A Gatineau man will need facial surgery after being attacked by two pit bull-type dogs on Wednesday, re-igniting the debate about dangerous dog controls.

Police said the 44-year-old was attacked when he stopped to look at a car for sale around 2 p.m. on Boulevard Lorrain.

“His injuries were surrounding his mouth and eye, so he’ll need surgery to repair that,” said Jean-Paul Lemay with the Gatineau police.

Gatineau bylaws say pit bulls and other “dangerous” dogs must be kept inside a building in a locked area, or on a leash with a muzzle when they’re outside.

That falls short of the all-out ban on the dogs that’s been in place in Ontario since 2005.

Neighbours of the two dogs involved in Wednesday’s attack said they aren’t dangerous.

“Those dogs aren’t wild dogs or anything like that,” said Richard Allain. “They come around here and they’re friendly dogs.”

One of the dogs just had puppies and may have been defending them, with both being tested by the Gatineau SPCA for temperament.

That SPCA’s director said the dogs may be a pit bull/boxer mix, but it’s not clear if their bloodlines are a factor.

“We receive a lot of pit bulls through the years and we know for a fact that pit bulls aren’t a more aggressive dog than others,” said France Dubois, who added any dog can be unpredictable.

With a report from CTV Ottawa’s Ellen Mauro