Frederick Co. Man Eugene Smith Mauled to Death by Family Pit Bull

Police say an 87-year-old Maryland man was mauled to death by his family pit bull while taking down his Christmas tree.

The attack was reported just before 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at Eugene W. Smith's home on Stonehouse Road in Frederick. Deputies say Smith was in the pricess of taking down a Christmas tree when his family's 84-pound pit bull attacked him.

Smith was seriously injured in the mauling and hospitalized. He later succumbed to his injuries.

Deputies say Smith lived at the Stonehouse Road address with his son and his son's fiancee. They had taken in the pit bull as a stray last May. Frederick County Animal Control euthanized the dog.

"Pit bulls can be excelled pets ... with any dog, you have to be careful," said David Burd, who rescues pit bulls and owns a kennel in Frederick.

Experts say most dogs that become violent have been abused or neglected. They recommend you train your dog and know enough about its background.

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