Charlie, an American Staffordshire Terrier who assaulted a police horse this summer and was sentenced to death, has until New Year's Eve to appeal his case and spare his life.
In a written ruling, a Judge James Robertson II on Monday denied his owner's efforts to keep the dog alive, and sided with the San Francisco Attorney's Office, which is arguing to have Charlie put down.
But the dog's "Animal Protector" Mill Valley attorney, John Mounier, told NBC Bay Are on Wednesday that he has filed an appeal and has 20 days - until Dec. 31 - to fight to keep Charlie from being euthanized. Until then, Charlie will be housed at San Francisco's Animal Care and Control, where he has been held since the summer.
"He needs to be back with his family," David Gizzarelli, Charlie's owner, previously told NBC Bay Area.
At issue, is what happened on Aug.6, when Charlie was off-leash at the dog run area of Crissy Field in San Francisco. According to a report by Police Capt. V. Guldbech, Charlie "ran directly" at Stoney, a horse ridden by Officer Eric Evans of the United States Park Police department.
Though Gizzarelli called out to Charlie to stop, the dog bit the officer's leather riding boot and also sank his teeth into the horse's left leg. Stoney then reared up and threw the officer to the ground. Evans testified he was knocked unconscious.
Charlie, according to police, ran after the horse for about 1.6 miles before another U.S. Park police officer riding a motorcycle scared Charlie away. Stoney had several bite marks and bleeding gashes to his legs, thighs and stomach, the report states.
The hearing officer, John Denny, then deemed Charlie "vicious and dangerous," and recommended that Charlie should be "humanely destroyed."
According to Mounier, this was Charlie's first offense. To garner support from animal lovers near and far, Gizzarelli has set up a Causes.com petition that has received more than 70,000 signatures from people pleading for the dog's life.
To see a video of Charlie, click here.