Archive for Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Couple killed by wild dogs in Georgia had KU connection

August 18, 2009


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.


KEITHMILES05 8 years, 9 months ago

I am sure Michael Vick could be of assistance.

jonas_opines 8 years, 9 months ago

jesus christ, the apocalypse really IS coming

flux 8 years, 9 months ago

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zettapixel 8 years, 9 months ago

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

workinghard 8 years, 9 months ago

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

KansasVoter 8 years, 9 months ago

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

james bush 8 years, 9 months ago

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

bender 8 years, 9 months ago

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

origflyboy 8 years, 9 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.

Nathan Anderson 8 years, 9 months ago

Lothar was a long-time poster on the 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.

Janet Lowther 8 years, 9 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.

Tyson Travis 8 years, 9 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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