Two dogs that were inside a stolen RV during a wild police chase Tuesday night suffered only minor injuries after one jumped from the moving vehicle and the other survived several collisions, authorities said Wednesday.
One of the dogs had a possible paw fracture and lacerations and was taken to a private veterinarian, while the other remained at a city shelter, said Justin Khosrowabadi, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services.
The dog with the paw injury will be seen by the department’s veterinarian Wednesday. Both are in stable condition, he said.
Animal services said the woman who was driving the recreational vehicle and was arrested after the pursuit — Julie Ann Rainbird — is not the dogs’ owner, based on their microchip data. The department is trying to contact the owners, Khosrowabadi said.
The animals were seen sitting on Rainbird’s lap as she led authorities on a pursuit reaching speeds up to 60 mph, smashing into a palm tree and bouncing off several cars as parts of the camper came flying off.
Rainbird, 52, was arrested on suspicion of eluding a police officer, hit-and-run and assault, according to the California Highway Patrol. She is being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Sheriff’s Deputy Tracy Koerner said the RV was reported stolen in Simi Valley. KABC-TV News reported that the chase began at 7:05 p.m. near Towsley Canyon Road in Santa Clarita after the RV failed to yield.
At least six other vehicles were reportedly struck during the pursuit, which included a detour through a parking lot. While trying to make a wide left turn from the lot, the RV smashed into a palm tree. The impact sheared off part of the side of the vehicle and took out the front windshield.
The RV finally stopped after rear-ending a car in Tarzana. The driver then made a run for it and tried to scale a fence. She was tackled, handcuffed and eventually taken away by ambulance on a gurney.
Rainbird and the person in the car she struck were taken to Northridge Hospital Medical Center. The other driver suffered major injuries, authorities said while Rainbird’s injuries were minor.