Keep Fido on a leash. That’s the lesson experts are advising canine owners after a rash of dog-on-dog attacks in The City.
The most recent incident happened on the evening of Feb. 26, as Kim Ferguson took her 12-year-old poodle Dijon on a walk at Nob Hill’s Huntington Park. As per the rules of the park, Ferguson kept Dijon on a leash.
Suddenly, a much larger mix-breed dog rushed towards the pair and clamped its mouth upon Dijon’s 12-pound body. The dog, estimated at 60 pounds, shook the poor pup like a chew toy and left him lifeless within minutes.
Of San Francisco’s 225 parks, only 28 have designated off-leash play areas.
To avoid harmful or even deadly encounters, Co-President of the SF SPCA Jennifer Scarlett recommends keeping larger dogs on leash when they are around smaller animals.
Prey drives occur when a larger dog attacks a smaller one, and Scarlett said the behavior is hard to correct. However, she stressed it’s the owners’ responsibility to keep their pooches in check:
“You are obligated to keep your dog under control, especially if there is a bite history. Most dogs are great at giving signals, and humans are great at ignoring signals.”
Meanwhile, Dijon’s attacker and owner have yet to be identified, but Officer John Denny of Animal Care and Control hopes the dog owner will come forward.
“This is a tragic accident,” Denny said. “This is not an eye-for-an-eye thing; we have civil remedies of dealing with it.”