2020 dog bite fatalities ::

It often takes several weeks to identify fatal dog attack parameters.1 This is why recent dog bite fatalities may not appear on this page. In the interim, please visit Recent Fatalities on our blog.

2020 dog bite fatality victims

2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pack attack, Kay Torres

Kay Torres

52-years old | Taos Pueblo (Tribal Land), New Mexicoicon

Kay Torres, 52-years old, was killed by a pack of dogs on tribal land, according to a dispatch log provided by Taos County. A caller reported seeing Torres' body surrounded by a group of dogs that were attacking her near the intersection of Leaf Arrow Lane and Willow Lane, states the log. The caller fended off the dogs with a stick. When the dogs moved away, the caller could see bite marks on Torres' arms and legs. "It appears that Kay Torres was killed by a pack of dogs," Taos Pueblo Tribal Police Officer James Gladeau reported from the scene, according to the log. Torres had worked for Taos Pueblo Head Start and Taos Public Schools over the years, according to her sister, Sandra Bible. The log report did not indicate how many dogs were involved in the attack, the breeds of dogs involved or if the dogs were captured. As of January 18, the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator has not confirmed her cause of death. [source citations]

Date of death: January 8, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Unreleased Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Unreleased
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Pending
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, McKenzie Terwell

McKenzie Terwell

4-months old | Dayton, Ohioicon

McKenzie Terwell, 4-months old, was mauled to death by a family pit bull while her mother was asleep on the couch. The baby died of exsanguination (bleeding) due to extensive soft tissue damage, according to Montgomery County Corner, Dr. Kent Harshberger. The manner of death was ruled an accident. On January 9, just before midnight, police were dispatched to 114 Vermont Avenue after reports of an infant not breathing. The baby's father, Parker Terwell, called 911 after he arrived home and found the infant alone lying on the floor and not breathing. Terwell said the baby's mother, Mary Shoup, was asleep on the living room sofa. Terwell informed officers that "Shoup is on prescription medication." These prescriptions included: Alprazolam, Bupropion and Sertraline, according to an affidavit seeking a search warrant. Terwell also told officers he had thrown a Marijuana bong into the kitchen trashcan before police arrived, according to the affidavit. As of February 8, no criminal charges have been filed. [source citations]

Date of death: January 9, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Mother
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Donald Abner

Donald Abner

55-years old | Rockcastle County, Kentuckyicon

Pending release of contributing cause of death

Donald "Donnie" Abner, 55-years old, died after being attacked by a pit bull and a female friend. About 3:40 am, deputies were dispatched to a home on Pug Lane after receiving a 911 call from a neighbor who witnessed a woman assaulting a man and commanding her pit bull to attack him. Arriving deputies found 38-year old Melissa Wolke on top of Abner punching him in the face, while the dog attacked him. Police had to Tase Wolke to get her off Abner. The Rockcastle Coroner's Office said Abner suffered dog bite wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Wolke was arrested and charged with murder. Wolke appeared to have blood on her hands and feet, and had a large clump of hair in her hands that was consistent with the victim's hair. Wolke later told Kentucky State Police that she was going "redneck" on the man and that she was the owner of the pit bull "Denali," a former fighting dog. The initial cause of death was ruled to be asphyxiation. As of February 8, the degree of injury inflicted by the dog is unknown. [source citations]

Date of death: January 10, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Friend
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Yes
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Julian Connell

Julian Connell

1-month old | Lafayette, Indianaicon

Julian Connell, 1-month old, was killed by a family pit bull-mix. The attack occurred in the 1900 block of Greenbush Street. Police were dispatched to the home after the infant's teenage brother called 911. The pit bull had been "fighting" with the family's beagle prior to attacking the infant. "The two dogs were engaged in some sort of a fight in the bedroom where the infant was staying," Lafayette Police Lt. Matt Gard said. The baby's brother was able to separate the dogs and take the beagle out of the room. When he returned, he found the pit bull had attacked the infant. An officer shot and killed the dog in order to reach the infant and begin life-saving aid. Connell was taken to a hospital, where he died. A preliminary autopsy showed the infant died from "multiple sharp force injuries" after sustaining dog bites to his head and neck, the Tippecanoe County Coroner said. The manner of death was ruled an accident. The infant's mother, Jennifer Nicole Connell, was later charged with three counts of neglect. [source citations]

Date of death: January 25, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Female Owner of dog: Mother
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Yes
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Harvey Harmon Jr.

Harvey Harmon, Jr.

76-years old | Attala County, Mississippiicon

Harvey Harmon, Jr., 76-years old, was killed by up to four dogs. The attack occurred at his home on Highway 14 West, near Sallis. He was found dead in his front yard at 9:30 am on January 30. When deputies arrived, all four dogs were at the scene, two pit bulls that belonged to Harmon's nephew and two mixed-breed stray dogs. His body was laying near one chained up pit bull; the other pit bull had broken free from its chain. The two stray dogs were nearby. Harmon appeared to have been dragged from his wheelchair by the four dogs, Attala County Coroner Sam Bell said. Harmon died at the scene of "blunt force trauma due to a pit bull attack." The nephew and the dogs lived with Harmon. According to the nephew, "they weren't aggressive dogs, but clearly, they were aggressive that day," Sheriff Tim Nail said. "The owner did take responsibility and agreed to have the dogs euthanized," Nail said. A veterinarian was called to the scene and euthanized three dogs. One of the strays fled and was never found. [source citations]

Date of death: January 30, 2020 Chained: Mixed
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2)
Mixed-breed (2)
Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Nephew
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Sterling Ver Meer

Sterling Ver Meer

5-years old | Oro Grande, Californiaicon

Sterling Ver Meer, 5-years old, was killed by a family pit bull while under the care of a babysitter. The attack occurred just before 3:00 pm in the 15100 block of Portland Street in Oro Grande, an unincorporated area in San Bernardino County. One adult witnessed the attack and called 911. Arriving deputies found the boy with traumatic injuries. "The child succumbed to his injuries before law enforcement and fire officials arrived," the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said. The child lived at the home where the attack occurred. Two relatives, a female cousin and an uncle, were babysitting the child while his parents were away at work. The two left the child alone briefly in a stand-alone playroom in the backyard. When they returned, the pit bull had the child by his neck and "would not let go," according to police. "Don't trust pit bulls. They can change at any moment," the female cousin said after the attack. The dog, a male pit bull named "Thor," was 12 years old, according to family members. [source citations]

Date of death: February 10, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Relative
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Devin White

Devin White

25-years old | Plainfield, Illinoisicon

Devin White, 25-years old, was killed by his own pit bull that also attacked three family members. On February 8, police responded to a residence in the 22900 block of Judith Drive for a report of a dog bite. Upon arrival, officers found a male pit bull inside the home acting in an "aggressive manner." Police shot and killed the dog after they were unable to gain full control of it while trying to reach the victims. Police located four victims in the second story of the home. White suffered "severe injuries" to his arms. He was transported to St. Joseph Hospital in Joliet then transferred to Loyola University Medical Center. Three other adult victims were taken to local hospitals, where they were treated and released. "The initial investigation indicates the dog, which was owned by the victims, was unprovoked and attacked for an unknown reason," states a news release by the Plainfield Police Department. White died two days later while hospitalized as a result of the injuries sustained due to the dog attack, police said. [source citations]

Date of death: February 10, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal dog attack, Corey Godsey

Corey Godsey

13-years old | Knott County, Kentucky

Corey Godsey, 13-years old, died after being attacked by multiple dogs in the Emmalena community in Knott County. Kentucky State Police were called to the scene on KY-1102, also known as Montgomery Creek Road, about 6:30 pm. Godsey was discovered dead in a wooded area 1,500 feet up a hillside behind a home, according to police. Rain and dark conditions made finding the teenager difficult. Knott County Coroner Corey Watson was called to the scene as a suspected "canine attack involving a child." An autopsy performed at the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Frankfort determined that Godsey died due to "injuries consistent with an animal attack." At the time of the attack, Godsey was staying at a relative's home, but he was familiar with the area. In August, six months after the attack, DNA evidence collected at the scene matched several dogs that police located on an old mine site near the area where Godsey was found. Police stated they do not know the types of dogs involved in the attack. [source citations]

Date of death: February 18, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Unreleased Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Unreleased
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Pending
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Lee Becham

Lee Becham

76-years old | Crawford County, Georgiaicon

Lee Becham, 76-years old, was killed by up to three dogs belonging to his neighbor. On February 23, Becham was found dead in his yard in the 1900 block of Marshall Mill Road. There were "signs of bite marks" to his body, Crawford County Sheriff Lewis Walker said. Coroner Sheldon Mattox confirmed that Becham had severe dog bite marks on both of his extremities. Three dogs belonging to a neighbor were suspected, a pair of pit bulls and Labrador retriever-mix, but were not seized by authorities at that time. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation conducted the autopsy. On March 5, Walker released the cause of death, "traumatic injuries due to dog attack." Walker added, "Three dogs that are suspected in this case have been removed from their owners." On March 10, Samuel Arthur Brown, 55, and Angel Ann Brown, 52, of Crawford County were charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to his death. Becham served in the U.S. Army and was a Vietnam War veteran, according to his obituary. [source citations]

Date of death: February 23, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2)
Labrador retriever-mix (1)
Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Yes
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Geraldine Hamlin

Geraldine Hamlin

64-years old | Shreveport, Louisianaicon

Geraldine Hamlin, 64-years old, died after being mauled by two family pit bulls. The attack occurred on February 27 just after 10:00 pm at her home in the 2900 block of Seventh Street in north Shreveport. Police said the dogs inflicted multiple bite injuries on her arms. "The patient's arms are bleeding really badly," states dispatch logs from Shreveport Fire, who responded to the scene. Hamlin was transported to Ochsner LSU Health hospital, where she died of her injuries early the next morning. The victim shared her home with her son and the two dogs, Shreveport Police Corporal Angie Willhite said. "Her son had been gone and when he arrived back at the house he found his mother with multiple dog bite injuries to her arms," Willhite said. The two dogs were very familiar with the victim, she said. "I believe they had owned [the dogs] for four years is what I've been told," Willhite said. "The pets were no strangers to the family," she said. Both family pit bulls were taken into custody by animal control. [source citations]

Date of death: February 28, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Son
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pack attack, Beverly Dove

Beverly Dove

60-years old | Chipley, Florida

Beverly Dove, 60-years old, was mauled to death by a pack of dogs. Dove was a resident of Home Sweet Home, an assisted living facility in Washington County. Dove was taking a walk near the facility when the dogs attacked her. Washington County sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call about a dog attack just after 4:00 pm. Upon arrival, deputies found Dove severely injured "on the side yard of an adjoining property," states a press release issued by the Washington County Sheriff's Office. "A couple deputies were first on scene," Sheriff Kevin Crews said. "It was a pretty horrific scene. One like they had, in their careers, never been to." Dove was taken to a local hospital, where she died. Investigators believe the five dogs involved in the attack lived on an adjoining property of the group home and were unlikely to be stray. All five dogs were removed, authorities said. Possibly up to three were shot at the scene, according a local commenter. As of May 11, 2020, no further information has been released. [source citations]

Date of death: March 3, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Unreleased (5) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Property owner
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Demi Witherspoon

Demi Witherspoon

2-years old | Portsmouth, Virginiaicon

Demi Witherspoon, 2-years old, was mauled to death by a family pit bull. Police and paramedics were dispatched to a home in the 5600 block of Darby Close at 1:53 pm for a dog bite, according to Misty Holley with the Portsmouth Police Department. When officers and paramedics arrived, they found the 2-year old with life-threatening injuries. The child was transported to a local hospital, where she died. In the audio dispatch log from Portsmouth Police and Fire, the dispatcher said the child suffered severe injuries to her face. "We have a pit bull who just bit the complainant's daughter's face completely off. She's not breathing." After Engine 3 arrived at the scene, the fireman reported, "We have a pit bull that's covered in blood here." The owner of the dog surrendered the 1-year old male pit bull to Portsmouth Animal Control, which placed the dog into a 10-day quarantine. One neighbor told reporters the family had just moved in a day or two earlier. As of March 15, the case remains under investigation. [source citations]

Date of death: March 9, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Unreleased
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No

!
In mid March, most of the nation went on lockdown due to the coronavirus, which has become a singular local and national news media focus. We expect media reports of dog bite fatalities for the remainder of 2020 to drop by at least 20%. The only reliable way to obtain the total number of persons killed by dogs in 2020 is to wait for CDC Wonder Database data, which will not be available until 2022. We continue to monitor the lowered media reports situation.

2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Roger Kirk

Roger Kirk

69-years old | Horatio, Arkansasicon

Roger Kirk, 69-years old died seven days after a violent pit bull mauling in southwest Arkansas. The attack occurred on March 19, south of Horatio near the Little River Country Club, according to his brother. Roger was taken to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences for treatment. On March 20, his brother posted to Facebook that he was in stable condition after a three-hour surgery. He suffered severe trauma to both arms, according to his daughter. He was scheduled for another surgery on March 22. On the morning of March 26, his brother posted an update to Facebook. By this point, he had undergone multiple surgeries. His condition had worsened too, including doctors finding a fistula, which is caused by complications in surgery or by injury. He was moved to ICU. "He will not be discharged anytime soon," states the post. By 2:20 pm, his brother and son announced his passing on Facebook. Our request for confirmation to the Seiver County Sheriff's Office has gone unanswered since April 6, 2020. [source citations]

Date of death: March 26, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: Unreleased Criminal charges: No
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal mastiff attack, Frederick Shew

Frederick Shew

70-years old | Portland, Oregon

Frederick Shew, 70-years old, was mauled to death by his mastiff. Portland police were called to his home on the night of April 11. Housemates told police they heard a "loud thud" and went to check on the sound. Housemate Kenneth Miller later told The Oregonian that after hearing the thud outside his door, he found Shew's large dog, "Thor," shaking Shew's neck "like a ragdoll." He was sitting there, Miller said, "and blood was shooting out of his neck." Miller tried to save his friend, who was no match for the dog, an intact male mastiff that Miller estimated to weigh 160 pounds. Miller was able to wrestle the dog away from Shew, but it was too late. Shew had purchased "Thor" for $3,500 as a 4-month old puppy two years earlier. Leading up to the fatal attack, Miller said the dog, "about took my nose off" and before that incident, he, "bit me through the hand." Neither incident was reported at the time. Multnomah County Animal Services took "Thor" into custody the next day. The dog was humanely euthanized. [source citations]

Date of death: April 11, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Mastiff-mix 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
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Sharon Baldwin

Sharon Baldwin

60-years old | Fort Worth, Texasicon

Sharon Baldwin, 60-years old, died after being mauled by a pit bull. The attack occurred on March 28 in the 800 block of East Hammond Street at Baldwin's home. A man who also lived at the home told animal control officers he had taken in the stray pit bull about week earlier. He had been keeping the dog at the house while he looked for the dog's owner. He told officials the dog had not caused any issues in the week prior to the fatal attack. Though the beginning of the attack was unwitnessed, investigators speculated Baldwin "ran over the dog with her wheelchair and/or fell on top of the dog." The dog attacked her arm, shoulder and neck. She was pronounced dead on April 12 at John Peter Smith Hospital. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office listed her death as "mauling by canine." The manner of death was an accident. Fort Worth Animal Care and Control held the dog in their custody for two weeks, euthanized the dog on April 13, but stated they did not know the age or gender of the dog. [source citations]

Date of death: April 12, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Roommate
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Doris Arrington

Doris Arrington

59-years old | Memphis, Tennessee icon

Doris Arrington, 59-years old, was killed by four unsecured dogs on April 22 in New Chicago, a neighborhood in North Memphis. The attack occurred around 8:00 am in the 1200 block of Capital Avenue. Police were dispatched to the area and found Arrington's body. Authorities said she suffered severe trauma to her legs and arms. Her cause of death was "massive blood loss." After the attack, police located four dogs with blood on their mouths and coats. A grand jury later indicted three people in connection to her death. Phyllis Jones, 61, her daughter Kimberly Jordan, 40, and Jordan’s son Dedricz Perry, 22, each face reckless homicide charges for owning the dogs involved in the attack. Multiple complaints had been made to Memphis Animal Services and the Mayor's Action Center prior to the deadly attack, according to prosecutors. Breed information was not released by prosecutors, however, Jordan owned at least two adult pit bulls that she bred. In February 2019, she tried to sell these puppies on Facebook. [source citations]

Date of death: April 22, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bulls (2)
Unreleased (2)
Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Yes
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Roxie Parker

Roxie Parker

60-years old | Welsh, Louisianaicon

Roxie Parker, 60-years old, died "following a dog attack that left her with injuries too extensive for recovery," according to her obituary. The attack occurred on April 20 in the area of Highway 99 and Martin Road in Welsh, family members said. Before her death, her daughter Sarah posted to Facebook that her mother was "viciously attacked by a dog a few days ago and is in ICU, not responding. The artery in her neck is unable to be worked on because it is so mangled, and oxygen isn’t getting to her brain, which is now swelling a significant amount. Her neck and arm suffered many fractures. She lost the majority of the skin on her scalp and all but a piece of one ear. She was bleeding out for hours on the ground before she was found." Parker died at a Lafayette hospital on April 24. The Jefferson Davis Sheriff's Office confirmed the dog involved was a male bull terrier and that Parker had raised the dog with the owner since it was a puppy. The owner put the dog down after the attack. [source citations]

Date of death: April 24, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Bull terrier Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Boyfriend
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull-type dog attack, Dr. Nancy Shaw

Dr. Nancy Shaw

62-years old | Lyons, Georgia

Dr. Nancy Shaw, 62-years old, was found dead in a ditch after being mauled by four loose dogs. About 3:00 am that morning, an officer patrolling the area spotted a car on Skyline Boulevard, pulled over on the wrong side of the road, car running and the door open. He "got out of the patrol car to investigate and found a female that was deceased in the ditch," Lyons Police Chief Wesley Walker said. Police recognized the victim as Dr. Shaw, a long-time internist at Meadows Regional Medical Center. Dr. Shaw managed the night shift and was less than a mile from her home on Skyline Boulevard when she was attacked. Autopsy results confirmed that she died from multiple bites of animals. On May 8, police identified and seized three dogs involved in the attack; a fourth dog was shot and killed by a resident after the dog attempted to break into the man's chicken pen. The dogs are generically described as "bulldog-mixes" and police located their owner. Criminal charges are pending the results of the ongoing investigation. [source citations]

Date of death: May 7, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Unreleased (4) Relationship to dog: Unreleased
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Unreleased
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Pending
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal bully breed attack, Lisa Urso

Lisa Urso

52-years old | Ingleside, Illinois

Lisa Urso, 52-years old, died due to injuries inflicted by one or both of her dogs. Urso was found mutilated and dead on the patio outside her home on Knollwood Road. Police described the scene as "gruesome." Both dogs had blood on their coats. The larger brindle dog, "Blue Bear," had bitten Urso's boyfriend on April 13 and April 21. At least one of those bites was severe. After the last bite, Lake County Animal Care and Control placed the male, 55-pound dog into quarantine. The dog was returned to Urso at her request on April 30. Nine days later, Blue Bear likely perpetrated the fatal attack. "The lady wanted her dog back and it attacked and viciously killed her," Fox Lake Police Chief Jimmy Lee said. Urso self-identified both dogs as "Shorty bullies," a "designer" bull breed unrecognized by the AKC and UKC. The Shorty bull is recognized by the American Bully Kennel Club and is described as a mixture of 3 to 5 different bull breeds, including: French bulldog, English bulldog and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. [source citations]

Date of death: May 9, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: American bully-mix2 Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Robert Taylor

Robert Taylor

9-years old | Mount Vernon, Arkansasicon

Robert "Robby" Taylor, 9-years old, was savagely killed by a pair of dogs. Robby's mother called the Faulkner County Sheriff's Office at 9:15 am, saying her son did not return from checking the mail. Sheriff's deputies responded to the scene and found the boy dead in a field. After questioning two people about the attack, two dogs were taken into custody from a residence off Chambers Lane. Trey Edgar Wyatt, 25, of Vilonia, was arrested and charged with felony tampering of evidence in connection to the boy's death. Wyatt was also charged with multiple county animal ordinance violations, including: hazardous animals, running at large and harboring a dangerous dog. Wyatt was additionally charged with four drug-related felonies: possession of controlled substance, a Class C felony, two charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, Class D and B felonies, and weapons possession during controlled substance offense, also a felony. As of June 4, 2020, no other information has been released. [source citations]

Date of death: May 28, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Yes
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal mastiff attack, Skylar Headrick

Skylar Headrick

11-years old | Crandall, Georgia

Skylar Headrick, 11-years old, died after being attacked by family dogs. A Murray County deputy was dispatched to a home on Dunn Road West at 1:45 am on May 31 regarding a possible dog attack. When the deputy arrived, Skylar's sister said she discovered her dead on the floor of her room in the basement. The father said the "two Neopolitan mastiffs had blood on them, and he believes they attacked her." He also said the two dogs had never been aggressive "towards anyone except when they fight with each other." Skylar was last seen alive about 11:00 pm, when she came upstairs to get a bandage for her heel after one of the dogs had scratched her. The Murray County Deputy Coroner, Alan Robins, said the preliminary cause of death "is blunt and sharp force trauma," which is "consistent with a bite from a large dog." Her body was taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab to determine the exact cause of death. Both dogs were euthanized on June 1 at the Murray County Animal Shelter. [source citations]

Date of death: May 31, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Neapolitan mastiff (2) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Brice Sanders

Brice Sanders

2-years old | Stockton, Californiaicon

Brice Sanders, 2-years old, was fatally mauled by a pit bull while visiting a home in Stockton. On June 1, a GoFundMe was started for his mother, "In Loving Memory of Brice," her 2-year old son. No information was provided about how he died. The boy's family lives in the Bay Area. Posts from social media indicated he was killed in a dog attack that occurred outside of the Bay Area. Over the course of a week, our nonprofit confirmed the attack did not take place in San Francisco County, Suisun City, Gilroy, Sacramento County or Solano County. On June 10, anonymous information was provided to us, stating the attack occurred in Stockton. On June 11, the Stockton Record reported the attack occurred on May 31 about 9:00 pm at a home in the Weston Ranch neighborhood. The boy was taken to a local hospital then airlifted to the University of California, Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where he died early the next morning. Stockton police also confirmed the dog involved was a pit bull. [source citations]

Date of death: June 1, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Friend of friend
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Katie Amos

Katie Amos

70-years old | Country Club Hills, Illinoisicon

Katie Amos, 70-years old, was mauled to death by four family dogs. The attack occurred about 10:35 am in the 3900 block of 167th Place, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office and later confirmed by the Country Club Hills Police Department. Amos died at Advocate South Suburban Hospital in Hazel Crest at 11:03 am that morning. The incident occurred in her driveway. Responding officers were forced to open fire on the dogs in order to enter a gated area where Amos was found. One of the dogs was killed at the scene; the other three fled into a neighbor's yard. All of the dogs lived at the location where the attack occurred. The victim's son, Merrill Amos Jr., who also resides at the home, posted images of four pit bull puppies for sale on Facebook several months earlier. He called them "champions," and his asking price was $700 each. On June 23, 2020, we received confirmation from the Country Club Hills Police that the dogs involved were pit bull-cane corso mixes. [source citations]

Date of death: June 3, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-cane corso mix (2)
Cane corso-pit bull mix (2)
Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Son/grandson
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal Belgian malinois attack, Infant Liam

Infant Liam

6-weeks old | Hartford, South Dakota

Infant Liam, 6-weeks old, died after being bitten by a family Belgian malinios. Minnehaha County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to a home in the 900 block of Trojan Avenue around 5:40 pm. Hartford Area Fire and Rescue arrived first and found the infant with "several bite wounds" from a dog. Audio dispatch files from Minnehaha County Fire Dispatch 1 (and the Minnehaha County Call Log) indicate the call was in response to a cardiac arrest, not a dog bite. There were multiple dogs in the family's home, according to the dispatch files. The baby was airlifted to a hospital, but did not survive. The Belgian malinois was taken into custody by the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society. Photographs published on Facebook by the boy's parents showed the family had at least five large dogs in the home: a male Belgian malinois, a male German shepherd, a male Belgian tervuren, a female great dane and a golden retriever. The malinios that attacked the infant was euthanized at the request of the boy's family. [source citations]

Date of death: June 11, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Belgian malinois Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Parents
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Barbara Cook

Barbara Cook

72-years old | Mandeville, Louisianaicon

Barbara Cook, 72-years old, was killed by her daughter's two pit bulls. At the time of the attack, Cook was babysitting her 10-year old grandson when one of the dogs snapped at the child. Cook put herself between the boy and the dog to protect him. Both pit bulls then began attacking Cook, biting her on the arms, throat and face, said one of her daughter's, Charlotte Guidry. When St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene, both pit bulls were still attacking Cook. In the process of stopping the attack, deputies were forced to gun down both dogs. Cook was taken to a hospital in Covington then transferred to University Medical Center in New Orleans, where she died. Guidry said this was not the first time Cook was bitten by the dogs that belong to another of Cook's daughters, Janell Callender, who also lived at the home with her husband. They bit her in the face and throat, on the lip, gave her a black eye," Guidry said of the previous attacks. Guidry also confirmed the dogs' had a recent litter of puppies. [source citations]

Date of death: June 25, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Daughter/Son-in-law
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Jonah Jellison

Jonah Jellison

23-months old | Hunt County, Texasicon

Jonah Jellison, 23-months old, was mauled to death by a loose pit bull. The attack occurred in the 9900 block of Private Road 3820 in the Easy Living addition of Hawk Cove, near Quinlan. Hunt County Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene at 11:10 am. The first deputy at the scene found the toddler in a gravel roadway "who had suffered major trauma as a result of a dog attack." The child was transported by ambulance to Hunt Regional Medical Center in Quinlan, but Jonah did not survive his severe injuries. Police believe the child had gotten out of his own enclosed yard without his family members knowing it and walked down the gravel road. The dog, described as a pit bull, was in a yard enclosed by a four-foot chain link fence. The dog was able to escape the yard and attacked the toddler in the roadway. Justice of the Peace David McNabb ordered an autopsy. The dog was seized and is being held at a local animal control facility. As of July 2, 2020, no other information has been released. [source citations]

Date of death: June 29, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Neighbor
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: Off Criminal charges: Pending
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Donald Ryan

Donald Ryan

62-years old | Jeffersonville, Indianaicon

Donald Ryan, 62-years old, was mauled to death by his own pit bull. Just after midnight on July 1, Jeffersonville police officers were dispatched to a home in the 800 block of West Larkspur Drive for reports of a person being attacked by a canine. The first officer who arrived at the scene found a man "actively being attacked by a large pit bull," states a news release issued by police. The officer attempted to stop the attack by using pepper spray, but was unsuccessful. The officer was forced to open fire on the dog, killing it, to stop the vicious attack. Officers at the scene attempted to render medical aid to the victim until EMS arrived. Paramedics were able to attempt to administer aid when they arrived, but the man had succumbed to his injuries and died. Ryan had one or more pit bulls in his home, according to his Facebook page. A female pit bull he owned had a litter of puppies in 2017. Ryan stated on the photo the puppies were "full blooded pits." It is unknown if the attacking dog had a history of violence. [source citations]

Date of death: July 1, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Victim
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Marley Wilander

Marley Wilander

1-year old, Joliet, Illinoisicon

Marley Wilander, 1-year old, was killed by a pit bull in the middle of the night while her family attended a July 4th party. Paramedics were dispatched to a home on Cumberland Drive about 1:30 am that morning. When they arrived, the found the baby covered in bite marks. She was rushed to a local hospital, where she later died. The Will County Coroner's Office said Marley "sustained multiple injuries due to being wounded by a dog." The homeowner's hosting the party had locked their two pit bulls in the basement during the party, according to police. Marley's parents had placed her in a playpen in an upstairs bedroom prior to the attack. "At sometime during the night, the dogs got out of the basement," Joliet police said. "The homeowner went upstairs to investigate a noise and located one of the dogs actively biting the toddler." He pulled the dog off the toddler and called 911." The dog was turned over to the Joliet Township Animal Control and euthanized. The other pit bull was not suspected in the attack. [source citations]

Date of death: July 5, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Family friend
Spay/Neuter: Yes Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Scarlett Pereira

Scarlett Pereira

1-year old | East Providence, Rhode Islandicon

Scarlett Pereira, 1-year old, was killed by a pit bull while under the care of her grandparents. Police were dispatched to 99 Brookhaven Drive at about 2:45 pm for a "disturbance and confrontation." Upon arrival, police located baby Scarlett with "significant injuries" due to a dog attack. She was transported to Hasbro Children's Hospital, where she died. Two adult family members were taken to Rhode Island Hospital for injuries sustained while attempting to intervene in the attack. Family members had managed to contain the dog in the backyard of the home. A police officer climbed onto the roof of the home and open fired on the dog, killing it. "They scaled the roof, I heard two shots, then another two shots, and then they just cleared everybody out," neighbor Heidi Dorazio said. Police Chief William Nebus said the attack was "unprovoked." The dog belonged to the child's grandparents, but was unlicensed in the city, police said. The Rhode Island Department of Children Youth and Families was also notified. [source citations]

Date of death: July 16, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Non-family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Grandparents
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: Pending
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Baby John Doe

Baby John Doe

7-months old | Akron, Ohioicon

Baby John Doe, 7-months old, was attacked and killed by a family pit bull while under the care of his great-grandmother. Akron police were dispatched to a home in the 1300 block of South Hawkins Avenue in West Akron to assist emergency medical responders at the scene. When they arrived, they found the child unresponsive with serious injuries from the dog. The child's great-grandmother, 77-years old, was also injured by the dog, and had been holding the child in her arms when the dog attacked. The great-grandmother was babysitting the boy when the attack occurred, police said. An ambulance immediately transported the child to Akron Children's Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The great-grandmother's injuries were minor and she refused treatment at the scene. The dog, a 7-year old pit bull, was removed from the home and taken into custody by Summit County Animal Control. Police do not anticipate criminal charges, according to Lt. Michael Miller. The child's identity was not released. [source citations]

Date of death: August 7, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Unreleased Owner of dog: Parents
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Stephen Pemberton Sr.

Stephen Pemberton Sr.

61-years old | Belleville, Illinoisicon

Stephen Pemberton Sr., 61-years old, was killed by his stepson's two pit bulls, according to the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department. Deputies were called to a home in unincorporated Belleville, where they found Kelly Knaup, 45, who told them his stepfather was dead inside the home after his dogs had attacked him. Knaup’s wife and a health care worker were also in the home during the attack, but in a separate room. They could hear the violent attack happening, but could not leave the room they were in, according to police. It is unknown if the dogs escaped the laundry room or were let out by the victim. Animal control officials seized both pit bulls, a male and female. Capt. Bruce Fleshren said in a statement. "While precautions were taken to keep these dogs away from others in the home, obviously that did not work, and there was a very high price paid to keep these dogs." According to his obituary, Pemberton was an artist, a published poet, and a gifted musician. He was also a U.S. Army veteran. [source citations]

Date of death: August 26, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull (2) Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Mixed Owner of dog: Stepson
Spay/Neuter: Unreleased Multiple dogs: Yes
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No
2020 dog bite fatality, fatal pit bull attack, Carolyn Varanese

Carolyn Varanese

84-years old | Margate, Floridaicon

Carolyn Varanese, 84-years old, was killed by a dog her son had adopted several weeks earlier. Police were dispatched to a home in the 6100 block of Southwest 1st Street about 9:30 pm. Carolyn died of her injuries at the scene. Her son, Joseph Varanese, who tried to stop the attack, was transported to Northwest Medical Center with serious injuries. The dog attacked as Joseph was helping his mother back to her wheelchair after using the restroom. The dog "just went berserk," he said. "I flipped the dog over, slammed him on the ground -- that didn’t help, he came back stronger. I hit him with the leg of the wheelchair -- it didn’t even faze him." It was later confirmed the dog, "Smokey," whose previous name was "Axon," was taken in by Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS) on June 16 as an injured stray with a host of illnesses, including being heartworm positive. On August 7, Mastiff Recue of Florida Inc., pulled the dog from MDAS and gave it to the Varanese family. The dog was put down after killing Carolyn. [source citations]

Date of death: August 28, 2020 Chained: No
Breed of dog: Pit bull-mix Relationship to dog: Family
Sex of dog: Male Owner of dog: Son
Spay/Neuter: No Multiple dogs: No
On/Off property: On Criminal charges: No

Additional victims - excluded

Deaths involving minor dog bite injury, dog-related caused injury (killed by a car while fleeing a dog) and cases that lacked a "reasonably clear" determination of death after dog bite injury are not included in our fatality statistical data. Deaths involving fatal non-bite injury (struck by dog death) or death due to untreated severe dog bites (sepsis) may be added to our data at a future time.

Citations
  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 25 other factors. Our Fatality Citations section documents sources used in our dog bite fatality research. Learn more about our data collection method, which includes collecting breed identification photographs, police and coroner reports in certain cases, legal filings, court filings, legislative materials and more.
  2. Due to the AKC and UKC not recognizing the Shorty bull breed, one can only look to dog fancier standards, such as the OBKC, which states the breed was developed by "experimenting with 3 essential breeds (English Bulldog, French bulldog and Staffordshire Bull Terrier)." A bully vitamin website states, "Shorty bulls were created by mixing 5 different types of bull dog breed, some of which were the French Bulldogs and the American Pit Bull Terrier. Shorty Bulls can be American Bully Kennel Club (ABKC) registered and are found at the majority of the American Bully Shows." A now defunct website, Shortybullinc.com, states, "The Shorty bull is a composite of five (5) bull breeds, each chosen for a particular trait/quality. There is no Boston terrier or pug in the Shorty bull." The founder of the Shorty bull, Jamie Sweet, attempted to trademark the breed's name, but later abandoned this effort on November 19, 2007, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office. The founder of the American bully, Chris Wilson, admits that French bulldogs, English bulldogs and other bulldog breeds were used to obtain the more "bully" physical traits desired in the American bully, a breed that is recognized by the UKC and comes in four different variations, including the short, squat Pocket bully. Due to this 2-year old, male 55-pound "designer" bull breed being a mixture of 3 or more bull breeds; that American bully subclasses cannot be determined until the dog is at least 1-year old; that American bully breeders unleashed a fury of grotesque inhumane cross-breedings of bull breeds to create the four subclasses of the American bully, and even a fifth subclass called the "Exotic bully;" and that our nonprofit can only assign breeds recognized by the AKC or UKC, we believe Blue Bear is best classified as an American bully-mix or simply as a "mixed-breed."