Three pit bulls that bit two people last week near Newport Coast Drive and East Coast Highway could have been abandoned, police said this week, and don’t reflect a wider problem.
The dogs bit a woman, 57, and her son, 16, about 5:30 a.m. on June 8. A police officer arrived at the scene, and the dogs advanced, and with the officer inside the car, the dogs attacked the car; read our story here.
“We do not believe there are other packs of dogs running loose in the City,” said Animal Control Officer Valerie Schomburg in an email. “We do not know where the dogs came from. It is possible that the dogs were abandoned in the area together. We don’t routinely receive calls reporting loose dogs, especially in the area of the Marriott Newport Coast Villas.”
The dogs were taken to Orange County Animal Control for testing, she said, adding that there has not been a dog with confirmed rabies in the state of California in more than 50 years.
The dogs had been seen running on the golf course before police located them and euthanized them.
Nearby hiking trails are considered to be very safe from animal attacks, Schomburg said in her email. However, anyone who is confronted with a vicious dog should never try to run to escape, she said.
“It is recommended that you yell, scream, and try to make a big presence,” she wrote. “If necessary, you can grab something to throw towards the animal to try to frighten it away. Please don’t turn and run.”