German shepherd that bit cop running out of chances 

A dog that bit a police lieutenant and a waitress in the Tenderloin neighborhood Monday could be euthanized if the owner does not muzzle and make him wear a caution tag.

The fate of the German shepherd named Jama, the companion for the past nine years of Stephanie Mitchell, was discussed at a police hearing Thursday regarding the most recent attack. But at the hearing, Officer John Denny, who presides over The City’s Vicious and Dangerous Dog Unit, was told that it was Jama’s fifth such incident during the past three years.

Denny said that if Mitchell is reunited with Jama, who is in Animal Care and Control’s custody, he will have to be muzzled and micro-chipped, take obedience lessons and wear a caution tag.

“If [Mitchell] disobeys that order, you call 911,” he told the victim of the bite at the hearing. “There’s a possibility that the dog might be destroyed.”

During the most recent attack, Jama bit the leg of waitress Mei Rui, who was serving Mitchell and her friend waffles and pancakes at the Manor House restaurant.

Then Jama bit Lt. Lou Espinda’s hand when he responded to the scene and held the dog’s leash.

Rui and Espinda were treated at the hospital.

Mitchell told police that the dog bit Rui because he thought she was taking away her food and then bit Espinda because he was being a protector.

Jama’s rap sheet includes similar incidents in the Tenderloin.

But Denny said that unless Mitchell can prove that she has a stable home, she might not get Jama back at all. Mitchell told him she has secured six months at the Ellis Hotel and is seeking permanent housing.

“He’s the only thing in my life,” she told him. “It would really destroy me greatly to have him destroyed.”

Denny said he needed a few more days to contact the people who were bitten in the past and then decide what to do with Jama. Even though Jama has not severely wounded anyone, he is still vicious and dangerous.

“If he comes back to me, he will be put down,” Denny said.

kkelkar@sfexaminer.com

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Kamala Kelkar

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