The fate of the two dogs captured after a July 1 Golden Gate Park attack, in which three people were mauled, was decided last Thursday. The legally mandated 10-day observation period had ended and no one has stepped forth to claim the dogs, putting their lives in the hands of San Francisco Animal Care and Control.
Initial reports implicated both the female boxer-mastiff mix and the male pit bull in the attacks on Martin and the two other victims–one who suffered injuries, one who was bitten but uninjured–in the vicinity of Lloyd Lake, near Fulton and Crossover drive early that morning.
Since then, though some reports continue to state that the male dog was the only one who bit victims, interviews with the victims and witnesses actually confirmed that both dogs participated, ACC spokesperson Deb Campbell told the Appeal.
“We discovered that both dogs were involved in the…biting and attack” said Campbell “and we have a responsibility to keep the city safe from dangerous animals, so they were both euthanized on Thursday.”
According to a report from KGO-TV, the most seriously injured victim, 71-year-old Bela Martin is still being treated at a rehab facility in the city, recuperating from severe bite wounds. The male pit bull bit off a piece of her left leg, which is now attached to a machine that drains fluid from her wound. She remains traumatized from the event.
In an interview with KGO-TV’s Vic Lee, Martin recalls, “They wouldn’t let go, they wouldn’t let go; just grab and grab and bite and bite and bite.”
In answer to some internet commenters who had hoped for rehabilitation for these dogs, though Campbell conceded that having to kill these dogs is “a sad situation,” she also said “it was kind of inevitable” given that their owner never came forward.
Campbell says there weren’t a lot of alternatives to death for these dogs, as animal rehabilitation and rescue organizations would have “a hard time justifying taking on dogs that have demonstrated this kind of behavior, when there are so many other animals that need their help.”
Additional reporting: Eve Batey