Releases 2012 Dog Bite Fatality Statistics, Features Two New Tracking Categories and Trends About Child Deaths

In 2012, 38 dog bite-related fatalities were recorded. Nearly one-third of these attacks, 32%, occurred while the victim was either visiting or living temporarily with the dog's owner.

Austin, TX January 11, 2013 -- On January 11,, a national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks, releases 2012 dog bite fatality statistics. Of the 38 U.S. fatal dog attacks that occurred in 2012, pit bulls contributed to 61% (23) despite comprising less than 5% of the total U.S. dog population. The next most lethal dog breed, rottweilers, contributed to 8% (3) of these deaths, followed by German shepherds and mixed-breeds each with 2.

Half of this year's victims (19) were children ages 8-years and younger. Of these deaths, 79% (15) fell into the 0-2 age group. In the 7-year period of 2005 to 2011, the 0-2 age group accounted for 55% of total child deaths. In a new category being tracked in 2012, roughly one-third of all dog bite fatality victims were either visiting or living temporarily with the dog's owner when the attack occurred. 75% of deaths under these circumstances were children ages 8-years and younger.

Other 2012 trends include a continued decrease in chaining deaths. Only 5% (2) of the dog bite-related fatalities in 2012 involved a tethered dog, down from 6% in 2011, 9% in 2010 and 19% in 2009. In another new category being tracked in 2012, dogs referred to as a "rescue" accounted for at least 13% (5) of the attacks that ended in death. Children suffered the most with 3 deaths in this category. The 2 adult females afflicted were killed by their own pack of "rescued" dogs.

California and North Carolina led dog bite-related fatalities in 2012, each incurring 4 deaths. 75% of the California deaths occurred in one county, San Diego County. Pit bull-type dogs accounted for 88% (7) of the combined 8 deaths. New Mexico, Ohio and Texas followed, each with 3 deaths.

For more 2012 dog bite fatality statistics, including a discussion section that explores this year's trends more closely, please see the below web page:

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.