Update on Charlie, the AmStaff Who Bit a Police Horse

The dog facing death in San Francisco gets a deal -- but not the one his owner was seeking.


Last week we told you about Charlie, the American Staffordshire Terrier who bit a police horse in San Francisco last month, injuring the horse and the mounted patrolman, and was facing euthanasia. This week, San Francisco Animal Care and Control offered to make a deal, but it’s a tough one for Charlie’s owner, David Gizzarelli.

To save Charlie’s life, Gizzarelli must agree to have Charlie tested for aggression at the behavior unit at U.C. Davis’ School of Veterinary Medicine. Then — and this is the tough part — he will have to give Charlie up to another family.

On Aug. 6, Charlie attacked a U.S. Park Service police horse at San Francisco’s Crissy Field. The horse, named Stoney, was bitten several times and temporarily put out of service because of possible tendon damage. Patrolman Eric Evans was also injured when he was thrown from the horse. At the time, Gizzarelli was walking Charlie in an off-leash area.

Gizzarelli is considering the offer.

“I don’t want anyone touching Charlie, and I want him placed back with his family since birth,” Gizzarelli posted on the Help Save Charlie website. More than 11,000 people have signed the petition to save the dog.

His other options are to continue negotiations with Animal Control and Care for Charlie’s return with restrictions, or to continue with the writ process, both of which could take months while Charlie remains in a city isolation kennel.

For more information, visit Charlie’s Facebook page and the Help Save Charlie petition.

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