UPDATE 04/16/09: Alameda police have suspended their search for the owner of a dog that bit an 80-year-old woman on March 21 as she walked along Bay Farm Island. Police cited a lack of leads as the reason for suspending their investigation into the death of Dolly Newell, who died three days after the dog bite became infected. A separate article reviews aspects of Dolly's life, her family members and her upcoming memorial service.
04/02/09: Police Searching for Dog Owner
Alameda police are still attempting to locate the owner of a dog that bit an elderly woman as she walked on Bay Farm Island, causing an injury that led to her death. Police received numerous phone calls last week when the media reported that 80-year old Dolly Newell died March 24, just three days after the wound became infected. But no one who called knew the dog or its owner, Alameda police Sgt. Don Owyang said Tuesday.
It's anyone's guess what type of dog owner authorities are seeking. Possibly the same type of owner whose dog has a bite record; would flee the scene after an attack; would fail to come forward to save the victim from rabies shots; would stand by while their dog attacks; would blame a cougar for an attack instead of their own dog; would sic their dog on a child because its "funny" and would blame the victim for not having insurance.
Dolly Newell is dead because she protected this dog owner. Now this dog owner won't come forward; that makes 2 abominations.
03/26/09:Woman Hides Bite from Doctors archived
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Newell did go to the hospital, but instead of telling doctors about the bite, she told them "she had injured herself while gardening." Doctors stitched her up and sent her home. A few days later, a friend found her semi-conscious. She was taken back to the hospital, where she died of an infection from the bite. Investigators said Newell did not report the bite because she did not want the dog to be quarantined.
03/26/09: Victim "Self Treats," Dies of Infection
Alameda, CA - In a painfully tragic story, an 80-year-old woman died yesterday after a dog bite became infected and caused her to slip into a coma. The victim, Dolly Newell, did not go to the hospital. Instead, she treated the injury herself, which ultimately lead to her death. Newell told a friend that she did not contact authorities because she did not want the offending dog to "get into trouble." This may be the same reason why she did not go to the hospital.
Always receive medical attention after a dog bite. The infectious nature of a dog bite, as witnessed here, can be deadly.
Investigators are now trying to locate the dog that bit Newell on Saturday. Newell had been walking her black rottweiler and police suspect that she was bit after she stopped and talked with a fellow dog-walker. "We think that she was likely petting the other person's dog and it snapped at her," Alameda police Sgt. Don Owyang said. Currently, police do not have a description of the dog or its owner. They hope someone may have seen the incident.
After Newell was bit on her left hand, she went home and treated the injury herself. According to Owyang, she told a friend that she did not contact authorities because she did not want the dog to "get into trouble." Investigators believe Newell was bit about 1 p.m. It may have happened on a path near the Harbor Landing Shopping Center or the Safeway supermarket or as she walked in the area of Fir Avenue and Holly Street near Doc Harrington Park.
12/20/08: A Recent Review of California Fatal Dog Attacks (2006-2008)
09/15/08: 2008 Fatality: Cancer Patient, 55, Mauled by Dogs Dies