Sunday, July 26, 2009
From left: The 4 dogs depicted in the MonsterQuest episode (click to enlarge).
Images of Attacking Dogs
UPDATE 07/25/09: We were able to take screenshots from the MonsterQuest episode that showed the four dogs involved in the deadly attacks that took the lives of Cheryl Harper and Edward Gierlach. The director of the Livingston County Animal Control department, Anne Burns, identified the dogs as American bulldogs and American bulldog-mixes. The pit bull underpinnings, however, particularly in the first image are obvious. We will explain why too.
On September 14, 2007, the day following the attacks, Burns oddly likened the offending dogs to an "English bulldog on stilts" to a Detroit Free Press reporter. She also said that American bulldogs are similar to pit bulls, but a "separate breed." In a different article, published on the same day, Burns said the dogs look like a "boxer on stilts," and have a face similar to a boxer's, with a strong jaw and muscular body. (See: English bulldog, boxer, pit bull and American bulldog).
There are two lines of the American bulldog, the Scott type and the Johnson type. The Scott type, and breed standard, is by definition a pit bull-mix as it was created by directly crossing the Johnson type to the pit bull terrier. The American bulldog was only recognized by the UKC in 1999 and remains unrecognized by the AKC today. It is a convenient distortion to call the two breeds "separate1" as the Scott type American bulldog is intrinsically based upon the pit bull terrier.
By failing to identify at least one of the offending dogs as a pit bull-mix, Burns successfully altered the 2007 fatal dog attack statistics by two, as two human beings were killed in this single, horrific attack.
From left: Cheryl Harper, Edward Gierlach, Diane Cockrell, Sign2 on Cockrell's fence.
MonsterQuest: The Real Cujo
Iosco Township, MI - On September 13, 2007, four loose dogs described as "American bulldogs" fatally attacked Cheryl Harper, 56, and Edward Gierlach, 91. The owner of the dogs, Diane Cockrell, was subsequently criminally charged3. One year later she pleaded no contest in a Livingston County court room and was sentenced to a minimum of 3.5 years and a maximum of 15 years in prison. She was also ordered to pay $30,726 in restitution to the victims' families.
On Wednesday, July 22, the History Channel is airing a show titled, "MonsterQuest: The Real Cujo." Both the Harper and Gierlach families will appear on the show and tell their stories of the brutal attack that struck down their loved ones. Photos of the dogs will be depicted as well. We have little other information regarding the show and have not seen a preview. Following the double fatal mauling, Livingston County enacted a No Adopt Out policy for all "bully" breeds.
Air Times (EST)
- History Channel, Wednesday, July 22, 9pm (EST)
- History Channel, Thursday, July 23, 1am (EST)
2The sign on Cockrell's fence found after the fatal attacks reads: "This property is maintained for the comfort and security of our animals. If you don't like that please go away."
3During the 2007 press conference, prosecutor David Morse is questioned about pit bulls vs. American bulldogs. He said, "I don't think there's a whole lot of difference between this animal and a pit bull."
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| 7/22/2009 8:16 AM |
Just check the history channel for a write up and there is a short blurb. Don't like the sound of it because it is a takeoff on "feral" dogs rather than on pits. If that is the case, then we really do need to write. And it is under Monster Quest.
| 7/22/2009 9:33 AM |
According to one of the articles cited, I think we can add this judge, Livingston County Circuit Judge Stanley Latreille, to the list of pit bull protectors.
The family was very upset at the short jail time he gave out. Diane Cockrell also got special allowances, like being able to put off her jail time.
I'm sure Cockrell is already out, and probably breeding more pit bulls.
| 7/22/2009 9:36 AM |
From the History channel description, they talk about "packs of feral dogs" attacking people.
The problem we have in our country is owned pets- breeding animals, fighting dogs, and pit bulls owned by the naive population.
They are the ones killing and attacking.
Not feral dogs!
| 7/22/2009 11:22 AM |
We are aware of the feral dog issue. We do not know how the makers of the show will fold in the Livingston, Michigan tragedy, except that it was a "pack attack." We understand that the show will cover the feral attack of Rodney McAllister in St. Louis. 10-year old McAllister was killed March 6, 2001 by a free-roaming pack of dogs and partially eaten. Memories of the McAllister case were revived on July 21, 2003 when 3 free-roaming pit bulls severely injured Ealgie Edwards, 55, just six blocks from where McAllister was killed. Coincidentally, two years later (May 2005), Lorinze Reddings, 42, is killed by his two pit bulls inside his home. Theresa Williams, the director of humane services at St. Charles County Animal Control, unleashed a huge distortion to the U.S. public by blaming the Reddings attack on "pack mentality" in hopes of whitewashing genetic pit bull aggression. The Reddings attack involved two "very well cared for" family dogs with regular visits to the vet that were inside the home and not roaming!
| 7/22/2009 12:48 PM |
As for packs of dogs, there are places like San Antonio Texas where No Kill fanatics have infiltrated animal control.
They fill up, warehouse animals, but don't want to euthanize so they are refusing animals and not picking up strays.
Result? More abandoned and stray dogs, and more attacks!
| 7/23/2009 8:18 AM |
I was part of a study by the Feds and when we started they were referring to "feral" dogs in the desert. It came down to that there were no such thing as a "feral" dog, only abandoned owned dogs. It is difficult to see puppies actually surviving long enough to be classified as feral, truly feral. These were stray dogs, that's all. And was I pissed at how they did this. Trapping and letting them go again, pregnant females too. This was a disgusting program, ill researched, and I am reporting them to Peta.