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August 18, 2009 - Ga. Dog Pack Blamed for Mauling Deaths

Authorities say dogs belonging to a suburban Atlanta man mauled a retired college professor and his wife to death, but some neighbors say the dogs were docile.

Oglethorpe County investigators say former University of Georgia Professor Lothar Schweder, 77, and his wife, Sherry, 65, were attacked by dogs on a dirt road in Lexington, Ga., Saturday, but it was unclear which dogs were responsible, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Monday.

The investigation has focused on a pack of 14 dogs living on property in Lexington owned by Howard Thaxton, who no longer lives on the property, the newspaper said. The dogs were found hovering around the bodies of the couple.

Neighbors told the newspaper the dogs had been docile and were fed regularly by an acquaintance of Thaxton.

"Those dogs have been around for years," said Lanier Bridges. "We never had a problem with them."

Animal control officers rounded up the mongrel dogs late Monday.

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