WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) --Folks have been complaining of pitbulls running free after an 88-year-old woman was mauled by two pitbulls outside of her Waterbury home.
There are hundreds of pitbulls in Waterbury. The H.O.P.E. Spay and Neuter Clinic said that most of those pitbulls have responsible owners. Some Waterbury residents said they are still scared by the pitbulls that are not caged up.
Alderman Ernest Brunelli is on a mission to make changes to Waterbury's dangerous dog ordinance.
Brunelli said he's been flooded with emails and calls since 88-year-old Lena Poidomani was mauled by two pitbulls. She has since been recovering at Cheshire House.
"Dogs must be registered and under control at all times," said Brunelli
He said a small fine and an infraction is nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Recently, Waterbury residents
Jose Colon, 24, and Robert Harrison, 61, received an infraction, and a fine, for allowing their pitbulls to roam, failure to be licensed breeders, and causing a nuisance. The fine was $242.
"Our goal is protection of the people first of all, but also we are concerned about dogs who are mistreated and abused," said Brunelli.
This week, he was told about a pitbull roaming a neighborhood. He said he wasn't surprised.
Alderman Brunelli went to H.O.P.E. Spay and Neuter Clinic to find out if the clinic has noticed a problem with pitbulls and their owners.
"The pits are very over bred. We have a lot of people doing backyard breeding," said Cathy Demarco. "It is a science, so very few people should be breeding. "
Since August of 2009, the shelter has spayed and neutered 760 pitbulls. Demarco said that's a good sign, but recent examples show owners are not socializing, training, and supervising their dogs.
Brunelli is looking for support from his colleagues and the public. He wants to change the definition of dangerous dogs, and he wants to hold irresponsible owners accountable.
Demarco said she would be willing to attend a meeting held by Brunelli.
She plans to join Brunelli at the Board of Alderman hearing at the end of April. A public hearing will likely follow.
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