2015 dog bite fatalities ::

Statistical information gathered by DogsBite.org is verifiable1 through collected news reports. Our Fatality Citations section documents each source used in our dog bite-related fatality research.

2015 dog bite fatality statistics

  • 34 U.S. dog bite-related fatalities occurred in 2015. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 700 U.S. cities, pit bulls contributed to 82% (28) of these deaths. Pit bulls make up about 6.6% of the total U.S. dog population.2
  • Together, pit bulls (28) and rottweilers (3), the second most lethal dog breed, accounted for 91% of the total recorded deaths in 2015. This same combination also accounted for 76% of all fatal attacks during the 11-year period of 2005 to 2015.
  • The breakdown between these two breeds is substantial over this 11-year period. From 2005 to 2015, pit bulls killed 232 Americans, about one citizen every 17 days, versus rottweilers, which killed 41, about one citizen every 98 days.
  • In the year of 2015, the combination of pit bulls (28), their close cousins, American bulldogs (2), and rottweilers (3) contributed to 97% (33) of all dog bite-related fatalities. Both American bulldog fatalities occurred in Miami-Dade County, Florida.
  • Annual data from 2015 shows that 41% (14) of the fatality victims were children ages 9-years and younger, and 59% (20) were adults, ages 22-years and older. Of the total adults killed by canines in 2015, 65% (13) were ages 60-years and older.
  • Annual data shows that when combining all age groups, male victims (20) were greater in number than female victims (14). Amongst children ages 9-years and younger, males were excessively victims 79% (11), versus females 21% (3).
  • In 2015, nearly one third, 32% (11), of all dog bite fatality victims were either visiting or living temporarily with the dog's owner when the fatal attack occurred. Children ages 9-years and younger accounted for 82% (9) of these deaths.
  • 50% (17) of all fatalities in 2015 involved more than one dog; 15% (5) involved a pack attack of four or more dogs; 21% (7) involved breeding on the dog owner's property either actively or in the recent past and 6% (2) involved tethered dogs.
  • In 2015, 9% (3) of all fatal attacks were inflicted by dogs rehomed by shelters or rescues. County operated shelters in Buncombe County, North Carolina and Madison County, Tennessee each adopted out a dog that fatally attacked a person.
  • Dog ownership information for 2015 shows that non-family dogs inflicted the majority of dog bite fatalities, 59% (20), up 12% from the 10-year average of 47%. Over two-thirds of all deaths, 71% (24), occurred on the dog owner's property.
  • In 2015, only 9% (3) of attacks causing death resulted in meaningful criminal charges; the lowest level in the last 11-years.3 2015 also marked the first time a medical examiner ruled "suicide" as manner of death in a fatal dog attack.
  • Texas once again led all states in lethal dog attacks in 2015 with 5 deaths. Florida and Oklahoma each followed incurring 3 deaths. Arkansas, California, Michigan, New York, North Carolina and West Virginia each followed with 2 deaths.
  • See: Discussion notes | See: Full news release
  • See: 11-Year U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Chart by Breed (2005 to 2015)
  • See: 11-Year U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Chart by Age Groups
  • See: 2015 Fatal Dog Attack Breed Identification Photographs
  • Social Media Graphic: 2015 U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Statistics
  • Social Media Graphic: 11-Year U.S. Dog Bite Fatality Chart by Breed
2015 U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities
2015 fatal dog attacks by breed
2015 dog bite fatality chart

In 2015, five fatalities involved dogs from two or more different breeds, thus producing a "death credit" total of 41 rather than 34. Six dog breeds each contributed to one death, including: German shepherd-mix, golden retriever-mix, Rhodesian ridgeback-mix, lab-mix, husky and mixed-breed.

2015 dog bite fatality victims

Fatal pit bull attack, Eugene Smith

Eugene Smith

87-years old | Frederick, Maryland

Eugene Smith, 87-years old, was fatally attacked by his family pit bull while taking down his Christmas tree. The dog was still viciously attacking him when Frederick County deputies, Frederick police officers and animal control arrived. Authorities were able to quickly contain the dog. Smith was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital with severe injuries. He was pronounced dead on arrival. Smith lived at the Stonehouse Road home with his son and his son's fiancée. The family adopted the male pit bull from an unnamed person or rescue seven months earlier. The dog's former owner, who had owned the animal for about three years in a neighboring county, had adopted the dog from a Baltimore area rescue group. At the time of the fatal attack, the 84-pound pit bull was neutered and 4 or 5 years old. Frederick County Animal Control euthanized the dog after the attack. Smith, nicknamed "Smitty," spent his life as a tanker truck driver who delivered milk to farms and creameries in Frederick for nearly 60 years. [source citations]

Date of death: January 7, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Yes Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Declan Moss

Declan Moss

18-months old | Brooksville, Florida

Declan Moss, 18-months old, was mauled to death by two family pit bull-mixes. When Hernando County deputies responded to the scene, the young boy was already dead. At the time of the attack, Declan was playing on the porch under the care of his grandfather, Gregory Moss, the owner of the dogs. Gregory witnessed the attack, but was unable to stop the animals. The two dogs, Thumper and Max, were father and son -- 6-years old and 18-years old accordingly. Neighbor Charles Shorey told the news media the dogs had never hurt a person in the past, but had killed smaller dogs. Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said the boy's mother, Sheila Moss, was devastated by her son's death, but was also "defending the dogs" and said "it's not necessarily the breed of the dog." The sheriff initially identified the dogs as "mixed-breeds" then posted images of both dogs to their Facebook page, ending the breed identification dispute. As of February 7, 2015, no additional information has been released. [source citations]

Date of death: January 19, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix (2) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Grandfather
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Malaki Mildward

Malaki Mildward

7-years old | College Springs, Iowa

Malaki Mildward, 7-years old, was viciously killed by two 8 or 9-month old pit bull-mixes while playing in his yard. There were two adult pit bulls, a male and female, also living at the home, but were inside during the attack. The adult female, Road, had delivered a litter during the previous summer; the two fatally attacking dogs were from that litter. Malaki's stepfather, Jeremiah Hicks, was in the home when the attack occurred. The boy's mother and two other children were away. When several family members, including a 10-year old boy, returned to the home, they saw Malaki's body in the yard. The dogs had horribly attacked the boy and stripped away most of his clothes. Road had bitten the 10-year old boy four months earlier. His mother reported the biting incident to the sheriff's office and the Iowa Department of Human Services, but DHS classified the bite report as unfounded and no follow through occurred. Road and her two fatally attacking offspring were euthanized; Hicks kept the male pit bull. [source citations]

Date of death: January 22, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix (2) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Mother
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Frederick Glenn Crutchfield

Frederick Crutchfield

63-years old | Coal Hill, Arkansas

Frederick Crutchfield, 63-years old, was discovered dead in the woods near his home on February 4 by Johnson County Sheriff's deputies and Coal Hill police. Johnson County Coroner, Pam Cogan, pronounced him dead at the scene. His body was sent to the Arkansas State Medical Examiner's Office in Little Rock. At that time, no other information was released. On February 20, Johnson County Sheriff Larry Jones issued a press release stating, "The Arkansas Crime Lab has determined the cause of death exsanguination (loss of blood) due to multiple canine injuries. The canines belonged to a family member." Crutchfield served in the Army National Guard for 30-years and was an Iraq war veteran. Five months after his mauling death, in response to an email inquiry, the Johnson County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the dogs involved in Crutchfield's death were three pit bulls, the fatal attack occurred on the dog owner's property, none of the dogs were chained and that Crutchfield had known the dogs well. [source citations]

Date of death: February 4, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (3) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Step-son
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Taylynn DeVaughn

TayLynn DeVaughn

2-years old | West Mifflin, Pennsylvania

TayLynn DeVaughn, 2-years old, was attacked and killed by a pit bull while visiting her aunt's home in the 3900 block of Fleetwood Drive. She was transported to Jefferson Hospital where she was pronounced dead. A subsequent autopsy showed that TayLynn died from multiple sharp wounds and multiple blunt force injuries to the head and neck as a result of the dog attack. Her death was ruled accidental by the medical examiner's office. The child's father, Corey DeVaughn, told the media that the day of the attack was the second time his daughter had been around the pit bull. He also indicated the dog was a male, calling the animal "Jake," which suddenly attacked his daughter. "I came in the living room and the dog was just shaking her," DeVaughn said. "When he let her go, she was gone," DeVaughn said. West Mifflin animal control officer Ken Ferree, who impounded the dog, said the dog was a 3 to 4-year old pit bull-mix and weighs about 80 pounds. The dog is expected to be euthanized. [source citations]

Date of death: February 22, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Aunt's boyfriend
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Roy Higgenbotham

Roy Higgenbotham Jr.

62-years old | Wheeling, West Virginia

Roy Higgenbotham Jr., 62-years old, bled to death after being attacked by his roommate's pit bull. The victim was alerted that his roommate George Wallace had lost consciousness by Wallace's girlfriend. Higgenbotham called 911 then rushed upstairs to help. According to police, he was giving Wallace several revival "slaps" to the face when Wallace's pit bull attacked him. After kicking in the door to the home, police officers heard Higgenbotham screaming and rushed to an upstairs bedroom where they saw him on the floor being attacked by the pit bull, according to Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball. The girlfriend, by this stage, had fled out a window onto the roof of the home in fear of the attacking dog. Both Higgenbotham and Wallace were rushed to a local hospital, where both men died. Wallace suffered a fatal heart attack. A preliminary autopsy report showed that Higgenbotham died as a direct result to the injuries he sustained during the attack. The dog severed his radial artery on his left arm. [source citations]

Date of death: March 8, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Female Owner of dog: Roommate
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal rottweiler attack, Betty Wood

Betty Wood

78-years old | Sulphur Springs, Texas

Betty Wood, 78-years old, was brutally mauled to death by her pet rottweiler. Sulphur Springs Police Chief Jay Sanders said dispatchers received a call about 7 pm about a possible deceased person at a home on North Davis Street. The daughter of the victim, who lives next-door, went to check on her mother and discovered her dead on the floor of her home. Wood lived alone in her home. Sanders said the daughter trapped the animal in the back room until first responders arrived on scene. Sanders told KLTV, "I've been doing this 30 years and that scene was about as gruesome as I've ever seen." Police determined though an initial investigation that the pet rottweiler attacked and killed Wood. The medical examiner's office in Dallas confirmed their findings the next day. Wood had been killed by the dog. The victim had owned the rottweiler for about 5-years, according to police. The dog was surrendered by family members and euthanized the following day. Texas Rangers assisted in the death investigation. [source citations]

Date of death: March 12, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Rottweiler Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Julia Charging Whirlwind

Julia Charging Whirlwind

49-years old | White River, Rosebud Indian Reservation, South Dakota

Julia Charging Whirlwind, 49-years old, was attacked and killed by up to three dogs in the lower Swift Bear Community on the Rosebud Indian Reservation. She had left a friend's house at about 6 am that morning and was walking home when the dogs attacked. Mellette County Sheriff Mike Blom was one of the first officers to arrive on scene. He saw two people trying to fight off two of the dogs. Sheriff Blom shot and killed both dogs; a third dog fled the scene. Charging Whirlwind was transported to Rosebud hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Immediately after the attack, tribal council members agreed to an emergency measure to round up and destroy aggressive or unwanted dogs in the area. At about 7 am, the former Rosebud animal control officer arrived on scene to provide cages and materials for the emergency round up and identified one of the dogs shot by Sheriff Blom as a brindle pit bull, which had since been placed in the back of a truck. The round up proceeded using that truck that morning. [source citations]

Date of death: March 14, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (1)
Unknown (2)
Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Local residents
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, De'Trick Johnson

De'Trick Johnson

36-years old | Jefferson County, Arkansas

De'Trick Johnson, 36-years old, was killed by a pack of pit bulls belonging to John Chester Smith, the owner of C.J.'s Garage. Johnson had driven to the business to have his car serviced. When he exited his vehicle, seven pit bulls tore through the bottom of the garage's front gate and savagely attacked him. It is unknown how long Johnson was being mauled before the first 911 call came in, which lasted from 5 to 8 minutes, according to different media reports. He was pronounced dead on scene; the initial cause of death was listed as "massive trauma." Johnson's life partner, John Smith III, is the son of the dogs' owner. Smith said there were multiple victims of these dogs before Johnson's death. Family members had warned his father to "get rid of those dogs," Smith said. Eight months earlier, the pit bulls had escaped the property in the same way and attacked man who fled by climbing up a tree. On April 22, authorities charged John Chester Smith with felony manslaughter in connection to Johnson's death. [source citations]

Date of death: March 21, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (7) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Business owner
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Yes
Fatal dog attack, Neta Lee Adams

Neta Lee Adams

81-years old | Washington, Georgia

Neta Lee Adams, 81-years old, was discovered dead in a ditch along Gordon Street on the morning of March 31. The Wilkes County Sheriff's Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation began an investigation into her death. Two days later, an autopsy performed at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab determined the cause of death was traumatic injury caused by dog attack. The death was ruled accidental. "The autopsy results were consistent with what we saw at the scene," Wilkes County Sheriff Mark Moore said. No one witnessed the attack, but neighbors told Sheriff Moore that Adams had a habit of walking and gathering cans early each morning. "There was evidence of a struggle on the ground, with broken yard furniture and scratches, blood, and clothing on the ground," Sheriff Moore said. After her mauling death, the sheriff's department and local authorities aggressively responded to all dog calls, hoping to locate the attackers. The dogs were never found; their owner got away with murder. [source citations]

Date of death: March 31, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Unknown Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Unknown
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Unknown
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Kenneth Ford

Kenneth Ford

79-years old | Pahrump, Nevada

Kenneth Ford, 79-years old, was brutally attacked by three pit bulls on March 13 and airlifted to University Medical Center (UMC) in critical condition. Just before the attack, Ford went to his neighbor's two-home property to feed his cats. The neighbor with the cats owns the property and rents out a section to a tenant who owns three pit bulls that he kept behind a 6-foot fence. When Ford came to feed the cats, the pit bulls jumped the fence and attacked him. Ford screamed for help and two men ran to help him. The dogs then attacked them too, inflicting serious injuries to both. The two men were able to drag Ford next door and close the gate, but the pit bulls found a hole in the fence and continued their attack. One man was able to get a gun and shot two of the pit bulls, but the dogs continued attacking the men undeterred. Authorities arrested and charged the owner of the pit bulls, Ricky Davidson, immediately. His dogs had a history of aggression and being at large. Ford died of his injuries at UMC on April 14. [source citations]

Date of death: April 14, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (3) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Tenant
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Yes (MISD)
Fatal pit bull attack, Brayden Wilson

Brayden Wilson

10-weeks old | Dallas, Texas

Brayden Wilson, 10-weeks old, was savagely killed by his family's pet pit bull in the Red Bird area of Dallas. Just before the attack, the boy and his father were inside the home when the father stepped outside to turn on the sprinkler system. When he returned, the pit bull was attacking the infant who was in a bouncing seat, according to police. As the father struggled to pull the dog off the baby, the mother returned home and walked in on the scene. The pit bull bit her twice when she tried to intervene. The father managed to grab the animal by the neck and haul it outside, where he shot the dog twice, killing it. The child was rushed to Children's Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. The child's grandmother, Willetta Tate, said the family had owned the pit bull for 8-years and it had grown up with two other children in the household, 8 and 11-years old. "It's just unexplainable," Tate said. "You just don't get it when you've had the dog so long, I don't know what could have happened. I don't know," Tate said. [source citations]

Date of death: April 19, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Mother
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Gaege Ramirez

Gaege Ramirez

7-years old | Canyon Lake, Texas

Gaege Ramirez, 7-years old, was mauled to death by up to five dogs while visiting a Canyon Lake home. The attack took place at the 2100 block of Rocky Ridge Loop, according to the Comal County Sheriff’s Office. The boy and his mother had just arrived at the home to visit friends, when Gaege went into the backyard. A short time later, his mother found him with severe lacerations. Gaege was airlifted to University Hospital in San Antonio, where he died of his injuries. The Comal County Sheriff’s Office said although the dogs were "unspecified breeds," none were pit bulls. Other media reports identified the dogs as mixed-breeds. District Attorney Jennifer Tharp confirmed that the boy's mother, Amber Hardcastle, is a felony investigator for the Comal County District Attorney's Office. Last year, Canyon Lake resident Betty Clark was killed by two loose pit bulls at the intersection of Deer Valley Street and Overhill Street, about 20 miles away. Canyon Lake has a population of about 17,000. [source citations]

Date of death: May 2, 2015 Chained: Unknown
Breed of dog: Mixed-breed (5) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Family friend
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, James Nevils III

James Nevils III

5-years old | Chicago, Illinois

James Nevils III, 5-years old, was brutally attacked and killed by his cousin's pit bull while visiting his home. James and his 7-year old sister were outside with the dog, according to a police report. When his mother let her children and dog back into the home, the dog viciously attacked James. The pit bull latched onto his throat and began shaking him by his neck. The boy's mother dragged the dog by its back legs out the front door onto the lawn, hoping that neighbors would see the attack and help. Two teenage brothers rushed over and began beating the dog with a brick and pole. An adult neighbor stabbed the pit bull multiple times with a knife; he kept stabbing until the knife broke. James was lifeless by the time the pit bull let go. Neighbors continued attacking the dog afterward, killing it. The dog belonged to the boy's cousin, Kyle Hannah, 27, who was away when the violent attack occurred. Police issued Hannah two administrative "infractions" after the attack. No criminal charges were pursued. [source citations]

Date of death: May 25, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Cousin
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Jordan Collins-Tyson

Jordan Collins-Tyson

3-years old | Lawton, Oklahoma

Jordan Collins-Tyson, 3-years old, was killed by a pit bull while under the care of his babysitter. Jordan was in the backyard of his great-grandmother's home with two dogs when he was attacked. According to police, the babysitter was watching the boy through a window from inside the home. In one moment he was playing outside and in the next, when the babysitter looked again, he was on the ground. The pit bull fatally bit the little boy's throat. Police said the child had been around the dog before without any problems. The pit bull continued to act aggressively when police arrived. Officers shot the animal to death on scene. The child was taken to the Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy. In a double tragedy, Jordan's father, Charles Anthony Tyson, was murdered in October 2012, just 8-months after Jordan was born. Tyson was beaten and shot to death on the front porch of his Lawton home. Jose Villanueva was later convicted of first-degree murder in connection to his death and sentenced to life in prison. [source citations]

Date of death: June 28, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Grandparents
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Norberto Legarda

Norberto Legarda

83-years old | Pecos, Texas

Norberto Legarda, 83-years old, was attacked and killed by three pit bulls belonging to his daughter's next door neighbor. At the time of the attack, Legarda was in his daughter's backyard in the 1500 block of South Eddy Street feeding her labrador. His daughter was away on vacation. Though adequately maintained fences separated the two homes, the neighbor's pit bulls somehow entered into the backyard and began attacking Legarda and the labrador. When police arrived, the pit bulls were still attacking the dog and a man was lying in the backyard. Police had to pepper spray and taser the pit bulls to reach the injured man. Shortly thereafter, Legarda was pronounced dead. Pecos Police Chief Clay McKinney believes the deadly attack began as a dog fight. "Mr. Legarda probably tried to break up the fight and then the pit bulls turned on him," McKinney said. The labrador did survive its injuries. The owner of the pit bulls, identified as Oscar Rodriguez, gave consent to have all three of his dogs put down. [source citations]

Date of death: July 2, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (3) 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: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Joshua Strother

Joshua Strother

6-years old | Hendersonville, North Carolina

Joshua Strother, 6-years old, was brutally killed by a pit bull belonging to his neighbor. His neighbor's family adopted the male, neutered pit bull from the Asheville Humane Society (AHS) three weeks earlier. The pit bull had originally come into the Buncombe County shelter, which AHS operates, as a stray with an unknown history. The deadly attack occurred after Joshua climbed the fence to enter his neighbor's yard. The pit bull was so aggressive, arriving deputies had to shoot and kill the dog. At the time of the attack, Joshua was home with his mother who was 8-months pregnant. "I went to the bathroom and my boy is dead," she told 911 dispatchers. Joshua had been climbing over the fence to visit the dog since its arrival, as well to play with his neighbor's young daughter. After the boy's death, Buncombe County officials ordered a moratorium on pit bull "transfers" from the county to AHS and all adoption agencies while they reviewed Asheville Humane's temperament test procedures and transfer process. [source citations]

Date of death: July 7, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Yes Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Annie Williams

Annie Williams

71-years old | Shaker Heights, Ohio

Annie Williams, 71-years old, was attacked and killed by a pit bull just after she exited her car in a residential neighborhood in Shaker Heights. Annie was picking up her two great granddaughters from a home on Pennington Road, when the pit bull belonging to someone living at the home brutally attacked her in the driveway. One neighbor who ran to her aid shot the dog causing it to flee into the backyard. Another neighbor, who witnessed the attack from her window, said the horrific onslaught lasted 10-minutes. Arriving police officers found the pit bull in the backyard and shot it to death. Williams was rushed to South Pointe Hospital, where she later died. The county medical examiner said that Williams died from bite wounds and crushing injuries to her neck, throat and body from the pit bull mauling. On February 23, 2016, a mother and son living at the residence, Bobbie Green, 70, and Leon Morton, 49, were indicted on involuntary manslaughter and reckless homicide charges in connection to her death. [source citations]

Date of death: July 12, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Tenant
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Yes
Fatal dog attack, Carolyn Lamp

Carolyn Lamp

67-years old | Redbird, Oklahoma

Carolyn Lamp, 67-years old, was violently killed by up to four dogs. Witnesses said she was walking down South Main Street in the small town of Redbird when the animals attacked. One man chased the dogs away, but it was too late. The dogs savaged the woman's face and ripped off all of her clothing. Witnesses said she was left unrecognizable. She died on scene. Community sources said the dogs were three pit bulls and a rottweiler. Carolyn was known to walk the area gathering cans to make extra money for her sewing hobby. Wagoner County Sheriff Bob Colbert said that on top of her tragic death, Carolyn knew these dogs. A year earlier, she had asked nearby residents if she could feed them. "Its ironic," Colbert said, "this lady offered to help these same dogs that a year later took her life." No one claimed ownership of the dogs. Authorities seized and quarantined all four dogs. The Redbird area suffers from a longtime problem of roaming dogs. As of August 17, 2015 no new information is known. [source citations]

Date of death: July 24, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (3)
Rottweiler (1)
Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unknown Owner of dog: Unknown
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Nicole Cartee

Porsche Nicole Cartee

25-years old | Spartanburg, South Carolina

Porsche Nicole Cartee, 25-years old, was brutally killed by her family pit bull. The male dog, named Spike, had been with the family for 10-years. On August 22, the pit bull "just snapped" and began attacking Nicole's mother, according to authorities. When Nicole tried to rescue her mother, the pit bull turned on her, killing her. The dog also attacked Nicole's sister who was in the home. Nicole was dead when first responders arrived. Animal control director Jamie Nelson described the scene as "horrific." Nicole's mother was hospitalized with serious injuries; her sister was treated on scene. Patrick Powell, Nicole's boyfriend of 10-years, said the two had recently separated, but were planning on reuniting. Powell said the dog had a history of violence; it had attacked Nicole's mother two months earlier. The mother, however, blamed the incident on a stray dog, Powell said. A male cousin confirmed the previous attack to the media, but said the injuries were minor. Authorities found no previous attacks on record. [source citations]

Date of death: August 22, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Mother
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Cathy Wheatcraft

Cathy Wheatcraft

48-years old | Davie County, North Carolina

Cathy Wheatcraft, 48-years old, was savagely killed by her neighbor's pit bull. Cathy had just gone to her mailbox when the dog viciously attacked. Neighbor Sheena Truesdale, 31, came to her aid and the pit bull attacked her too. Truesdale jumped into a car for protection, but the dog latched onto her arm and began dragging her out. When police arrived, the pit bull was actively attacking Truesdale and Cathy was dead. An officer dispatched the pit bull by firing three bullets into it. The dog's owner, Latisha Young, was away when her pit bull escaped her home by jumping out of a window 10 or 11 feet from the ground. At some point later, the pit bull began its rampage attack. A few months earlier, Young's pit bull named Patch had been declared a nuisance for escaping its property and attacking, ironically, Truesdale's dog. After nearly having her arm ripped off by Patch, Truesdale told the media it "was a good dog" and that she had no idea why the pit bull "suddenly snapped." Truesdale also owns three pit bulls. [source citations]

Date of death: August 24, 2015 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: No
Fatal dog attack, Barbara McCormick

Barbara McCormick

65-years old | Autauga County, Alabama

Barbara McCormick, 65-years old, was killed by up to three family dogs. A friend discovered her dead in the yard of her home on County Road 1, south of Billingsley. Autauga County Sheriff Joe Sedinger said she had injuries consistent with a dog attack. A preliminary autopsy report confirmed that she died due to the dog attack. Authorities quarantined the family's three dogs that were described as "shepherd or retriever" mixed-breeds. Sedinger said that two dogs were loose and one was still tied up (presumably during the attack). Sedinger believes the victim may have been feeding the dogs when a dog fight broke out and she got caught in the middle of it. After her death, her son posted images of the three family dogs on his Facebook page: a pit bull-mix, shepherd-mix, and golden retriever-mix. The pit bull was never mentioned in any previous media reports. Conflicting reports say the third dog was never even located by authorities. As of October 6, 2015 no other information has been reported. [source citations]

Date of death: September 4, 2015 Chained: Mixed
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix (1)
Shepherd-mix (1)
Golden retreiver-mix (1)
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 pit bull attack, Emilio Rios Sr.

Emilio Rios Sr.

65-years old | North Shore, California

Emilio Rios Sr., 65-years old, was brutally attacked and killed by two stray pit bull-mix dogs in the unincorporated community of North Shore near the Salton Sea. The dogs also viciously attacked a woman who tried to come to his aid. When Riverside County sheriff's deputies arrived on scene, Emilio was found dead in the front yard of a residence and the two pit bulls were attacking Luisa Rodriguez, 57, nearby. Deputies heard her screams and responded by driving toward the woman, lights and sirens on, causing the dogs to flee. Luisa was transported to a local hospital with severe injuries. The two pit bulls were located at a nearby residence and seized by authorities. Both were tranquillized after one of them was "extremely aggressive" toward animal control, according to sheriff's officials. Despite conflicting stories, the dogs were ultimately identified as strays. From December 19, 2008 to September 8, 2015 (nearly 7-years), data from DogsBite.org shows there have been seven fatal dog attacks in Riverside County. [source citations]

Date of death: September 8, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix (2) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Unknown
Spay/Neuter: Mixed Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Carmen Reigada

Carmen Reigada

91-years old | Miami-Dade County, Florida

Carmen Reigada, 91-years old, was savagely attacked by three dogs at a home she shared with family members. At the time of the attack, she was alone. Fire and rescue responded to the home on the 9400 block of SW 18th Terrace and transported the victim to Kendall Regional Hospital, where she later died. Miami-Dade Animal Services seized three dogs, identified in police reports as an American bulldog-mix, a Rhodesian ridgeback-mix and a lab-shepherd mix. All three dogs belonged to her great-grandson, according to police reports. Family members would not speak to the local media. Two weeks later, the Miami-Dade County Medical Examiner's Office released the autopsy report. Carmen died of dog bites to the head, neck and extremities. More specifically, the report stated that the victim had a defleshed face and scalp. "The skin of the scalp and most of the face is absent," the report states, noting that, "muscles of the face are mostly absent" as well. The victim also suffered multiple rib fractures, lacerations to her liver and lungs, and contusions to her liver, lungs and heart. [source citations]

Date of death: September 22, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: American bulldog-mix (1)
Rhodesian ridgeback-mix (1)
Lab-shepherd mix (1)
Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Great-grandson
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Lamarkus Hicks

Lamarkus Hicks

2-years old | Kearneysville, West Virginia

Lamarkus Hicks, 2-years old, was attacked and killed by a chained dog after wandering into his neighbor's unfenced backyard. He was taken to a hospital in Martinsburg then airlifted to Children's Hospital in Washington D.C., where he died from multiple facial bite injuries. Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely said that Lamarkus had been playing with several other children inside and outside a cluster of nearby homes when the 2-year old slipped away. He was discovered badly injured by the dog's owner. The attacking dog, named Bubba, was described alternatively in media reports as a 14-month old "boxer-mix" and a medium-sized brown "mixed-breed." Photographs that emerged later from the police report, however, showed the dog was a pit bull-mix. Two days after the deadly attack, its owner surrendered the dog for euthanasia. At that time he also signed over a female pit bull to animal control for adoption that was not involved in the attack, according to Games-Neely. No criminal charges were brought against the child's caretakers or the owner of the dogs. [source citations]

Date of death: September 28, 2015 Chained: Yes
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Edgar Brown

Edgar Brown

60-years old | Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Edgar Brown, 60-years old, was viciously attacked by five pit bulls and died just under two weeks later. On October 6, Edgar was asked to visit a friend's rental home to take out the trash -- the trashcans were just inside a gated area on the side of the home. At some point, the pit bulls belonging to the property behind the rental home jumped the fence and charged him. He tried to hold the gate closed -- keeping the dogs separated from him -- but the pit bulls found a hole in the fence, ran through it and attacked him on the other side of the gate. He was rushed to OU Medical Center. "He had blood all over him, all over the floor, everywhere," his brother Dexter Brown said. "Flesh was hanging off his arms. It was the most awful mess I’ve ever seen," he said. While hospitalized, his condition quickly deteriorated. In addition to suffering a heart attack, doctors were forced to amputate both of his legs and part of one arm due to infection. He succumbed to his injuries on October 18. All five pit bulls were euthanized. [source citations]

Date of death: October 18, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (5) 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 pit bull attack, Tanner Smith

Tanner Smith

5-years old | Vidor, Texas

Tanner Smith, 5-years old, was mauled to death by two pit bulls. At the time of the attack, Tanner and his mother Ashley were visiting a friend's home, whose father owns the residence and the two pit bulls. Tanner had been jumping on the trampoline in the fenced-in yard when one of the pit bulls ran into the home covered in blood. Ashley rushed outside and found her son critically injured. The dogs had pulled Tanner off the trampoline and attacked his face and neck, severing his carotid artery. Ashley believed the dogs' owner was with her son while playing outside, but he was not present during the attack. When the dogs' owner learned what happened, he quickly returned and shot both dogs to death. In March 2014, the same pit bulls nearly killed a neighbor's puppy, and in February 2015, the dogs escaped their property and attacked a 9-year old girl and her mother. The girl's injuries were not considered severe enough by authorities to deem them "dangerous dogs." Criminal charges are not expected. [source citations]

Date of death: October 18, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (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 pit bull attack, Amiyah Dunston

Amiyah Dunston

9-years old | Elmont, New York

Amiyah Dunston, 9-years old, was savagely killed by a pit bull while playing in the backyard of a Long Island home. Amiyah had been dropped off at the Elmont home to visit her biological father. She was in the backyard playing with two other girls when a pit bull belonging to a tenant on the second-floor brutally attacked her. When police arrived, the pit bull was still engaged in its assault -- the dog latched onto her neck and head, and fiercely shook her. At least one of the two other girls witnessed the violent attack. Amiyah was rushed to Franklin Hospital where she was pronounced dead. The owner of the pit bull, Carlyle Arnold, 29, was arrested at the scene for an unrelated charge. Prior to the deadly attack, Arnold posted a photograph to his Facebook page showing his male pit bull he dubbed, "The beast!" wearing a weighted collar and clenching down on bite strengthening equipment. The Nassau County District Attorney's Office does not suspect the attack will result in criminal charges. [source citations]

Date of death: November 8, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Tenant
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
Fatal rottweiler attack, Anthony Riggs

Anthony Riggs

57-years old | Madison County, Tennessee

Anthony Riggs, 57-years old, was attacked and killed by a shelter dog he adopted just a few hours earlier. On November 12, Riggs adopted a 5-year old male rottweiler from Jackson-Madison County Rabies Control, the county operated shelter. After leaving the shelter at about 10:30 am, Riggs took the dog to show it to his son, Thomas Riggs. They made plans for the holidays and hugged each other good-bye. About 3-hours later, the dog brutally killed Riggs. His wife, Kathy Riggs, called him about 1 pm and he did not answer the phone. She arrived home with a co-worker at 3:30 pm and found him dead on the floor. The rottweiler then attacked Kathy and her co-worker, biting them both. Sheriff's deputies shot the dog on site after it ran out of the house. Rabies Control had picked up the dog 5-days earlier as a stray with an unknown history. The county agency has no evaluation or temperament testing policy before placing a dog up for adoption to the public. As of November 23, the investigation is ongoing. [source citations]

Date of death: November 12, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Rottweiler Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Carter Hartle

Carter Hartle

11-months old | Oneida County, New York

Carter Hartle, 11-months old, was killed by the family pit bull, according to the Oneida County Sheriff's Office. Carter and his three sisters, ages 7, 10 and 12, were playing with the dog in the living room when it suddenly attacked the baby. The mother, 32-year old Lisa Cittadino, turned her back momentarily then heard screams from her children. When she saw the dog attacking her baby, she tried to get it to release its jaws. Once it did, she called 911. The baby was rushed to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Utica, where he died due to facial and neck injuries, deputies said. The family dog, named Diesel, had never shown aggression since joining the family 2-years ago, Cittadino said. The family had raised Diesel as a puppy. The Verona Dog Warden, Susan Gardinier, seized the dog and placed it into quarantine. The dog was euthanized at the family's request. Afterward, Gardinier identified the dog as a 2-year old pit bull-shar pei mix and said that "[pit bulls] are bred to latch on, to hang on, and that's what they do." [source citations]

Date of death: November 15, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-shar pei mix Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Mother
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal pit bull attack, Xavier Strickland

Xavier Strickland

4-years old | Detroit, Michigan

Xavier Strickland, 4-years old, was murdered by four pit bulls as he walked down a residential sidewalk with his mother. The two were walking near Baylis Street when multiple pit bulls escaped under their owner's gate, snatched the boy from his mother's arms, dragged him across the street then yanked him back under the gate and disemboweled him. His mother witnessed his brutal murder and was also severely injured by one of the dogs while trying to protect her son. A responding police officer open fired, killing three of the pit bulls. The fourth was confiscated and later destroyed. The dogs had a history of escaping their owner's property. Xavier's death caused an outcry in Detroit -- dogfighting, pit bulls, the incessant backyard breeding of pit bulls and stray pit bulls are all part of the city's fabric. Five days after his death, the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office charged the dogs' owner, Geneke Antonio Lyons, 41, with second-degree murder, manslaughter and possessing dangerous animals causing death. [source citations]

Date of death: December 2, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (4) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Property owner
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Yes
Fatal pit bull attack, Rebecca Hardy

Rebecca Hardy

22-years old | Port Huron, Michigan

Rebecca Hardy, 22-years old, was violently killed by a male pit bull after climbing over a fence into the dog's yard. Port Huron Police found Hardy with extensive injuries to her face and neck. Family members said the pit bull "tore the esophagus right out of her throat." A witness said that he saw Hardy put one leg over the fence and while still on the fence, the pit bull grabbed her leg, pulled her over and began attacking her. Then a female dog in the yard, described as a white husky, also started attacking Hardy. The owner then came out and beat the pit bull with a 2-by-4, ending the attack. Hardy was taken to a local hospital then airlifted to Beaumont Hospital, where she died. Oakland County Medical Examiner Ljubisa Dragovic ruled the manner of death suicide. "She did not get through a gate or through the front door of the house -- and that clearly is a purposeful act. It's akin to someone jumping into a cage with tigers or lions at a zoo," Dragovic said. The investigation revealed that Hardy knew the dogs were dangerous, Dragovic explained. Both dogs were destroyed, along with several puppies. [source citations]

Date of death: December 3, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull and husky Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Property tenant
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: (Fined)
Fatal pit bull attack, Maria Torres

Maria Torres

57-years old | Gridley, California

Maria Torres, 57-years old, was discovered dead after Butte County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a home on Dewsnup Avenue in Gridley to provide a welfare check on a woman who did not report to work that day. Upon arrival, they discovered Torres deceased with injuries consistent with a dog attack. Two adult pit bulls were also in the home. Sheriff's investigators believed the victim had tried to break up a fight between the dogs and suffered "grave" injuries as a result. The determination was based upon the fact that both dogs had injuries consistent with fighting each other. "The pit bulls had injuries themselves, indicating they had been in a confrontation, in a fight with one another," said sheriff's spokesperson Miranda Bowersox. The two pit bulls, both male, were described as 3 and 5-years old; neither dog was neutered. On January 29, 2016 the Butte County Coroner's Office said that Torres died due to blood loss from the injuries she sustained due to a fatal dog attack. Both dogs were euthanized. [source citations]

Date of death: December 16, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
Fatal dog attack, Nyjah Espinosa

Nyjah Espinosa

1-year old | Miami-Dade, Florida

Nyjah Espinosa, 1-year old, was attacked and killed by her father's dog just 5-days before her second birthday, which would have been celebrated on Christmas. Nyjah was visiting her father's home in Miami-Dade County just before the holidays when the fatal attack occurred. Miami-Dade Animal Services described the dog as a 5-year old male American bulldog-mix weighing 95-pounds. The child's grandmother, however, believed the dog was a pit bull. Diley Gonzalas states on the GoFundMe page she created to help raise funds for Nyjah's burial costs, "On Sunday, December 20th, 2015, my granddaughter, Nyjah 'Nyny' Espinosa, just 5 days shy of her 2nd birthday, was attacked by a pit bull. Doctors at Miami Children's Hospital tried to keep her with us, but were unable to do so. Our little girl was no longer with us." Miami-Dade County investigators said the little girl was in the hallway when the dog attacked her. As of January 9, 2016, no other information has been released. [source citations]

Date of death: December 20, 2015 Chained: No
Breed of dog: American bulldog-mix Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Father
Spay/Neuter: Unknown Multiple dogs: No
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.
  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 news reports that were available at the time of the attack or found through Internet archival services. Each fatality also lists "source citations," which links to its related citations.
  2. Most popular breed in U.S. ain’t nothing but a hound dog, by Merritt Clifton, Animals 24-7, July 20, 2015 (www.animals24-7.org). The most recent calculation by Animals 24-7 was complete in July 2015. Breed populations are determined annually by searching over 56 million online classified ad listing dogs for sale and adoption.
  3. As of the publication of these statistics on February 19, 2016.