At least two witnesses at Fort Funston identified a frequent dog walker as the man who stabbed a pooch four times, but the U.S. Park Police has yet to make an arrest.
Last weekend, a tight-knit dog-walking community spread the story of a woman whose dog Lenny survived at least four stab wounds, but had to have his spleen removed. And at least one of the dog’s lungs was punctured, police said.
Even though two witnesses said a 33-year-old man known among the community for owning a pit bull that was not neutered was to blame, federal park officials said they are not arresting anyone until they lock down the appropriate charges.
“It’s not TV,” Park Ranger George Durgerian said. “They have to investigate it properly.”
Witnesses said the stabbing happened around 2:30 p.m. Thursday when Lenny and his owner were passing a man with a pit bull on the Sunset Trail. She asked him to hold his dog while they passed. However, after they passed, she turned around and saw Lenny covered in blood.
Police did not say whether the dogs were on leashes because the investigation is ongoing.
Durgerian said police are considering a “range of [charges] because they want to do it right,” but could not say the types of accusations they are considering. Police, who interviewed the man, did not release his name pending further investigation.
Meanwhile, dog owners are passing out fliers at Fort Funston with a warning and a description of the man, anticipating an arrest, but seasoned dog walkers are asking everyone to remain calm.
“This was a crazy individual. There’s absolutely no reason for any concern,” said Nancy Stafford, a co-director of the San Francisco Professional Dogwalkers Association. “It wouldn’t be any more likely to happen there than anywhere else.”
Stafford, who has walked dogs for 20 years, said Lenny’s owner is a member of the association, and it seems like Lenny is going to survive. The dog was released from the hospital Saturday.
“She said there was absolutely no contact between the dogs,” Stafford said. “She said, ‘Can you hold your dog?’ He was coming one way, she was coming the other. She turned around ... and I don’t know what the heck was going on.”
Fort Funston is under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Park Police because it’s part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which is operated by the National Park Service.
Wire services contributed to this report.