Aiming to Battle Pit Bull “Epidemic”

Pit bulls roaming unleashed in the streets have some Hamden residents worried for their safety and considering carrying guns to protect themselves in case the dogs attack.

"It's a sad state of affairs when I can not walk my licensed, registered dog in my town without some form of extreme force to protect myself and my dog," Scott Howland said during a community meeting on Monday night, according to the New Haven Register. “We have no protection, outside of carrying a gun. What can be done, as a taxpayer, to feel safe?”

Residents of the Dunbar Hill area of town are worried after an incident on Dec. 18.

A woman was walking her dog and a pit bull attacked, the Register reports. It took four people to pull the dog off and restrain it to a pole. Police eventually had to shoot the it four times.

People can carry guns if they want to, police said during a meeting on Monday night, but they don’t advise it.

“You have a constitutional right bear arms, however, we don’t want to see people shooting dogs,” Capt. Ronald Smith said, according to the Register, but there would be repercussions if an innocent bystander were struck.

Police would rather people who see a roaming dog of any breed call animal control, who promise a prompt response especially if the dog is being aggressive.

Smith said there is a “pit bull epidemic” in Hamden, as well as across the nation, the Register reports. Since the Dec. 18 incident, police have issued several citations for people whose animals are not properly restrained.

Some residents defended the breed, admitting that the dogs are not the problem. The problem lies in the way they are bred.

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