National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day 2020

UNITED STATES AND CANADA – National Pit Bull Victim Awareness (NPBVA) marks its sixth anniversary on October 26, 2020 with a renewed call for the media and elected officials to address the critical issue of pit bull attacks. Pit bulls killed 31 people in the first 9 months of 2020 – one person every 9 days.

Zoom panel October 26, 2020

A pre-recorded Zoom panel October 26 addresses urgent concerns for politicians and journalists. The panel features NPBVA founding member Mia Johnson (Canada), founder Colleen Lynn (USA), and RC4PS founder Anne Marie Rogers (USA).


  • pit bulls killed 31 people in the USA and Canada
  • pit bulls killed someone every 9 days on average
  • 16 people were killed by their own family pit bulls
  • pit bulls killed 13 seniors, including two people in wheelchairs
  • pit bulls killed 10 children
  • pit bulls killed 8 children under two years old, including an infant sleeping in a playpen


Thousands of people have been severely disfigured, dismembered and disabled for life, as well as thousands of animals. October 26 is National Pit Bull Victim Awareness Day in memory of those who have been attacked or killed, their grieving families and neighbors, and vast networks of emergency response services.

National Pit Bull Victim Awareness (NPBVA) advocates for more than 70 organizations and social media groups in the United States and Canada, including memorial and support pages for victims of pit bull attacks, breed-specific legislation, and non-profit organizations.

The NPBVA website at provides interactive maps and a searchable database of 6000 pit bull attacks reported by the media in the past 5 years. The volunteer-run organization maintains a Facebook page for victims, initiates email campaigns to legislators in the USA and Canada. NPBVA lists medical studies on the disproportionate damage and frequency of pit bull attacks published in medical journals since 2014.



DEATHS BY PIT BULLS January 1-October 22, 2020

Pit bulls/mixes responsible for 34 fatalities

01/09/20 McKenzie Terwell, 4 months, Dayton, OH – Killed by family pit bull in home
01/10/20 Donald Abner, 55, Conway, KY – Killed by a woman roommate’s pit bull in his yard
01/25/20 Julian Connell, 1 month, Lafayette, IN – Killed by family pit bull-mix in home
01/30/20 Harvey Harmon, Jr., 76, Palestine, MS – Killed by 4 dogs in his front yard (2 family pit bulls)
02/10/20 Sterling Ver Meer, 5, Oro Grande, CA – Killed by family pit bull in their backyard playroom
02/10/20 Devin White, 25, Plainfield, IL – Killed by his own pit bull in his home
02/23/20 Lee Becham, 76, Crawford County, GA – Killed by neighbor’s pit bulls in his own yard
02/28/20 Geraldine Hamlin, 64, Shreveport, LA – Killed by her two pit bulls in her home
03/09/20 Demi Witherspoon, 2, Portsmouth, VA – Killed by family’s 1-year-old pit bull in home
03/26/20 Roger Kirk, 69. Horatio, AR – Killed by neighbor’s pit bullx
04/12/20 Sharon Baldwin, 60, Fort Worth, TX – Killed by her roommate’s pit bull in her home
04/22020 Doris Arrington, 59, North Memphis – Killed by at least 2 pit bulls belonging to her neighbor
04/24/20 Roxie Parker, 60, Welsh, LA – Killed by boyfriend’s bull terrier while trying to save her dog
05/01/20 Baby John Doe, 6 months, Temecula, CA – Killed by grandparents’ pit bull in their home
05/07/20 Nancy Shaw, 62, Lyons, GA – Killed by 4 bulldog-mixes (pit-mixes) on side of road
05/09/20 Lisa Urso, 52, Ingleside, IL – Killed by at least one of her two Shorty bulldogs (pit-mix)
05/28/20 Robby Taylor, 9, Mt. Vernon, AR – Killed by 2 pit bulls when he went to get mail
06/01/20 Brice Sanders, 2, Stockton, CA – Killed by pit bull on visit
06/03/20 Kati Amos, 70, Chicago, IL – Killed by her four pit bull/cane corso mixes in her driveway
06/09/20 Megan Milner, 38, Middle Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia – Killed by her own pit bull on walk
06/20/20 Modesta Coco Morilla, 86, Oviedo, FL – Killed by 2 family pit bulls in home
06/25/20 Barbara Cook, 72, Mandeville, LA – Killed by her daughter’s two pet pit bulls in her home
06/29/20 Jonah Jellison, 23 mo., Hunt County, TX – Killed by neighbor’s pit bull on gravel road near home
06/29/20 John Doe, 30s, Kamloops – Killed by friend’s pit bull during a visit to friend’s home
07/01/20 Donald Ryan, 62, Jeffersonville, IN – Killed by his pet pit bull in his home
07/05/20 Marley Wilander, 17 months, Joliet, IL – Killed by pit bull-mix in home they were visiting
07/16/20 Scarlett Pereira, 15 months, E. Providence, RI – Killed by family pit bull in grandparents’ home
08/07/20 Baby John Doe, 7 months, Akron, OH – Killed by family pit bull in great-grandmother’s home
08/26/20 Stephen Pemberton Sr, 61, Belleville, IL – Killed by stepson’s 2 pit bulls in his home
08/28/20 Carolyn Varanese, 84, Margate, FL – Killed by family pit bull in home, son seriously injure
09/11/20 Karen Wilkerson, 76, McCurtain County, OK – Killed by daughter’s pit bull outside home
09/29/20 Jacqueline Robinson, 32, Gray Court, SC – Killed by 3 pit bulls while on a walk
10/08/20 Zachary Willis, 27, Moses Lake, WA – Killed by family pit bull in his home
10/22/20 Curtis Wickham, 26, Tulsa, OK – Killed by acquaintance’s 3 pit bulls


Since we formed 6 years ago and began posting news links on our Facebook page, the media in the United States and Canada has reported more than 6,000 separate attacks by pit bulls and pit bull mixes.

In September 2017, the crisis caught the attention of CBC’s Fifth Estate. They examined the claims of pit bull marketers and lobbyists who spend millions of dollars re-branding pit bulls as safe family pets, and compared them to the findings of doctors and medical centers.

Medical findings indicate:
pit bulls are responsible for a significantly higher number of dog-bite-related injuries;
• pit bulls are responsible for significantly greater trauma and bite injuries;
• pit bulls are more then 2.5 times as likely to bite in several places than other breeds;
• almost half of all injuries require surgery



Veterinary World, 2020
A look at the incidence and risk factors for dog bites in unincorporated Harris County, Texas, USA
There were 6683 dog bites reported to HCVPH between the years of 2013 and 2016. Dogs with the primary breed of Pit Bull had the greatest frequency of bites (25.07%). Bites were more common from intact dogs. Persons aged 70+ had the greatest incidence of severe injury.

Journal of Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology and Oral Radiology, 2020
Facial dog bites treated at the Massachusetts General Hospital over a 20-year period
The majority of patients were adults, most dogs were known, and provocation was recorded 64.5% of cases. Bites were preceded by the following behaviors: playing with the dog, feeding the dog, and placing the face close to the dog. Pit bulls led in the number of bites.

Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 2019
Dog-Bite Injuries to the Craniofacial Region: An Epidemiologic and Pattern-of-Injury Review at a Level 1 Trauma Center
The data showed that compared with other dog breeds, pit bull terriers inflicted more complex wounds, were often unprovoked, and went off property to attack.

Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, 2019
Epidemiology, Socioeconomic Analysis, and Specialist Involvement in Dog Bite Wounds in Adults
A total of 189 adults presented to the emergency department with dog-bite-related injuries. The most common breed of dog identified was pit bull (47.5%).,_Socioeconomic_Analysis,_and.32.aspx

Journal of Pediatric Surgery, 2019
Pediatric dog bite injuries in Central Texas
Injuries often involved the head–neck region (92.1%), and 72.5% were of major severity. Pet dogs were responsible for 42% of injuries, and pit bull was the most-identified breed.

Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, 2019
Dog bites in the emergency department: a descriptive analysis
A total of 475 dog bites were identified. Pit-bull type was the most frequently implicated breed (27%).

International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 2019
Dog bite injuries to the face: Is there risk with breed ownership?
Injuries from pitbulls and mixed breed dogs were both more frequent and more severe. Mixed breed and the pit bull were found to have the highest relative risk of biting, as well as the highest average damage per bite.

Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, 2019
Children have an Increased Risk for Periorbital Dog Bite Injuries
The pit bull was the most commonly named breed to be involved in both pediatric (18%) and adult (26.2%) injuries.

Acta Paediatrica, 2019
Dog bites in a U.S. county: age, body part and breed in paediatric dog bites
A review of 14,956 dog bites 2007-2015 showed ‘Pit bulls’ accounted for 27.2% of dog bites and were more common in children 13–18 years.

Plastic Surgery, 2018
Are Dog Bites a Problem of Nature or Nurture?
Pit bull attacks account for higher morbidity rates, higher hospital charges, and a higher risk of death than attacks from other dog breeds.

Journal of Orthopedic Trauma, 2018
Dogs and Orthopaedic Injuries: Is There a Correlation with Breed?
Of the 95 patients, 50% were the result of a pit bull terrier bite and 22% by a law enforcement dog. A total of 32% were attacked by multiple dogs. Pit bull terrier bites were responsible for a significantly higher number of orthopaedic injuries and resulted in an amputation and/or bony injury in 66% of patients treated.

Southern Medical Journal, 2018
Characteristics of Dog Bites in Arkansas
The results are aligned mostly with the general trends found in previous national and global studies, supporting the notion that family dogs represent a more significant threat than often is realized and that, among the breeds identified, pit bulls are proportionally linked with more severe bite injuries.

Clinical Pediatrics, 2018
Characteristics of 1616 Consecutive Dog Bite Injuries at a Single Institution
Pit bull bites were implicated in half of all surgeries and over 2.5 times as likely to bite in multiple anatomic locations as compared to other breeds.

International Journal of Surgery Case Reports, 2018
Pit Bull attack causing limb threatening vascular trauma — A case series
Attacks by pit bull terriers are more likely to cause severe morbidity than other breeds of dogs.

Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, 2018
Retrospective analysis of necropsy reports from 2001-2012 suggestive of abuse in dogs and cats
Pit bull-type dogs (29/73 or 40%) were overrepresented in several abuse categories, such as gunshot and blunt-force trauma. This supports legislation for mandatory spay/neuter to reduce suffering.


National Pit Bull Victim Awareness advocates for more than 70 organizations and social media groups in the United States and Canada, including memorial and support pages for victims of pit bull attacks, breed-safety legislation, and nonprofit organizations. View Partners and Friends


• We want the media to put victims first by reporting the emotional impact of pit bull attacks on families and communities.
• We want the media to help taxpayers understand the cost of subsidizing pit bull breeding, the cost of pit bull attacks, and the economic issues of up-to-80% pit bulls in taxpayer-funded shelters.
• We want to see pit bull ownership and pit bull breeding regulated. Lowering the pit bull population will reduce the number of serious maulings and the euthanasia of pit bulls.
• We want pit bull owners to have liability insurance which fully covers the medical costs of victims. In most cases, victims are left to pay the cost of life-flights, ambulances, emergency hospital treatments, and numerous surgeries for years to come.
• We want to see the end of cross-border transportation of pit bulls with unknown and potentially aggressive histories. We want to see the cross-border transportation of pit bulls from kill shelters in the United States to Canada stopped.


We believe the media is complicit in the propaganda when it insists the viewpoint of pit bull advocates is as valid as that of public health and safety professionals on the matter of pit bull attacks.

We do not believe people with a vested financial interest in the promotion of pit bulls should be presented as disinterested writers.

In a debate on “whether smoking is bad for you”, the media would never ask cigarette companies for their views on whether cigarette smoking should be allowed back in schools, or give airtime to the tobacco industry’s “bought and paid for” research. Yet media frequently does exactly this by turning to pit bull advocates.


“Pit bulls caused over 50% of the bites to children requiring a trip to the operating room because of the severity of their injuries. Moreover, pit bulls were over 2 and a half times more likely to bite in multiple areas of a child’s body than any other breed.” – Dr. Michael S. Golinko, “Characteristics of 1616 Consecutive Dog Bite Injuries at a Single Institution”, Clinical Pediatrics, 2018

“With dogs bred to fight and kill and to be muscular and strong like pit bulls, one slip-up can be disastrous, even fatal, especially for a child.” – Dr. Laura Marusinec

“You can’t love instinct out of them, you can’t train it out of them.” – Dr. Douglas Skinner

“But instead of placing regulations on dangerous breeds, we have lobbyists and legislators passing laws to protect dangerous dogs, not their victims.” – Liz Marsden, trainer in Michael Vick’s case

“They’re borderline dogs. They’re right on the edge all of the time. Even if the dogs are not trained or used for fighting, and even though they are generally good with people, their bloodline makes them prone to violence.” – F.L. Dantzler, HSUS Director of Field Services

“Pit bulls are different; they’re like wild animals. They’re not suited for an urban environment. I believe we should open our eyes and take a realistic approach to pit bulls.” – Alan Beck, Director for the Center for the Human Animal Bond at Purdue University School of Veterinary Medicine, West Lafayette, Indiana

“Pit bulls are a breed-specific problem. The public is misled to believe that pit bulls are like any other dog. And they just aren’t.” – PETA

“If you are trying to create submission in a fighting breed, it’s not going to happen. They would rather die than surrender.” –¬ Cesar Milan, TV dog trainer

“Most breeds do not multiple-bite. A pit bull attack is like a shark attack: He keeps coming back.” – Kurt Lapham, field investigator for the West Coast Regional office of the Humane Society

The American SPCA warns animals shelters about the dangers of pit bull-type dogs, and recommends “panic buttons” be installed in areas where pit bulls are housed.


CBC Fifth Estate Report

Mark Kelly, CBC

WISN 12 News

Myth: Pit Bulls are Not Aggressive

Statistics on deaths and injuries by pit bulls


National Pit Bull Victim Awareness is a North American advocacy initiative for more than 70 organizations and groups including, Daxton’s Friends, Responsible Citizens for Public Safety (, Animals 24-7, Dangerous By Default, Protect Children from Pit Bulls and Other Dangerous Dogs, Breed Safety Laws Action Team, and is supported by PETA – People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

For a full list of Friends and Partners, see