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Animal Rescue Founder Mugged In San Francisco Bernal Heights

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Pali Boucher says she has always felt safe in her San Francisco Bernal Heights neighborhood.

She has lived there for 15 years but over the weekend, she became a crime victim.

Boucher was returning home from a fundraiser for her non-profit animal rescue organization -- Rocket Dog Rescue. She had driven into her driveway when she suddenly felt something closing in on her from the shadows.

She tried to lock her doors -- it was too late.

"The man had the lever and just pulled the car door open and pulled me out," she told KPIX 5. "(He) grabbed my neck and threw me against the car."

Boucher said that as one man was grabbing her, three others rifled through her car stealing her wallet, cellphone, laptop and hundreds of dollars raised at the fundraiser for her organization.

The non-profit takes in unwanted dogs that may otherwise be euthanized and finds them homes.

"We only take the animals that are out of time (at the shelters)," she said. "And we work with them and get them all fixed and vetted and then we get them into homes."

Physically, Boucher said she was recovering, but she was heartbroken about the donations the thieves escaped with.

She said there has always been a smattering of crime in Bernal Heights, but recently it has escalated.

Recently a man was found with fatal stab wounds in nearby Bernal Heights Park. Police have increased local patrols, but concerns still remain high in the neighborhood.

"It's been really intensified lately," she said of the crime in the area.

But she told KPIX 5 she was not about to let her recent attack stop her from continuing her daily routine.

"You can't be afraid," she said. "You have to keep going. You have to keep doing your work and living your life."

Police have not released any suspect information related to the robbery.

Click here for information on how to donate to Rocket Dog Rescue

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