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Plainfield residents protest return of dogs after vicious attack

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PLAINFIELD--A local neighborhood group, called 'Connecticut Residents Opposing Unsafe Dogs' went head-to-head with Plainfield town leaders at a Board of Selectman meeting on Monday night.

The group was formed in March, following a brutal dog attack on home care worker Lynne Denning on December 3 in a Plainfield home. The six dogs involved in the attack were ordered to be quarantined and potentially euthanized.

The dogs' owners -- Jenna and Richard Allen -- appealed, forcing the Department of Agriculture to take over the case and set a mandatory hearing, as required by law. Four of the dogs, however, were released back to the Allens last week.

The Department of Agriculture hearing is still set for the fall, but neighbors at the Board of Selectman meeting questioned why four of the dogs were released in advance. Some asked what safeguards have been put in place to protect neighbors from future attacks. Others asked what would have happened if the same crime had been committed by a human.

"What is there to ensure us and my family, with my six kids, that the dogs aren't going to go back into my house?" asked neighbor Deborah Longo, who said she has had previous negative experiences with the dogs.

To most of the questions, First Selectman Paul Sweet responded by saying there is a pending police investigation, and that he could not say much beyond that.

Among those speaking was Bridgett Labrecque, Lynne Denning's daughter. Before the meeting, she told Fox CT, "The selectmen of Plainfield took my mom's rights away. [They] did not give her her peace and wait until their was a hearing."

Calls to the Department of Agriculture and to a member of the Allen Family were not returned.