Ex-owner of San Francisco dog still soliciting donations

Courtesy PhotoCharlie has new home

Nearly six months after agreeing to give up the American Staffordshire terrier that attacked a U.S. Park Police horse in order to save the dog’s life, ex-owner David Gizzarelli continues to solicit online donations in hopes of getting back Charlie.
Posts this week on the Facebook page “Help Save Charlie” ask for donations from supporters so Gizzarelli can “go to court” to fight for the dog.

“We are doing fantastic!” states one post. “Thousands of you hit Charlie’s page everyday, if you can contribute just $1.00 (one dollar) we can reach our goal and go to trial!”

But Gizzarelli is not going to regain custody of Charlie, according to both the City Attorney’s Office and Department of Animal Care and Control.

The January settlement agreement requires Gizzarelli to “relinquish ownership” to prevent the dog from being euthanized. It also states that Gizzarelli will receive quarterly updates on Charlie’s progress but cannot have direct or indirect contact with the new owners.

Gizzarelli did not return requests for comment Thursday.

The former owner, according to court documents, raised roughly $17,000 to help pay for legal fees during the nearly 10 months of court proceedings, but most of it went to personal expenses.

Since Gizzarelli was ordered to pay roughly $4,905 in costs related to Charlie’s care last month, he’s rejuvenated his campaign to regain ownership of the dog.

In the recent campaign, Gizzarelli had already raised $409 as of Thursday afternoon. The effort is being conducted through the website www.fundrazr.com.

The saga began in September when the San Francisco resident filed a lawsuit against The City after Charlie was ordered to be euthanized by the Police Department’s vicious and dangerous dog unit following the brutal attack on the  police horse. Charlie was then placed in the custody of Animal Care and Control.

Once Gizzarelli agreed to give up Charlie in January, the dog was placed in a private home for retraining. That home found out Charlie had little to no formal training, according to Animal Care and Control.  

During the months of court appearances, Gizzarelli also made claims of mistreatment by Animal Care and Control, which spurred the launch of a second Facebook page titled “Help Save Charlie the REAL Deal,” which posts documents and photos of Charlie’s progress.

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