One of two rampaging pit bulls was shot by cops in East Boston yesterday after it bit a 14-year-old boy in the buttocks, mauled and killed a cat and frightened residents — all just weeks before a city law requiring the breed to be muzzled in public will be revoked.
“These two dogs terrorized the neighbourhood … Theyhad already lashed out and bit a young boy and a cat. If we didn’t take a shot at the dog, who knows who else would have been bit,” Boston Police Superintendent William Evans said at the scene.Boston City Councilor Rob Consalvo, who drafted the city’s pit bull control law six years ago, said the city should brace for more pit mull mayhem as the state’s new animal cruelty law goes into effect Nov. 1, wiping muzzling rules off the books.
“This is a scene that’s going to get replayed over and over again when we don’t have an ordinance in place that gives police and animal control the tools to control this,” Consalvo said.
The new animal rights bill signed into law by Gov. Deval Patrick blocks municipalities from creating any “breed specific” rules.
The Hub’s lame duck law requires owners to register pit bulls, keep dogs muzzled in public and post “beware of dog” signs on their property. It also bars residents from housing more than two pit bulls. Similar laws in Lowell, Canton, Winthrop and elsewhere will also be nullified.
Yesterday, two pit bulls — Max and Bruin — chewed and clawed their way through a screen and jumped out an open first-floor window of their owner’s Sumner Street apartment while the couple was dining out. The dogs then went on their rampage.
After police shot and wounded Bruin at the corner of Maverick and Cottage streets, the dog ran a block away and had to be cornered by cops in a driveway. Max ran home.
Louis Gizzi, 85, was sweeping his deck at his Everett Street home when the dogs ran up to him.
“It snarled at me. He came after me. One dog spotted the cat and chased him out of the yard. He killed him. He shook him so hard I thought it was a rag doll at first,” said Rizzi, who used his broom to smack one of the pit bulls in the snout. “If it wasn’t for the broom, I think they would have attacked me.”
Calvin Clemons, 24, and his wife, Amanda Bright, 22, questioned why the police had to shoot their dog.
“I know he wouldn’t hurt anybody. He’s only a puppy,” said a teary-eyed Bright, 22. “Everybody thinks just because it’s a pit pull, he’s a vicious dog.”
Neighbour John Rizzo, 26, disagreed, saying the pit bulls have gone on the run before.
“They came up to our porch barking, pinning my wife inside with a 2-month-old baby in her arms,” he said. “They are menacing, big dogs … Without muzzles and leashes these dogs can’t be controlled. They need to reconsider that law.”