DogsBite.org Releases 2011 Fatal Dog Bite Statistics; Features Trends About Victims of Fatal Pit Bull Attacks

Pit bulls led fatal dog attacks in 2011 accounting for over 67% of the year's total fatalities. Adult victims in pit bull fatalities more than doubled the number of child victims.

Austin, TX January 4, 2012 -- On January 4, DogsBite.org, a national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks, releases 2011 fatal dog bite statistics. Of the 31 U.S. fatal dog attacks that occurred in 2011, pit bulls contributed to over 67% despite only comprising about 5% of the total U.S. dog population. The next deadliest dog breed, rottweilers, contributed to 13% (4) of these deaths and a variety of other dog breeds each contributed to one death.

Trends amongst pit bull victims include the high number of adult victims. In 2011, nearly 70% of pit bull victims fell between the ages of 32 to 76. 2011 also marks an increase in pit bulls killing their owners. Of the 8 instances this year in which a family dog killed its primary caretaker, 88% (7) involved pet pit bulls. Both of these dynamics were identified in a 1987 paper authored by Randall Lockwood and Kate Rindy of the Humane Society of the United States (Are "pit bulls" different? An analysis of the pit bull controversy. Anthrozoos 1987;1:2-8).

Other 2011 trends include an increase in off-property attacks that resulted in human death. In 2011, 26% (8) of all fatal dog attacks occurred off the dog owner's property, up from 12% in 2010. Criminal charges following a fatal dog biting incident also increased in 2011. In the past year, 29% (9) resulted in criminal charges being filed, up from 15% in 2010. The area that continues to decline in fatalities involves chained dogs. In 2011, 6% (2) of all fatal dog attacks involved a tethered dog, down from 9% in 2010 and 19% in 2009.

States that led dog bite fatalities in 2011, California and Texas, whose legislatures restrict breed-specific laws, routinely hold this position in the area of fatal dog attacks. Both California and Texas each incurred 4 deaths in 2011; pit bulls and their mixes contributed to 88% (7) of these deaths. North Carolina, New Mexico, South Carolina and Virginia each incurred 2 deaths this year.

For more information, including fatal dog biting incidents that involved breeding on the dog owner's property, please see the below web page at DogsBite.org:

About DogsBite.org
DogsBite.org is a national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks. Through our work, we hope to protect both people and pets from future attacks. Our website, www.dogsbite.org, was launched in October 2007 and contains a wide collection of data to help policymakers and citizens learn about dangerous dog breeds. Our research focuses on pit bull type dogs. Due to selective breeding practices that emphasize aggression and tenacity, this class of dogs negatively impacts communities the most. Our website hosts important dog bite studies, U.S. dog bite fatalities and other key bibliographies. In the Legislating Dogs portion of our site, we offer examples of breed-specific laws (state-by-state) and documentation of the constitutionality of these laws. The Victim Realities section provides a glance into the unforgettable histories victims leave behind and much more. DogsBite.org operates out of Austin, Texas and can be contacted via: 512-650-8510 or . Research contributions and active website participation stems from individuals that span the United States of America and across the world.