A man walking his dog in San Francisco’s Mission district early Friday morning was threatened by two men with a knife who police said ended up stabbing his pet to death.
The attack has outraged dog owners in San Francisco. Police are urging dog owners to be on guard.
"I always feel safe walking around with my dog," said San Francisco resident Lily Eggers. "It's very upsetting that I may not be as safe as I feel."
According to the San Francisco police, one of the suspects grabbed the dog, a pit bull, sparking a street fight between the three men at the intersection of 22nd and Bartlett streets about 3 a.m.
After the two suspects, both in their 20s, ran away, the owner realized his dog had been stabbed. The dog later died of its injuries at a nearby animal hospital.
"We don't have any indication that the suspects were after his property, it appears they were after his dog," said Gordon Shyy of the San Francisco Police Department. "It's definitely a serious case - the animal cruelty charge is a felony which has serious consequences."
Pet lovers said they hope the attackers are caught and punished.
"Injuring an animal like that should almost be comparable to injuring a human," said dog owner Patrick Uhm.
“I hope they throw the book at them,” dog owner Alicia Wang said. “To try to hurt a defenseless animal is outrageous. It's as outrageous as if someone tried to stab a child.”