Nassau police said they would continue to search on foot and from the air for one of two dogs that mauled a North Merrick woman Thursday -- and warned the public to stay way from the animal if it's spotted.
Det. Lt. Kevin Smith, a police spokesman, said officers would conduct periodic checks while patrolling near the site of the 11 a.m. mauling on Meadowbrook Road in North Merrick. He added that the broad search launched after the attack had been scaled back. After the attack, police shot and killed one of the pit bulls but the other, described as tan with white in its belly area, escaped.
The Emergency Services Unit and air bureau have joined State Police and the Town of Hempstead Animal Control unit since the two dogs attacked the victim as she walked by a senior center on Thursday morning.
"It's unknown whether the dog is wounded, dead or made its way back to wherever it may live with an owner," Smith said. "We are encouraging residents to report sightings and to call 911 if they see this animal. They should not approach or try to contain it. They should waste no time in calling 911."
Suraj Sharma said his mother, Shashi Sharma of North Merrick, was "stable and her vitals are good" after several hours of surgery for extensive bite wounds she suffered in the dog attack.
Shashi Sharma managed to dial 911 after the two dogs set upon her Thursday, but by the time police arrived, the pit bulls had inflicted "serious, deep lacerations to her left arm and both legs," Smith said.
Surgeons at Nassau University Medical Center "successfully repaired numerous tendon and soft-tissue injuries," hospital spokeswoman Shelley Lotenberg said Friday morning.
Two patrol cars and members of the county police Emergency Services Unit continued to search the area into Friday afternoon, a police spokeswoman said.
Police said Friday the dog could be hiding in a heavily wooded area.
With Zachary R. Dowdy, Deborah S. Morris
and William Murphy