A Rockville woman out for a walk with her 3-year-old son was attacked and bitten repeatedly by three dogs yesterday as the terrified boy looked on.

The woman, Arlynn Joffe, 39, suffered nine major bites on her legs, back and arm, and required 150 stitches for a wound on her left thigh, said Mark Joffe, the victim's husband.

Arlynn Joffe was admitted to Suburban Hospital, Mark Joffe said.

The Joffes' child, Brett, also was bitten but not seriously injured, Mark Joffe said.

The attack occurred yesterday morning in the 400 block of Green Pasture Drive. Neighbors said the dogs were Rottweilers, which are tall, powerful, short-haired cattle dogs of German breeding.

Michael Shlesinger, a resident on the block, said he was in his house when he heard loud barking, then screams.

"I saw {the dogs} weren't just challenging her, they were actually biting her," Shlesinger said. Shlesinger ran to the woman and boy, took each of them by the hand and tried to get them into his house. Two dogs attacked Arlynn Joffe's legs and another went after her arm, Shlesinger said.

"They kept attacking her," he said. "We kept making progress, then we'd fall down. They wouldn't let her go. If they could have brought her down, they would have killed her."

Mark Joffe said Rockville police questioned his wife about the attack at the hospital. He said animal control officers were called, and the dogs were found to have had rabies vaccinations. The dogs were later returned to their owners.

Norman Oremland, president of the neighborhood association where the attack took place, said the dogs have been an ongoing problem, sometimes running free and menacing residents. A woman who identified herself only as one of the owners of the dogs would not comment last night.

Mark Joffe said the couple who own the dogs were apologetic and visited his wife in the hospital twice. Nevertheless, he said, he plans to seek to have the dogs destroyed.