SF Animal Care & Control settles with owner to spare the life of Charlie, an American Staffordshire Terrier pit bull : RushPRNews - Newswire & Global Press Release Distribution

 
Bookmark and Share

SF Animal Care & Control settles with owner to spare the life of Charlie, an American Staffordshire Terrier pit bull

January 12, 2013

SF Animal Care & Control settles with owner to spare the life of Charlie, an American Staffordshire Terrier pit bull
Charlie with friend

SAN FRANCISCO (RPRN) 01/12/13 — Charlie Lives - -Embattled pit bull's euthanization sentence is commuted, as owner agrees to surrender custody for placement in qualified sanctuary

City Attorney Dennis Herrera and San Francisco Animal Care and Control Director Rebecca Katz this evening announced a settlement agreement to spare the life of Charlie, an American Staffordshire Terrier pit bull sentenced to be humanely euthanized following a vicious and unprovoked attack on a United States Park Police officer and his horse at Crissy Field on August 6.

Charlie's sentence was ordered as the result of an Aug. 23 San Francisco Police Department Vicious and Dangerous Dog Hearing, an administrative evidence-gathering procedure codified in local law to balance the due process rights of dog guardians with serious public safety concerns involving dangerous and mistreated animals. But the sentence has been stayed since August, when Charlie's owner and an animal advocacy law firm first sued the City to vacate the order.

With Charlie in the custody of Animal Care and Control since the August attack, the procedurally circuitous legal battle -- moving from San Francisco Superior Court, to the California Court of Appeal, to the U.S. District Court, and back to Superior Court -- has played out against the backdrop of an unprecedented social media firestorm. David Gizzarelli, the pit bull's owner, collected more than 113,000 online signatures and an as-yet undetermined amount in online donations to save Charlie-even as animal advocates became increasingly divided over whether Gizzarelli had exercised responsible guardianship.

City officials including Herrera, Katz, and Supervisor David Campos all publicly advocated for a resolution that would both save Charlie and address the dog's extremely dangerous behavioral issues and aggressive prey drive. But efforts to negotiate Charlie's placement with a qualified animal sanctuary equipped to assume custody and undertake behavioral rehabilitation have been stymied by Gizzarelli himself, who for weeks refused to surrender custody of Charlie. Ironically, though San Francisco would have full authority to euthanize Charlie once the judicial stay were lifted, city officials would be legally prohibited from designating a new custodian for Charlie without his owner's express consent. Gizzarelli's seeming insistence that he would sacrifice Charlie's life over legal principle sharply turned the tide of opinion among animal protection advocates and the San Francisco Examiner editorial board in recent days.

"I know all of us who serve the City of Saint Francis are gratified to finally reach a fair and humane resolution that offers Charlie a chance at redemption while also protecting public safety," said Herrera. "Animal Care and Control Director Rebecca Katz and her staff deserve great credit for their leadership and hard work to reach this settlement agreement. Kudos, also, to San Francisco Police Officer John Denny. He fulfilled a vital public safety obligation as the Vicious and Dangerous Dog Hearing officer, and this outcome would not have been possible without his experience, thoughtfulness and flexibility."

"Like so many cases involving vicious and dangerous dog attacks, this case centered around questions about the owner as much as it did about Charlie -- and I think this case highlights the importance of responsible guardianship," said Animal Care and Control Director Rebecca Katz. "In the City of Saint Francis, we treat companion animals as family members, and must do everything in our power to protect them as well as our community at large. I'm gratified that this resolution meets ACC's dual mission of animal welfare and public protection."

Following lengthy court-ordered negotiations that stretched late into Thursday evening, an outline of mutually acceptable settlement provisions emerged Friday morning. Under terms of the agreement signed this afternoon:

  • Gizzarelli has relinquished ownership of Charlie to San Francisco Animal Care and Control, which agrees to not proceed with the euthanization order of Charlie.
  • San Francisco Animal Care and Control will place Charlie with a qualified third-party rehabilitation center or sanctuary, which will retain full authority to determine a course of humane treatment for Charlie.
  • Gizzarelli will be provided quarterly updates as to Charlie's health and happiness, but will not contact Charlie's future guardians directly or indirectly.
  • Gizzarelli will dismiss his litigation against the City, and both Gizzarelli and the City agree to mutual releases from civil liability.
  • The U.S. District Court will retain jurisdiction for the limited purpose of apportioning costs between the parties, which will be subject to Gizzarelli's ability to pay, and based on disclosures of his online and other fundraising to fund his case. A hearing for that purpose will be held before Magistrate Judge Nat Cousins on April 12, 2013.

According to the findings of the Aug. 23 Vicious and Dangerous Dog Hearing, Gizzarelli had been running Charlie off-leash -- and without a collar -- at Crissy Field on the afternoon of Friday, August 6, when the dog caught sight of a United States Park Police horse named Stoney, which was being ridden by Officer Eric Evans. Charlie bolted for the horse, in defiance of Gizzarelli's vocal commands. Without a dog collar or harness for Gizzarelli to assert physical control, Charlie first attempted to bite Officer Evans on the leg, and failing that proceeded to bite the horse's left front leg. Evans, who was thrown from the horse and knocked unconscious in the initial attack, suffered a concussion and shoulder injury. Charlie then pursued Stoney, launching a series of attacks over the course of a harrowing 1.6-mile chase that would cause severe bite wounds and bleeding gashes to the horse's legs, thighs and stomach.

Media Contact Name: Rebecca Katz, Animal Care & Control Director
Media Web Address: (415) 515-1653
Company Contact Name: HELP SAVE CHARLIE - Facebook Fan page
Company Web Address: https://www.facebook.com/HelpSaveCharlie
About the author:

RushPR News is a social media newswire service created to help you with content creation and distribution to news outlets and social media networks. RushPRnews can also assist you with your web strategies with experts advices and strategies at an affordable cost. Write us at news@rushprnews.com

Click here to see all news from this author/company

Filed Under: Animal Rights, BREAKING NEWS, New Media - WEB 2.0, Social Media, PRESS RELEASE

RUSH PR NEWS newswire and press release services at rushprnews.com / Anne Howard annehowardpublicist.com

Content- Legal Responsibility - All material is copyrighted - You may repost but you MUST link back to the original post on your page and acknowledge Rush PR News as the news source. Rush PR News is not legally and/or morally responsible for content of press releases, opinions expressed or fact-checking.

Rush PR News cannot be held legally responsible for material published and distributed through its newswire service or published in its press-room and therefore cannot be sued for published material. Third-party must be contacted directly to dispute content.

Rush PR News is not the contact for material published.

RSSFeed PRESS & SOCIAL MEDIA RELEASES

Enjoy a Virtual Tour of Canada's Favourite Spa

GRAFTON, ON 12/16/14 · A brand new tour of Ste. Anne's Spa...

Bahama Beach Club Hosts Christmas and 12th New Year’s Eve Party

Treasure cay 12/13/14 · If you're looking for the perfect place to...

Opportunistic Brand Savvy Investors set to snap up Stackcap Patent

London, UK 12/11/14 · Business savvy investors welcomed an exciting opportunity this...

Newborn Foundation Applauds Reauthorization of Newborn Screening Saves Lives Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. 12/11/14 · The U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R....

SecurifyApp makes it safe to be Home Alone during this holiday season

New York, New Yrok 12/10/14 · More Americans fall victim to accident, theft and...

Routehappy Raises $3.3M in Funding to Expand Airline & Distributor Products

NEW YORK 12/10/14 ·  -- Routehappy, the product differentiation platform for air travel,...

Spa Lovers Select Ste. Anne's as Canada's Top Destination... Again!

GRAFTON, ON 12/04/14 · Spafinder Wellness once again has awarded Ste. Anne's...

Who Couldn`t Use a Hug? Announcing the HugTrain 6th Annual Hug Tour Dec 2014

Montreal, Quebec, Canada 12/03/14 · Cross Continental Canadian-U.S. Train Journey to Raise Spirits...

Zikto announces stretch goals for successful Kickstarter campaign

Los Angeles/Seoul, Korea 12/01/14 · Campaign reaches global audience! Riding high on the accomplishment...

Coffee With Dr. Stewart

Austin, TX 11/25/14 · A brother and sister bring an exciting new...

Arki Kickstarter reaches $100K target in 13 days

Los Angeles/Seoul, Korea 11/24/14 · One step closer to a walking revolution The kickstarter...

Zikto taking award-winning Arki to Startup Nations Summit

Seoul, Korea 11/22/14 · Zikto taking award-winning Arki to Startup Nations Summit The...

The End of Transparency? Don't be a fraud target

Carrollton, TX 11/18/14 · - Over the years, progressive and productive societies...