SF Ranks First: In Dog Attacks/Sq. Mi. on Postal Workers

At Wild Equity, we love our dogs. We dote on them and give them the best doggie-life possible.

But we also take our role as dog guardians to heart. And that includes making sure our dogs are safe and ensuring they don’t disturb the people, wildlife, and plants around us.

So stand with us and contact the Board of Supervisors and tell them to support safe dog parks and leash law enforcement today.

Unfortunately, the City of San Francisco doesn’t take this obligation seriously, and its failure is causing numerous preventable problems. For example, in 2012, the City ranked fifth among U.S. Cities in total letter carrier attacks with 38: per square mile of land, the City ranked first.

Postal workers aren’t the only ones at risk. In April, an off-leash dog killed two Canadian goslings at Crissy Field. Last year, a dog was ferociously mauled to death in Nob Hill Park, and a police horse was attacked at Crissy Field, injuring both the horse and rider.

These statistics are surprising to some because the city of St. Francis has always welcomed animals. But there are two clear reasons why the City’s dog bite statistics are extraordinary: fortunately, there are also two clear ways to reduce the number of incidents.

First, most of San Francisco’s off-leash dog parks do not include the most basic element of good dog park design: they lack physical barriers that are necessary to keep our dogs safe.. Second, leash laws are not adequately enforced outside these areas, allowing dogs to roam freely most everywhere in San Francisco.

Dog guardians, often unwittingly, put their dogs and other park users at risk when they let their dogs roam off-leash in illegal areas or in poorly designed dog parks. Dogs run the risk of getting lost, running into oncoming traffic, disturbing wildlife and other park users, and in places like Fort Funston, falling off steep cliffs.

All these incidents could be greatly reduced or prevented altogether if the City fully enclosed our dog parks with physical barriers, and then enforced leash laws outside of these areas so we all become accustomed to letting our dogs enjoy off-leash activity in areas where it is safe to do so.

Municipalities are starting to recognize the importance of these basic safety concepts. Indeed, earlier this year Tiverton, Rhode Island adopted a leash law for the first time, with most dog owners supporting the law.

As dog owners, we have an obligation to our fellow San Franciscans to keep our dogs under control. Let’s tell San Francisco we want safe parks for everyone, including our canine pals. Contact the Board of Supervisors and tell them to support safe dog parks and leash law enforcement today.

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