Dog-Stabbing Now San Francisco's No. 1 Story

Categories: Animals, Crime
dog hold knife.jpg
Revenge of the dogs?
The knifing of Lenny the dog at Fort Funston and the looming potential arrest of the 33-year-old alleged culprit is now the story in San Francisco.

"Man Stabs Dog" is a crime that has everything required to get San Franciscans abuzz -- and keep them that way: Violence, bizarre behavior, suspense -- the suspect has been ID'd, but may or may not be arrested --  and, of course, dogs. "There's something about the complete helplessness of animals that makes people feel more sympathetic," admits Linda McKay, chair of the Fort Funston Dog Walkers. "We raise up more with children and animals because of how unprotected they seem."

(It's at this point that we're obliged to mention how Police Chief George Gascon chided us all about not being outraged enough about the murder of German tourist Mechthild Schröer, which should not have been a "one-day story.")

In any event, the Thursday stabbing of Lenny the pit bull by the 33-year-old owner of "Denali," also a pit bull, will have to go down as a head-scratcher. The alleged knife man, McKay adds, was well known to some of her dog-walking compatriots. And he was not seen as a dangerous or even weird person. "People at Fort Funston know him. And he does frequent other parks. To some people, he's a very nice person," she said. "Someone told me they walked with him and he was a very nice guy."

Something apparently went very wrong last week, however. After allegedly being questioned if his dog was neutered -- it wasn't -- the 33-year-old is accused of knifing Lenny, the personal dog of a professional dog-walker. Lenny, by the way, is okay. He's pulling through

McKay can't recall another person-vs.-dog stabbing -- though enraged dog-walkers do occasionally resort to beating or kicking other people's dogs. Last year, she says, a yoga instructor ("of all things -- a very pacificistic person") had an argument with a man on the beach, and he began kicking her dog. That devolved into a physical fight and the police were called in. In general, fights between dogs aren't unusual, fights between people are not unheard of -- but fights between people and dogs are odd.

"I don't think this is cut and dried at all," says McKay. "There's no excuse for what happened. But I have to think there are two sides to this story." She can't wait to hear more.

That's how all of San Francisco feels.

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