Charlie’s owner’s deal rejected by City Attorney, fate of dog in limbo

Courtesy PhotoCharlie's owner

Courtesy PhotoCharlie's owner

A proposal to relocate and rehabilitate the pit bull facing death for attacking a police horse has been rejected by the City Attorney’s Office, leaving the dog’s fate in limbo.

Charlie has been in custody at San Francisco's Animal Care and Control Center since Aug. 6, when he attacked a U.S. Park Police horse at Crissy Field. Stoney, the horse involved in the incident, suffered lacerations to its leg. The attack occurred at an off-leash area of Crissy Field.

Despite the efforts of Charlie’s owner, David Gizzarelli, and a legion of supporters following the dog’s plight on Facebook, a ruling officer deemed that the pit bull posed a threat and should be euthanized.

Hoping to avoid that fate, Gizzarelli penned a letter to Mayor Ed Lee and the Animal Care and Control Office, in which he offered to take Charlie to his home in Los Gatos and enroll the dog in a rehabilitation program. Gizzarelli said Charlie would remain on a short leash whenever outside his home and would never venture into any off-leash parks or designated areas.

But that offer was rejected by Deputy City Attorney Margaret Baumgartner on Thursday night, according to John Mounier, Gizzarelli’s attorney. As it stands now, Charlie is still set to be euthanized.

Despite the setback, Mounier said Charlie and his owner will continue to fight the death sentence. Mounier has appealed the ruling and a hearing on that motion has been tentatively set for Monday.

Mounier said there have been many irregularities about the case, including the fact that the hearing officer who decided to kill Charlie — Officer John Denny — was the same person who investigated the case.

“He’s wearing two hats in this case — in every other aspect of society, that’s wrong,” said Mounier. “We’re challenging the whole system as unconstitutional.”

The City Attorney’s Office was unable to comment on Friday.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

Animal Care and ControlBay Area NewsCrissy FieldLocal

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