(12-17) 14:14 PST SAN FRANCISCO -- In the heart of San Francisco's Nob Hill sits Huntington Park, an elegant town square and popular open space for residents of one of the city's swankiest neighborhoods.Read it all here. Of course this should look familiar to this blog's readers. What we lack so far is some wealthy person who's been mauled by an unleashed dog, at least such a person who's been willing to go public about it. That too will come.
It is also the most recent site of the protracted battle over San Francisco's off-leash dog policy, a passionate political issue for a city where dogs outnumber children and only about 10 percent of parks have officially sanctioned off-leash areas.
Neighbors here are divided between those who say off-leash dogs aren't a problem in Huntington Park and others who argue they're dangerous.
The fight intensified last month when Marion Cope, 74, a prominent Nob Hill resident, was bitten on the calf by an unleashed dog, resulting in a three-week hospital stay.
"It was terribly scary," Cope said. The day of the attack she was walking her Irish terrier on a leash in the park. "Dogs are supposed to be on leash in the park, but people ignore the law and the situation has gotten out of control."
Jana Holm, 60, goes to the park every day with her two cocker spaniels, Augie and Rex, and allows them to play off-leash. She said the incident was unfortunate and extremely unusual. "I've been coming here 17 years and that's never happened before. This is a wonderful park for all of us to play in - all of us. There's no need for a conflict." Then there are neighbors like Simon Ireland, a father of two who has been lobbying city officials for a year to enforce the leash law.
His 2-year-old son, who "loves the park, has been knocked over three times by dogs running through the sandboxes," he said, adding that dogs soil the grass.
"I want to see some action taken to change the park back into a park and not a dog run sustained and ignored by authorities, which it has now become," he said.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
More on the San Fran Dog Attack
From Friday's San Francisco Chronicle:
Posted by credo-ny at 7:47 AM