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Worcester Pit Bulls Owners To Pay Additional Fee, Follow Other Rules

By Beth Germano, WBZ-TV
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file photo (credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

file photo (credit: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

WBZ-TV's Beth Germano Beth Germano
Emmy award-winning Beth Germano is a general assignment reporter fo...
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WORCESTER (CBS) — The city of Worcester is putting a short leash on pit bull owners, requiring additional registration and walking proof owners are in compliance with a new ordinance

The new regulations go into effect Friday requiring owners to muzzle their dogs in public, have them neutered, pay an additional $50 fee, and post signs on their property indicating a pit bull lives at their address.

“It’s hard to walk her, she’d rather pull it off,” said owner Christine Wardell of the mandatory muzzle.  “It’s not fair, it makes her look mean.” 

WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano reports.

The city says it’s tightening the reins because pit bulls are responsible for a significant number of dog-bite reports. 

“It’s not about pit bulls, it’s about one breed of dog that the city classifies as one breed that has 45 percent of our registered dog bites,” said city councilor William Eddy. 

Pit bull owner Joe Goodrich doesn’t deny there are mean dogs on the streets, but says his are not among them. 

“These irresponsible people over-breeding them.  My dogs are good dogs and they suffer for it,” he said. 

The city says it’s an attempt to make sidewalks and playgrounds safer, and many residents admit they are wary of the breed.

“I don’t think it’s a bad thing to let people be aware where they are and let them make a decision on whether they want to walk down the street or walk by that house,” said resident Tara Malloy. 

For owners the price to pay is worth it to them, even as they complain they’re being singled out.   

“People should get educated on the breed. They’ll find out they’re not so bad,” said Goodrich.

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