Pit Bull Attack on Cockapoo Was Vicious, Owners Say

Tammie Jesberger and Bill Tittel of Salisbury Township fought off a vicious pit bull that wanted to kill their pet dog, Oreo.

After a harrowing Tammie Jesberger said, she suddenly remembered an "Animal Planet" episode about wrangling alligators.

Bruised and exhausted, 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 half a second to run to the front door to shove inside her small, bloodied dog, Oreo. The pit bull attacked the door.

That was Monday. Two days later, all is quiet on Pearl Avenue.

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.

Today, the only sign of the mayhem that occurred on this quiet cul-de-sac in suburban Salisbury Township are the faint, bloodied claw marks that refused to disappear on the front door and a large bloodstain that was overlooked on the step.

Charges are pending against the pit bull's owner as Salisbury police continue to investigate the attack. Jesberger, her father, and Oreo are recovering from the ordeal.

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 Monday. 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 backyard 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.

Oreo has been staying closer than usual to his owners' sides these last two days. His throat is bandaged and he's on a lot of pain medication after having undergone four hours of surgery Monday to repair puncture wounds, a torn throat and broken jaw.

Jesberger says she's barely slept. She ended up going to St. Luke's University Hospital emergency room at 4 a.m. because her leg and arm hurt so much. She got a tetanus shot and antibiotics. And she doesn't even want to think about how she's going to pay the $2,400 veterinarian bill.

She looked down and stroked Oreo, who was laying at her feet, and said she's  just glad the nightmare is over. Oreo survived.

Kaos8 February 09, 2013 at 03:26 AM
www.AnimalLaw.Info is a website strictly on statutes/law -not opinion...If you have any questions about actual animal laws, in any state, it will be on this website...It is a very useful tool....Below is another website pertaining to animal law and legalities of pet owner liabilities. ***** Dog Owner Liability and Laws ******* http://personal-injury.lawyers.com/dog-bites/Liability-of-Dog-Owners.html ****** http://personal-injury.lawyers.com/dog-bites/When-Your-Pet-Attacks-Are-You-Liable.html ***** Both these webpages can give you information or anyone one else interested in knowing their responsibilities and the law when it comes to pet...If need be, you can also find Legal Representation/Attorney's on this site...Each city,state, Twp, Boro has their own regulations on "Dangerous Breeds" (not just pit bulls) and "One Bite" laws- some stricter than others..It may help you to look into the statutes in your area to know what owners of the attacking pit bull have violated.
mike schlicher February 09, 2013 at 03:51 AM
Ronnie mabe I misunderstood you I too was in scouting and have applied alot of these principals to my life and I understand about being prepared .But what it sounded like to me was having to take my dogs for a walk through my neighborhood with a gun strapped to my side.Mabe we have to be more aware of our neighborhood and make a phone call to the police if we see a agressive dog or 1 acting like one.Is this dog from the area are the owners residents here?And what I'm trying to say is lets try and take whats left here of our neighborhoods and be more aware and yes be prepared.I'm not saying call on every pitbull and there owners but nasty dogs in general so this is never repeated again. It sounds like Oreo is very protective of you and that is why wehave our pets to love them and be loved and this is what happened if it was not for him it could of been worse be thankfull.I know I am every day no matter what there is a bond that we form with our pets .give your pet a rub on his chinand a scratch on his back because he's your "Hero"
mike schlicher February 09, 2013 at 04:25 AM
After reading a few more comments and hearing" what kind of place is this".Well jon and Ronnie since you asked this is a place that we made for ourselves so we dont need to walk around and worry about having the shootout at the salisbury corrall .What are you thinking freakin liberals I support the right to bear arms and by the way this shoulnt be in this conversation but if you dont like the way we live our comfortable lives keep your assinine opinions to yourself this isnt your political arena. I hate when people ask what kind of people we are .Are you any better?I have a gun in my home and I dont believe that I need to walk around and look for something to shoot .Unless you walk into my home and then and only then will I show you what kind of place this is I am not a liberal and most people who disagree w/you are not either why is it that evaery body is a liberal when we dont want to do as you wish.We here in the township of salisbury happen to like it this way.
Ronnie DelBacco February 10, 2013 at 12:22 AM
Mike, Calling Animal Control or the Plice is a great idea if one sees an aggressive dog in their neighborhood. It should be done, and the person seeing it should go a different way immediately. I don't even walk my Beagle anywhere but on the canal path. She's VERY friendly, but just as protective and she frightens people without meaning too. So to avoid any possible problems I just let her run around the fenced in yard. I have been fortunate that when I did walk her every other dog was also on a leash. She's only 21 pounds, but she gets very aggressive (protective) of us. On the issue of guns: My decision to carry a gun is not just for dog walking. I carry everywhere I'm legally permitted to do so. Here in Easton you may know our mayor's favorite campaign slogan is "Cleaner and Safer". Joking aside, it is anything but. I haven't always felt this way, but over the past several years It has gotten worse. General preparedness is a daily theme I live by and try to teach my girls. I am responsible for their protection until they are grown and gone. We don't have police protection. That job is mine as a husband and father.
Ronnie DelBacco February 10, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Mike, I didn't ask...that was Jon. Easton is a much different place than Salisbury.
Jon Felosi February 10, 2013 at 12:48 PM
assinine opinions? You obviously did not even read my posts. Only once I asked what type of area is this on the comments above about people saying no one should pack guns. You are too quick to find a confrontation. All my comments was on the pit bull issue besides one in where I said, and I quote "Get real people, there is nothing wrong with having a gun to protect yourself. What kind of area is this?" IN reply to the anti gun comments above.
Athena February 10, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Pit bulls are just like any other breed of dog. There is no "special wiring" in this dog and there is no such thing as a "lock jaw." I think people fear them because they are a powerful dog, just like a lot of bigger dogs. The problem STARTS with the PEOPLE. And sometimes it is the problem of poor back yard breeding (should be illegal) and inbreeding. People inbreed their dogs to bring out certain characteristics in that breed. Every single show dog you see on tv has been inbred! Research it! They have been bred to be show dogs by breeding mother and child or siblings or grandparent to grandchild dogs to bring out specific characteristics they are looking for. Problem is after so many generations of inbreeding, you start to have problems. Fertility, litter mortality and over enhancing other characteristics. But who really knows which ones. What I can say is I own 2 pit bulls and one is as sweet as can be (had her at 5 wks old).Got bit by 4 smaller dogs (one was a yorkie and the other 3 all looked like mutts) and she just flinched and hid behind me. She is 80 pounds and over a year old. I raised her to play with other dogs and to love humans. If someone attacked me I would be screwed. My boy was a rescue and I got him at 5 months old. He had fear aggression. After a lot of training and hard work, he is no longer that way. It is how you train them! My chihuahua I had to rehome because he attacked everyone including my late pit bull that never bit back. why do you think that is!
Athena February 10, 2013 at 02:36 PM
How do you know that they only make up 4% of the dog population? How can anyone know? Not everyone registers their dogs so there is no accurate statement. And pit bull is really a mix of breeds that came to be known as a pit bull. And now, the majority of the dogs in the shelters are listed as pit bull mixes, so did your 4% just go up? I do agree that the owners should be responsible for their dogs actions 100%. I own 2 pit bulls that play with the neighborhood children and all sizes and breeds of dogs in the fields. My dogs get bit a lot by little dogs. Yet they NEVER bite back. I ask the owner to get their little dog under control because it is the aggressive one. Now, if my dog was to retaliate and bite back, it would injure the smaller dog no doubt. So are we saying that my dogs should be punished and not allowed to play with all the other dogs because that little one wants to start trouble? As a smart pit bull owner, I will NOT take my dogs to the dog park because I do fear another dog will start with my dog and my dog has the power to hurt the smaller ones. Then my dog gets labeled as aggressive while the little yappy dog is the victim. Pathetic yet so true. So I stick to my neighborhood where they all know my dogs and no one fears them because they took time to not judge and saw they are better dogs than their own.
Athena February 10, 2013 at 02:56 PM
Thank you for acknowledging this :)
Athena February 10, 2013 at 03:05 PM
It bothers me how no other breed of dog is listed on this site as well. It bothers me that irresponsible people train their dogs to be this way to cause injury. It bothers me that the breed gets labeled. I find that smaller dogs are pretty aggressive but I guess because they only give you 7 stitches it is okay. It's okay that my brother's nose has a huge scar on it from getting bit in the face by a hairless chihuahua. no worries there!
Athena February 10, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Funny. I am a high school counselor always putting others before me. Always helping the community that I both work for and live in. I own a house, I own a car, I have excellent credit, I don't do drugs, I don't drink but maybe at a social gathering once a month, and I own 2 loving pit bulls. I am slightly confused by your comment. I'm both sorry that you feel this way and feel sorry for you that you feel this way about all the people that own pit bulls. Even with your biased thinking and dicrimination against someone like myself, I would still go out of my way to provide assistance for you if you needed it. And expect nothing in return. And then you could turn around and call me a selfish and dificient personality and gang banger (funny) and I would still help you the next time. So maybe that just makes me stupid, but not really the other things you labeled me as a proud pit bull owner :)
Athena February 10, 2013 at 03:22 PM
I agree Tammie. The owner is the one fully responsible because the owner is the one that took on the ownership of these dogs and is responsible for them. I believe that the owner should be responsible for all losses that you have suffered, both monetary and emotional losses. I think your comment was very honest. There is no reason those dogs should have been loose and without supervision.I am glad your Oreo is doing better as well as your father. I am also saddened that 2 dogs may have to pay the ultimate price because they didn't have responsible owners. And if the dogs are trained yet still have an aggressive personality, then more reason that the owners should NEVER allow those dogs to be unattended and loose. I hope you get compensated. I really really do because that vet bill should not be another stressor, nor the fear of walking your dog. And hopefully the owner won't be getting another dog anytime soon.... if at all.
Kaos8 February 10, 2013 at 03:32 PM
Well, I worked in Animal Law and with AKC Animal Law- 1st of all Pit Bull is not a specific Breed..The definition is any dog used in Pit Fighting...In most cases they are breed mixed and deriving of a Mastiff breeds- Staffordshire Bull Terrier Breed, Cane Corso, Presa Cario (a/k/a Cane Presario) and the Dogo Argentino- for the most part these dogs are very nurturing and family oriented dogs- that are big family protectors...Mixes of these breeds and sometimes purebreds have been now all called "Pit Bulls"- due to the pit fighting- it is a term people have come to know and any dog looking like this is now known as a Pit Bull. Many of these like the Cane Corso, Cane Presario, and the Dogo Argintino are very docile dogs- great around friends and family and other pets- like cats- which would be small prey to many other breeds. This whole issue on Pit Bulls is due to bad owners using them for fighting or training them to do this, and uneducated people.. It is just a term that all dogs looking like this get...Really sad they get a bad rap for something humans have trained them to do...And many of the ones that are very aggressive- are bred that way- by over breeding certain dogs w/ certain characteristics....There are many books and links out there- if anyone cares to research this - it is not just opion- it is genetics/over breeding and human misconception/ignorance.
Athena February 10, 2013 at 03:46 PM
That is very true Kaos. I mentioned a little bit about that in my post at the bottom of the page eaerlier this morning and asked people to research inbreeding. I also mentioned to sheriffchris that a pit bull is not really a breed but a mix of breeds so he should probably change his statistics and get real facts. As well as educate himself a little more. But he probably won't and that is a shame. I am not blind to the damage that pit bulls are capable of, but I am also not blind to the damage a lot of dogs and humans can do. Unfortunately, guys like him have tunnel vision.
Kaos8 February 10, 2013 at 03:50 PM
Athena while I agree with your comments about pitbulls- I do not agree with the Show Dog comments...I worked AKC Dog law- these people have nothing better to do then to spend money on these animals- and there is a ton of money spent on genetic/DNA testing to verify lineage of the animal- it is safe to assume that somewhere in their history they may have a link- but it is pretty far back the lineage. The facts are- that yes, these show dogs have the spot light, more and more people want the breed- so there is a ton of breeding to produce the demand of the public- that want the dog as a pet..This is where the sever overbreeding is happening...You can get AKC paperwork for a Pet Quality dog- but there is a reason it is being sold as a pet and not going into the show ring- it is not Show Quality.. This is where you breeders come in and have 1 or 2 registered show winners and then overbreed or the Puppy mills have 2 AKC Registered animals- and start a breeding business. But the AKC Show world is very cut throat and Breeding that close in the lineage would end a breeders career. While I am not personally a fan of people breeding dogs and then selling them for a ton of money, because of a peice of paper and who their parents may have been- these are not even show quality dogs- but people want AKC paperwork for a pet quality dog- no reason for it- there are a ton of animals out there that need homes, that is why I do rescue.
Kaos8 February 10, 2013 at 04:03 PM
Athena- This misconception of PitBull being a breed is enforced through media and insurance companies...Too funny - if you are not allowed to have a PitBull for Home Owners Insurance purposes- you can put down the true breed of your dog, if you know it- for instance, Staffordshire Bull Terrier- and these companies do not put 2 and 2 together...It is lack of education, and then you do have these Breeders- calling their dogs "Blue PitBulls" or whatever their name of their champion sire or "bitch" is- I have seen a ton...It is these people creating a Breed Name, because they have been breeding their mixed "Pit Bull" to create their own market. It is just like these Designer Mutts that go for crazy amounts of money..They are a mixed breed- that is now in high demand...I have a Huskita- a husky/akita hybrid, but in 20yrs- this will be considered a new breed bcs it is now called a Huskita.. Or Labradoodle's, there are a ton more.. Genetically speaking because there is a mix in the gene pool- these mixed breed mutts are usually less agressive- due to the breeding pool being so much bigger...But breeding a champion fighter PitBull to another Champion Fighter PitBull- you are seriously decreasing the gene pool- because you are not mixxing a breed, but mixxing 2 titled dogs- over and over again..
Kaos8 February 10, 2013 at 04:13 PM
You can see these dogs for sale all over the place - I won't mention the names, because- it is like a show dog name and I don't want to defame anyone..In anycase so you have "Joe's" Blue Bully dogs for sale- and champion "Jill's" Red Nose Pit Bull mix- these are not separete breeds obviously- but people who are into "PitBull's" for other reasons- will think that is a great mix- and then the shorter lineage of these 2 dogs will be bred over and over....This is another big cause of Agression in these dogs..creating a very small gene pool...The breeders of these dogs are helping to create the bad rap for these dogs... Because of the way they are advertising it and selling their dogs to make money.. I don't think people realize as to how these dogs got the "Champion" title- since this is not a AKC or any Recognized Breed-when they want to purchase one..Or if they do- they are buying it for purposes that may be abusive or illegal- at least in most cases..
Astar February 11, 2013 at 03:37 PM
Ignorance..... honestly. Look at any dog bite stats and pit bulls are far from the top. Pit bull is a generic term and refers to a few different "breeds". These dogs are excellent in therapy programs and have served in the US army for years and years. The lives that they have saved and bettered outweighs the fact that they are unrightfully being used in other ways. I have grown up with and around "pitbulls". The only dogs I have been bit by were a Shitzu and severely bit by a lab....a LAB!!!! Before running your mouth and unjustly shaming these poor dogs, do your research. Watch "Beyond the Myth" on Netflix. Guarantee you won't think the same. And if you don't do the research and watch that documentary....you are a complete ignorant you-know-what. The attack on pitbulls is no different than any other kind of racism, sexism, or what not. Just because they are dogs does not make them any lesser than any other creature, including humans. Open your eyes people.
Kara Bays February 11, 2013 at 06:47 PM
you talk as if a dog fighters can just go out and buy a "pit bull" and turn it into a fighter. Every hear of a bait dog. This is the poor dog that doesn't listen to it's "trainer" and doesn't respond to the aggresive behaivor that is being forced on it. This is the dog that becomes the training tool. Dog fighters kill their own dogs because they don't fight back. All dogs have the ability to be fighting dogs. Just like guns, if you take them away from the good people only the criminals will have them...you take "pit bull" breeds away from the good people only criminals will have. And if by some miracle the dogs and guns are wiped off the face of the planet, the criminals will just start fighting another breed and using other methods to kill people.
PatReed February 14, 2013 at 04:21 AM
The US Supreme Court in Nicchia vs People of the State of New York, 254 US 228 (1920) gave police the power to regulate and control dangerous dogs with drastic measures as long as it does not infringe on dog owners' right to liberty with due process.
Heidi Gally February 15, 2013 at 06:39 AM
All of you are too ignorant to be commenting on this situation. Some pit bulls are bred to fight and be a danger to other dogs but it is the owner that is at fault and should be punished. Any dog could have done this but because of uneducated people, like all of you, pit bulls are being made to look like the majority of them are vicious creatures that cannot be trusted. A golden retriever or a labradoodle could have been the one to do this but because the media and idiots are too intent on bashing pit bulls you don't hear of these stories. I have been a veterinary technician for 10 years and have come across more cocker spaniels, Labradors, golden retrievers, and chihuahuas that are viscous to both people and animals than I have pit bulls. I, myself, own a pit bull who is the most amazingly sweet and gentle dog ever. They are my favorite breed. It is not the breed itself that gives them their bad name but bad owners who do not train properly and idiots like you all. How come we don't hear more stories about all these pit bulls saving lives like the one the other day who saved 2 little girls and 5 other dogs from being burnt to death or the pit bull Oreo, who saved his owner from being raped and murdered. Stop being so stupid. Just because the media tells you they are a dangerous breed doesn't mean the majority of them are. Get out there and meet some pit bulls and make an educated decision for yourself.
Gypsy February 25, 2013 at 06:07 AM
Awesome comment!
Gypsy February 25, 2013 at 06:26 AM
Jon, great comment! However, if the dog was shot by Mr. Tittel or Jesberger hell would have broke loose. There would be protesters throwing daggers at their home for weeks. Needless to say, Jesberger was fighting to release the dog and the pit bull knocked Tittle to the ground. Let me ask, how in the heck did they have time to call the police during this vicious attack? To say the least, a neighbor called the police to report Jesberger for shooting two good dogs. Instead of calling for help, she wanted to press charges against Jesberger for shooting the dogs. LOL what a joke! What an earfull she got when the officer she spoken with was the one who had to shoot this dog. I would expect that now, Jesberger and Tittel will be armed with with mace and a stun gun to protect their dog. Nobody, and I mean Nobody can come to any other conclusion as to what they should have done in this situation unless they have been there and done that.
Gypsy February 25, 2013 at 06:40 AM
Ronnie, Waking up and making a difference with a so called sidearm sounds so masculine and special. Tittel is a Vet and served in Army Recon. Jesberger I am sure carries for her father would insist. What the heck is a so called side arm going to do when when your walking your dog in what is supposed to be a safe park and environment. Gee brings back memories of when the indians were told that they were safe and protected. They were armed but not ready to be slaughtered. Maybe Tittel and Jesberger were armed! Maybe they felt they were fighting a loosing battle when they both fought so hard against a vicious 75 pound pit bull of muscle. You have no right to say would of should of or could of. This was their experience and I am sure this will never leave their memory.
Jon Felosi February 25, 2013 at 06:41 AM
We got another Vet tech! ha ha ha http://maultalk.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/im-a-vet-tech/
Jon Felosi February 25, 2013 at 06:44 AM
" Any person who claims to be a “vet tech” when talking about the pit bull issue should quickly be dismissed as a fraud." ALWAYS a pit bull owner claiming to be a vet tech or pro dog trainer in every single mauling thread I have ever seen and it is ALWAYS in reference to how they are a vet tech seeing many other dogs that bite more and ALWAYS bring up chihuahuas and ALWAYS say pit bulls are the most well behaved. lol cant you nuts come up with any new material? Really, you are embarrassing yourself.
Gypsy February 25, 2013 at 06:49 AM
Absolutely Right! Love your opinion. Unfortunately, the loosers don't get what they deserve. Firearms I believe are essential in this day and age but they are not always appropriate in certain situations. We should have protection but not be so gun hoo about it if you know what I mean. I consider my guns sacred objects to be used only in total desperate situations. I don't pack one on my side waiting for any moment that is threatening to shoot.
mark wood February 25, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Sheeple come in the Vet Tech types too. I AM A VET TECH< I KNOW ALL!!!!!!!!!! knucklehead liberal slackers, go away...
karen goga April 10, 2013 at 02:53 PM
Am sick off people saying its the owner fault come on all the attacks ive read say the pitbull attacked there owners for no reason or there children or theyve attack some poor buggers dog and left them with thousand off pounds vet bill is that right no its not have you seen wat a pit can do but yet people buy them and let them be around there small children am sure the owner off the pitbull would have said its nices and loves the kids then it goes an attacks my kids come first and if a pit had my kid i would shoot it too save my child without a doubt i love dog i have a collie but if its a dangrous dog why buy one wen you have small kids or you aint got a clue how too train one ive seen little kids walking down the street with a pitbull come on these dogs are big and strong not lapdogs
karen goga April 10, 2013 at 02:58 PM
Also these stupid breeders that think its cool too mix breeds like greyhound x pitbulls thats a dangrous mix youve got strengh and speed tother you breeding a killer and dont care too me thats the worst thing you can do i love dogs but just dont want enother kid killed or attack or somebodys dog


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