Barbara Cook, 72, died after being attacked by her daughter's two pit bulls near Mandeville.
The Dogs' Owners
UPDATE 06/28/20: On Friday, multiple news articles clarified that the two pit bulls belonged to one of the victim's daughters, Janell Callender. She and her husband Cody Callender also lived at Cook's home on Nancy Street. Cody has a long history with the law, starting over a decade ago. As recently as July 2019, he was charged with a parole violation, simple battery, at 635 Nancy Street. On June 25, Barbara Cook was brutally attacked and killed by the couple's dogs.
According to Cook's other daughter, Charlotte Guidry, this was not the first time the pit bulls had attacked Cook. In fact, there had been more than one previous attack. "They bit her in the face and throat, on the lip, gave her a black eye," Guidry said of the previous attacks. "One time the excuse was that she was bending down to kill a roach and the dog thought she was going after Janell." It is unknown if the previous dog bite incidents were reported to local authorities.
It is unlawful in St. Tammany Parish to fail to report a dog bite, especially if it caused serious injury. It is the duty of the owner "immediately to notify the parish department of animal services, and surrender said dog of animal to any representative of the parish department of animal services" after a bite. "Any law enforcement officer or animal control officer may take possession of any animal that bites a person or is reported to have bitten a person within the limits of the parish."
We also learned that Cook had been trying to protect her 10-year old grandson from the dogs when the dogs attacked her. This grandson is the son of Cook's youngest daughter (neither Janell or Guidry). After the 10-year old tried to stop the attack, he ran next-door to get help, where Cook's daughter-in-law lives. The daughter-in-law and her son rushed over and tried to break up the attack. The daughter-in-law is the person who called the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office.
Note: Six days after Janelle and Cody's two pit bulls killed Barbara, Janelle began selling the recent litter of puppies from the two pit bulls on Facebook. One person asked her, "You are selling puppies that will carry genetics/traits from the poorly bred pit bulls that killed Barbara? And posting this on Facebook with none of that information being passed on?" Janell claimed the puppies were "Staffordshire terrier and Razor edge blue" and her asking price for each puppy was $100.
06/26/20: Pit Bulls Kill Elderly Woman
Mandeville, LA - An elderly woman died at the hospital after being attacked by two family pit bulls Thursday at her home, authorities confirmed. St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office (STPSO) responded to a home around 2:15 pm in the 600 block of Nancy Street. Both pit bulls were still attacking the victim when deputies arrived. When deputies intervened to stop the attack, the dogs turned on them. The deputies open fired on the dogs, killing one. The other dog fled the home.
After applying a tourniquet to the woman and providing other medical aid, the deputies located the second pit bull in a nearby yard. The dog charged them, and once again, deputies opened fired, this time killing it. A child at the scene, who also tried to stop the attack, received superficial injuries from the dogs. The victim was transported to a local hospital in critical but stable condition. Late last night, one of her niece's posted a photo of her. She is identified only as "aunt Barbara."
A neighbor also sustained bite wounds and was treated by paramedics at the scene. "This is very sad," Sheriff Randy Smith said. "My thoughts and prayers go out the victim’s family and to the neighbor who was injured trying to help her. I also thank the deputies who responded and provided medical care in an effort to try and save this woman's life." Barbara marks the third victim -- all females, 60-years and older -- killed by family pit bull-type dogs in Louisiana this year.
The victim has been identified as Barbara Cook. At the time of the attack, she was babysitting her 10-year old grandson at her home on Nancy Street. According to one of her daughters, Charlotte Guidry, after one of the pit bulls snapped at the child, Cook placed herself between the dog and the boy to protect him. Both pit bulls then viciously attacked Cook, biting her on the arms, throat and face. Cook died Thursday night, as doctors were preparing to do surgery, Guidry said.
Guidry said Cook had been attacked by these dogs before, which belong to Janell Callender, another daughter of Cook who lives at the home. "They bit her in the face and throat, on the lip, gave her a black eye," Guidry said of the earlier attacks. "One time the excuse was that she was bending down to kill a roach and the dog thought she was going after Janell." Guidry's daughter, Naquisha Forstall, warned Cook that if she did not get her aunt out, these dogs could kill her.
Forstall also confirmed the pit bulls had recently had a litter of puppies.
Pit bulls routinely kill family members and their owners. Pit bulls belonging to a son or daughter that kill their mother is common too. This occurred as recently as June 3, when Katie Amos, 70, was killed by her son's four pit bull-cane corso mixes. This scenario also occurred in the Shreveport attack in February, when Geraldine Hamlin, 64, was killed by her son's two pit bulls. Cook's death is especially egregious, given that Janell's dogs had previously attacked Cook.
Police should seriously consider filing elderly endangerment charges in these cases.
05/07/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Dies After Suffering Life-Threatening Injuries in...
02/29/20: 2020 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Killed by Two Family Pit Bulls in Shreveport, Louisiana
07/20/16: 2016 Dog Bite Fatality: Family Pit Bull Kills 71-Year Old Woman in Southwest Detroit
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.
I can’t wait to hear where these dogs came from. Were they hers from the start? Dumped on her by a relative? Did she go to a shelter and the careless staff and practices allowed a woman her age to “adopt” (*gag*) two pits?
As is usual for me, my sympathy is limited when it is the owner who gets killed. It really is like Saturn eating his own children.
I thought i read somewhere they were the son-in-law’s dogs. It is unlikely she went out and obtained those dogs.
A commenter on the WDSU Facebook news story said:
Some of these comments are just blowing my mind. We understand that it’s how these dogs are RAISED. However, this is MY grandma. My beautiful laying here fighting for her life because dogs in her house turned on her. She was trying to put puppies back into their pool when this incident occurred. I myself own 3 pit bulls & have never to worry about an issue like this but this dogs attitude changed after she had puppies.
The people weren’t stupid. The people knew that the dogs could instantly become a grave threat. The people chose to place themselves and all others at risk of the grave threat. For people who are not in the spirit of love, the lure of the excitement of owning a dangerous animal is too great to resist.
I had seen a report that said the pits belonged to a grandson. The ownership does not really matter now. The elderly woman is dead and so are both of the dogs. The dog owner, whoever it is, should be charged….especially if the dogs had attacked this poor woman before….Why, why, why won’t people believe how dangerous these pit bulls are????
So Charlotte Guidry and Janell Callender are sisters, and Barbara Cook was mother to both of them?
Do we know who the 10-yo grandson is? ie if he is or is not Callender’s son
Known threat. Prior attacks to the now-deceased victim. I hate that this is now so commonplace as to be “uh huh, AGAIN, totally not surprising.”
What will it take for dangerous dog owners, and the pit bull crowd in particular, to take safety seriously? Do they need to start serving 10- to 20-year hitches in prison if their known biter kills someone?
I have GSDs. Although my females are grabby when it comes to me handling their newborn puppies, I’ve never had a single one try to bite me. They try to grab their puppies out of my hands. That’s what normal bitches do.
I’m very sorry for how this woman died. No one deserved that. However, what part of animal shelters overflowing with pit bulls don’t these folks understand?
If they want to breed dogs, why don’t they
choose a safe breed for which there is demand?
Now we have a litter of puppies born to killer dogs. Are they weaned? Undoubtedly people will come forward to adopt those puppies. After all, it’s not the puppies’ fault their parents weren’t raised right. Seriously,?
In my opinion, I hate to say this but the puppies should be destroyed. They have inherited killer genes. That’s not their fault, but should people take the chance that these puppies will be killers? I think not.
Hormones do affect temperament, but they don’t turn good dogs into killers.
Probably THE best indicator of a dog’s temperament, and therefore its propensity for deadly violence, is the temperament of the parents.Although breed is a very useful guide, bloodline will tell you much more specifically than breed what kind of dog you are dealing with.
No one relishes the thought of euthanizing puppies, but there’s an excellent chance that one or more pup in that litter will have inherited the high aggression of the parents. In a dog physically capable of killing humans, that’s unacceptable and extremely unsafe.
Trashy people love breeding pit bulls. It’s almost a prerequisite for a certain type of lifestyle. They don’t care that most if these dogs turn up dead or in shelters. It’s all about quick bucks and projecting a sort of ‘outsider’ image.
A while back I overheard two twenty-something girls talking about dogs, and one said she bred ‘blue nosed’ pits because they are “rare” and she “doesn’t want to see them go extinct.” Idiocy. Blue nosed pits absolutely fill shelters in my town and everywhere. Every other color nose and fur, too.
Since I am a close friend to Barbara I can answer a few question some have. Barbara is mother to Charolette and Janell. It is her house but Janell and family live with her The dogs belong to Janell and her husband. The grandson is her youngest daughters child Jlynn whom she was babysitting for that day.
Thank you for clarifying the family relationships. What a horrifying situation for Barbara to be in. She was a loving and brave grandma to protect her grandchild. God rest her soul.
I am so sorry for the tragic loss of your friend Barbara. Too many friends, mothers and grandmas like Barbara have been lost this year alone, leaving many asking, “Why?”
The answer is that certain dog breeds simply do not belong in homes. They are not safe for families. They kill indescriminately and without warning. If Barbara had not moved to protect Jlynn, that child would now be dead. But it grieves me to think of a child witnessing this horrific attack which took a grandma’s life. Such a lifelong trauma should not be so but will continue to happen as long as people promote pit bulls as “family dogs.”
So many aging parents open their homes and lives up so generously to their adult children and these adult children then bring deadly dogs into those homes. The number of parents killed by their adult children’s dogs brought into the parent’s home is really staggering. Generosity and love toward one’s grown child should never be something that puts a life in danger. You will hear many people make excuse about why these dogs killed your friend… protecting puppies, startled by the child, triggered by this or that circumstance, etc. But the reality is that if this had been a couple of beagles, corgis or any of hundreds of other breeds of dog, your friend would still be alive. She might have gotten nipped or had a few stitches. What happened instead was a sustained mauling which not only killed Barbara but put other lives at risk as well because these dogs have been bred for generations to attack with little provocation and continue attacking until their victim is dead. It is part of their genetic makeup in the same way that the aforementioned beagles track and corgis herd. No amount of love or training can remove that built in propensity. Breed choice MATTERS and adult children who bring dangerous breeds into their elderly parent’s home are putting their parents as well as anyone else who enters that home at risk.
I hope that Barbara’s death was not in vain and that others will see the reality of what pit bulls can do. If you can find the courage to do so, consider being a voice for your friend and warn others of the dangers of these dogs.
Owners need to go to prison just like careless gun owners.
These dogs are bombs waiting to go off.
Owners know that! They just want to show off. “hey look at my dog! It would never hurt anyone”
Deep down they KNOW that dog has the potential to render a horribly painful death.
With the number of elderly parents being killed by their grown children’s dogs, how about passing a law that the owners of these dogs cannot benefit from the settling of that parent’s estate? That might provide some incentive to not bring dangerous dogs into that home.
This is very saddening, espically for me hearing of another Louisiana attack. The daughter who owned the dogs should be ashamed of herself. Her mutant dogs attacked her mother multiple times and she did NOTHING. Oh, except for BREEDING them! They should have been put down after the first attack. Not bred to make MORE killer dogs. And the fact that Barbara died protecting her grandson hurts especially; she protected her family while the daughter allowed her mother to die. I hope she is jailed and all the pit puppies her maulers produced are euthanized.
Another day, another death in LA. Sad.
I. Can’t. Even.
What grandma is NOT going to look after her grandchild? What grandma should be at risk of being murdered by a dog, while protecting her grandchild from said dog?
There are horrific injustices perpetrated every day by the justice systems in North America. That’s just simple fact.
Somehow, this is getting lock-stepped with justice for canines, which is an entirely different matter. Dogs don’t require justice.
There is no justice for this grandma, or her grandchild because some selfish twits decided they just HAD to have some pitbulls to breed.
I’m voting on the side of euthanize that entire line of dogs. Taking any of them home is playing Russian Roulette with the lives of people who come in contact with them.
Colleen…I am rarely stunned to silence by human stupidity.
However, this did it.
People who keep aggressive unstable dogs are themselves aggressive and unstable. Because if they weren’t, they would care about their fellow human beings. Obviously, the owner of these killer dogs didn’t even care about her own mother.
If drug addicts hear that a certain dealer’s drugs caused the death of one or more addicts, they will flock to that dealer who has extra good drugs.
Likewise, I suspect many people would run to buy the offspring of killer dogs. Why? Maybe to try to prove the killers just weren’t raised right. Maybe for bragging rights to owners who have offspring of killers. Other reasons?