Nutley pit bull attacks prompt crackdown on leashes and registrations for dogs


Pomeranian "Blue Bear" suffered injuries after he was attacked by a pit bull. (4/22/16)

NUTLEY - Two attacks by pit bulls in Nutley have prompted police to crack down on leashes and registrations for all the town’s dogs.

The attacks left a baby and a Pomeranian with injuries. In the latest incident, the former owner of one of the pit bulls tells News 12 New Jersey that she had recently acquired the dog.

Maryann Montagna says that she brought her dog to the end of her driveway and was perfectly fine until he saw the Pomeranian. She said that something changed in the animal, and she couldn't recognize her pit bull anymore.

"He just took off.  Ripped right out my hands, darted across the street and attacked the lady's dog,” Montagna says.

The Pomeranian’s owner, Yvette King, says that she accidently recorded the attack on her phone. She says that at one point her dog’s head was inside the pit bull’s mouth.

"I was freaking out.  I was on my butt on the floor trying to pull him,” King says.

A police officer happened to be nearby and was able to subdue the dog and rescue the Pomeranian. The Pomeranian was taken to the veterinarian with wounds on his neck, head and shoulder.

Montagna says she was never told by the pit bull’s former owner that the dog has attacked another dog a few months before.

"I just don't think people should give dogs away without telling them everything they need to know,” she says. 

The pit bull is now back with its original owner.

Three weeks before this attack, a pit bull mix attacked an 11-month-old baby girl as her mother pushed her in a stroller. The baby needed more than 70 stiches.

The attacks have been a great concern for Nutley police.

"Anytime the general public is at risk, it's a concern for us.  We're here to protect and to serve,” says Detective Sgt. Anthony Montanari.

Police say that they will now enforce stricter rules for all dogs. Dogs must be a leash at all times while outside. The first time a dog is not on a leash, the owner will be issued a verbal warning. After that, the owner will be given a summons. Anytime police stop a dog not on a leash, they will also ask to see the animal’s registration.

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