An animal believed to be a dog or coyote attacked a family on a walking path in Lisbon on Saturday evening, police say.

The victims – a man, woman and their 11-year-old daughter – were treated for bite wounds at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. Lisbon Police Chief Marc Hagan posted a statement about the incident on the department’s Facebook page Sunday.

Hagan said the family was on the Lisbon walking path near the Androscoggin River about 6:30 p.m. when the attack happened. They described the unknown animal as being roughly 80 pounds.

In an email to The Times Record newspaper in Brunswick, Hagan said the animal most likely was a loose dog that attacked the family.

“Without a description, however, we are forced to look at all possibilities,” he wrote.

Police said the animal first attacked the young girl, who suffered bite wounds to her leg. The 37-year-old mother tried to pull her daughter away from the animal. The woman suffered a bite wound to her hand and reportedly lost a piece of her finger. The 38-year-old father also suffered minor wounds to his hand when prying the animal’s mouth away from his wife’s hand. A 16-month-old dog with them at the time of the attack was not bitten.

They fled the area and went to the hospital, Hagan said. The family’s treatment will include rabies vaccines. Lisbon police do not know if the animal was rabid.

If the family’s description of the animal’s weight is accurate, it was likely not a coyote. The Eastern Coyote – the species that lives in the Northeast – weighs between 30 and 40 pounds, with some documented at 50 pounds, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

The state estimates there are 15,000 coyotes in Maine. Coyotes live all over the state and have been sighted in suburban and urban areas.

The Lisbon police chief asked people on or near the walking path who see a coyote or unaccompanied dog to call the Lisbon Police Department at 911 or 353-2500.

“The police department will be conducting patrols on the walking path throughout the next several days as the investigation continues,” Hagan wrote in his post. “If anyone witnessed this attack, or has further information as to the possible identity of the animal or its owner, you are asked to contact the Lisbon Police Department at 353-2500.”

As of Sunday night, the Lisbon Police Department’s Communications Center said there had been no additional reports of animal attacks on the town walking path.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey contributed to this report.

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