Dog killed in hit and run on Balboa; reader alleges SFPD to blame

The 6th 7 Balboa and intersection where the dog was run over. Inset: Photo of the makeshift
memorial placed by a neighbor

Over the weekend, we received an email from a reader about a dog that was killed by a car on the corner of 6th Avenue and Balboa around 1pm on Saturday, February 15.

In the email, the reader alleged that the dog was struck by a San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) vehicle, claiming the incident “took place in plain view of a large number of people”.

The Richmond District police station is located just a couple of blocks away from the intersection at 461 6th Avenue near Geary.

On Sunday, the same reader sent us a photo of a mini memorial that was put up on the northeast corner of the intersection, featuring flowers and a handwritten sign that said “Police SFPD Please Slow Down!!! Don’t Kill Another Puppy”. The reader did not confirm if they were the memorial’s creator.

When we visited the intersection on Tuesday, only the flowers remained on the pole.

We contacted Officer Albie Esparza, Public Information Officer for the SFPD about the incident. He confirmed that a person did come to the Richmond District Police Station on Saturday, stating they allegedly saw a police car run over a Chihuahua dog.

Esparza said that per SFPD protocol, a collision report was filed and a supervisory investigation is underway to look into the incident and see if there was an officer involved.

So far, no officers have claimed to be involved in the incident, and no witnesses, including the original reporter of the incident, have identified the vehicle or the driver of the vehicle.

The station has not heard from any other witnesses nor from the dog’s owner. So it’s still unclear if the dog was run down by a SFPD vehicle, or another car altogether.

Esparza urges anyone with information about the incident to contact Richmond Police Station at 415-666-8000.

Sarah B.


  1. I saw the flowers there this morning but the sign was not there yet. Appx 7:20am.

    The SFPD does blow through stop signs and other crazy stuff around here sometimes.

  2. some important but unanswered questions here:

    1. was the police car enroute to an emergency call with lights and sirens on? if so, he may not have heard or have been able to stop if there was a serious emergency or crime going on, such as a violent attack, crime in progress, etc.

    2. was the dog on a leash? if not, then the owner is partly to blame here as I would barely want my kids walking on a San Francisco street without a leash. it’s plain dangerous enough as an adult pedestrian, and further more for an unaccompanied child or dog.

    3. Nobody has reported anything to the police, much less the owner. Was the dog a stray? If so, then it wouldn’t be impossible that the driver of a 4000 vehicle would not notice a 10 lb stray small dog running into the street.

    4. As the article reads, police don’t even know whether it was a random citizen’s vehicle or a police car that hit the dog.

    Before jumping to conclusions and then onto the police bashing bandwagon, examine the FACTS and the information that is still missing. The police have a tough job to do as it is without people making unsubstantiated accusations.

  3. Ring & Fiddles:

    I was there 2 minutes after the incident and spoke with several of the direct witnesses.

    1. The SFPD vehicle was taking a right on 6th on way back to station. No sirens, no emergency. [Note, the officer did not stop – a violation of SFPD Department General Order 2.06]
    2. Yes, dog was off leash (and yes, the owner was partially at fault)
    3. Not a stray – and report was made to SFPD
    4. I assume police have GPS tracking and shift logs – they could easily determine which car was involved
    5. The police do have a difficult job – that is not in dispute – the problem is they regularly drive at a high rate of speed up 6th avenue in a way that endangers the community. There are many children in the area (including a school on 600 block) and – while I recognize their vital role and understand that there are exigencies that require officers to exceed – they are not allowed “free license” to drive as they please at all times. Indeed, the SFPD has detailed guidelines regarding driving which make clear that speeding is the exception – not the rule. I have pasted a url to the SFPD General Orders below, several of which speak to this issue and provide guidelines regarding driving.

    While the loss of a pet is undoubtedly a horrible event, the loss of a child would be unimaginably horrible. Hopefully this will serve as a wakeup call.


  4. Your assumption on GPS is incorrect. We don’t. Don’t want or need it.

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