A family could only watch helplessly as their family pet was mauled by a roaming dog, and now they want that dog put down.
Town officials said it's not that easy.
Melissa Espinosa said her two children "were petrified" after their family St. Bernard, Beethoven, was attacked in her driveway on Beebe Street in East Haddam on Sunday.
Espinosa and her boys were relaxing outside with the family pet when another just seemed to come out of nowhere. Espinosa said she looked over the family St. Bernard was on the ground fighting for his life against a pit bull.
"The pit bull went to Beethoven. And all of a sudden that was it, Beethoven was on the ground," Espinosa said.
Another neighbor tried to help her, but he was unable to break up the fight. Espinosa said the dog's owner arrived, grabbed the dog and left without saying a word.
Beethoven had surgery and will require more visits to the vet. On Wednesday night, he was covered in bandages. The Espinosas want the dog's owner to cover nearly $1,000 in vet bills, and they want the dog put down.
"It could have attacked my kids," Espinosa said.
"Under state statute that's not something that we can just do because the dog has not attacked a human," said East Haddam First Selectmen Mark Walter. "So when it's dog on dog, it's more of a civil manner. We are going as far as we can."
Walter said they served the dog's owner with a restraining order for the pit bull, but by law they can't take the animal.
"It means that the dog cannot be off a leash, it has to be muzzled and under full control of the owner," Walter said.
"I want the owner to at least have some remorse. And call us and ask us how our children are doing," Espinosa said.
Eyewitness News tried to contact the pit bull's owners, but were unable to reach them Wednesday night.
Town officials will meet with state animal control officials tomorrow to see what else they can do. As for the restraining order on the dog, they can extend it as long as they feel they need to.
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