Deadly Dog Attacks


2016 Deadly Dog Attacks in the USA

Fast Stats for 2016

Number of people killed: 31

Fatalities by age category:

  • Chronological: Baby 5, Child 8, Adult 3, Middle age 7, Elderly 8
  • Ranked: Child 8, Elderly 8, Middle age 7, Baby 5, Adult 3

Fatalities by breed (number of dogs involved):

  • Alphabetical: Am Bulldog 2, Belgian Malinois 10, Boxer 1, Doberman 1, Great Dane 1, Mastiff 1, Labrador 2, Pit bull 57, Rottweiler 5, Shar Pei 1, Shepherd 1, Unknown 12
  • Ranked: Pit bull 57, Unknown 12, Belgian Malinois 10, Rottweiler 5, Am Bulldog 2, Labrador 2, Boxer 1, Doberman 1, Great Dane 1, Mastiff 1, Shar Pei 1, Shepherd 1

Fatalities by state:

  • Alphabetical: AZ 1, CA 6, CO 1, CT 1, FL 3, GA 1, HI 1, KS 1, ME 1, MI 2, MO 1, NC 3, NY 2, OH 1, TX 3, VA 1, WA 1, WV 1
  • Ranked: CA 6, FL 3, NC 3, TX 3, MI 2, NY 2, AZ 1, CO 1, CT 1, GA 1, HI 1, KS 1, ME 1, MO 1, OH 1, VA 1, WA 1, WV 1

2016 Dog Bite Related Fatalities

  1. 01/03/16 Tyler Trammell-Huston, 9, of Linda CA died from 3 Pit bulls. Refs: 1 2
    Incident: The boy was killed while visiting his older sister, Alexandria Griffin-Heady. He was left alone for several hours with her three pit bulls in makeshift cages in a small delapidated RV trailer. They broke free and mauled the boy before the sister came home.
    Dog(s): All three pit bulls were euthanized. Griffin-Heady had raised the pit bulls, a mother and two offspring, since they were puppies.
    Owner(s): Alexandria Griffin-Heady, the victim's older sister. The District Attorney declined to file charges, nor even bring the case before a Grand Jury. Griffin-Heady was pursuing custody of her younger brother, who was living in foster care; her family says she was "ill-equipped to care for a young boy", and her aunt told child welfare officials that her niece was "unstable". Tyler was in protective custody, living at a foster home under the care of Sacramento County Child Protection Services. Recently, CPS had begun granting unsupervised overnight visits with his sister and her pit bulls who lived in a small trailer that sat adjacent to a home where two of Tyler's siblings lived.
    Further: Citing Tyler’s death, state assemblyman Kevin McCarthy called for an oversight hearing of the child welfare system, which he said allows "too many kids to slip through the cracks and die."

  2. 01/08/16 Payton Sawyers, 15 months, of Independence VA died from 1 Pit bull-Rottweiler mix. Refs: 1 2 3
    Incident: Victim was attacked while under the care of her babysitters. The dog, which belonged to the babysitters, bit Payton in the head. She was airlifted to a hospital and died two days later.
    Dog(s): The dog, E.J., was seized. Witnesses reported they had previously seen the dog aggressive with humans and animals.
    Owner(s): John Terry Underwood II and Terra Lynn Connell, the babysitters. At the time of the attack, they were charged with felony child neglect and possessing a vicious dog. Connell was also charged with possession of illegal drugs and possession of ammunition by a felon. After the baby died, the couple were charged with second-degree murder. In separate trials, Underwood, 52, was sentenced to 25 years in prison (with 18 years suspended), after being found guilty of failing to contain a vicious dog, resulting in serious human injury; felony child neglect; and involuntary manslaughter. Connell was ordered to serve 15 years behind bars and a suspended sentence of seven years. Connell's sentence includes a 10-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter, a 10-year sentence for felony child endangerment (with five years suspended) and two years (suspended) for possessing a dangerous dog. Both had been held without bond since the fatal dog mauling.

  3. 01/24/16 Talan West, 7, of Lumberton NC died from 3 dogs (1 Pit bull mix + 2 mixed breed dogs). Refs: 1 2 3 4 5
    Incident: While playing with his siblings in a field behind their home, the boys were attacked by three dogs. The older brother was able to escape further injury by jumping on a car, but the victim could not escape the attack. The male pit bull broke the boy's neck, killing him.
    Dog(s): The three dogs tested negative for rabies. The male pit bull died at the scene due to over-exertion with an advanced case of heartworms. The other two, females, were euthanized. One of the females had recently had a litter and the puppies were taken to an unnamed rescue.
    Owner(s): Afreda Locklear, a neighbor.
    Further: Five months later, the city modified their dog ordinance to include dog registrations, mandatory neutering, limit the number of dogs kept at any household to three, and labelled several pit bull breeds as "potentially vicious" requiring them to be kept indoors or in a secure outside pen with a concrete floor, and mandating liability insurance.

  4. 02/07/16 Aiden Grim, 3 days, of Youngstown OH died from 1 Labrador-Shepherd mix. Refs: 1 2 3
    Incident: The mother woke up from the couch where she was sleeping with the baby in a basket next to her. The baby was screaming, covered in blood. The baby was dead by the tie police arrived. Two other adults were home at the time, and a total of five dogs.
    Dog(s): The male dog was later declared vicious and returned.
    Owner(s): The victim's brother. No criminal charges were filed.

  5. 02/10/16 Suzanne Story, 36, of Perquimans County NC died from 1 Pit bull-Boxer mix. Refs: 1 2 3
    Incident: The victim was mauled to death inside her home by her 1½-year-old 100# male dog. The dog had attacked her while she was cleaning its crate; her sister (her roommate) heard her screams and pulled the dog off her and shut it in a bathroom. The dog broke a hole in the bathroom door, escaped, and resumed its attack, holding her down, mauling her, and ripping her throat out. The victim died just as the medical helicopter arrived. The victim leaves behind her two teenage daughters.
    Owner(s): The victim had acquired Buddy two weeks before the fatal attack from a newspaper ad placed by his former owners, Cheryl and Carl Davino. A man online claiming to be the dog's breeder, called Mike Brown, told reporters Davino had told Brown that she sold Buddy after he attacked her small dog; Davino never mentioned Buddy's violent attack to Story.

  6. 03/08/16 Gladys Alexander, 92, of Thurston County WA died from 4 Pit bull-Labrador mixes. Refs: 1 2 3 4
    Incident: Victim went to neighbor's house to deliver a newspaper, opened the door to enter, and four dogs attacked. It wasn't unusual for the victim to do that, but this time the owner wasn't home. The owner arrived home during the attack. Victim died two days later after a prognosis of two limb amputations.
    Dog(s): The four dogs were seized and were euthanized after a 10-day quarantine period.
    Owner(s): One dog belonged to the victim's neighbor-friend. The other three dogs were being cared for by the neighbor but belonged to the neighbor's daughter who had been jailed just three days before the attack.

  7. 03/28/16 Bessie Flowers, 84, of Charlotte NC died from 2 Pit bulls. Refs: 1 2 3
    Incident: While visiting her daughter's home, Flowers slipped or fell onto a dog's bed. The two dogs initially seemed to play with the victim then became increasingly aggressive, biting her head and neck, and causing substantial blood loss. According to the Medical Examiner's Office, Flowers died of "blunt force neck injuries due to dog attack."
    Dog(s): Animal control officers seized both pit bulls, a male and female, and were later euthanized.
    Owner(s): Daughter of victim. Police had been called to the same address in 2013 regarding a complaint about two aggressive dogs. A neighbor told news reporters that there were two earlier incidents with the same dogs where they attacked other dogs.

  8. 03/31/16 Sonda Tyson, 66, of Leesburg FL died from 1 Pit bull-Bullmastiff mix. Refs: 1 2 3 4 5
    Incident: Severely attacked by her own 100# dog and bleeding on her back porch, victim was found by her daughter-in-law who called 911. The dog threatened paramedics so police were called. The police shot and killed the dog with a rifle from atop the fire truck. The victim lived alone with her four dogs.
    Dog(s): Hercules was given to the victim as a puppy by her son, who lives next door. The 100# dog was shot by responding police officers.
    Owner(s): Victim. In three separate incidents in 2008, 2012 and 2014, children were attacked by dogs from the same household.

  9. 04/14/16 Valente Lopez Aguirre, 58, of Fresno County CA died from 5 dogs (3 pit bulls mixes, 2 mixed breed). Refs: 1 2 3
    Incident: Victim was found dead of animal bites in a dry canal. Less than two months later, another victim, 74-year old Robert Lee Simonian, was found dead in the same canal, now wet. Though Simonian died of drowning, he too was covered in dog bites. Both men were found about 100 yards from a dog owner's house, and loose dogs were harassing responders, search and rescue personnel, and neighbors.
    Dog(s): After a hearing on the dogs, five dogs were declared dangerous and ordered to be euthanized.
    Owner(s): Harold Matthews.

  10. 04/21/16 Sebastian Caban, 3 days, of San Diego CA died from 1 Pit bull-Great Dane mix. Refs: 1 2 3 4
    Incident: Two parents were watching television in bed with their newborn son and the 80# dog. The mother coughed, and the dog attacked the newborn child. After a struggle to get Polo to release their child's skull, and two unanswered 911 calls, the parents drove the infant to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
    Dog(s): Polo, 2-year-old neutered family dog, which had been adopted from the San Diego Humane Society five months previously after passing a SAFER temperament test. The dog was quarantined by San Diego County Animal Services, which euthanized it days later, at the request of the owners.
    Owner(s): The victim's parents.

  11. 04/24/16 Manuel Mejia, 49, of Homestead FL died from 10 dogs (1 American Bulldog and her 9 Belgian Malinois cross offspring). Refs: 1 2
    Incident: Victim was a caretaker at a farm and was killed where he worked and the dogs lived. Victim's girlfriend witnessed the attack and called 911. Victim was airlifted to the hospital and died 6 hours later. The witness said three dogs instigated the attack and the others joined in.
    Dog(s): Nearly one month after a man was mauled to death by a pack of dogs, Miami-Dade Animal Services (MDAS) finally seized the animals. During the interim, one of the dogs threatened an officer and was shot and killed. 9 dogs were eventually seized, including the pack's dam (mother), described as an American Bulldog by MDAS. The offspring were 8 months old.
    Owner(s): Undisclosed.

  12. 05/09/16 Adonis Reddick, 45, of St. Louis County MO died from 1 Pit bull. Refs: 1 2
    Incident: Victim was discovered dead inside his home by relatives who hadn't heard from him in a few days. One of the victim's two pit bulls was acting aggressively and was shot by authorities inside the home; the other pit bull was taken into custody.
    Dog(s): Milow was loose in the house behaving extremely aggressive. Police shot and killed the pit bull because police and animal control could not control it. Another dog in the house, a female German shepherd-mix, was taken into custody without incident.
    Owner(s): Victim.

  13. 05/09/16 Antoinette Brown, 52, of South Dallas TX died from 7 dogs (4 pit bull mixes, 3 other breed mixes). Refs: 1 2 3
    Incident: Victim was attacked in a vacant lot by a pack of dogs belonging to a local resident who had a history of repeated citations for violating dog ordinances and surrendering of dogs. Doctors placed her into a medically induced coma. She died seven days later after being removed from life support.
    Dog(s): Two days after the attack, police responded to a separate 911 call of a man being attacked by three pit bulls at the same location where Brown was attacked. The arriving officer, who also responded to Brown's attack, relayed to 311 they were the same dogs, setting off seizure proceedings. Six dogs were seized from 3307 Spring Avenue on May 6 and another on May 9. The seven dogs were quarantined for 10 days, assessed unadoptable, and euthanized.
    Owner(s): Maria Cardoso was a habitual violator of loose and aggressive dogs. From 2013 to 2015, Cardoso surrendered 21 dogs for violations, including attacks. By May 9, 2016, she had surrendered seven more. An incident report from January 2014 states her home was a "chronic problem." No charges were filed.
    Further: This case sparked investigations and changes in several city departments because of failures to communicate between agencies.

  14. 06/04/16 Hunter Bragg, 7, of Bangor ME died from 1 Pit bull. Refs: 1 2 3 4
    Incident: While visiting with his father, victim was playing outside with two other children when the dog attacked the boy. Report states the attack was unprovoked, and the dog had a history of attacking other pets belonging to its previous owner. The father was living in a camper on the dog owner's property.
    Dog(s): The dog was euthanized.
    Owner(s): Gary Merchant Jr. Previously, Merchant's step daughter returned this same dog to the Merchants in early 2016 after it attacked another dog in her home multiple times. There were 8 dogs on Merchant's property at the time. The Merchants were breeding and selling pit bulls and other breeds of dogs.

  15. 06/04/16 Earl Wayne Stephens Jr., 43, of Stockton CA died from 3 Pit bulls. Refs: 1 2 3
    Incident: Victim was helping the dog's owner repair a scooter in the friend's fenced front yard. They'd gone inside and the dog had sat on the victim's lap. They went to get up to go outside and the owner told the dog to get off Earl and it attacked him. The owner and his wife were unable to get the dog off the victim.
    Dog(s): When deputies arrived, they found the dog "Harley" in the yard still aggressive. They shot and killed that pit bull. Two younger offspring pit bulls also participated in the attack and were eventually pulled away, and they were seized by authorities.
    Owner(s): Ray, victim's friend.

  16. 06/15/16 Erin McCleskey, 36, of Manor TX died from 6 Mixed breed dogs. Refs: 1 2 3 4
    Incident: The victim, a process server, had entered a gate to a property to serve court papers, leaving her car running, and was attacked by several dogs. Her body was found when neighbors investigated her car by the unlatched gate.
    Dog(s): No humans lived at the house, where the six adult dogs were kept for breeding purposes. A court ruled to euthanize the six adult dogs. Terry Swanson, vowed to appeal the decision. They were described as four labrador-mixes and two Australian cattle dog-mixes. 14 puppies were also found on the property.
    Owner(s): Terry Swanson and his uncle, Robert McCray, and McCray’s wife, Marjorie Kalinec, have been the primary caretakers of the dogs. McCray is the person who discovered McCleskey's body. The dogs' owners blamed the victim for her own death during the hearing, saying that McCleskey failed to heed a no trespassing sign. Justice Herb Evans remarked: "She didn’t deserve to die, and these animals don’t have a license to kill."

  17. 06/27/16 Jocelyn Winfrey, 53, of New Haven CT died from 2 Pit bull-American Bulldog mixes. Refs: 1 2 3 4
    Incident: Victim was attacked, bitten and mauled by two dogs when she and her friend were walking up to his house. During the attack, the owner tried to pull the dogs off the victim, but he was also attacked and suffered non-life threatening injuries. Neighbors also intervened by throwing rocks at the dogs during the incident. After the attack, victim underwent surgeries to remove both eyes and one leg. Victim had been in a medically-induced coma since the attack and doctors removed her from life support one week later.
    Dog(s): The dogs were surrendered for euthanasia.
    Owner(s): Dr. Hamilton Hicks, 37, was arrested on drug possession charges, but no charges were filed in relation to the attack.

  18. 06/27/16 Susie Kirby, 3 days, of Fresno CA died from 2 Pit bull-Sharpei mixes. Refs: 1 2 3 4
    Incident: The mother left her infant propped with pillow on the sofa to go to the bathroom. Her brother's two male dogs, which she thought were tied up outside, entered through an open door, and attacked the infant, dragging the baby outside. The uncle arrived home and found the dogs attacking the baby and yelled and screamed.
    Dog(s): The dogs were surrendered to the Central California SPCA to be euthanized. One had a history of aggression.
    Owner(s): Uncle of the victim.

  19. 07/14/16 Kayden Begay, 3, of Seba Dalkai AZ died from 12 Pit bulls. Refs: 1 2 3
    Incident: The victim's aunt went out to get the cattle and, unknowingly, her young nephew followed her. She saw a pack of the neighbor's dogs gathering and went over to see what it was, then found the child.
    Dog(s): Two dogs were shot on scene and three were taken into custody and euthanized at an animal shelter in Fort Defiance AZ. All five dogs tested negative for rabies. Others had reported these dogs before for aggression and attacking livestock, but no action was taken until the boy was killed.
    Owner(s): Neighbor of the victim's family.

  20. 07/16/16 Elizabeth Rivera, 61, of Detroit MI died from 1-4 Pit bulls. Refs: 1 2
    Incident: Victim was found dead in her home by her daughter. There were four pit bulls in the home and it is unknown whether one or more of the dogs were involved in the attack. The victim was knocked down then attacked in the throat, severing her jugular vein.
    Dog(s): Animal control removed all four dogs.
    Owner(s): Per family members: The pit bulls belonged to Rivera's daughter and her daughter's boyfriend. Several years ago, Rivera was severely bitten in the face by a different pit bull owned by the same couple. Rivera underwent extensive surgeries and skin grafts after the earlier attack. That pit bull was put down.

  21. 07/29/16 Crisencio Aliado, 52, of Kalihi HI died from 2 Pit bull mixes. Refs: 1 2 3 4
    Incident: The homeless victim was mauled to death by two dogs, loose from a nearby business, while washing his clothes in a stream.
    Dog(s): The dogs were returned to the owners despite nearby businesses and residents saying the dogs had gotten out before and been involved in previous attacks.
    Owner(s): Michael Souza and Candace Souza, owners of the business ContainerLand where the dogs resided.

  22. 08/01/16 Michelle Wilcox, 30, of Screven County GA died from 1 Pit bull. Refs: 1 2
    Incident: Victim was mauled by a dog in her home while the dog's owner, her boyfriend, was at work.
    Dog(s): The dog was euthanized by the owner. There were four pit bulls in the household. This one was said to have been raised in the house since a puppy and was now 95 pounds.
    Owner(s): Devin Bannon, boyfriend and housemate of the victim.

  23. 08/17/16 Derion Stevenson, 9, of Las Vegas NY died from 1 Pit bull mix. Refs: 1 2
    Incident: Victim and his friends had gone to their friend's house for some candy. When the front door was opened, the dog attacked, biting the victim in the face, head and neck.
    Dog(s): 3 year old "Left Eye" was euthanized after being surrendered by its owners. A month earlier, the same dog had killed another dog in the neighborhood. Animal Control did not declare the dog dangerous or vicious at that time. The neighbors also said the dog had attacked another child.
    Owner(s): Neighbor.

  24. 08/19/16 Michael Downing, 83, of Jacksonville FL died from 4 Rottweiler-mixes. Refs: 1 2
    Incident: Victim was taking trash to the dumpster at the apartment where he lived when he was attacked by four dogs that had escaped through a hole in the fence from the adjoining property. The dogs dragged his body back through the hole in the fence and dismembered him in their own back yard.
    Dog(s): The two younger 3-year old dogs were offspring of the two older dogs. They were reputedly mixes of Rottweiler, German Shepherd and Chow.
    Owner(s): Lephus Felton, the dogs' owner, blamed the victim, theorizing that he had teased the dogs. The dogs' owner was not at home at the time of the attack. The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office was working with the State Attorney's Office to determine if criminal charges would be brought against Felton.

  25. 08/29/16 Susan Shawl, 60, of Conifer CO died from 2 Pit bulls. Refs: 1 2
    Incident: Victim was attacked in the face by her son's dogs. He tried to pull the dogs off, and was also bitten. Victim died on scene.
    Dog(s): The dogs were euthanized the following day by permission from the owner.
    Owner(s): Richard Shawl, 36, son of victim who also shared victim's home.

  26. 09/01/16 Baby Jane Doe, 6 days, of College Station TX died from 1 Unknown. Refs: 1
    Incident: Child died of an animal attack, including punctures and lacerations through skull.
    Dog(s): Unknown.
    Owner(s): Parents of the victim.

  27. 09/24/16 Piper Dunbar, 2, of Topeka KS died from 2 Pit bulls. Refs: 1 2 3
    Incident: The father, recently out of prison and newly received custody of his young daughter, fell asleep with the child in front of the TV. Later woken by his housemate to "Where is Piper?" Unable to find the child, they called 911. Police found the child dead in the front yard where the pit bulls had dragged her and killed her.
    Dog(s): The two dogs belonged to a woman who was staying with the victim's father. They tried once to rehome the dogs, but that lasted an hour before the new owner called to say come pick up the dogs. They did.
    Owner(s): Margaret Jaramillo, a woman staying with the victim's father. The mother sued Child Protective Services and the contracted foster agency for moving the child back into the father's home after previously removing the child from there.

  28. 10/23/16 Kiyana McNeal, 4, of Sherman Township MI died from 1 Doberman Pinscher mix. Refs: 1 2
    Incident: Child was killed by 3 year old dog they had purchased minutes earlier. The mother tried to intervene, but was unable to stop the attack and was injured. The previous owner had delivered the dog and stayed for 30-45 minutes as they got acquainted with the dog. Five minutes after leaving, the previous owner was called back. He arrived with the attack in progress. The child died on scene.
    Dog(s): The dog was later scheduled to be euthanized.
    Owner(s): The victim's mother. The previous owner was not charged and wasn't named in media reports.

  29. 10/25/16 Daisie Bradshaw, 68, of New York City NY died from 2 Pit bull mixes. Refs: 1 2 3 4 5
    Incident: Victim was killed in her home by her daughter's two dogs. The dogs were being kept in the basement and the daughter told her mother not to go down there.
    Dog(s): Panda and Jacob were seized and euthanized. Animal control labelled the dogs as "Am Pit Bull Ter Mix" and posted their photos. The two dogs were even x-rayed to determine stomach contents.
    Owner(s): The daughter of the victim, who later blamed her mother for her own death.

  30. 12/02/16 Isaiah Jacob Franklin, 6, of Huntington WV died from 1 Pit bull. Refs: 1 2
    Incident: The victim was playing a video game when the family dog attacked him unprovoked. There were two adults in the room at the time.
    Dog(s): The attacking dog, a 3 yr old unneutered male pit bull, had been living in the house for about a year. There was a second pit bull, a female, in the house that was not involved with the attack. Both dogs were seized. The city filed a motion to euthanize the attacking dog.
    Owner(s): Live-in boyfriend of the victim's mother.

  31. 12/16/16 David Fear, 68, of Grover Beach CA died from 1 Belgian Malinois. Refs: 1 2 3 4 5 6
    Incident: The dog attacked an elderly woman and Fear was killed by the dog when he tried to intervene to stop the attack. The dog had escaped the owner's property. The woman survived the attack.
    Dog(s): The dog was euthanized. The dog was a failed police K-9 that officer Alex Geiger purchased with intent to use as a police K-9 in his new job at a different police agency that didn't already have a K-9 unit.
    Owner(s): The dog's owner, former officer Alex Geiger, was acquitted at trial for involuntary manslaughter and failing to maintain control of a dangerous animal resulting in injury or death.

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