James McCool died after being attacked by a dog pack at Copperhead Road Kennels.
Dog Owner Arrested
Lincoln County, AR - On January 18, a kennel owner in Star City, Arkansas was arrested after authorities said his YouTube channel shows canines he trained to "attack in a pack like manner and have a prey drive at a young age" killed his cousin last year. Scott Alan McCool, 48, was booked into the Lincoln County Detention Center on a manslaughter charge in connection to the October 29, 2023 mauling death of 39-year old James Woodrow McCool. Scott is being held on a $25,000 bond.
According to an arrest affidavit, "The pack of dogs were allowed to run free in the yard, by Scott McCool." And "witnesses state that a person or animal cannot walk into Scott's yard without Scott being around, because the dogs will attack. Due to Scott McCool' s training practices and neglect to keep his dogs contained, his dogs mauled James McCool to death." On social media, the owner goes by Sam McCool who specializes in breeding "guard dogs, American pit bull terriers" and more.
The Copperhead Road Kennels YouTube channel shows a mixture of pit bull, American bully, Belgian malinois, cane corso, presa canario, Czechoslovakian wolfdog breeds, and their crosses. He also advertises bandogs in his breeding program. The kennel also has a TikTok page. One video shows the dog pack on a porch with the voice over "security system engaged." Another shows the dog pack tearing up and eating a deer carcass. There are enough videos to keep you occupied for hours.
McCool's Facebook page has lots of gems too, including one post that points out a fully falsified pedigree from the American Bully Kennel Club. "I'm tryna figure out why somebody gonna push ABKC American Bully paperwork with a ped full of gamedogs from the 50's and 60's and it ain't even hung right (sic)," Scott wrote. One person comments, "Dave Wilson is the biggest baddest paper hanger ever lol not even surprised!" Scott seems to know the historical game-bred pedigrees quite well.
Several dogs from Copperhead Road Kennels, including "S.MCCOOL' STUMP" are listed on a pedigree game dog website. "Owned by Sam McCool favorite dog very game. Dead game!" Stump died in 2019. He was a "foundation male to many kennels," states the notes. "S.MCCOOL' HAZEL" is seen on McCool's Facebook page. Hazel is a "Grand champion OREBA," states the notes, which is a registry for protection and working bull breeds, like pit bulls, American bullies, mastiffs and bandogs.1
Information about the victim is less known. A family member posted about his death on October 29. She also commented on the KATV Facebook post. "My uncle couldn't walk, he was born with a rare medical condition that made his muscles weak and left him not able to move his legs in his late 20s. Them dogs not only killed a man, they pulled him out of his wheelchair and killed him with him unable to defend himself in any way," she wrote. Her family is "heart broken, and we absolutely want justice."
Third Case Charged in Arkansas
The criminal charges against McCool marks the third set of charges in Arkansas in connection to a 2023 fatal dog mauling. In October, Chris Scott was charged with negligent homicide after 60-year old Brenda Witt was killed by five pit bull-mix dogs in Texarkana. In August, Blytheville police charged David Veasey, 43, with two counts of felony aggravated assault and other charges after his three pit bulls mauled 93-year old Jeane Bennett in June. She died while hospitalized two months later.
2The primary breeding lines are the "Stump" and "Hazel" pit bull working lines, as depicted in the pedigrees. The bullherders, as McCool coined them, are Belgian malinois mixed with pit bull, cane corso (and other mastiffs) and a dash of Czechoslovakian wolfdog. McCool also keeps one or more traditional purebred pit bull terriers in his "yard."
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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.