A pit bull attack that left a 4-year-old girl recovering from serious injuries and requiring multiple surgeries has police in Plainville looking at how they can curb the number of aggressive dogs in town.
Officers believe the answer may just be stricter enforcement of some current laws on the books.
"Even though the owner was not present, we felt he was still responsible, leaving such a powerful animal in the care of a 90-year-old grandmother," said Plainville police Capt. Brian Mullins.
The pit bull attack, which took place on Rosemont Drive last Thursday, has clearly shaken police and neighbors. Police said it was several hours after the attack before the dog was caught, and eventually euthanized.
"When we went to walk her they said, 'Do not walk the dog,'" Bonnie Hunter said she was told by police last Thursday.
The girl who was attacked survived, leaving her with injuries to her head and face that will likely require multiple surgeries.
"From what I understand, she was hurt really bad," Hunter said.
Ryan McMarthy, 35, was charged with harboring a dangerous animal and other charges.
The department is now stepping up enforcement of dog registrations and vaccinations, believing it could help keep a lid on aggressive dog attacks.
"We are finding that when attacks occur, be it one dog attacking another dog or the biting of a person, that a disproportionate number of cases involve unlicensed dogs and unvaccinated dogs," Mullins said.
Officers will ask dog owners if their animal is unlicensed or unvaccinated if they catch their dog on the loose, for example.
The fine for an unlicensed dog in Plainville is $75 and if it is not vaccinated, the fine is $125.
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