My Photo


follow us in feedly

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Best Of KC Dog Blog

Become a Fan

« Apparent dog attack fatality in California | Main | Miami Court rules Animal Control breed ID to be subjective & in violation of due process »

January 06, 2011



Have you seen the new Reports on NCRC?


Thanks J.M. -- I interestingly saw these less than 10 minutes after I made this post (and updated some info on the Macon, GA incident accordingly). I've yet to go through the 2009 data based on all of her final findings.....


Brent, just curious, why did you include a fatality from Canada?


I debated on including it or not - but as far as I can tell, there was only one fatality in Canada this year, and because Canada has a relatively similar lifestyle/demographic model as the US I decided to include it (much different from, say, Mexico, which has a much different attitude toward dogs than they have in the US).

Take it or leave it -- but I figured more information was better than less.


3 in Canada this year
NCRC has them listed


Thanks J.M. I thought 1 seemed really low for up there....I probably shouldn't have included the one random one from Canada since it was an incomplete listing....

toni brogan

about the chicago attack- the director of Chicago ACC may have changed the breed to mixes for her own reasons, but the dogs were pitbulls


Brent, I don't know about including the Canucks. they may have a similar lifestyle but the round bacon and Celine Dion make them kind of scary ;-)

thanks for the comprehensive report. Sounds to me like we need to worry more about who has children than who owns dogs. I have to wonder what's going on there. When I was young (and I'll admit, I'm ancient) you never heard about dogs killing infants and toddlers. Certainly there were bites. For that matter you didn't hear about people forgetting their children in hot cars and people backing over them in driveways, either. Granted, we now have 24 hour news, faster communiciation methods, and a larger population. Still, it makes me wonder if these things happened and just didn't get reported or if they are new phenonmenom. (or is it "phenomena"?) I think Karen Delise's numbers only go back to the 1960s.

You never heard about dog fighting, either. At least not on the news.

How in the world does someone keep 17 "pit bulls" in a pen together? And the fatality in Chicago involved, what, six "pit bulls"? (assuming Toni's comment is accurate, and I'm not doubting her, I'm just making an observation) Intersting.

As usual,good job, even with the few minor blips.


I think the point Toni brings up (and there are several other examples) is great because I think it really shows how difficult establishing breed ID from media reports (most of the reports had multiple breeds listed depending on the source).

Meanwhile, I think the interesting thing about the Canucks is that when you look at their attacks, they all fit in the same set of circumstances as the ones in the U.S...but the breeds are very different because they tend to include more Northern breeds as opossed to short-haired dogs because, surprise, they're more popular in colder climates.


"...the director of Chicago ACC may have changed the breed to mixes for her own reasons, but the dogs were pitbulls"

You base your Breed ID on..?

Karen Delise

Good question J.M., I also would like to know what the breed ID on the Chicago case is based on, since I have the A/C reports on the incident and photographs of all the dogs.
Funny thing, I can't tell what breed they are, neither could A/C, neither could NCRC's expert advisor to whom the photographs were submitted for an opinion on identification.
If anyone has evidence or documentation as to what breed those dogs were, I would love to know.
Oh, and Brent, there was no "doubt" as to whether "pit bulls" killed Tracy Payne. The Macon Police Captain in charge of the investigation stated there was "no question, those pit bulls did not kill her."
The dog(s) that killed her have not been located.


Brent, thanks for your observation about Canadian dog related fatalities mirroring those here in the states, with the exception of more northern breeds. That's interesting. I would have to guess fatalities in Alaska are more similar to Canada's than those in the lower 48.


Yes, Alaska's are usually more similar to the Canadian ones...funny how that works when you have a type of dog that is extremely popular (and practical).

H Houlahan

Historically the nordic breeds have been more likely to kill infants and toddlers, very unlikely to attack older children and adults.

PC calls the whole group "the baby killers," with no sense of prejudice, just as a shorthand for that part of their genome that, in other dogs, would contain the alleles for "don't ever eat the master's offspring."

It seems to be pure predation + a failure to identify the baby as a human being rather than a prey animal. These are the same breeds that make absolutely lousy watchdogs and are completely useless as "guard" dogs.

These are also the same breeds that are least likely to be safe around housecats, poultry, pet bunnies, etc.

Of course, individual mileage varies. But I never recommend the nordics (except for, perhaps, sometimes, Samoyeds) for farms or homes with small pets, and I give a CTJ talk for people who will have one around a baby.

I would not be the least bit surprised to find that many of the husky-type dogs who kill a baby have never seen one before. They simply have no idea that there's a difference between that thing and a rabbit.

Anne Thomas

Are there any recorded fata1ities from cat bites? Cats have a 1ot of bacteria in their mouths, and cat bites can get bad1y infected without medica1 treatment. I'm immune because I've been bitten so many times, but for most peop1e the infection can be rea11y bad.

Tonya Carney

Out of you know if the dogs involved are neutered/spayed? Also, are any of the dogs trained or socialized early on? Are any of these 'pit bulls' AKC American Staffordshire terriers? Or are they just all lumped into one big catagory of pit bulls?


Tonya -- I don't keep track of that - for a variety of reasons I detail here:

However, if you want to know about the in-tact status if you click through to the links of the original articles you can sometimes determine if they were unaltered...but probably not in the majority of cases.

Given that the majority of dogs are not AKC or UKC registered, the dogs in the fatality reports fit the same profile -- the vast majority are not (a few, however are). Breed ID is taken from the media come with the inherent issues involved in Breed ID...and yes, 'pit bulls' include a huge grouping of dogs that are mostly mixed breed type dogs.


If you read through these, most of these IDIOTS left their kids unattended. I wouldn't leave a child unattended with ANY DOG.

Becky Witt

The ignorance of these parents will never cease to amaze me. Most of the time when these stories are on the news they downplay the parents involvement and make it seem like these vicious dogs broke down doors to get to a baby. The one family up there JUST brought their baby home from the hospital, and their first order of business was to leave it alone with a dog who may or may not have ever even seen a human baby before? Just about every story up there is 100% preventable by the people, and yet the dogs get blamed. BTW when did it become legal to have 17 dogs in one kennel? Where I live you are allowed to have 3 dogs, after that you must have a kennel license, 17 dogs in a cage will not get you a license!!

Debbie Craver

I was going to point that out as well. WHO leaves a newborn with ANY animal? There's an introductory period that ALL parents should make sure their animals and children get for the family's unity. I didn't even leave my cats alone with my young children. Proper parenting would have eliminated some of these..

Lori S.

Just read the article about State Farm's dog bite claims. This sentence stood out to me: All told, State Farm paid out $90 million nationwide in 2010 as the result of 3,500 claims, 33 of which resulted in fatalities.

It seems rather unlikely that State Farm woudl have been the insurer for every fatal dog bite in 2010, so I wonder if there are missing fatalities from the above summary? (If there are, I'd probably be willing to bet they are non-pit bulls...)


Lori - I read the official press release -- and in State Farm's official release they said that there were a total of 33 fatalities -- but not all of them were State Farm-written policies. There's a chance that got mis-stated in the article you read on it (I've seen it worded funning in a couple of sources), but 33 is the TOTAL number she gave...not State Farm #s.

Lori S.

That makes more sense - thanks!!

P. Filomena Johnson

Thank you for this sad but informative post. The infants I feel are also treated like puppies and the mere handling of them by a dogs mouth can cause fatal injuries. It is very sad to see how many parents and family members just don't think.


Very interesting. You assume the fact that so many attacks occur in poor areas means the people need education about caring for dogs -- I wonder if it just means they need more access to / education about the importance of low cost spay/neuter. If you do this project next year, it would be very interesting to find out whether the dogs were spayed / neutered as well as the dogs' gender. The strays are mostly likely intact -- I would bet that intact animals account for a very high per centage of the attacks. Thank you!

The comments to this entry are closed.