A man was killed and a woman was seriously injured by dogs in the Southern California desert on Tuesday.

Riverside County sheriff’s deputies were called to the community of North Shore and found a man dead in the front yard of a home. Deputies said they heard a cry for help from a woman who was being attacked by two dogs nearby.

The deputies' patrol car lights and sirens scared the dogs away. The woman was hospitalized for major injuries. There was no immediate word on her condition.

Authorities search the area and captured two dogs – including an aggressive animal that had to be tranquilized.

The Desert Sun of Palm Springs reported authorities believe the dogs are pit bulls and their owners are being sought.

John Welsh, a spokesman for the animal service department, told the newspaper he will recommend that the owners euthanize the dogs. Welsh said he could only recall three deadly animal attacks in his nine years of working with animal services.

"A human being has lost their life to a dog," he said. "If this is not a wake up call for some folks, what is? ... (Owners) have to be extra vigilant, because something like this can occur. It's a tragedy, and it's something that's totally preventable."

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.