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Monday, March 12, 2012

Kim Ferguson, Owner of Slain Poodle, Wants Canine Assailant Put Down

Posted By on Mon, Mar 12, 2012 at 3:45 PM

Dijon - COURTESY KIM FERGUSON
  • Courtesy Kim Ferguson
  • Dijon

Angst over San Francisco's poorly enforced dog-leash laws was revived last week when a poodle was allegedly killed by an out-of-control mastiff in Huntington Park. Police continue to search for the owner of the dog that was running off-leash when it attacked and killed Dijon (pictured at right).

Now the owner of the deceased pup says the only appropriate form of justice for the park's canine aggressor is the most severe: The dog should be confiscated by animal control authorities and put down, according to Nob Hill resident Kim Ferguson.

"It's a concern for me, and for other dog owners and people with children," Ferguson tells SF Weekly. "I was hoping that the dog would be put down for such a vicious attack."

Ferguson says she was disappointed to read comments made by San Francisco Police Officer John Denny, who handles investigations of dangerous dogs, to the San Francisco Examiner on Friday. The newspaper reported that Denny said "it's extremely rare for a dog to be put down after one such attack," and that he would likely recommend simply muzzling the dog and training it better.

Ferguson says Denny assured her the dog who killed her poodle would be put down if found: "He said the dog would be put down. That's what he told me."

Denny did not respond to calls for comment.

Ferguson says she snapped this photo on her phone of the dog that killed Dijon -- and its owner
  • Ferguson says she snapped this photo on her phone of the dog that killed Dijon -- and its owner
It's the second time in just over two years that a brutal dog attack in Huntington Park has stirred outrage among those who say the city's enforcement of its leash laws is too lax. All dogs are supposed to be leashed at Huntington Park, but owners often flout the law.

As SF Weekly first reported, in November 2009 Nob Hill resident Marion Cope sustained a leg injury during an alleged attack by four off-leash dogs while walking her Irish terrier, Clancy. Two of the dogs involved were later deemed not vicious and dangerous by the SFPD Vicious and Dangerous Animals Unit.

The 2009 incident provoked a large neighborhood meeting and promises to crack down on off-leash dogs, but Ferguson says little has changed. "It's completely ridiculous," she says. "In three years, I've never seen a police officer" enforcing leash laws at Huntington Park.

Ferguson says she took this photo of the dog who killed Dijon, and its owner -- who she says fled the scene without talking to her after the attack as she tended to her dog.

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