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Pit Bull Attack: Help Needed to Pay $3,000 Vet Bill

Help is needed to cover vet expenses for a cockapoo nearly killed in a vicious pit bull attack

A fund has been established to help cover $3,000 in emergency veterinary care needed to save a cockapoo named Oreo attacked by a pit bull in Salisbury Township, Lehigh County.

Oreo underwent four hours of surgery to repair a torn throat, broken jaw and puncture wounds.

Donations can be made at Wells Fargo Bank, Mountainville Financial Center, 1901 S. Fourth Street, Allentown, Pa., 18103. Make checks payable to Tammie Jesberger/Oreo.

The pit bull was shot dead by police after the Feb. 4 attack. The dog's owner, an Allentown man, has been charged with allowing his dog to run at large.

Oreo's owner, Tammie Jesberger, recalled how an "Animal Planet" episode about wrangling alligators inspired her to try to thwart the pit bull.

She grabbed a metal stake from a solar Christmas ornament on her front lawn, straddled the pit bull, pried open his powerful jaws and wedged the stake in horizontally. It bought her a moment to run to the front door to shove Oreo inside. The pit bull attacked the door.

Jesberger's heroic actions and the valiant ones taken by her father, Bill Tittel, Salisbury Township police officers--- who said they had to shoot and kill the dog because it lunged at them--- and the staff at VCA East Penn Animal Hospital in Emmaus, saved the little dog's life.

Oreo was a gift from a friend to Jesberger's 15-year-old daughter, Rhiannon, who was dying from cancer. The six-year-old black cockapoo, is as sweet and loyal a dog an owner could want. So loyal, that he refused to leave Tittel who urged him to run home as he tried to fight off the pit bull.

The nightmare began when Tittel took Oreo out for a walk on his leash around noon on Monday, Feb. 4. Tittel had walked to the top of Pearl Avenue and Salisbury Road when he saw two pit bulls, a black-and-white female who appeared to be about 6 months old, and an older white-and-tan male.

That's the one Jesberger jokingly refers to as Cujo, a reference to the rabid dog in Stephen King's horror novel of the same name.

Before Tittel knew it, "Cujo" was attacking Oreo. He went right for his throat, he said.

"I yelled, I beat the hell out of the dog, punched and kicked him," but the pit bull was relentless, he said.

Tittel managed to extricate the pit bull from Oreo by grabbing his front legs. "I yelled at Oreo to go home, but he wouldn't leave me," he said.

Tittle wasn't about to let go of the pit bull now and figured the only way to get his dog home and to safety was if he dragged the pit bull by his front legs as it walked on its rear legs.

Then the pit bull tried to bite Tittel. "I said, 'Don't you dare!'"  The dog instantly acquiesced, but he continued to lunge after Oreo.

Tittel yelled for help from his daughter and neighbors. But no one came. Tittel collapsed out of breath on the ground, exhausted from the fight.

Jesberger finally heard the commotion, opened the door and ran outside. She tried to pull the pit bull off Oreo but he wouldn't yield. Tittel ran around back and grabbed a plastic shovel and hit the dog with it, but he seemed unfazed.

The pit bull seized Oreo, dragged him through the bushes and began shaking him like a rag doll, Jesberger said.

"He wanted my dog dead, there was no question about it. He was trained to kill. He didn't want people. He wouldn't bite me," Jesberger said.

Jesberger called 911 after she managed to escape inside, but she couldn't leave. The pit bull was lurking at the front door when Salisbury and Fountain Hill police arrived minutes later. An officer helped Jesberger exit a side door and enter his squad car where he rushed her and Oreo, who was wrapped in a towel and bleeding profusely, to the animal hospital.

Police said they waited for the animal control officer to arrive and tranquilize the dogs, but the dogs fled to the back yard before they arrived.

Police said they shot and killed the pit bull when it aggressively approached two officers. It took about six shots from a shotgun and a pistol before it retreated, an officer said.

Amanda February 23, 2013 at 11:39 PM
If the owner hasn't offered, you need to get a lawyer and file a suit against him. It is the law that the owner of a dog is responsible for any damages done by the dog, including injuries to humans or other animals. Of course he's not going to offer to pet the vet bills. He seems like an ignorant person, and terrible neighbor, and a horrible example of a dog owner. Get a lawyer.
tamarya February 23, 2013 at 11:53 PM
Jon, to side with the people saying she should be able to afford vet bills. We live in an area with groundhogs, foxes, skunks and racoons, all which could maul a dog the size of oreo and cause well more than 4,000 dollars damage, which we as a dog owner, if we owned one, is something that we would have to consider. And being they are wild animals we would have no one to sue. Oreo could break a leg or injure a paw or anything and could cause a costly bill. All part in animal ownership comes vet bills.
Vickie February 23, 2013 at 11:54 PM
You should be ashamed of YOURSELF, "roastpuppy". Basically, you are daring people to walk their dogs if there are pitbulls around. It's the USA, and the last time I checked, I can walk my dogs anywhere I like, on leash, unless there are laws posted that I can't. If your pit is around, and loose, while I walk my dogs - no matter what size mine are - your pit will be met with deadly force. RoastPuppy, indeed. Won't be mine.
tamarya February 23, 2013 at 11:55 PM
And if a groundhog or any other wild animal was attacking my dog I sure wouldn't be beating it with a stick, because unlike my dog I could be exposed to rabies from those animals. That would just be stupidity to attack any animal after your pet.
RoastPuppy February 24, 2013 at 02:57 AM
Until they attack and badly injure or kill someone, or someone's pet or livestock. Katherine Houpt, VMD, DACVB, PhD, director of the Animal Behavior Clinic at Cornell and author of "Domestic Animal Behavior,” says: "Different breeds have genetic predispositions to certain kinds of behavior. The pit bull is an innately aggressive breed, often owned by someone who wants an aggressive dog ... I have seen so many pit bulls taken by very nice, very dog-savvy people who did all the right things. They take them to socialization class, they take them to obedience school, they are fine for a few years and then they kill the neighbor’s dog.”
RoastPuppy February 24, 2013 at 03:13 AM
Pittie mom (what a ridiculous name!): YOU obviously don't do any research. Pit bulls are NOT nicknamed "nanny dogs" in England or anywhere else in the world. The whole "nanny dog" nonsense started with an article in a 1971 issue of the New York Times and was a direct quote by the president of a pit bull organization (no bias there, I'm sure!). Only a fool would believe any dog is a "nanny dog." Pete Sparks, the “dean of Florida pit bull breeders” measured a puppy’s value by its fighting spirit and jaw power. Sparks said, “If he [the pit bull] can’t punish the other dog, and he doesn’t have the biting power, then he’s not going to be what you call a top dog.” Florida Humane Society officials blamed Sparks, along with other pit bull breeders in Florida, for vicious attacks by pit bulls on humans and animals. Marc Paulhus, director of the Tallahassee office of the Humane Society, said “Mr. Sparks really is the problem, he and people like him." Paulhus said most pit bulls which have attacked people in Florida are descendants of dogs bred by Sparks. Sparks denied breeding human-aggressive pit bulls, but conceded, “There are screwballs and some of these dogs are emotionally unstable.” In the past, screwball, emotionally unstable dogs were culled, but now they are allowed to live and breed and produce more screwball, unstable pit bulls and no one ever knows if he/she has a screwball dog until the monster attacks and tries to kill someone!
RoastPuppy February 24, 2013 at 03:20 AM
To Vickie: You say, "I can walk my dogs anywhere I like, on leash, unless there are laws posted that I can't." To that, I say I can walk down the sidewalk in any street in New York City at midnight, but if I'm such an idiot that I choose to walk down a street in Harlem and I get mugged, or worse, it's my fault for not excercising good judgment. As long as there are pit bulls roaming the streets, people with barking rats need to keep their yap dogs at home! If you and other dog owners were really concerned about protecting your fleabags, you'd be contacting your elected officials and demanding these land-sharks be banned!
RoastPuppy February 24, 2013 at 03:26 AM
I am NOT a pit bull owner!!!!! If I had my way, every pit bull in the United States would be rounded up and shot. However, as long as dog-owners fail to take action and demand that pit bull-type dogs be banned, I have no sympathy for them whatsoever because they aren't doing anything to help themselves! Ask Jesberger if she's ever called or written to an elected official about the pit bull problem, or even commented on a website that these hairy demons should be banned. The answer is, of course not, because like most people, she does absolutely NOTHING and then when something happens, she whines and wants someone else to pay the bills!
Kim February 24, 2013 at 02:03 PM
I think RoastPuppy is rather harsh, but I also find it strange that this woman is asking for donations! It is a horrible thing to go through, but she needs to sue the owner of the dog...bottom line. A good understanding vet would work out a payment plan. It just seems a little odd to ask strangers on Patch to donate. Will she return donations if and when the owner winds up paying?
Kathleen Reidy February 24, 2013 at 02:58 PM
LIES, LIES, LIES, Pitbulls are not born killers. More people are injured by bites by goldens and labs than pit bulls. Pit bull bites make the news. My daughter, a lawyer, owns a pit bull! They are loyal sweet and well behaved with the right owner. You are all brain washed by the media.
Kathleen Reidy February 24, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Oh by the way our pit bull got outside when my daughter accidently left the back door open. She sat on the front steps for an hour waiting for my daughter to return. She did not terrorize the neighborhood. She was rescued by my daughter after a monster dumped her out of a car. You need to focus on the real monster and that is the two legged one on the other end of the leash. Mike Vick's fighting dogs were saved and trained to be therapy dogs and not one has ever bitten or attacked. Put the blame on the owner. In order to fight pit bulls are cut, beaten, starved and denied human affection and even still most won't fight or turn. Those ones have their mouths tapped shut and are used as bait. The most decorated dog of WWI was a pit bull.
Melissa S O'Neill February 24, 2013 at 06:09 PM
So my comment gets deleted but that scumbag can say he wound round up and shoot pitbulls??? R u kidding me????
Kathleen Reidy February 24, 2013 at 07:58 PM
kaD you are an idiot! The mastiff, shepard, dobie and rottie were all bred for aggression. Mastiffs were used in battle and to guard castles. You are misinformed and your misinformation leads to more dead innocent dogs. Look at pics from the 1800's and you will see plenty of pits with children. Helen Keller owned one as did several presidents. The dog from the little rascals was a pit bull. I suggest you watch the documentary Beyond the Myth and get some real education.
Kathleen Reidy February 24, 2013 at 08:00 PM
http://www.beyondthemythmovie.com/ For the ignorant morons out there, I suggest you watch this!
francine February 24, 2013 at 08:08 PM
no way..6 shots....pitts dont have body armor...my pitt runs away from a water gun and they want us to believe they shot at the dog with a shot gun 6 times and it still charged them????
Kathleen Reidy February 24, 2013 at 08:29 PM
http://www.pitbulltruth.org/campaigns/vicious-pit-bulls-failing-viciousness/ or for those, who can only grasp looking at pictures.
cynthia February 24, 2013 at 10:36 PM
Yes, the story had me until the 6 shotgun shots. That 's gotta be bull so it makes you wonder about the accuracy of the rest.
cynthia February 24, 2013 at 10:53 PM
I (and my dog) have been attacked and aggressively run after while walking in the borough I now walk with a whip and citronilla spray. 5 of the 9 were aggressive little dogs.
Rachel Galle February 25, 2013 at 01:17 AM
Funny how when a pit bull attacks someone the always have to say ''pit bull" but when its a different breed they just say dog attack. Not all pit bulls are dangerous. I've worked with dogs for years now and I've separated more lab fights than any other breed. I wish people would do their research and realize its the owners who are more dangerous when it comes to dog fights than the breeds. I'm just sick of all the ignorance when it comes to bully breeds. Do your homework and be a responsible owner and we wouldn't have these problems. It's the owners not the dogs.
Rachel Galle February 25, 2013 at 01:25 AM
It's obvious roadtpuppy never owned a pit bc if she/he did they wouldnt be so ignorant and against the breed. For example bears just to name an animal, attack people should we kill all of them too?
A A February 25, 2013 at 02:50 AM
Are you defending pit bulls, or hating on all dogs? Either way, my two pit bulls currently live with "a dog the size of a rat" an 8lb Jack Russell Terrier/Dachshund mix, who is a foster. Small dogs aren't at risk just because they pass a pit bull. There are plenty of other breeds that maul smaller dogs to death. The one thing they have in common is that they are running at large, which means their owners are idiots. Anyone who lets their dog live in the yard and doesn't neuter or spay should be heavily fined. That's the only way these morons will start to care if their dogs get out. If you want a lawn ornament, get a garden gnome, don't get a dog.
A A February 25, 2013 at 02:52 AM
Also, in this day and age when you can get pet insurance for $40 a month, anyone who doesn't have it is simply a moron. You can literally save yourself 80% of major vet expenses, and any time a dog needs any surgery anymore, outside of a routine neuter or spay, you're looking at at least $2k. As others have said, if you can't afford the medical bills, don't get a dog. If you can't afford to be smart enough to get your pet insurance, don't get a dog.
A A February 25, 2013 at 03:01 AM
I mentioned in one of my other comments, but it's important to reiterate that it's not how a dog is raised or bred, it's how they are managed that counts. I have two "pit bulls" one American Pit Bull Terrier that I raised from the age of 6 weeks after rescuing her from a sad South Philly fate, and one Boxer-Pit mix who I rescued at the age of 8 years... I had no control over his life before I rescued him, I had no control over his breeding, and I was still able to have him live with cats, bunnies, and my current foster dog- an 8lb Jack Russell/Dachshund Mix. She is tiny, and feisty, and annoying as all getout because she's still a puppy and my dogs play with her carefully and tolerate her puppy antics. The lesson here is that responsible owners own dogs that will not get out and cause trouble, and irresponsible owners own dogs that will get out and cause trouble. A Golden Retriever and a Lab were unsupervised in their yard- broke through the electric fence and killed two medium sized spaniels being walked on a leash. There's a cane corso/mastiff mix up the street that attacks any dog smaller than her. Both of my dogs are smaller than her. I carry pepper spray to protect my pit bulls from other dogs, because it's my job to take care of them and keep them safe. To the person who said they carry citronella spray- citronella is toxic to dogs, so if at the end of the day you want the dog gone but not poisoned, maybe something different.
A A February 25, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Tammie- there are organizations that help people with emergency vet funds. You can find the list here: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/trouble_affording_veterinary_care.html
A A February 25, 2013 at 03:08 AM
So KaD is obviously a troll, and the screen name probably stands for Kill all Dogs. Stop entertaining that person's idiocy. It's probably the same craven psycho that runs the dog bite blog/fake organization. Anyone who uses the term "nutter" is a person who spends entirely too much time on the internet trolling for articles where the pit bull topic will come up so they can rant and rave and regurgitate their links about all the negative pit bull 'history.' This person has no life, and more likely, no love in their life. Anyone who has a pit bull or any other breed of dog that they properly care for and manage responsibly does have love. You may want to relax on your slanderous agenda KaD, you will never win.
Dennis Baker February 25, 2013 at 05:07 PM
In a span of 39 days this year there has been 4 fatal dog attacks. In all 4 of these horrific deaths the Pit Bull type dog has been the killer. That averages out to be "1 life lost every 10 days by a pit bull" attack. 2 of these deaths where Seniors killed by their family dogs. The other 2 were young Children. These dogs are killing they are not guarding or protecting . They are killing little Children or members of the family.
Jon Felosi February 25, 2013 at 05:27 PM
How is Oreo? Was you able to raise any money? Personally I would have sent if I had but I am only a student working part time. I hope you did get some help though and I hope your little buddy pulled through
The Masked Avenger February 25, 2013 at 05:41 PM
Why doesn't PATCH help them set up a PayPal account for donations.... I would donate, but I can't get to 4th street during banking hours.
Catherine Adams February 26, 2013 at 02:32 AM
Simple facts- Any living creature with teeth bites. There is a leash law which is not enforced. My opinion- Breed specific laws are prejudice.
tamarya February 26, 2013 at 01:42 PM
actually some companies, allstate is one, will decline certain breeds. That is one question when my parents got their house and insurance specifically asked when we said there was a dog if it was the breeds you listed because they would not be able to insure the house if she was any of the breeds. When we bought our home they asked if we owned any of those dogs also.

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