A BALLARAT magistrate has condemned pit bulls being kept as family pets, saying the animals put lives at risk.
Magistrate Michelle Hodgson made the comments earlier this morning when sentencing two dog owners in Ballarat Magistrates Court.
Renee Reynolds, 22, pleaded guilty to seven charges including have a dog attack another dog and causing serious injury.
Peta-Michelle Kalisperis, 37, pleaded guilty to four charges including a dog attack on a person causing serious injury.
The charges relate to two incidents including one where an elderly woman was bitten on both hands and dragged along the ground by a "pit bull type" dog.
Kalisperis was fined $2000 and ordered to pay compensation costs of $1768.10, while Reynolds was fined $1250 and ordered to pay $2675.45.
"Pit bulls are not family pets, they are dangerous animals," Ms Hodgson said.
Ms Hodgson said the pet owners "blatant irresponsibility" had placed lives at risk, also referring to the death of four-year-old Melbourne girl Ayen Chol in August last year.
In the tragic incident, the girl was dragged from her mother's leg and mauled to death by a pit bull mastiff dog, after it ran into her family's home.