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According to [Rebecca] Katz, [chief of the city's Animal Care and Control Department], dog bites are indeed up in San Francisco, which probably doesn't help the off leash advocates with their current cause. Over the last two years, there were 766 reported bites. That included 71 single nips, 441 single bites, and 22 maulings, according to Katz. In the two years prior to that, there were 543 dog bites in San Francisco. Katz attributed the large spike in bites to a more efficient and accurate reporting system citywide.
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From a correspondent:
Since last year an Italian Mastiff (also called Cane Corso) has been seen wandering the woods of Prospect Park. It seems to prefer the forests of Lookout Hill, but I've also seen it in the forests of Quaker Ridge. It is a very large, powerful dog and does not have a collar. Today I saw it running from the area of the lake near Vanderbilt Avenue towards Lookout Hill. There were several people near the lake who were rightly scared of this dog. It looks like it weights over 150 lbs. A gentleman named Jose told me that he witnessed the dog killing a raccoon behind the Wellhouse last month. Over the last year I have had conversations with NYPD officers, rangers from the department of parks and Parks Enforcement Patrol officers about this potentially dangerous, free-roaming animal, yet it is still present. When I asked a woman from P.E.P. why they just didn't contact Animal Care and Control to trap it she replied, "Oh, animal care and control doesn't do that." As recently as January the department of health has identified rabid raccoons in Brooklyn. It's bad enough that this dog can prowl unfettered in a major urban park, but it boggles the mind that there is absolutely no intellectual connection in the thought process of parks administrators between the presence of rabid wildlife and an extremely large free-roaming dog living in said park.
Here's a logical explanation for the DPR's seeming negligence. Remember that according to the DPR, unleashed dogs "make parks safer". As we've explained, that's because a certain Undesirable Element is afraid of dogs, so the more unleashed dogs, the fewer of that Undesirable Element in the park. And those are unleashed dogs who--supposedly--are under their owners' control. An unleashed dog under nobody's control, particularly one who is at a strong risk for rabies, will ultimately scare everyone away from the park, making it so safe that it doesn't even need to be patrolled by humans. Instead, the park will be patrolled by an out-of-control, potentially rabid dog. Saves money too.