WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) -- Residents in Waterbury got a chance to sound off on a proposed ordinance that would toughen up the rules on dogs Monday night.
An alderman proposed the changes after his elderly neighbor was viciously attacked by a pit bull in March.
"I have grown up in the south end of Waterbury my whole life," said David Gonzalez, "so I have seen dogs attack people."
The people who spoke before the Board of Aldermen, spoke from first-hand knowledge of the dog problem in Waterbury.
"The dog was roaming around, a stray dog, and it attacked me," said Martin Spring, "and it was in the winter so I had thick clothes on, otherwise I would've gotten bitten up pretty bad."
It happened again Monday morning: a man was chewed up by a pit bull right in his own home.
The man was loading tools into his truck when a pit bull darted in through the open house door. Animal control did catch the dog; it was not on a leash and didn't have a collar tag.
The Board of Aldermen are going after what they are calling nuisance dogs.
"A nuisance dog is a dog that has already received a complaint through the animal control, that is aggressive and wants to fight people," said alderman Ernest Brunella.
The problem is dogs getting out of their cages.
An 88-year-old woman was mauled by two pit bulls, and over the weekend an 8-year-old was attacked by her own dog.
The new ordinance would call for stiffer fines and heavier restrictions on nuisance dogs.
"I am in favor of leash laws not to be discriminated by one breed, and heavy duty fines," Spring said.
"I don't think they should pass that ordinance because people have pets that they raised since they were babies, and we shouldn't be penalized for other people's dogs," said Gonzalez.
The idea is to identify dangerous dogs and label them, and hold the dogs accountable so residents don't have to live in fear.
"If I bring my dogs to the park and there are dogs on the loose I stay away," said Stef Betancourt. "If I bring my dogs to the park and someone is holding a pit like this and they are barking and growling I get back in the car."
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