NORTH CATASAUQUA BOROUGH, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Police in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, have issued a warning about dangerous dogs whose attacks have sent one woman to the hospital and killed one pet.
North Catasauqua police say the problems with the dogs, who live on Willow Drive, started on September 9 when the dogs got out and attacked a 70-year-old woman and then killed a neighbor's pet.
Neighbors say the roaming pit bulls have been a known issue on their block for years.
"We used to have my daughter's dog and they attacked him once but he fought them off. He was a bigger dog," said John Remington, a neighbor. "I'd be scared for anybody, any small animal, any kids."
Police say after the September 9 attacks, they captured the dogs and put them in the borough kennel for the weekend. But days later they got instructions from the warden to return the pets.
"If it was a human that attacked somebody and injured them that severely, they'd be in jail, but the dog just gets returned home to potentially escape again," said Chief Chris Wolfer.
On September 24, Chief Wolfer says the dogs got out again and charged at several people and pets.
"It's just not fair these dogs have to stay in the community," he said. "Everybody up there is living in fear. There's people up there walking their dogs with weapons. It's just not a safe environment for anybody."
The police department issued the owners around 15 citations including harboring dangerous dogs and animal cruelty. At this point, however, officers cannot take the dogs away until a court hearing happens.
"I'm scared to death. Every morning I go out, I have to look around," one woman said at a borough meeting Monday night.
The owners were also in attendance. They apologized and said they plan to keep the dogs inside.
"I am truly sorry, but I really am trying. And I'm afraid that my family is going to die while I'm out trying to fix the situation," said the owner.
A court hearing is scheduled for October 24. Action News has reached out to the owners for further comment but we have not heard back.