Thursday, January 8, 2015
Attacked While Taking Down His Christmas Tree
Adopted from Rescue
UPDATE 01/08/15: New information has been released about an elderly man mauled to death by his pet pit bull while taking down his Christmas tree. The fatally attacking dog was a 4-year old neutered male pit bull that Eugene Smith and his son adopted from an unnamed rescue organization in May. The pit bull was not a stray as earlier reports claimed. Police officials continue to look into the dog's background. Animal control euthanized the pit bull after the deadly attack.
WUSA 9 interviewed Smith's co-workers at Clouse trucking in Frederick. At the age of 87-years old, Smith still drove an 18-wheel tanker truck hauling milk for the company. His co-workers said Smith was an animal lover who adored his adopted rescue pit bull. "The dog would at times climb up in bed with him and sleep with him at night," said one female co-worker who was not named. "This is not anything we ever would have expected," she continued, "not ever in a million years."
Officials Describe Dog Attack in Video
The Frederick News-Post published a video today as well with Deputy First Class Amanda Hatcher detailing the dog attack and police response. Hatcher states that when police and animal control officers arrived on scene -- they arrived at the same time -- the dog was still attacking Smith inside the home. Officers were able to disengage the dog from Smith and quickly contain the animal. Smith was taken to Frederick Memorial Hospital with severe injuries where he died.
The News-Post has a recent history of being "extremely" pit bull apologetic. The News-Post, however, is hardly alone in Maryland. Many other state media outlets also swooned, cooed and knelt down for "pit bull kisses" after the landmark 2012 Maryland Court of Appeals ruling, Tracey v. Solesky, that declared pit bulls "inherently dangerous." The News-Post called the Court's ruling "narrow-minded" and "shortsighted" and "an ill-thought-out precedent" among other falsehoods.
Now an animal loving elderly man is dead, horrifically mauled to death in an unprovoked attack by an adopted pit bull rescue that formerly slept in his bed. The failure of the News-Post, who never bothered to interview the Solesky family or their attorney or to grasp the depth of the Court's ruling pertaining to actual Maryland "precedent," is now party to this man's preventable death. Smith clearly believed the false mantra that only "mistreatment or intentional training" creates a killer.1
01/07/15: Family Pit Bull Kills Owner
Frederick, MD - In a developing story, an 87-year old man is dead after being critically mauled by his family's pit bull while taking down his Christmas tree. The attack occurred on Wednesday at about 2:30 pm at his home on Stonehouse Road in Frederick. According to deputies, Eugene W. Smith was in the process of taking down his Christmas tree when his family's large pit bull viciously attacked him. Smith was transported to a local hospital and later died of his injuries.
Smith lived in the Stonehouse Road home with his son and his son's fiancée. Deputies say the family had taken in the pit bull as a stray last May.2 Frederick County Animal Control euthanized the animal. In a separate holiday-related tragedy, 40-year old Edward Cahill was mauled to death by his pet pit bull of eight years on Christmas Day in Portage, Indiana. That fatal dog attack was "so obvious," according to Porter County Corner Chuck Harris, that an autopsy was not required.
2Other news outlets report the dog was a pit bull rescue, which usually means the family adopted the dog from a rescue or shelter. If true, this is quite a different scenario than "taking in a stray."
01/20/15: In Frederick, a Tragic Reminder of Pit Bull Ruling - Dan Rodricks, Baltimore Sun
12/30/14: 2014 Dog Bite Fatality: Portage Man Mauled to Death by Pet Pit Bull on Christmas Day
06/02/14: Maryland Legislature Mutes Landmark Ruling, Tracey v. Solesky, During 2014...
11/05/13: 2013 Dog Bite Fatality: Baltimore Woman, 56, Killed by Her Pet Pit Bull
04/30/12: Maryland Court of Appeals Holds Pit Bull Owners and Landlords Accountable...
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| 1/09/2015 7:32 AM |
I also feel that every person who repeats the lies about these dogs are culpable for each death. I have to wonder what kind of dog this man would have adopted and given a loving home to if it weren't for these lies. What dog had to die or live on the street so that this killer dog could take its place? What is so worth all this loss and heartbreak? RIP Mr. Smith.
| 1/09/2015 9:41 PM |
Every time I see Mr. Smith's kindly face in a photo, these words ring in my ears and i'm filled with frustration and anger!
"The News-Post called the Court's ruling "narrow-minded" and "shortsighted" and "an ill-thought-out precedent" among other falsehoods.
Now an animal loving elderly man is dead, horrifically mauled to death in an unprovoked attack by an adopted pit bull rescue that formerly slept in his bed. The failure of the News-Post, who never bothered to interview the Solesky family or their attorney or to grasp the depth of the Court's ruling pertaining to actual Maryland "precedent," is now party to this man's preventable death. Smith clearly believed the false mantra that only "mistreatment or intentional training" creates a killer. "
| 1/10/2015 3:16 PM |
So where was this dog adopted from?
There is a dog named Nino that fits the description of Smith's dog, a 4-year old, male 84 pound pit bull, that was adopted out by the Frederick County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center in May 2014. It is the only pit bull (which the county agency labeled as an "Antebellum bulldog") that fits the age, sex and weight description of the attacking dog. However, Nino was extra, extra special and was also SEEN ON TV in a news segment on April 30, 2014. Frederick County Animal Control was lightening speed quick to condemn the high court's ruling in Tracey v. Solesky. And while they did so, they promoted Nino the pit bull on TV as a wonderful pet. Linda Shea, kennel supervisor at Frederick County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center, is seen walking and petting Nino in the video clip, "Hopefully it will encourage people to adopt them and to understand that it really is not a breed issue," she said. Harold Domer, director of Frederick County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center, said: "Pit Bulls, American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire, all those dogs are great dogs when properly socialized." If the killer dog by chance was Nino? Just saying… (PS. Also "Nino" is called a "pit bull" in the news segment)
April 30 news segment
Frederick County animal shelter (last adopted out May 17)
| 1/10/2015 10:00 PM |
Wow, this deserves a story in of it's own. A pit probably pushed from anlocal shelter with LIES kills someone? That shelter should be accountable. The media is complicit as well, and I cannot imagine them taking a strong stance against pits, nor covering the truth in this horror story.
What an 87yr old man was doing with a pit bull (I doubt he was ignorant of the breed ID) is beyond me. Even a vigiorous person his age, as he appears to have been, would have little ability to manage one of those monsters. I wonder if it was the sons idea? Or maybe he thought he was doing a good deed?
Either way, this man that managed to survive to 87 with his health and mental faculties intact, was undone by his choice of animal.
I am relieved it was the owner and not a child or stranger, but damn, its the first week of 2015 and already a pit bill murder! It's obscene at this point.
BSL NOW- to protect people, and their neighbors, from their own bad choice in pets. Getting killed while taking down the xmas tree? Unreal- but not surprising in the least.
| 1/10/2015 11:28 PM |
Nino has been on our radar. We began searching through the Frederick County animal shelter Facebook page early on. A Frederick News-Post article on Friday stated that the dog's coloring was "brindle and white" (http://bit.ly/1xZspa8). Brindle is usually obvious, but it's not always, particularly with dark brindles (brown and black, see example here: http://bit.ly/14HoPXV) Sgt. Luckenbaugh with Frederick County Animal Control states in the article that the dog "didn't come in through our shelter." However, the WBALTV news segment later that day states, "It was not known whether the dog in question came from the Frederick County shelter." Determining where it did come from is of critical importance to the public.
It is uncommon to hear from officials so quickly after a fatal dog mauling so many details about the dog -- it's weight, spay/neuter status, specific coloring, but more importantly its age and the actual month it was adopted. The quick release of these details is why we began looking more closely at the Frederick County animal shelter. That you also found the TV segment of Nino less than a month after the Court of Appeals' decision was muted by the legislature is EXCELLENT detective work!
| 1/11/2015 12:34 AM |
"Eugene is survived by two sons, Jeffrey W. and Richard E. Smith of Frederick. There will be no visitation and services will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Frederick County Animal Control (FCAC) by phone at 301-600-1546 or online at their website http://frederickcountymd.gov/15/Animal-Control. Interment will be at Resthaven Memorial Gardens, Frederick."
| 1/12/2015 5:10 PM |
Here is a little more info:
Since May, the dog was living at a home on Stonehouse Road, where it attacked the man, police said. Before that, the dog was owned by an individual in a neighboring county for about three years, the release said. There was no record of complaints for the dog during that time period, the release said. At one point, the dog was adopted from an animal-rescue organization in the Baltimore area, the release said.
| 1/12/2015 10:37 PM |
I'm sure ya'll already read the comments made by Sandy Reed on the Frederick Animal Shelter FB page on April 17 when Nino was adopted. On her FB page she said she was Nino's previous owner but had to give him up. She also has had another pit bull for many years and other smaller dogs and is from Gaithersburg MD. Is any of this still relavant?
| 1/13/2015 12:46 AM |
It is difficult to know what is still relevant, as different scenarios with holes continue being released in media reports. I did see the dog's previous owner when I first located Nino on the Frederick County Animal Control (FCAC) Facebook page. It is also true that the previous owner lives in an adjacent county, so that's one more aspect in common with Nino's history and media reports. I will list them all so far:
--Adoption month matches reported adoption month (May 2014)
--Age matches reported age (4 years old)
--Color matches reported brindle and white (presuming a dark brindle)
--Male and neutered, matches reported gender/sterilization
--Reported weight of 84 pounds is easily the weight of Nino
--Previous owner does in fact live in adjacent county
--Family requests donations (in lieu of flowers) be sent to FCAC indicating a "relationship" with the entity
PS. Decatur, the previous owner also has three different Facebook pages.
| 4/17/2016 4:49 PM |
The people who defend these dogs and get angry at others for "lying" about how dangerous they are, are obviously as demon possessed as their dogs. What the hell is wrong with ass backwards generation? Defending the life of a mangy dog over the life of a human. Seek Jesus.
| 1/14/2017 6:35 PM |
I need to know how I can go about getting Big Spring Texas to ban all pitbulls and pit bull mixes. The people here allow their dogs of all breeds to roam the streets, they dump their dogs in the country. It is a big on going issue here in the ghetto of Texas known as Big Spring. But the one thing that really scares me to death is pit bulls. I have been held hostage(Not kidding) by Pit Bulls who entered my yard and would not let me leave my house. Every time they saw me at the window they lunged at the glass. I am wanting to get the pit bull banned in Big Spring Texas due to the face that they are dangerous dogs and not one of the owners care enough to keep their dogs in their own yard. Many pits are in the city dog pound, and in the no kill pound as well. it is the one breed that seems to be everywhere and it makes walking my own dogs dangerous and scary. I feel like I need a gun so that I can shoot every pit I come a cross just so I can walk in the park or down the side walks in town. Can you help me get the ban against pit bulls started here please