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.