family husky and died at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. At the time of the incident, the newborn was in a bassinet on the floor and the mother had stepped away to go to the bathroom. She returned to find the newly adopted husky standing over the injured baby. The family also owned three pit bulls -- one was loose in the house and two were locked in the basement. The case took an ethereal turn after images of the husky wearing a "homemade" cast emerged; the dog reportedly broke its leg by jumping a fence or jumping out a window. The husky had also killed the family's cat prior to killing the newborn. Before the end of the dog's 10-day rabies quarantine, a Nikko-Nutter whisked the dog away to save it from euthanasia and told the media, "It's not the dog's fault." [source citations]

Date of death: February 16, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Husky Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Parents
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Yes
Fatal dog attack, Diane Jansen

Diane Jansen

59-years old | Escondido, CA

Diane Jansen, 59-years old, was bitten on both legs by a pit bull while delivering mail on her route in Escondido. She suffered an immediate stroke and died 3 and a half days later. An autopsy report by the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office stated that she "developed slurred speech and became unresponsive" as 911 emergency personnel treated her on the scene. The victim was transported to Palomar Medical Center where she was diagnosed with an intracerebral (brain) hemorrhage. She was admitted into intensive care with a "poor prognosis." On Saturday March 3rd, she was removed from life support and died the next day. According to the examiner's report, the cause of death was a hemorrhagic stroke due to hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Contributing conditions were "dog bites of the legs." Jansen had been a U.S. Postal Service employee for over 5-years. The pit bull was impounded and euthanized. [source citations]

Date of death: March 4, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Property owner
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No

Dylan Andres

17-months old | Jacksonville, FL

Dylan Andres, 17-months old, was mauled to death by a neighbor's chained rottweiler. Just before the incident, the boy and his mother, Destiny Kieszler, had returned from the store to their home on Maynard Street. Destiny was unpacking groceries when Dylan got away from her and wandered next door and was attacked by the dog. Chief of Detectives Tom Hackney said the rottweiler bit the child repeatedly. Neighbor Jessica Golden, who had also gone to the store with Dylan and his mother, was inside her home when she heard Destiny's screams. She ran outside and saw Dylan's father trying to pull the child away from the dog. "The dog had the baby in its mouth," Golden said. Jacksonville Animal Care and Control removed the dog and it was euthanized shortly after. This was the second rottweiler incident on the block in less than a month. On February 10, a police officer shot a different rottweiler after it charged him. [source citations]

Date of death: March 9, 2012 Chained: Yes
Breed of dog: Rottweiler 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
Fatal pit bull attack, Kylar Johnson

Kylar Johnson

4-years old | Victoria County, TX

Kylar Johnson, 4-years old, was discovered dead 14 hours after authorities carried out a search-and-rescue effort on his behalf. The search for Kylar began Sunday evening. At the time of his disappearance, his father, Cole Johnson, was cleaning his car while Kylar was playing nearby. At one point, his father looked up, and Kylar was gone. Sheriff's deputies and neighbors searched the area for hours in the dark, canine search teams were brought in as well. After being foiled by thick fog, the search resumed early the next morning. Kylar's lifeless body was discovered about 10:30 am Monday. Preliminary autopsy results confirmed the child was mauled to death by a "single dog," a neighbor's chained pit bull. The owner of the pit bull, Manuel (Manny) Garcia, discovered the boy's body. Garcia kept up to 10 chained pit bulls in his yard. On May 30, 2012 authorities charged the boy's father on three counts, including negligent homicide. [source citations]

Date of death: March 25, 2012 Chained: Yes
Breed of dog: Pit bull 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: Yes
Fatal pit bull attack, James Hurst

James Hurst

92-years old | Mead, OK

James Hurst, 92-years old, was brutally struck down by his neighbor's two pit bulls while doing what he loved, working in his front yard. Bryan County Undersheriff Kenneth Golden said of all the dog attacks he has worked, he has never seen one this bad. "It appears he was chewed and drug around the yard. It wasn't very pretty," Golden said. The victim's best friend, Levi Duncan, witnessed the aftermath of the mauling. "Both feet, his face, his ears. His lips were gone. He didn't even look like the same person," Duncan said. The two pit bulls had a history of getting out, according to Golden, but the incidents were not reported to police. Several neighbors, including a young boy, said they had face-to-face encounters with the aggressive dogs in the past. Though the attack was not witnessed, Bryan County Sheriff Bill Sturch confirmed that the pit bulls found on the scene had blood on them. Charges against the dogs' owners are pending. [source citations]

Date of death: April 9, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) 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: Pending
Fatal dog attack, Aiden McGrew

Aiden McGrew

2-months old | Ridgeville, SC

Aiden McGrew, 2-months old, was killed by the family dog while his mother was away and his father was sleeping. The mother found her son after returning from a doctor's appointment with her 7-year old daughter. The other child in the household, 3-years old, was asleep with the father during the mauling. The baby was left in a "bouncy chair" by his mother before leaving to the doctor's office. Initially awake that morning, the father, Quintin McGrew, fell back asleep. The recently adopted dog, described as a golden retriever-mix, pulled the infant from the chair and severed the baby's leg during the attack. Dorchester County Coroner Chris Nesbit ruled the death a homicide and that neglect led to the boy's death by "animal eating." The father was charged with unlawful conduct toward a child, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The couple's two other children were taken into protective custody after the attack. [source citations]

Date of death: April 20, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Golden retriever-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: Yes
Fatal dog attack, Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan

Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan

1-year old | Henderson, NV

Jeremiah Eskew-Shahan, 1-year old, was killed by his grandmother's dog after celebrating his first birthday. Following a long day of opening presents, Elizabeth Keller set the toddler down in the living room. Jeremiah crawled over to the family dog, a large mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix, and grabbed the dog's fur to pull himself up, as he had done many times in the past. This time, the dog clamped its jaws around the boy's head and shook him. The grandmother tried to free the boy from the dog's jaws, but could not. The mauling continued for about 30 more seconds until the boy's father rushed downstairs and managed to free him. Jeremiah did not survive his injuries. His father, Chris Shahan, was stunned by the dog's actions and told the media, "They played with each other all the time ... they kissed each other ... they slept together." The baby's death was ruled accidental by the Clark County Coroner's office. [source citations]

Date of death: April 28, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Mastiff-Rhodesian ridgeback mix Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Grandmother
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Clifford Wright

Clifford Wright

74-years old | Santa Fe, NM

Clifford Wright, 74-years old, was discovered mauled to death by one of his pet pit bulls. The victim's son, Gavin Wright, found his body after returning from work. Gavin Wright described the male pit bull, named Achilles, as a playful and loving pet and that his father loved the dog more than even himself. "He loved the breed, he loved the dog," Gavin said. The state Office of the Medical Investigator confirmed "the injuries sustained by Mr. Wright were from the dog. There were no other medical reasons related to his death." Santa Fe Police Lt. Louis Carlos said the victim had apparently been watering plants in his front yard before the attack. Carlos said that police "walked into a death scene" that night and described the victim's injuries as "grisly." The victim kept up to six dogs at his home that he shared with his son, at least three of which were pit bulls. In 2005, Clifford Wright was bitten by a different male pit bull at his home. [source citations]

Date of death: May 2, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Jazilyn Mesa

Jazilyn Mesa

15-months old | Las Cruces, NM

Jazilyn Mesa, 15-months old, was brutally mauled by her father's pet pit bull in the backyard of her grandparent's home. The baby and her grandmother, Leticia Mesa, were trying to place the dog in its kennel when it attacked. Leticia beat the dog with rocks, but the pit bull would not let the baby go and dragged her under the family's ground-level trampoline. Neighbor Barry Snyder, 69, heard Leticia's screams and rushed over to help armed with a 45-caliber handgun. He shot the dog five times, and by mistake, also shot once into the grandmother's leg. Snyder followed the dog after it fled and fired one more round killing it. Upon hearing the gunfire, another neighbor ran to help and found both female victims underneath the trampoline. The child was transported to a Las Cruces hospital, but did not survive. Four months later, authorities arrested and charged three Mesa family members in connection to her death including her father. [source citations]

Date of death: May 8, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Father
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Yes
Fatal dog attack, Maryann Hanula

Maryann Hanula

73-years old | Surprise, AZ

Maryann Hanula, 73-years old, died seven months after suffering a violent attack by her neighbor's two pit bulls in October 2011. The victim was attacked by the dogs in her own yard after the animals escaped their owner's gated property. The pit bulls bit the woman all over her body and ate through most of her right foot before a neighbor -- an off-duty Phoenix police officer -- intervened and shot both dogs to death. Friends said the victim underwent 13 surgeries and suffered from multiple infections in the months following the attack. Most of the last seven months of the woman's life were spent in a hospital. Maryann died on May 12. The owner of the pit bulls, Cynthia Montoya, had only lived on the block for three weeks prior to the attack. About 6-weeks later, the Montoya family moved to a new location. The city's prosecutor's office "might" charge Montoya with a misdemeanor, assuming she is locatable. [source citations]

Date of death: May 12, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) 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: Pending

Makayla Darnell

3-days old | Monroe Township, OH

Makayla Darnell, 3-days old, died hours after being bitten on the head by the family pit bull-mix. At the time of the incident, the baby was sitting in an infant swing in her family's living room. After the attack, which occurred about 6:30 pm, the infant was driven to Blanchard Valley Hospital and then flown to St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. She was pronounced dead shortly after 11 pm. Lucas County Deputy Coroner Dr. Cynthia Beisser said that an autopsy showed that the baby died from blunt force injury to the head, consistent with a dog bite. The baby's mother and grandmother were in the kitchen, just a few feet away, when the attack occurred. Steve Kale, a Lucas County coroner's investigator, said the family never heard a sound from either the baby or the dog. "It all appeared to happen in a matter of seconds," Kale said. The baby's death occurred just five days before the State of Ohio abandoned its statewide pit bull law. [source citations]

Date of death: May 17, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix 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, Eugene Cameron

Eugene Cameron

65-years old | Roxboro, NC

Eugene Cameron, 65-years old, was discovered dead under a car port in a home where he had been housesitting. Cameron's body was found naked with his clothes "balled up" beside him, surrounded by bloody dog paw prints and severe dog bite injuries along his right arm. Person County authorities seized a male pit bull named DMX owned by Antonio Ford who resides in a home next to the crime scene. Two different labs where used to determine if the pit bull's DNA could be found in the blood at the scene and on the victim's clothing. Throughout the nearly three month long investigation, Ford maintained his dog's innocence and put up a sign in yard reading "Free DMX U got the wrong dog." On August 16, after finding the dog's DNA on the victim's clothing and Cameron's blood on the pit bull, authorities arrested Ford and charged him with involuntary manslaughter and felony obstruction of justice. [source citations]

Date of death: May 26, 2012 Chained: No
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: Off Criminal charges: Yes
Fatal dog attack, Ja'Marr Tiller

Ja'Marr Tiller

2-years old | Mount Pleasant, SC

Ja'Marr Tiller, 2-years old, was mauled to death by two dogs after he slipped out of his house unnoticed after being put to bed. Multiple family members were in the home at the time of the mauling. His mother, Deandra Tiller, had left to run some errands. When she returned, she found her son on the ground with his clothes ripped off and wounds across his body. Paramedics transported the boy to Medical University Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said the child had bites that were "widely distributed" over his body. Two dogs, a female black lab shepherd-mix and a brindle female lab shepherd-mix, were taken into custody by authorities. Tests later implicated both dogs in the boy's death. Due to often feeding the stray dogs scraps, the animals were owned by the boy's great uncle. Wooten later held an inquest and the jury determined the boy’s death was an accident. [source citations]

Date of death: May 27, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Labrador-shepherd mix (2) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Female Owner of dog: Great uncle
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Jack Redin

Jack Redin

2-years old | St. Marys, WV

Jack Redin, 2-years old, was mauled to death by a pair of mixed-breed dogs after wandering onto a neighboring property. Pleasants County Sheriff's Deputy Steve McFarland said that Jack and three other children had been playing in the family's yard most of the day. Jack had been riding around on a four-wheeler powered by batteries when he strayed from the group. When family members realized he was missing, they began searching along adjacent properties. The boy's father made the devastating discovery within a few minutes. The two dogs allegedly did not belong to the adjacent property owner, David Sweeney, but to his brother Daniel. David had been "taking care of the dogs" for his brother when the attack occurred and went as far as installing an underground invisible fence around his property for this purpose. Both David and Daniel are sons of Third Judicial Circuit Court Judge Timothy Sweeney. No charges were filed. [source citations]

Date of death: June 13, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Mixed-breed (2) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Property owner
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Tyzhel McWilliams

Tyzhel McWilliams

8-months old | Lemon Grove, CA

Tyzhel McWilliams, 8-months old, was killed by one of three male pit bulls owned by his mother's roommate. The three shared a rented apartment on the 3500 block of West Street. The child's mother had been living with the dogs for two years. In an interview 5-days after the baby's death, the mother expressed disbelief that the pit bull named Zulu that "seemed to watch over the infant like a protective parent" would take her baby’s life. At the time of the incident, all three dogs were separated, one was asleep in a crate in another room, the other was fenced in the backyard and Zulu was inside the bedroom with the mother and roommate. Tyzhel was playing in the living room across the hall from the adults. When he crawled into the bedroom, Zulu suddenly bit the infant on the head inflicting fatal injuries. As of July 4, 2012 no charges have been filed. [source citations]

Date of death: June 14, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Roommate
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending

Kevin Latz

50-years old | Reno, NV

Kevin Latz, 50-years old, was discovered dead at a home on the 17300 block of Bear Lake Drive after being attacked by a male pit bull, according to the Washoe County Sheriff's Office report. The victim was with a man who resided at the home who had invited him over to barbecue. While the man was in the backyard lighting the grill, Kevin stepped onto the back porch. The dog, also on the back porch, immediately attacked, according to the report. The victim retreated into the laundry room, where the dog continued biting him up and down his legs until he dropped to the ground. The dog then bit into the victim's neck. The victim died "due to asphyxia due to compression of the larynx and trachea by a canine with other significant conditions: multiple blunt force injuries inflicted by the canine," according to the report. The manner of death was determined accidental. [source citations]

Date of death: June 27, 2012 Chained: No
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

Ronnel Brown

40-years old | Cincinnati, OH

Ronnel Brown, 40-years old, died after being attacked by his own dog in his Avondale home. Ronnel called 911 just before 1:00 am stating that he had been attacked by his dog and was about to pass out. Upon arrival, paramedics were unable to treat the victim because his dog, Kilo, was "berserk, out-of-control." Police officers arrived about 10 minutes later and shot the animal dead. By that time, Brown had bled to death. According to Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco, Brown was on dialysis at the time of the attack and had a device in his forearm. The dog bit him in the forearm, "ripping a hole in that device, that led to a lot of blood loss," Sammarco said. She added that the bite wounds were deep. The male dog was described as an Alapaha blue-blood bulldog, which is a pit bull-bulldog mix and unrecognized by established kennel clubs. [source citations]

Date of death: July 11, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Rebecca Carey

Rebecca Carey

23-years old | Decatur, GA

Rebecca Carey, 23-years old, was killed by one or more of the five dogs she had rescued that were under her care. Her parents issued a statement after her death, "Upon placing her first abandoned animal in a permanent loving home in 2003, she volunteered countless hours with rescue networks and animal shelters. There she did what she loved the most: rescuing animals from untenable situations to find them safe, loving homes." At the time of the attack, Carey was caring for two pit bulls, two presa canarios -- one of which she was dog-sitting for her friend Jackie Cira -- and a boxer-mix. Cira discovered her body at her home after Carey failed to show up for work at Alpharetta's Loving Hands Animal Clinic. The DeKalb County medical examiner ruled that Carey's death resulted from dog bites. It was not determined which (or if all) of the dogs participated in the attack. All five dogs were subsequently euthanized. [source citations]

Date of death: August, 12, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2)
Presa canario (2)
Boxer-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, Charles Hagerman

Charles Hagerman

44-years old | Chicago, IL

Charles Hagerman, 44-years old, was killed by at least one of two pet pit bulls in his Englewood home. The victim was discovered when his wife, Charlotte Williams, and her son, Daryl Williams, arrived home. When the two entered the apartment, one of the pit bulls was still on top of Hagerman's body "gnawing at his neck." The Cook County Medical Examiner's office said the victim was dead at the scene. An autopsy determined that Hagerman died due to multiple injuries from a dog attack. Relatives of Hagerman said he was afraid of the two pit bulls that were usually kept caged. His mother, Salithia Maybell, told reporters the dogs had previously killed a neighborhood dog. The owner of the dogs, Daryl Williams, however, said Hagerman was comfortable with the dogs and that they slept at the foot of his bed. Williams speculated that the attack was the result of Hagerman having a seizure, thus "scaring the dogs." [source citations]

Date of death: August 16, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Step-son
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No

Dawn Jurgens

76-years old | Trotwood, OH

Dawn Jurgens, 76-years old, was mauled to death by her two pet dogs at her Union Road home. Authorities described both dogs as adult cane corsos, a Molosser type dog often infected with fighting bloodlines. The victim's husband, Carl Jurgens, discovered her body in the yard. According to police, Jurgens had visible major injuries to her face and scalp, as well as bite wounds on her arms. The elderly couple began raising the pair of dogs from puppies about two-and-a-half years earlier. Carl told reporters that his wife lived for those dogs, "from the day they were born until Saturday," the day of her death. The victim's son, Joe Jurgens, did not believe the coroner who determined the cause of death was multiple puncture wounds to the head and neck due to dog bites. "I do not believe those dogs attacked her out of aggression," Joe said. [source citations]

Date of death: September 1, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Cane corso (2) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Bryton Cason

Bryton Cason

4-years old | Donalsonville, GA

Bryton Cason, 4-years old, was killed by a dog in his own front yard. What began as a missing child investigation on the evening of September 5, turned into a fatal dog mauling three hours later. The boy was last seen by his mother at about 8:30 pm. Five law enforcement agencies went door-to-door throughout the area hoping to find him. State Patrol even used a helicopter. At 11:30 pm, searchers came upon the boy's strewn clothes in his own front yard then next his lifeless body. An autopsy the following day showed the boy died of blunt force trauma due to a dog attack. Georgia Bureau of Investigations examined three dogs that lived at the boy's home and determined they were not involved. Bryton's family suspected the attacking dog was a "reddish-blonde" bulldog, abandoned by its owner who moved away. Authorities later captured this dog. As of October 6, 2012, no other information has been released. [source citations]

Date of death: September 5, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Uknown Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Uknown Owner of dog: Uknown
Spay/Neuter: Uknown Multiple dogs: Uknown
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Pending

Deborah Roberts

45-years old | Jefferson County, AR

Deborah Roberts, 45-years old, was killed by her two pet pit bulls in her home on NCTR Road. Major Lafayette Woods Jr. of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office told reporters, "It was a gruesome scene. There was a substantial amount of blood at the scene." The victim's husband, Brian Roberts, told authorities he was away for about 20-minutes taking a shower at a neighbor's home. When he returned, he found the dogs tearing into her body and called 911. "I think my wife is dead. I am not sure," he told the operator, "her leg is almost chewed off." Investigators learned from the husband that Deborah Roberts had been bitten by her pit bulls before. However, she went to the hospital and did not file a report. Responding officers were forced to shoot and kill one of the dogs in order to enter the home. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene. [source citations]

Date of death: September 7, 2012 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: No
Fatal dog attack, James Hudson

James Hudson

10-months old | Hertford, NC

James Hudson, 10-months old, was killed by a family dog while under the care of his grandmother. The dog, a pit bull-mix, had previously shown signs of aggression, according to a family member and the Perquimans County Sheriff’s Department. The baby was not breathing when officers arrived at the home on West Railroad Avenue. The baby was taken to Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City where he later died. The child was inside the home when the dog attacked. The boy’s grandmother, Terry Atkinsson, said she and other children were in the bedroom at the time. “We don’t know what happened,” Atkinsson said. She tried to save the baby and was also injured in the attack. An older boy in the home had also been bitten by the dog in a separate incident. Atkinsson said the dog had never been aggressive toward the baby. The grandparents surrendered the dog to be euthanized. As of October 7, 2012, no charges have been filed. [source citations]

Date of death: September 11, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Grandparents
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
Fatal dog attack, William Donald Thomas

William Donald Thomas

83-years old | Leeds, AL

William Donald Thomas, 83-years old, was mauled to death by two rottweilers when he was retrieving mail from his mailbox. His wife had just returned from the grocery store when she discovered her husband lying in her neighbor's yard severely wounded. The dogs were milling about nearby. A responding police officer shot and killed both dogs. The animals belonged to longtime neighbor Jerry Lenton and his wife. Authorities soon learned that the couple also ran a breeding operation on their property. Leeds police, assisted by Birmingham Jefferson County Animal Control, Moody police and the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department, removed 33 dogs -- all rottweilers and rottweiler mixed breeds -- from the Lenton's property that night. Leeds Police Chief Byron Jackson said "four truckloads" of dogs were transported to Birmingham, ranging from friendly to dangerous. In December, a grand jury indicted both Jerry Lenton and his wife Jacqueline Lenton for manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. [source citations]

Date of death: September 20, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Rottweiler (2) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Yes
Fatal dog attack, Rayden Bruce

Rayden Bruce

3-months old | Burleson, TX

Rayden Bruce, 3-months old, was killed by his father's pet pit bull. The incident started with a domestic dispute call from a home on Linda Drive. The baby's mother, Jessica Oxford, had brought the child to the father's home for a visit. Shortly thereafter, the baby's father, Barnett Bruce, began arguing with her. The argument escalated and someone called 911 then hung up. Bruce's father, Richard Douglas, was holding the child when the incident unfolded. When police arrived, one officer took a statement from the mother outside while another spoke to the father inside. During this time, the baby fell asleep in the grandfather's arms. He laid the baby down on a bed and returned to speak with his son. Not long after, the grandfather heard noises coming from the room and found his son's pit bull had the baby on the floor. He grabbed the baby and ran outside screaming where two police officers were still taking statements from witnesses. [source citations]

Date of death: September 24, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Father
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
Fatal dog attack, Nellie Davis

Nellie Davis

61-years old | Oklahoma City, OK

Nellie Davis, 61-years old, was mauled to death by her granddaughter's pet pit bull. The large male dog broke out of its crate and attacked the woman in her own apartment. Captain Dexter Nelson said police received a frantic call from the granddaughter at 11:30 pm that night. She told the dispatcher that she returned home to find that one of her dogs attacked and killed her grandmother. The 22-year old granddaughter and her two pit bulls had been staying with Nellie prior to going to study abroad. Capt. Nelson said the woman "died a very horrific death." Responding officers were forced to shoot the dog to death as it continued to act aggressively and could not be contained. The victim's family blamed the deadly attack on a thunderstorm that rolled in that night, sparking the pet pit bull to unleash a murderous attack upon a family member. Charges against the granddaughter are not expected. [source citations]

Date of death: September 26, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Granddaughter
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No

Mary Jo Hunt

53-years old | Pembroke, NC

Mary Jo Hunt, 53-years old, was mauled to death by seven rescued pit bulls at her home on Sharon Lane. Deputies responded to a 911 call and were able to remove the dogs from her body, but the woman was already dead. The dogs had torn off her clothes and mangled her body in the deadly attack. Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealy said the victim was trying to break up a dog fight with a rake when the animals turned on her and attacked. The seven pit bulls had attacked at least one smaller dog in her fenced-in backyard. A pug was found dead in the yard on the day of the attack. Authorities seized at least nine living dogs from her home. The victim lived with her sister, Deborah Jacobs. Both sisters worked for the Robeson County Claws and Paws Rescue. All of the dogs had been up for adoption through the rescue. Authorities put all seven pit bulls down. [source citations]

Date of death: October 2, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (7) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Uknown Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Uknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Tarilyn Luciana Bowles

Tarilyn Bowles

3-weeks old | Detroit, MI

Tarilyn Bowles, 3-weeks old, was mauled to death by a family pit bull at a home on Detroit's west side. The baby's mother, 24-year old Marciella Ramirez, had been staying with friends at the Staheilin Avenue home since the baby's birth. The newborn was strapped into a child safety seat on the dining room floor sleeping after a feeding when she was attacked. The male pit bull, who had just been fed scraps out the back door, somehow managed to get into the house and attack the baby while the mother's back was turned. The dog mauled the infant's face. The owners of the pit bull said the animal was not vicious and blamed the attack on the dog "smelling baby formula" on the infant's clothing. Neighbor Rose Hill, however, said the pit bull is well-known in the neighborhood and that the owners carried a pole in their hand to get into their backyard. [source citations]

Date of death: October 4, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Family friend
Spay/Neuter: Yes Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
Fatal dog attack, Robert Rochester

Robert Rochester Jr.

55-years old | New Castle, DE

Robert Rochester Jr., 55-years old, was badly mauled by a loose German shepherd while collecting mail from a bin on Main Street in Stanton. He was taken to Christina Hospital for treatment of multiple dog bites. After attacking Rochester, the dog attacked a small dog being walked by a woman nearby. Police shot and wounded the attacking dog to stop it. Another dog owned by the same dog owner was also loose, but was not involved in the attacks. Rochester died six days later. The attack upon this U.S. Postal Service employee on a city street was witnessed by many people driving by in cars who did not stop to help. One woman in a truck did stop and drove him to the hospital. The initial autopsy was left as a case "pending forensic analysis." But by the end of November, the U.S. Postal Service began treating his death as an "on-the-job death." The 12-year old German shepherd was euthanized for rabies testing. The dog tested negative. As of December 8, 2012, the investigation into his death continues. [source citations]

Date of death: October 18, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: German shepherd Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Property owner
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Pending

Dixie Jennings

3-months old | Yadkinville, NC

Dixie Jennings, 3-months old, was killed by her grandmother's rottweiler. The Forsyth County medical examiner said the infant died from head and brain injuries due to a dog bite. The incident occurred at Deep Creek Kennel, which is owned by the child's grandmother, Robin Jennings. The infant's mother, Sarah Jennings, also worked at the kennel and was with her child in the office area when a customer came in with a dog to board. Sarah took the dog and its owner to the kennel area -- a door separates the two areas -- but the door behind them failed to latch. A rottweiler belonging to Robin pushed through the door and entered into the office area. When Sarah and Robin returned the office, they found the rottweiler standing beside the bitten child. Sarah rushed her daughter to the hospital, but the baby did not survive her injuries. Robin had her rottweiler euthanized at a local veterinarian's office that day. [source citations]

Date of death: November 9, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Rottweiler Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Grandmother
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Remedios Romero-Solares

Remedios Romero-Solares

30-years old | Fallbrook, CA

Remedios Romero-Solares, 30-years old, was mauled to death by one or more American bulldog-mixes in the backyard of a Fallbrook home. San Diego County Department of Animal Services impounded all eight dogs running loose in the yard and said the owner was breeding and selling the animals. The Medical Examiner's Office determined the victim died of "penetrating, mauling and blunt-force injuries" inflicted by at least one of the dogs. The single, Hispanic woman had been hired to clean the house in the 1300 block of Calle Tecolotlan while the owners were out of town. When authorities checked the residence to ensure that no one else had been injured, they discovered 24 marijuana plants in a rear bedroom. In January 2013, it was announced that no criminal charges would be filed against the owner of the dogs in connection to her death and that only five dogs participated in her death. [source citations]

This death marks the fourth fatal dog attack by a San Diego County pit bull-type dog in an eleven month period, fifth if one includes a San Diego County pit bull brought to Tijuana, which quickly killed a 4-year old girl. Victims include: Emako Mendoza, Diane Jansen, Tyzhel McWilliams, América Viridiana and Remedios Romero-Solares.

Date of death: November 11, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: American bulldog-mix (5) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Property owner
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Dawn Brown

Dawn Brown

44-years old | Big Rock, IL

Dawn Brown, 44-years old, was killed by a large dog she and her husband had recently adopted. At the time of the attack, Dawn was home alone with the dog along with the couple's two other dogs, a boxer and a pit bull-mix. Her husband arrived home and discovered her lifeless body. Like her husband, Dawn was a volunteer firefighter with the Big Rock Fire Protection District -- the same department that responded to the 911 call. Dawn was a full-time firefighter/paramedic for the Bristol Kendall Fire Protection District in Yorkville. After authorities arrived on scene, four animal control handlers were needed to contain the male bullmastiff. An autopsy determined that she died due to bites to her neck, according to Lt. Pat Gengler of the Kane County Sheriff's Office. Gengler said the couple had adopted the dog about a week earlier from a family member with a newborn baby who no longer wanted the animal. [source citations]

Date of death: November 12, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Bullmastiff Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Esteban Alavez

Esteban Alavez

34-years old | Fresno County, CA

Esteban Alavez, 34-years old, was mauled to death by four pit bulls that had a history of running at large in the area and killing pets. A Beware of Dog sign, along with No Trespassing signs were stapled to a telephone pole on the owner's property. The owner's property had no fence. The victim's body was discovered in the driveway of a nearby home with obvious "traumatic injuries." Fresno County Sheriff's detectives quickly determined what happened after finding bloody paw prints around the man's body. The prints led detectives to the four pit bulls that still had blood on them. The dogs were seized by Liberty Animal Control, along with six pit bull puppies and two other dogs from the same home. According to neighbors, the same pit bulls had killed two neighborhood dogs in the last month, neither of these incidents were reported to authorities. In January 2014, felony arrest warrants were issued for the dog owners. [source citations]

Date of death: December 11, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (4) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Property owner
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Yes
Fatal dog attack, Savannah Edwards

Savannah Edwards

2-years old | Shawnee County, KS

Savannah Edwards, 2-years old, was brutally attacked by a rescued pit bull. At the time of the incident, the little girl and her mother were visiting the residence of 5831 S.E. Cross when the tenant's dog attacked. The tenant is related to the child and her mother, according to police officials. The child was rushed to a Topeka hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The dog, a 6-year old male pit bull, was taken into custody by the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office Animal Control unit. The owner of the pit bull had allegedly warned neighbors prior to the attack that his dog "would attack other dogs if given the chance." The dog was subsequently euthanized at the owner's request. As of December 29, 2012, neither the rescue shelter that adopted out the "dog-aggressive" pit bull nor the name of the dog owner has been released to the public. [source citations]

Date of death: December 13, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Relative
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Tomas Jay Henio

Tomas Henio

8-years old | Pinehill, NM

Tomas Henio, 8-years old, was mauled to death by up to nine mixed-breed dogs near his family's home. The boy had been sledding down a snowy hill near his mother's house prior to the attack. The child was found face-down and unresponsive by his mother and stepfather. Cibola County Undersheriff Tony Mace said that one of the dogs belonged to the boy's family and was reported to have bitten the child on a previous occasion. The other eight dogs, described as stray or feral, were under the care of the boy's great-uncle who had been feeding them. The same pack killed four goats earlier in December. All nine dogs were seized and euthanized. Authorities intend to gather DNA samples from the dogs to determine which of the dogs attacked. FBI agents are investigating the death because the attack happened on Navajo Nation land. Roaming uncollared and stray or feral dogs are a persistent problem on the reservation. [source citations]

Date of death: December 26, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Mixed-breed (9) Relationship to dog: Mixed
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Parents and great-uncle
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Yes

Discovered victims

Dog bite fatality deaths are sometimes discovered several years after the attack. This section pertains to 2012 fatality victims that were identified in subsequent years and have not yet been added to annual 2012 statistics, but have been added to DogsBite.org combined year tracking.

Elizabeth Hirt

93-years old | Bethel Township, OH

Discovered: February 8, 2014

Elizabeth Hirt, 93-years old, was badly mauled by her two Boston terriers on November 27, 2012. Miami County Sheriff's deputies were called to her home by her son, Jerome Hirt, who had stopped by to check on her. Authorities said her hands had been severely bitten and were missing large chunks of flesh. Officers said that the calf areas on both of her legs were also badly chewed by the dogs. "There was a large amount of blood when we got there," said Marcia Doncaster, Director of the Miami County Animal Shelter. Hirt was airlifted to Miami Valley Hospital and taken into intensive care. Jerome said his mother was in good shape prior to the attack, but had symptoms of Alzheimer's. At the time of the attack, Hirt was under the care of her daughter, Jennifer Dickensheets. Authorities later declined to press charges against Dickensheets. Hirt did not survive her severe injuries; she perished two-weeks later. [source citations]

Date of death: December 11, 2012 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Boston terrier (2) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No

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.
  • 07/13/12: Tim Thomas, 49-years old (Douglas County, GA)
  • 08/07/12: Cary Phalen, 50-years old (Omaha, NE)
  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 reports that were available at the time of the attack or found through Internet newspaper archives. Each fatality also lists "source citations," which links to its related citations.
  2. Mable McCallister died on December 31, 2011, but her death was not reported until January 3, 2012. Mable is included in the 2012 dog bite fatality statistical data and excluded from 2011.
  3. The decrease from previous years is due to recompiling the master list in late December to account for the loss of Ohio's pit bull law in 2012.
  4. More adoptions will not end shelter killing of pit bulls, by Merritt Clifton, Animal People, October 2011.
  5. Updated December 14, 2013 to reflect a change in 2011 tethering data.
  6. DogsBite.org defines a "pack" as four or more dogs.
  7. Updated February 8, 2014 to reflect felony charges brought in connection to the death of Esteban Alavez.