K9 — a crime-fighting robot patrolled a homeless encampment in San Francisco when it was "fired" by locals who attacked it and knocked it over. Residents in the area of the enclave near an animal shelter in the Mission District—where the robot was taking its rounds — raged against the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) backed machine. 

The robot was also swamped with barbecue sauce, smeared with feces and smothered by a tarp before been thrown over by an attacker—resulting in the SPCA calling quits last week—taking the crime-fighter off the streets. 

The K9 robot circling the SF SPCA has drawn mixed responses. Within the first week of the robot's deployment, some people who were setting up a homeless encampment nearby allegedly "put a tarp over it, knocked it over, and put barbecue sauce on all the sensors,"

“Effective immediately, the San Francisco SPCA has suspended its security robot pilot program,” said Jennifer Scarlett, the organization’s president. “We piloted the robot program in an effort to improve the security around our campus and to create a safe atmosphere for staff, volunteers, clients and animals. Clearly, it backfired.”

The SPCA officials claim that the robot was made to patrol in that area primarily because two break-ins had occurred near the animal shelter and they thought having a moving camera would prevent future crime.

The "K9" was successful in clicking photographs, recording security footage and notifying shelter employees or police in case of an emergency. 

Apparently, the reason behind people attacking the robot was their belief that the robot's objective was to get rid of the homeless - even though the organization backing up the robot denied it several times.

California - also known as the Golden State also has the largest homeless population in the US with an estimated 118,142 living there in 2016, as surveyed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The company received hate messages in hundreds - threatening violence and vandalism against the shelter and carrying forth references to accusations that the robot target the homeless as "sensationalized reports."

John Alvarado, who camps near the animal shelter, admitted to the UK’s Guardian saying that, "We call it the anti-homeless robot." Lexi Evans, another vagrant admits - “We started feeling like this thing was surveying us for the police..that’s officially invasion of privacy. That’s uncool.”

Later his whole tent encampment was moved around the block outside another business.


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