Releases Data of U.S. Fatal Pit Bull Attacks from the Early and Mid 1900s

The data shows that a pit bull owned by world-renowned pit bull breeder, John P. Colby, killed his nephew at his Newburyport home in 1909.

Newburyport, MA, May 15, 2010 -- On May 12,, a national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks, released data showing that pit bulls killed U.S. citizens as early as 1901. Between 1901 and 1947 pet pit bulls and fighting pit bulls killed at least six U.S. citizens, one of which was 2-year old Bert Colby Leadbetter of Lynn, the nephew of John P. Colby, who is the most respected and honored breeder of fighting pit bulls of the 20th century.

The new data questions the frequently voiced claim by pit bull advocacy groups that human aggressive pit bulls were "historically culled" by breeders of fighting pit bulls during this time period. The data also shows that John P. Colby, who is attributed to popularizing the American pit bull terrier to the general public and was the first fighting dog breeder to do so, continued to breed and fight pit bulls long after the death of Bert Colby Leadbetter on February 2, 1909.

The research reveals the name of each fatal attack victim as well: Carrie Cabus (adult woman) of New York City, Carl Limpert (adult man) of New York City, 21-month old Marguerite Theresa Derdenger of Los Angeles, 2-year old Bert Colby Leadbetter of Lynn, 39-year old Doretta Zinke of Miami and 11-year old Stanley Balaban of New York City. The data also uncovered the attack upon 55-year old Julia Cary of Brighton that left her maimed and disfigured for life.

View the data and access archived news articles

About 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,, 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 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. 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.