Charlie the dog's death sentence commuted after agreement between owner, SF 

click to enlarge Charlie the dog will not be euthanized after his owner and San Francisco reached a deal Friday. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Charlie the dog will not be euthanized after his owner and San Francisco reached a deal Friday.

The many fans of Charlie the death row dog were overjoyed with an agreement that will spare the pooch’s life.

Charlie, an American Staffordshire terrier, attacked a U.S. Park Patrol officer and horse in an off-leash area of Crissy Field in August. After a vicious dog procedure, the pooch was ordered to be euthanized.

But after an agreement Friday between Charlie’s owner, David Gizzarelli, and The City, the death sentence will be commuted and Charlie will go to live with a rescue organization.

Gizzarelli said he is releasing Charlie to the Animal Care and Control. He  will be responsible for finding the dog a suitable placement. After that, the third-party will have full control of Charlie.

The agreement, confirmed by The City on Friday evening, came after a seven-hour negotiation with Gizzarelli, his attorney, John Mounier, and city officials.

“I feel like I wanted more, of course, but I think I’m content with the settlement,” Gizzarelli said Friday afternoon.
The City’s decision to order Charlie to be euthanized had made the dog an international sensation. Facebook pages and an online petition calling for clemency garnered tens of thousands of supporters.

But later it was revealed that Charlie had had a run-in with a human while in the custody of Animal Care and Control before the August incident. It was also learned that Gizzarelli had refused to get Charlie neutered in violation of San Francisco law.

Still, Charlie’s supporters rallied to the cause. More than 100,000 people signed an online petition to spare Charlie on The Facebook page, “Help Save Charlie” had nearly 10,000 followers, and a post Friday regarding the agreement had supporters cheering.

“I almost started crying because of how happy I am,” Kaitlyn Vancelette of Worcester, Mass., posted on the Facebook page.

Stui Thompson of North Carolina added, “I have a feeling, he will be getting alot of visitors from around the world.”

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