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230 Pit Bull Attacks Reported In Cook County During Past 8 Months

CHICAGO (CBS0--A pit bull attacked two women Wednesday night in a neighborhood on Chicago's South Side. A neighbor who witnessed the attack struck the dog with a shovel, giving the women time to get to a safe place, police said.

Police said the women, ages 67 and 46, were in front of their Burnside neighborhood home on the 9100 block of South Woodlawn Avenue when a pit bull that lived at the home with the women attacked.

The incident was one of several dog attacks in recent months, including a violent attack in the Woodlawn neighborhood in May that left a 68-year-old woman's leg amputated.

Just last week, a woman was killed by a pit bull in Chicago's Deering neighborhood.

CBS 2's Roseanne Tellez reports on what's being done to protect people from dog attacks.

As of the first week of August, 2,553 dog bites were reported in Cook County since December 2017.

Of those attacks, 230 were reportedly from a pit bull mix.

Repercussions for the dogs' owners are unclear, Tellez reports.

"We want homeowners and animal owners to be responsible for their animals, and leashing them properly is really paramount to protecting the public health and safety," said Kelley Gandurski, executive director of Cook County's Animal Care and Control.

Chicago Post Office worker Angela Holbrook said she was worried about dog attacks. That fear is possibly reduced by "Beware of Dog" signs that pepper the blocks of her postal route.

"I heard about the story, but I did not realize it was on this route and that scares me a little," Holbrook said. "When there's a 'beware' sign most have a mailbox on the fence so I don't have to go in the yard--that's why I feel safe."

A city ordinance states, "where an animal has caused severe injury or death to any person, (the executive director of Chicago Animal Care and Control or a designee) is to impound and hold the animal at the owner's expense."

Owners must obtain "a dangerous animal license."

"There are penalties involved because you will be cited and have a court date for your dog if it bites someone if it is deemed dangerous," said Chicago Alderman Ray Lopez. "The options are to put the dog down to to fight to keep the dog alive--but there are severe restrictions placed on you and your household."

Lopez says the problem starts with owners who don't train and restrain their animals properly.

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