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Archive for Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Couple killed by wild dogs in Georgia had KU connection

August 18, 2009

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One of the dogs captured after the weekend mauling is now in the Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter in Danielsville, Ga.

One of the dogs captured after the weekend mauling is now in the Madison Oglethorpe Animal Shelter in Danielsville, Ga.

A retired German professor from the University of Georgia who was killed in an apparent dog-mauling incident also taught at Kansas University several decades ago.

Autopsy reports and police said Lothar Karl Schweder, 77, and his wife, Sherry Schweder, 65, appeared to have been killed by nearly a dozen dogs along a rural Georgia road, according to The Associated Press.

According to the AP, Sherry Schweder had been out for a walk when she was attacked, and her husband died trying to fight off the mauling animals.

Virginia Lewis, now executive director of the KU Diabetes Institute at KU Medical Center, was Lothar Schweder’s student in 1965.

William Keel, chairman of KU’s Germanic languages and literature department, said Schweder served as an instructor from the mid-1960s until the early 1970s at KU, likely part of a program instituted by the department chair at the time to bring over young scholars from Germany to teach.

“He really cared a lot about his students,” Lewis said. “He was just a very good teacher.”

She said that Lothar Schweder came to the university from a part of Germany now in Poland. He would occasionally talk about his time in the Hitler Youth program — required of all German citizens at the time — and how much he hated it, she said.

Lewis said Schweder did not earn a terminal degree at KU.

“He never could focus in on one thing and get his Ph.D.,” she said.

She kept up with her old teacher until the early 1970s, she said, and also knew his wife. Lewis said she had lost touch with him until recently, sending an e-mail that was never returned, possibly to a bad address.

Then she got the news of his death.

“It was kind of a shock to pick up the paper this morning,” she said, after reading about the Schweders’ deaths.

Authorities rounded up about 11 dogs Monday and returned to the area Tuesday to find four more spotted by a deputy. The dogs were being held by animal control officials while authorities decide what to do with them, said Jim Fullington, special agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

“It just appears that a large number of dogs had started living, running together, multiplying and had grown into what I would describe as a pack of wild or feral-type dogs,” Fullington said.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Comments

budtugly 4 years, 7 months ago

Yea Edjayhawk register them guns and pitbulls, make another law that makes it illegal for them dogs to bite you. What an idiot! This is another reason for conceal and carry laws.Like was said earlier, the dogs should have been shot instead of just dumped in the country.I don't like killing anything either but I will defend myself. Think about being eatin alive! Conceal and Carry laws don't mean you have to pack a gun everywhere you go. It means you have the option, occasionally when there is a possibility of danger to carry a weapon and not end up a convicted felon for doing so..I haven't applied for the permit yet but I am going to.

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jazzttt 4 years, 8 months ago

Don't wish to get into the dog issue, would just like to say a word in memory of a neat teacher who was one of my German instructors at KU in the 1960s. Herr Schweder was a slender guy with a wry sense of humor, sorry I never got to hear any of his WWII stories, but always enjoyed his German Lit classes. This story has been featured in the national news section of the Little Rock papers the last two days, his name leaped out at me immediately, I remembered him well even though it's been over 40 years. Apparently his wife went out looking for their lost dog, was attacked and killed, then he was later attacked and killed when he went out looking for her. After all he went through in WWII and a successful career, what a way to go! Lothar, enjoyed your classes, and you'll be missed, RIP. Ty Travis, Ark, KU '67

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 8 months ago

An interesting study of feral dogs with a Kansas connection may be found here:

http://icwdm.org/handbook/carnivor/FeralDog.asp

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jrlii 4 years, 8 months ago

Back in the late '70s a friend was out on a Kaw river sandbar practicing with his new HK-91 rifle.

After a while he became aware of dogs who had deployed themselves around him in classic wolf pack formation and were starting to close in.

He yelled at them and they just came closer, so he started shooting them. He shot about half of the dozen or so critters before the remnant decided the better part of valor was to split.

Some of these critters were still wearing collars, 'though most were not.

Ferrel Dogs? Maybe. Pets run amok? Maybe. In any case my friend was convinced he would have been in trouble if he hadn't been armed, and he is a fair bit bigger than the average guy.

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Multidisciplinary 4 years, 8 months ago

I disagree wholeheartedly with the poodles bite "often" comment.

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 8 months ago

And Foxnews has reported this:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,540302,00.html?loomia_ow=t0:s0:a16:g4:r5:c0.000000:b0:z0

"Search Continues for Wild Dogs That Reportedly Killed Elderly Georgia Couple

Tuesday , August 18, 2009

LEXINGTON, Georgia —

Authorities are looking for the last few wild dogs they believe were part of a pack that killed an elderly couple in northeast Georgia.

Preliminary autopsy results show 77-year-old Lothar Karl Schweder and his 65-year-old wife, Sherry, died of injuries related to multiple animal bites.

Authorities rounded up about 11 dogs Monday and returned to the area Tuesday to find four more spotted by a deputy.

Authorities say it appears the pack of wild dogs attacked Sherry Schweder as she walked a dirt road near her house. They say it appears her husband later went looking for her and was also attacked by the dogs."

Marion writes:

Some of you have "pit bulls" on the brain.

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jhawk0097 4 years, 8 months ago

Lothar was a long-time poster on the kusports.com message boards, particularly the politics sub-forum. Most of us over there have known him for the last 6+ years, some better than others. He'll be missed.

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origflyboy 4 years, 8 months ago

I didn't read anything about pit bulls in the article. These animals were probably dumped out in the middle of no where and lived off of their instincts and hunted in a pack. It is a very sad story.

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bender 4 years, 8 months ago

There's a video on CNN's site about this. The video indicates that the dogs were not feral.

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edjayhawk 4 years, 8 months ago

I said it once and I"ll say it again: Pitbulls need to be registered just like gun ownership.

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jimincountry 4 years, 8 months ago

they were/are mongrels.......ggoole the story.

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Marion Lynn 4 years, 8 months ago

Unfortunately, the feral dog problem in the USA is well out of control and the National Geographic reported on the matter way back in 2003:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/08/0821_030821_straydogs.html

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Pywacket 4 years, 8 months ago

Geez, Roger--nobody said a word about pits until you brought them up. Chill.

That said, if you think disposition and behavior ALL depend upon how a dog is raised, you're just as naive as the people who think pits are the only dogs that ever attack people. Centuries of breeding obviously produces certain tendencies. Within whatever parameters a dog is bred for, training can make a lot of difference--but genetics can't be dismissed out of hand. Poodles bite often, but they generally do not hang on to a victim and continue to grip and worry until the victim is dead. Some dogs have a nervous bite-and-release tendency; others practically have to be decapitated before they let go of a victim. That's why some biting dogs are more lethal than others.

And any feral pack is capable of ripping a victim to shreds. Hence the term "pack mentality." I am guessing that these dogs will turn out to be of a great variety of breeds/mixes. If the pack has been feral for awhile, it's possible that they've even bred with coyotes.

A friend who was raised on a KS ranch says that those half-dog, half-coyotes are the worst--they have all the wild of a coyote, with a lack of respect for humans. He said he's seen them (graphic comment warning for the squeamish) literally tear a half-born calf from the cow's birth canal and snarl at approaching humans--until those humans fired bullets into their brains. He says a lone full coyote will usually run off, but a single "coydog" will face off with a person.

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KansasVoter 4 years, 8 months ago

All pit bulls should be eliminated. There's absolutely no reason for that breed to be around anymore.

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Seamus 4 years, 8 months ago

So the people I knew who had a pit bull (the ones who also had empty beer cans on the lawn and their television switched on 24-7) were secret military operatives? Wow, I never would have guessed...

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roger_gilchrist 4 years, 8 months ago

So Seamus, by "intellectually-challenged", do you mean our military? After all, Pit Bulls were used as message carriers during World War I and World War II.

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Seamus 4 years, 8 months ago

Pit bulls are a stupid breed that seems to be favored by the intellectually-challenged in our society.

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roger_gilchrist 4 years, 8 months ago

I hope none of these dogs are Pit Bulls. Just to show that it all depends on how a dog is raised. Most peoples initial reaction is probably Pit Bulls, because a feral pack of poodles or labs would not do something of this magnitude. They may run up and lick people or sit and stare at you while panting, but Pit Bulls are the only dogs that attack. Most people who go off about Pit Bulls being violent are very uneducated in the animal field, and have never done research on the subject.

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workinghard 4 years, 8 months ago

This is what happens when irresponsible people just dump their dogs off in the country thinking they'll find a home.

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zettapixel 4 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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flux 4 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 8 months ago

jesus christ, the apocalypse really IS coming

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Pywacket 4 years, 8 months ago

Not that hard to decide what to do with them....

What a horrible way to die.

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KEITHMILES05 4 years, 8 months ago

I am sure Michael Vick could be of assistance.

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