Bay Area/ San Francisco/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 10, 2024
UPDATE: SFPD Identifies Dog Owners from Viral Mauling Video that Showed Vicious Attack on Four-Year-Old Near Marina PreschoolSource: Nextdoor / Clare Wong

Following the harrowing incident on May 22 where a four-year-old boy was viciously attacked by a white Husky mix near his preschool in the Marina, San Francisco police have finally identified the dog and its owners. The attack, which occurred at around 5:05 p.m. near the 2700 block of Lombard Street, left the child with a deep wound and several smaller cuts, necessitating medical attention that included stitches and a series of rabies vaccine shots. The owners of the dog had not provided identification or contact information at the site, which propelled the San Francisco Police Department's Vicious and Dangerous Dog Unit to take lead on the investigation, as detailed in a SFPD news release.

The dog's owners were eventually located in San Francisco and have been cited for failure to provide information after a dog bite and for not reporting the incident to the Department of Animal Care and Control, with both citations stemming from sections 39a and 39b of the San Francisco Health Code, according to the SFPD announcement. A hearing will soon be convened to determine the future steps in this ongoing case; this follows the widespread circulation of a Nextdoor post by the victim's mother and a viral video which prompted public concern and demands for justice.

The initial story broke earlier in June when the boy's mother, who asked Hoodline SF to be identified only as Clare, recounted the harrowing experience. "My four-year-old son was attacked and severely injured by a large, vicious dog near his preschool in the Marina," she said, noting that the dog was unleashed and the owners neglected their responsibility of controlling their pet, also failing to provide any identifying information post-attack.

According to the mother, rather than stick around to ensure the child was properly cared for, the two instead finished their beers and quickly left.

The community was asked to assist in identifying the dog and its owners to prevent further harm, especially given the proximity to a local preschool, which suggested a continuous danger to other children.

As cited by Hoodline SF, a concerning uptick in dog bite-related ER visits has been recorded in California, jumping from 73 per 100,000 residents in 2005 to 125 per 100,000 in 2022.

The family's distress is palpable, as the young boy's mother recounts through a post on Nextdoor, "The emotional recovery from this trauma could be a long journey for my son, who used to love dogs but is now terrified of them," while the physical scars bear testament to a brutal assault that could have rendered even more devastating consequences, this case stands as a solemn reminder to the citizens of San Francisco that the companions we choose must be guided by a hand of responsibility, and when that hand is absented, it is the community that suffers - and seeks to mend what has been broken.