A new interactive map shows the scale of Britain’s dangerous dog problem, with the death toll since the start of Covid lockdown three years ago now standing at 24.
Victims of attacks since January 2020 include Bella-Rae Birch, a 17-month-old who was killed when her family’s American Bully XL mauled her to death at her home in Blackbrook, St Helen’s, in March 2021.
As a region, the north west of England has seen the highest total of fatal dog attacks in recent years, with six deaths since March 2020. Wales has seen four attacks since March 2020 and Scotland one.
Eight people have died after being mauled by dogs so far this year.
Ian Langley, 54, was set on by a soon to be banned XL Bully on an estate in Sunderland on Tuesday night as he was trying to protect his Patterdale terrier from the crazed animal.
The latest attack, which is the sixth fatality caused by an XL Bully in 2023, comes as the Government looks to ban the breed.
Use our interactive graphic below to find out how many dog attacks there have been in your area since March 2020.
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A stock image of a soon to be banned XL Bully dog
Mr Langley was bitten in the neck as he bent down to pick up the pup, leaving him needing CPR for 15 minutes as paramedics fought to staunch heavy bleeding. He tragically succumbed to his injuries but his dog survived.
Today, police confirmed that the 44-year-old owner of the dog has been arrested and a murder probe has been launched.
Yesterday, MailOnline revealed claims that the XL Bully had launched other attacks before last night’s killing.
Mr Langley’s friend Janice Gonzales said: ‘I’m aware of two people whose dogs have been attacked by that XL Bully and apparently there have been more than that.
‘Ian was here at 3pm on Tuesday, chatting and helping to weed my back yard. He said he’d come back today to help me with my allotment because I suffer from arthritis.’
Rishi Sunak has called American XL bully dogs ‘a danger to our communities’ and said he plans to ban them by the end of the year.
However, Sir Robert Goodwill, chairman of the Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, said he should consider a faster action – including a ‘general cull’ of the breed.
JANUARY 29, 2020: Jonathan Halstead, 35, died after a severe neck injury and dog bites, which contributed to by epilepsy
SEPTEMBER 13, 2020: Elon Jase Ellis-Joynes was savaged by the family dog Teddy on Sunday, September 13, at the home in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, when she was just 12 days old (Pictured: Elon was born on September 1, left; the family dog, Teddy, right)
FEBRUARY 5, 2021: Keira Ladlow (pictured left), 21, was looking after the dog (right), named ‘Gucci’, when she was attacked at her brother’s home in the Kitts Green area of Birmingham, West Midlands
XL bully owners marched through London over the weekend to protest against the ban, but were encouraged to leave their dogs at home.
On Thursday, September 14, ‘pillar of the community’ Ian Price was attacked and killed by two ‘devil’ XL Bully dogs after they jumped out of his neighbour’s window in Stonnall, Staffordshire.
The dogs bit him and ripped the clothes from his body during the attack just feet from his home – which is near a primary school.
APRIL 2, 2021: Lucille Downer, 85, a retired cook, was savagely attacked in her garden. She was pronounced dead at the scene on April 2, 2021
NOVEMBER 8, 2021: Jack Lis was attacked by an XL bully dog named Beast while playing with a friend at a house after school in Pentwyn
It took seven rounds of bullets to kill Beast (pictured) after the incident in November of 2021
Witnesses said the dogs entered Mr Price’s mother’s garden through a hedge before ‘setting’ on him in an attack said to have lasted up to 20 minutes.
Mr Price’s heartbroken next door neighbour Matt told of his ‘anger’ over the brutal attack and the loss of ‘such a lovely guy’ and a fellow Aston Villa football fan.
A neighbour subsequently revealed that the dogs had attacked a woman just weeks before after being allowed to ‘terrorise the neighbourhood’ by their owner.
In June, an inquest looked into the death of Jonathan Hogg, 37, who was mauled to death a month earlier by an American XL Bully dog that he was looking after.
He was rushed to hospital but died of his injuries after the attack in Leigh, Greater Manchester, but later died.
DECEMBER 22, 2021: Adam Watts, 55, was attacked at the Juniper Kennels and Cattery in Kirkton of Auchterhouse, near Dundee, and was pronounced dead at the scene on December 22
JANUARY 10, 2022: John William Jones, 68, known as William, was found dead at his country cottage in Lampeter, West Wales
MARCH 21, 2022: Undated family handout photo issued by Merseyside Police of Bella-Rae Birch
Bella-Rae Birch was just 17 months old when an American Bully XL mauled her to death at her home in Blackbrook, St Helen’s on March 21, 2022
MAY 15, 2022: Three-year-old Daniel Twigg from Rochdale was mauled to death in a dog attack on a farm on May 15
MAY 28, 2022: Keven Jones, 62, died after being mauled by a dog at a house in Wales on Monday, May 23
Six adult dogs and nine puppies were sized after two houses were searched as part of the investigation.
Weeks later, on June 2, a grandmother was mauled to death by a banned dog as she sunbathed in her garden in Bedworth, Warwickshire.
The victim’s 49-year-old daughter desperately tried to fight off the animal as it pounced on her mother, a local said.
She was bitten as she tried in vain to save her mother and was later taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries.
Both she and her husband, 52, were arrested on suspicion of possessing a banned breed of dog and owning a dog dangerously out of control.
It is not uncommon for dog attack victims to have been attacked by an animal owned by a relative or friend.
In April, 51-year-old Wayne Stevens died after being savaged to death by a dog belonging to his older brother at a home in Derby.
JULY 15, 2022: Joanne Robinson (pictured) is believed to be the third victim of a legal breed which has killed two tots
OCTOBER 3, 2022: Ann Dunn, 65, was named locally as the woman who died in a dog attack in Liverpool
DECEMBER 3, 2022: Shirley Patrick, 83, died in hospital 17 days after suffering ‘life-threatening injuries’ in the attack
JANUARY 12, 2023: Natasha Johnston died from multiple bites to the neck from eight dogs
JANUARY 31, 2023: The dog at the centre of a fatal attack on a four-year-old girl Alice Stones (pictured) in Milton Keynes last night was a family pet, police said
Officers were forced to shoot the dog dead and the owner was charged with being a person in charge of a dog dangerously out of control.
January this year saw two dog attack deaths.
Four-year-old Alice Stones died after being attacked by the family pet in a back garden in Milton Keynes on January 31.
Thames Valley police confirmed the animal, which had to be put down by armed police, was not a banned breed.
In one of the most high profile cases of the year, dog walker Natasha Johnston, 28, was mauled while walking eight dogs in Caterham, Surrey.
An American XL Bully owned by Johnston was put down after a forensic veterinary report found it responsible for her death.
Dog psychologist Bruce Clanford previously told MailOnline of his fears about a lack of responsible dog owners fuelling a potential rise in serious attacks.
He said: ‘There’s no regulation on owning dogs, or people handling them, there’s also no standard of education which means there are too many people who don’t know what they’re doing.
‘Lockdown didn’t help, many people had a knee-jerk reaction to just get a dog because it helped them get out and about while we were locked down.
‘So many dogs have now come out over the past few years that have had to be rehomed, people didn’t understand how to look after them.’
APRIL 22, 2023: In April, 51-year-old Wayne Stevens died after being savaged to death by a dog belonging to his older brother at a home in Derby
MAY 18, 2023: In June, an inquest looked into the death of Jonathan Hogg, 37, who was mauled to death a month earlier by an American XL Bully dog that he was looking after
SEPTEMBER 3, 2023: Marie Stevens’s chocolate Labrador was at the ceremony when she wed husband Steve
A UK-wide survey revealed the population of dogs kept as pets in the UK was estimated at 13 million in 2020/21, which constitutes a marked increase from a decade earlier when the dog population was around 7.6 million in Britain.
Dr John Tulloch, a veterinary public health expert at the University of Liverpool authored a 2021 research paper that revealed a startling rise in the number of dog bite incidents over the past 20 years.
He told MailOnline that although wider research into the cause of this explosion in these attacks was limited, there had been an emergence of ‘worrying’ trends that he has witnessed in more recent dog ownership.
Possible explanations include broader changes in society, with more dogs now being bought from unregulated or overseas breeders, or the way in which people interact with their pets – fuelled by TikTok trends or videos hoping to garner likes online.
SEPTEMBER 14, 2023: On Thursday, September 14, ‘pillar of the community’ Ian Price was attacked and killed by two ‘devil’ XL Bully dogs after they jumped out of his neighbour’s window in Stonnall, Staffordshire
Mr Price, pictured with Mike Tindall, is said to have stepped in to see the dogs off after they entered his mother’s garden
OCTOBER 3, 2023: Ian Langley, 54, originally from Liverpool, was set upon on the Shiney Row estate on Tuesday night by an enormous banned XL Bully breed which bit him on the neck
Police cordon off Maple Street, Shiney Row in Sunderland yesterday
The RSPCA animal charity said that ‘impulse buys’ during the Covid lockdown and ‘animals from overseas puppy farms’ are fuelling the epidemic.
James McNally, dubbed Britain’s ‘dog bite solicitor’ and a personal injury claim expert with Slee Blackwell Solicitors, has said he’s seen a rise in the number of dog bite claims in recent years.
He told MailOnline: ‘Some of the worst injuries we’re seeing are by those beloved household pets; Collies, Jack Russells, Huskies. Any dog can cause injury at any time.
‘We’ve had a lady who lost the tip of her nose, delivery drivers missing fingers. There are cases we’re dealing with where a child has been scalped by the dog and suffered serious facial injuries – they’re all horrible.
‘In a lot of the cases we’re seeing, the way I see it is that it’s the family dogs.
‘I think the pandemic puppy boom has probably contributed to the rising number of dog bites, experts have raised huge concerns about puppy farms and I think a lot of us are just not aware of this entire world of dog breeding.
‘Ultimately, it’s a bit of a Wild West out there. We had the wrong dogs, being bred by the wrong people, going to the wrong homes.
‘It’s a recipe for disaster and was fuelling the fire.’