LISBON — Lisbon police haven’t found the animal that apparently attacked a family Saturday evening on the town’s walking path.

Police have not found any sign of the dog or coyote that reportedly attacked a family on the Androscoggin River trail Saturday evening. Lisbon Police Chief Marc Hagan said he patrolled the walking trail along the river Monday and found nothing. Photo courtesy of Marc Hagan

Lisbon Police Chief Marc Hagan said Monday that the investigation has been challenging, in part because more than two hours passed between when the attack happened and when staff at St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston notified law enforcement. The family later told police they were worried about getting treatment for their daughter before calling police.

Hagan asked anyone on the path to notify police immediately or call 911 if they saw either a coyote or a dog without its owner in the area. So far, police haven’t received any calls as of Monday.

The family of three had moved to Lisbon in March. Being new to the area, they couldn’t tell police exactly where they were on the trail, except that they had made it beyond the Big Dipper Ice Cream shop along Route 196 and were near the river. Much of the trail runs along the river.

Police on all-terrain vehicles accompanied by a state game warden Saturday night searched for the animal, and have been back periodically to patrol the area. Hagan said Monday afternoon he’d just walked the couple miles of trail himself but found nothing.

Police sent out a news release Sunday saying a dog or coyote attacked the family on the trail at around 6:30 p.m. Saturday.

“The unknown animal, believed to be a dog or coyote of roughly 80 pounds, initially attacked the family’s 11-year-old daughter, who suffered bite wounds to her leg,” Hagan stated in the release. “The girl’s 37-year-old mother then suffered a bite wound to her hand, reportedly losing a piece of her finger, when she attempted to pull her daughter away from the animal.”

The father, 38, then reportedly suffered minor wounds to his hand when prying the animal’s mouth off his wife’s hand.

According to Hagan, the family had a 16-month old Saint Bernard with them that was not bitten.

The three family members were treated and released from a hospital, and the young girl was expected to return for more treatment Monday. The family also was treated for rabies as a precaution.

With no further description of the animal, Hagan said police had to consider all possibilities.

At least one person commenting on the Lisbon police Facebook post about the attack worried about the safety of children at Lisbon Community School, near one end of the trail.

Rick Green, Superintendent of Lisbon schools, said Lisbon Community School staff were reminded Monday morning to be cautious during outdoor recess. His office hadn’t received any calls from parents worried about their child’s safety.

“If nothing else, it’s a good reminder for people to be aware of your surroundings,” he said. “Be aware of what’s around you and where you are.”

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