Taxpayers, Owner Must Split Costs For Charlie The Death Row Dog

Owner of doomed dog collected $17,000 in donations but can't afford animal's care.

By Chris Roberts
|  Tuesday, Apr 23, 2013  |  Updated 2:34 PM PDT
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San Francisco city taxpayers will be splitting a $9,000 bill with the owner of a dog that attacked and bit a Park Police horse for the animal's care.

Charlie, an American Staffordshire terrier was briefly placed on doggie death row by animal control officials in San Francisco for the August incident.

But David Gizzarelli, the animal's owner, fought his dog's designation as vicious -- and raised as much as $17,000 to "save Charlie the dog," the San Francisco Examiner reported. Meanwhile, the dog was spared from being put to sleep in exchange for his owner relinquishing control. The dog will be put into a sanctuary at some point.

But now the question of the bill. Charlie has racked up $9,808 in costs -- from room and board to training -- and Gizzarelli says he has no money. So where did the $17,000 go?

That money apparently paid for "attorney fees, paying for the horse's vet bills, and 'other living expenses,'" according to an attorney for Gizzarelli, who is reputedly living on $422 monthly welfare checks and sleeping in his car.

A U.S. judge ruled that Gizzarelli must pay half of the bills. An Animal Care and Control official called the ruling "disappointing."

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