A pair of pitbulls were found in an otherwise unoccupied sailboat drifting off the coast of La Jolla by local lifeguards on Wednesday, January 21.
The boat had been seen anchored near La Jolla Shores on Tuesday evening. Authorities suspect a high tide sometime during the night broke the vessel free of its anchors.
Lifeguards towed the 24-foot catamaran to Mission Bay and called County Animal Services for assistance. The dogs were found locked in a cabin, reportedly with no access to water and in "unsanitary condition."
The boat's owner, whom the county did not identify in a Wednesday–evening release, is said to be known to travel to and from his boat by paddle board; his board was found on shore and witnesses claim to have seen him come ashore, so he is not believed to be in danger.
Because the dogs have no microchip identification, they'll be held for 14 days at the local animal shelter on Gaines Street to give the owner an opportunity to claim them. Although the likely owner has been identified by vessel registration records, authorities say they have no way to reach him.