San Francisco death-row dog’s owner fails to reveal financial info 

click to enlarge Charlie - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • Charlie

The owner of a pit bull that attacked a U.S. Park Patrol police horse in Crissy Field last summer was required to file statements Thursday to determine financial responsibility for the dog’s care, but the documents submitted fail to provide that information.

A letter from the City Attorney’s Office to owner David Gizzarelli’s attorney Margaret Baumgartener said the 77 pages of PayPal information and 16 pages of personal finances are completely redacted. The only information visible are the dates money may have been received or withdrawn.

“That submission is wholly insufficient,” the letter stated. “There is no declaration or other information from Mr. Gizzarelli to suggest that these records in fact show the amounts of money donated or given to him as part of his fundraising efforts as they relate to Charlie.”

Gizzarelli was ordered to submit his personal finances and the amount of donations he has received for Charlie so a U.S. District Court can decide who should pay for the dog’s care. Charlie has been in Animal Care and Control custody since being ruled “vicious and dangerous” by the Police Department, which ordered him to be euthanized after attacking the police horse in August. Gizzarelli appealed the ruling.

Charlie’s life was spared in January through a settlement in which Gizzarelli gave up custody of the dog. Charlie has since been sent to a training facility to prepare him for eventual adoption.

Animal Care and Control estimates it has cost them $8,659 to care for Charlie, which includes boarding and medical bills from previous injuries that went untreated.

Gizarelli has said he does not have the means to pay that amount. But it is widely known he has been collecting money since Charlie was taken into custody.

Donations were collected through petitions, which asked for support to save Charlie. Gizzarrelli also has sold T-shirts, coffee mugs, iPhone cases and even flasks with a photo of Charlie. For each item purchased, $3 would go to legal efforts.

“Removing the amounts going in and out of these accounts prohibits any evaluation of Mr. Gizzarelli’s ability to pay Animal Care and Control’s costs, which is the entire purpose of obtaining these records,” the City Attorney’s Office letter said.

Another Gizzarelli attorney, Orestes Cross, did not immediately return calls for comment.

If documents are not provided prior to today’s scheduled hearing, The City will take it as “an admission that Mr. Gizzarelli has the ability to pay the full amount of costs,” the letter said.

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