Dog put down after attacking Margate man and his elderly mother

Smokey was not one of the breeds banned in Miami-Dade, where he was adopted

MARGATE, Fla. – Smokey, the 5-year old American bulldog that mauled an 84-year-old woman to death and sent her son to the hospital, has been humanely euthanized.

Joe Varanese, who adopted the rescue dog just three weeks earlier, spoke exclusively to Local 10 News on Wednesday about the harrowing attack inside the home he shared with his mother.

“If I had a gun I woulda killed him,” Varanese, 57, said. “I would’ve. He killed a human being. He should never be out there in society.”

Smokey had been quarantined by Broward County Animal Services since the attack last Friday, and the decision was made Wednesday night to put the animal down.

Varanese adopted Smokey from the animal shelter in Miami-Dade County, where the selling and owning pit bulls has been banned countywide for three decades.

On the agency’s website there are multiple American bulldogs and mixes still up for adoption. That’s legal because, animal advocates say, these breeds are often unfairly and incorrectly grouped into the umbrella term “pit bulls.”

The breeds specifically banned by Miami-Dade include American pit bull terriers, American Staffordshire terriers, Staffordshire bull terriers and mixes of each.

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