A rescued Pit Bull killed his 87-year-old owner, Eugene Smith, while he was taking down the Christmas tree in his Frederick County, Maryland, home on Wednesday, NBCWashington reports. His son’s fiancée was at home with Smith when the vicious, unprovoked attack occurred.
Smith reportedly lived with his son and his son's fiancée and the Pit Bull was a stray they had taken into their home in May 2014. It is unknown if the dog had displayed violent tendencies prior to this tragic fatality.
Frederick County Sheriff’s Department deputies, Maryland State Police, and Frederick County Animal Control officers were called to the Stonehouse Road address at approximately 2:30 p.m. on Jan. 7. Officers reported that the dog continued to savagely maul the elderly victim after they arrived. It took the combined efforts of several officers to gain control of the Pit Bull and remove him, the Inquisitrreports.
But, by the time they were able to get the dog off the victim, it was too late to save his life. Smith was transported to Frederick Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
Frederick County Animal Control seized the dog and immediately euthanized him, according to NBC Washington.
Frederick County Bureau of Investigations is still gathering information on the attack.
THREE FAMILY MEMBERS ATTACKED BY NEIGHBOR’S PIT BULLS
In Darien, Georgia, three members of a family were hospitalized after being attacked on Monday by 2 Pit Bulls and an American Bulldog belonging to a neighbor. According to police, it was a very violent situation that left all three victims severely injured, WTOC reports.
Family members said that 11-year-old Darius Wingate was taking the trash out when the neighbor's dogs attacked him in his own yard. The next-door neighbors had just let their three dogs out and they immediately charged the young boy and began mauling him.
Darius’ mother and sister heard him screaming and ran to rescue him, but they were also severely bitten.
McIntosh County Sheriff Stephen Jessup told reporters that there is a leash ordinance in the County and the dogs were roaming free [in violation].
Neighbors said they have seen the dogs without a leash before, and they have seen the dogs act aggressively toward other neighbors.
“It's something you try not to allow…but some people don't follow the rules, and things like this are subject to happen,” Jessup said. “This should be a reminder to people to keep a close eye on your pets and make sure you have them on a leash.”
The sister was treated and released, but Darius and his mother remain in the hospital in Brunswick. Sheriff Jessup said Darius could be in the hospital for as long as two weeks.
“I have no idea what might have triggered [the attack], but it's still under investigation, and there are possible criminal charges pending,” Jessup told WTOC.