Sheriff: Ga. couple likely killed in dog attack

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ATLANTA - A former college professor and his wife were apparently attacked and killed by nearly a dozen dogs along a rural northeast Georgia road where their bodies were found mutilated, authorities said Monday.

Preliminary autopsy results from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation showed Sherry Schweder, 65, likely died of injuries from a dog attack, Oglethorpe County Sheriff Mike Smith said. Autopsy results for her husband, Lothar Karl Schweder, 77, were not yet available, but Smith said it's likely he was also attacked by dogs because the scene was so grisly.

Smith said officials were going to round up at least 11 dogs seen in the area where the couple's bodies were found Saturday morning by five passers-by.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the mixed-breed dogs were feral or someone's pets. There had been no recent complaints about vicious dogs in the area, Smith said.

Stephanie Shain, a spokeswoman for the Humane Society of the United States, said it was "uncommon" for people to be bitten to death by dogs, citing federal figures that the average number of fatal dog bites each year is 16.

The bodies were found along a dirt road near the couple's home in Lexington and had been there for at least 24 hours before they were found, said Madison County Coroner James Mathews.

A family friend told the Athens Banner-Herald that Lothar Karl Schweder was a retired professor who had taught German at the University of Georgia, which is about 20 miles away in Athens. German Department head Martin Kagel said it might be possible he worked there part time or more than 20 years ago.

Sherry Schweder was a bibliographer at the university's library, where she had worked since 1974, selecting books and journals for the school's humanities collection, said librarian William Potter.

"She was one of my favorite colleagues here," said Nan McMurry, Sherry Schweder's supervisor who had worked with her for about 20 years. "She was really a kind of quiet and self-effacing person, but she was one of the most intelligent and most well-educated people here."

McMurry said Sherry Schweder had many dogs and cats, though authorities don't think her own animals attacked her.

York Schweder, one of the couple's two sons, had left for Georgia after hearing about his parents' death, said his mother-in-law, Toni Mora, who answered the phone at his home in Hutchinson, Kan. York Schweder did not immediately return a message left Monday on his cell phone.

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1trugent
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1trugent 08/18/09 - 08:23 am
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Quite strange. More than

Quite strange. More than likely, the smell of their own dogs and cats led to the vicious attack. Hope these animals are rounded up soon.

justus4
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justus4 08/18/09 - 08:51 am
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After reading this story:
Unpublished

After reading this story: Where are the idiot dog lovers? Where are the Vick haters who love all animals? Where are these dog's owners? And mostly, where are the charges?

deekster
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deekster 08/18/09 - 10:33 am
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Human life has no value

Human life has no value according to the Supreme Court. But OTHER ANIMALS are precious and may become extinct. Oh, I forgot that we now can clone animals. No more extinct animals. And in fact we can bring back the ones already extinct. Man has become his own "god" and fulfilled Satan's declaration in the Garden of Eden.

jewel
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jewel 08/18/09 - 11:25 am
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Now who makes the time for

Now who makes the time for human life because of dogs?
The owners should go to jail, lose all possessions and make national headlines.

emergencyfan
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emergencyfan 08/18/09 - 12:51 pm
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Deekster, Ecclesiastes

Deekster, Ecclesiastes 3:18-20 -
As for men, God tests them so that they may see that they are like the animals. Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal…All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return…

Evans Ga.
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Evans Ga. 08/18/09 - 03:50 pm
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This is horrible. I can't

This is horrible. I can't imagine what was going through the heads of these two as they were being attacked. The owner's should be given the death penalty, same as if they did it themselves.

ONLY THE TRUTH
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ONLY THE TRUTH 08/18/09 - 07:02 pm
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If they find out that any of

If they find out that any of the dogs' teeth were broken in the attack they should strip the victims estate to pay for the restorative surgery. signed a PETA fruitcake

xpresso1
68
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xpresso1 08/18/09 - 09:05 pm
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This is a horrific tragedy. I

This is a horrific tragedy. I am praying for the families.

fordv8
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fordv8 08/19/09 - 09:11 am
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God bless all

God bless all

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