Golden Gate Park dog attack victim still traumatized

July 12, 2010 6:51:12 PM PDT
It has been two weeks since a series of vicious dog attacks in Golden Gate Park. Three people were mauled; one is still being treated for serious wounds. That victim is traumatized by what happened.

Animal control, which captured the dogs, still has no idea who owns them. They both had harnesses when they were captured but no tags or microchips.

Meanwhile, senior citizen Bela Martin is still being treated at a rehab facility in the city.

"They wouldn't let go, they wouldn't let go; just grab and grab and bite and bite and bite," Martin said, recalling the attack.

The dog attack is a haunting memory for 71-year-old Martin. She remembers every horrific detail even though it has been two weeks since the two dogs appeared out of nowhere as she was taking her daily walk in Golden Gate Park.

"At times I get emotional; I get?crying, upset, stuff like that. But who wouldn't get upset and crying after stuff like that," Martin said.

Martin is now recuperating at this rehab facility from severe bite wounds. The male pit bull took a chunk out of her left leg, which is now attached to a machine that drains fluid from her wound.

There is no telling when she can go home.

She has other worries as well.

"Of course [the city] should be responsible for what I have to pay now and what I have to do now and what kind of life I will have," Martin said.

Martin lives alone. She has a few relatives, but no children or siblings. Her biggest joy was her walks in the park.

"For 20 years since my husband died, I started walking. Seven days a week, rain or shine," she said.

The two dogs, a boxer-mastiff mix and the more aggressive male pit bull, were captured at the scene. The pit bull was shot by an officer. The bullet is still lodged near his spine.

Animal control says the observation period is over and the dogs do not have rabies.

"No owners came forward to claim either dog, they're now considered our property," Rebecca Katz of San Francisco Animal Care and Control said. "We're making a determination as to what to do with them going forward."

Animal control is weighing several options. The agency may permit the dogs to be adopted if there is interest, but only after police hold a vicious and dangerous dog hearing. Euthanasia is the final option.


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