Families Search for Owner of Dogs that Allegedly Attacked People, Pets

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LENOX TOWNSHIP -- Taking the dogs for a walk outside her Susquehanna County cabin is normally a highlight of Barb Cooper's day, but Friday something unthinkable happened along Acre Lake.

Two dogs believed to be pit bulls began attacking the Cooper's dog Maggie, while the shitzu, Timmy escaped up the stairs.

"I was coming back in the door, back in the door, because my dog was barking at them, and they were rushing in, so as I came they rushed at me, and plowed right past me," said Cooper. "They were growling, my dog was yelping and whining, I was screaming."

Barb and her husband Ron did everything they could to fight off the dogs.

"Grabbed a poker from the fire place and started beating on it and pulling on it, it finally let go, and I dragged it out the door," said Cooper.

All three were hurt in the attack. Maggie has wounds on her leg and rear, and the Coopers have bites on their hands and arms.

A short time later, Friday, on the other side of Acre Lake, Katie Braniard was walking to her car when she saw something chilling. As two pit bulls covered in blood raced towards her home, she scrambled to protect her own dog Yogi, but couldn't reach him in time.

"I have never seen such savagery in my life ever," said Braniard. "He was trapped, one had him by the neck and the other one was just tearing at his flesh."

A neighbor with a pipe beat off one of the dogs who wandered to the bank of the lake, as the other ran away.

Katie called the police.

Meanwhile across the lake, Ron was on the phone with Barb who was already at the vet's office.

"I was on the phone with him, moments later, we heard two gun shots. He said they just put one of those dogs down," said Cooper.

The Coopers are hoping the owner of the dogs will step forward, so they can learn whether they need rabies shots.

"If we don't find out soon we are going to have to get them anyway, and it is a 14 day process," explained Cooper.

The dogs are white or cream colored with some dark spots, one was shot and killed by the police, the other is believed to still be at large.

The vet that treated the pets believed the same pit bulls may have attacked at another home.

If you have any information you are asked to call the Pennsylvania State Police at Gibson.


  • Skeptic

    Not sure where the “data” that golden retrievers have the highest recorded bite rate came from. According to the CDC, pit bulls are #1, rottweilers are #2, and german shepherds are #3 for serious dog bites. That being said, I have a rottweiler mix who is the most tame and gentile dog I’ve ever known. Raising the dog is everything. But the idea that pit bulls aren’t the most dangerous dog in our society is hogwash. They absolutely are. It’s the reason that should be up for debate.

    • TheAdvocatesAdvocate

      1-800-PetMeds has a great fact page. Pit bulls are not the most dangerous dogs, THAT’S hogwash. Here is an example: There are 780.000 German Shepherds in the U.S. There are 5,256,000 “pit bulls”. There are far more pit bulls in the U.S. than another other breed, and by more than 5 times. That, in theory, would cause more dogs bites by that “breed” specifically because there is so much more of that breed. 1-800-petmeds had a wonderful, informative page that is entirely unbiased and factual. Take a look for yourself. http://www.1800petmeds.com/education/pit-bull-facts-and-myths.htm

  • Sundown

    NO dogs of any breed should be just running around stupid stupid owners! I once had an Akita, loved her to death, but she was aggressive, some dogs just are, I just won’t own a dog I have to worry about anymore…like guns, aggressive dogs in the wrong hands is a recipe for disaster..

  • Ryan

    To Joe,
    It’s in a Pits nature to fight. No training is generally required. Morons just use it to their advantage. Others just defend them. All dogs are potentially dangerous. Pit Bulls are potentially deadly. They’re often used as a status symbol and serve no real purpose other than arguments like the ones here.

  • Cecile Alexander

    The dog in France that caused the first face transplant in the world years back, was a golden retriever. It ate away half of her guardian’s face.
    I agree that the media prints attacks only if they are caused by Pit Bulls, and not other breed or type. But which one is a Pit Bull? I have an old Chihuahua who has my other dogs terrorized if they do not obeying me on command, however she puts order and discipline in the dog pack. I have also a cooker Spaniel, a Pit Bull (American Staffordshire Terrier, a wild wolf (all of them are rescued from the streets in very bad conditions) and my latest, the fifth dog, is a young Belgian Shepherd Mallinois, (a military dog that many people confuse with a Sherman Shepherd) a high drive, fearless, dominant breed, that obeys its owner like no other. Not a match for my old Chihuahua, and they play rough housing without getting tired all day long with the greatest of gentleness. The five are couch potatoes around my computer and I, in spite that they have a big yard with 8 feet walled brick and cement fence. The only fence that cannot be overcome by a dog.
    I went to a website http://www.pitbullsontheweb.com/petbull/findpit.html with pictures to identify the one and only one pit bull among 25 color pictures of dogs. Well, I guessed wrong, and I thought I knew about dog breeds or types. I challenge you to go there and guess which one is the Pit Bull. The media drive us by the nose and we have a herd mentality. Use critical thinking before you accept demonizing a bread that has proven, in the greatest majority of cases, to be a loyal animal. As with human beings, there are the ones that are mentally ill, specially if we consider the unnatural food we feed them.

  • Laurel

    To the Coopers – I was in the er at the same time as you, on the other side of the curtain. I do hope Maggie heals quickly and feel so bad that this happened to you. One should never feel threatened in their home, as Renee said, esp by strange dogs. My thoughts have been with you since Friday.

  • TheAdvocatesAdvocate

    I’ll try not to be scathing, but may find it difficult.

    1. This story is very upsetting. No one should ever have to worry about their furry family members, especially on their own property.

    2. The antagonist in this story is a HUMAN. The victims in this story are the good people, their pets, and (let’s make it into a curse word, why don’t we?) THE PIT BULLS. WE need to be the protagonists.

    3. Without awareness and an OPEN-MIND, (Is it really so much to ask? I’m not asking for your SS#, I’m asking for thought.) NOTHING will change.

    4. Pit bulls were not bred to kill. They aren’t monsters. Stop sensationalizing a dog-“type” (that’s right, “pit bulls” aren’t even a breed, its best described as a “type” of dog) that you barely ever heard of 15 years ago.

    These dogs, yes dogs, not pit bulls, were clearly mistreated. This isn’t common behavior for any dog. Rabies would make sense, but so would some dirt-bag dropping off two abused and starved dog-fighting rejects off of an interstate. Either way, some sort of HUMAN NEGLECT is the core of this problem.

    I adopted a pit-bull from Georgia (one of the top dog-fighting states in the nation) who came into my home and peacefully and adorably acclimated with my mini-schnauzer, my two cats, and children. Though I would trust this dog with MY LIFE, I live in a fear-based community of people who demonize my breed. If, by some chance or mistake, my dog gets loose, I can rely on absolutely no help in obtaining her, I can rely on the judgment of others, (I must be a creep for having a pit bull, right? Who else would want a monster? Irresponsible!), AND I need to fear someone taking the life of my dog, simply because she has gotten loose and she’s resembles in some way a dog that THE NEWS says is evil.

    So let me narrow this down for you. HUMANS neglect and abuse and fight these dogs that other HUMANS then don’t logically protect. These HUMANS aren’t coming together to do anything about dog-fighting or animal abuse, but are rather sensationalizing a dog and remaining, almost proudly, IGNORANT. Then, these ignorant HUMANS put a type of dog on the news to scare other HUMANS (Ratings, much?) into not only alienating an animal but also the RESPONSIBLE, CARING owners of these animals. Then these HUMANS come on to Talk Back 16, post fake facts about “breeds” of dogs that they heard from some other dramatized thread, and perpetuate the fear-mongering of an animal. AN ANIMAL! Do any of you HUMANS realize that HUMANS have the authority over canines? WE ARE RESPONSIBLE. NOT THE DOGS.

    WE NEED TO START WORKING PROGRESSIVELY TOWARD THE ROOT OF THE “PIT BULL” PROBLEM, AND THE ROOT IS HUMAN AND THE HUMAN IS YOU! So step up! Research and understand the signs of dog-fighting and animal abuse. Stop blaming dogs, start HELPING dogs, and in turn YOUR community will benefit!

  • Tim

    If possible, the best way to break up a dog fight is to grab the attacking dog by the back of the legs and pull it away from the other dog. When you grab the back legs it throws the dog totally off balance. It works much quicker, easier, and safer than trying to physically separate the dogs with your hands or an object.

  • Amy Kyttle

    Since one of them was killed..are they going to test it for rabies? We live close to Acre Lake and our dog just had an encounter with a raccoon that did turn out to have rabies.

    • Andree Hostler

      Rabies is extremely prevelent out in central PA in racoons. Pockets often or twenty cases of rabies positive animals throughout the state, mostly racoons and so far this year, four domestic dogs. If your dog has had a rabies vaccination i wouldnt worry much, more more to be worried about damage done to you if the dog comes in contact. To me soumds more like a rabid dog running lose that someone dumped out and became infected. The CDC website you can pull up a map of your area and see the reported rabies positive clusters for your area. Bottom line is common sense and law, no logs allowed off private property off leash.

  • Ryan

    If it were a golden retriever it would have made front pages. Specific needs have specific purposes. It’s why there are different breeds in the first place. Pit bulls were bred to kill. Golden retrievers to retrieve. It’s in a pits nature tobbehave as it does. Don’t blame the breed, blame the people who continue to breed these dogs.

  • against BSL

    I totally agree with Mike Jones, and (look it up) you have never been more wrong. don’t blame the breed, blame the people that have dogs and don’t raise them correctly. I have raised the Bully breed for over 20 years and I have never once had an incident.

    • against BSL

      There is so much ignorance in this world, Pitbulls were not bred to Kill get your facts right before you put this breed down. If that were the case then Pete should have killed all of the Little Rascals.

      • Mich

        I agree with bsl and others..Even a simple minded person can google and read the history of this dog…my blue nose pit is the biggest baby and gets so excited to play and visit people…they love humans..they think they are human..that they are you pack..they wil chose a human over another dog for companionship….Ignorance….it is pure ignorance if you can.t figure out..The humans are to blame…

  • Mom of 2

    I do agree that the breed of dog has nothing to do with it because it is the way the dogs are raised that causes the problem not the breed….HOWEVER…they did have to mention that to warn people about the dog still running around free!! :)

    • Look it up

      Perhaps look up the statistics on dog bites? Pit bulls are the leading breed of serious attacks. Or I guess its better to bury our head in the sand? Lets not blame the dogs that are responsible for the most attacks because you’ve never heard of pit bulls that were well trained ever hurting anyone…right?? Or wait was that last month that the toddler and babysitter got mauled?

      • Kevin

        Maybe YOU need to look up statistics, instead of talking out of your butt. German Shepherds are actually the top biters.

      • Look it up

        Recorded bites, or serious bites?, all the sources I’ve seen has pit bull as the top breed for serious bites. Post some sources for serious bites that cause death that have german shepherds or retrievers as the most frequent. I could post a dozen articles but i’m not wasting my time.

  • joanne

    This story is about a childhood friend of mine, her husband and their dog. I sure hope they find the other pit bull and put it down. Poor Maggie dog is in a lot of pain from what I have been told…. I also hope they find the owner and he gets charged… the owner can also pay for the 2 vet bills and hospital bills. I am very proud of you Barbara for fighting the dogs off with the fire pick !!

  • gafan

    Good Lord. I’ve never read a more confusing article in my life. For heaven’s sake, what’s with all the PRONOUNS?

    • Kerry Foose

      The whole article is difficult to follow in the way it was written actually! Are we talking Acre Lake? It never really said and I would sure like to know as a resident of the area…

  • mike jones

    Of course they are Pitt Bulls. And there is an AR15 behind every shooting. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they were a mixed breed dog with horrible owners who probably aren’t worth the air they breath. If the dog was confirmed a golden retriever the breed of the dog wouldn’t be mentioned in the media. .

    • Ryan

      When is the last time a golden retriever ran into someones home to kill anything. They are bred to retrieve. Pit bulls are bred to kill. Just is in their nature.

      • joe

        all you people talking about statistics, the number 1 breed that has the most recorded bites on record to humans is the golden retriever. 2nd is german shepherds. pitt bulls are not the dogs to fear, fear the morons who train them to fight. it is not in their nature. so i guess all you ignorant people making comments about the breed, it is in your nature to be an ignorant human. dont run your mouth on subjects you have no clue about.

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