Texas Leads the Nation in Fatal Dog Attacks; Dog Bite Victims' Group Releases Report: Texas Dog Bite Fatalities, January 1, 2005 to February 17, 2013
34 Texas dog bite fatalities were recorded during this period; more than any other state. Pit bulls were responsible for 76% of the total recorded deaths. Impediments to reduce these deaths include the One Bite rule and the 1991 statewide measure that prohibits breed-specific laws.
Austin, TX March 20, 2013 -- DogsBite.org, a national dog bite victims' group dedicated to reducing serious dog attacks, releases a report of Texas dog bite fatalities from January 1, 2005 to February 17, 2013. During this period, 34 Texans suffered death due to a dog mauling, making Texas the leading state in the nation for dog bite-related fatalities. Pit bulls inflicted 76% (26) of these deaths, followed by the next most lethal dog breed, rottweilers, inflicting 15% (5).
DogsBite.org began reviewing Texas dog bite fatality data after a second Texas toddler was killed by a chained pit bull in under a 1-month period this year. Last year in the U.S., chained dogs killed two individuals. In the first 47 days of 2013, Texas matched this national statistic. Of the 6 total chaining deaths in Texas, pit bulls and rottweilers accounted for 100%. Each chaining fatality involved a child 4-years old or younger and occurred in a rural or semi-rural area of Texas.
Victim data from the Texas report showed that 68% (23) of the victims were children ages 11-years and younger. Of this group, 52% (12) were ages 2 and younger. Dog ownership data from the Texas report showed that family dogs comprised 53% (18) of all attacks that ended in human death and 88% (30) of the attacks occurred on the dog owner's property. The combined years of 2006 and 2007 accounted for 38% (13) of all Texas dog bite fatalities during the period.
Texas counties with the most fatal dog attack occurrences include: Harris County (5) followed by Bexar County (4) and Montgomery County (3).
The Texas report also highlights the need to reform Texas laws and the two main impediments to achieving this reform: The One Bite rule, which omits civil liability for the dog's first bite (or first mauling, maiming or death) and the 1991 statewide anti-BSL measure, which prohibits breed-specific laws. The Texas report emphasizes the 1988 and 2011 medical injury studies from Texas doctors; both medical studies explicitly focus on injuries and deaths inflicted by pit bulls.
The report names several progressive Texas cities -- Fort Worth, Garland and San Antonio -- that have implemented proactive animal control policies despite state imposed limitations that deny municipalities from directly targeting the two most lethal dog breeds in Texas. The report briefly outlines each policy and offers links to related FAQs and municipal code. All three policies share two key provisions: preventing new attacks and holding dog owners more responsible.
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 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.