One of three Rottweilers involved in a Sept. 15 attack on a Rockville woman died Dec. 27 at an undisclosed kennel where it was being held.

Lear, a 5-year-old female, was housed at the kennel while city officials and the Montgomery County Circuit Court were trying to determine whether the pet should be killed along with her two male offspring.

A statement issued by the city on the day of the dog's death indicated that the animal died of bloat, a condition common to "large breeds with with deep chest cavities." The statement also said that the dog's death came several hours after undergoing surgery for the condition at the kennel.

Lear, along with her two-year-old offspring, Caesar and Bear, mauled Arlynn Joffe and her three-year-old son, Mark, while they were walking in their North Farm neighborhood. Arlynn Joffe's wounds required more than 150 stitches.

Since the attack, the Rockville Animal Control Board has refused to consider a request from the city and the Joffes that the dogs be destroyed. The board had ruled the dogs be separated, tatooed for identification and banished from the city.

City officials have filed an appeal in Circuit Court of the board's decision. No hearing date has been set.


Mayor Edward F. Sharp and the City Council will hold a work session on Monday night at the Municipal Building to interview candidates for the Ward 7 council seat.

The $3,600-a-year post became vacant when Sharp was appointed by his council colleagues to fill the remaining year of Stephen J. Del Giudice's term as mayor.

The City Council will take a final vote on the new member at its Jan. 14 meeting.

Residents of Ward 7, which lies mostly on the Prince George's County side of the city, have until 5 p.m. tomorrow to contact the city clerk's office to express interest in the job. The clerk's office must receive a letter of interest by that time.

As of last Friday, only one resident, Juan Torres, the director of the Cheverly Department of Public Works, had filed a letter of interest with the city. Before taking the Cheverly post about 18 months ago, Torres, 37, worked for about two years as Takoma Park's assistant director of public works.

In other news, the Takoma Park Police Department last week started a telephone line that will provide recorded crime prevention tips and as well as information on the past week's crime incidents. The number is 270-0031.

Officer Kathleen Coursey, who heads the department's community services unit, said that the phone line is intended to provide a convenient link with the community.

"We are a local police department," Coursey said, "and, I think it's another way we can stay in touch."

Coursey said the line could be helpful, for example, in alerting a neighborhood to a flurry of burglaries. The recording, Coursey said, will be updated every Friday afternoon, but may be changed more frequently if events warrant.


Free blood pressure checks are available at the Wheaton Regional Library on the last Wednesday of each month from 10 to 11 a.m.

The library, located at 11701 Georgia Ave., is sponsoring the testing program through its Health Information Center.

The screenings, which started Dec. 26, are being done by Red Cross volunteers.

For information, call 949-7710, or TTD for the hearing impaired, 933-2847.