“Charlie,” SF Dog Who Bit Horse, to Live

After five months of worry and legal wrangling, the owner of the now famous American Stafford shire Terrier, "Charlie," said his dog's life has been spared, though he won't be able to live with his owner.

"Charlie's going to live," David Gizzarelli of San Francisco told NBC Bay Area on Friday. "That's really good news."

Charlie has has been in San Francisco's animal care facility since he bit a federal horse in Crissy Field on July 6. And late Friday, San Francisco Animal Care and Control said  Charlie will be placed in a sanctuary rescue home. 

The city of San Francisco had sought to put Charlie down, while Gizzarelli and his attorney, John Mounier of Mill Valley, had struggled in state - and federal  (PDF)- court to keep Charlie alive.

Just before 2 p.m. on Friday, San Francisco City Attorney spokesman Matt Dorsey said that he couldn't comment on the federally mediated settlement by U.S. District Magistrate Nathanael Cousins because the agreement hadn't formally been signed. He said more would be made public later.

Charlie's story has become a bit of an international media sensation since he bit "Stoney," a horse ridden by Officer Eric Evans of the United States Park Police department, sinking his teeth into the horse's leg, and knocking the officer to the ground, leaving him unconscious.

To garner support from animal lovers near and far, Gizzarelli has made several media appearances, including on NBC Bay Area, and set up a Causes.com petition that has received more than 100,000 signatures from people pleading for the dog's life.

While many have been in support of Charlie, some have come out against Gizzarelli. Earlier this month, legal counsel for The Lexus Project told radio reporters that Gizzarelli isn't a responsible owner and should surrender his dog. Advocates have pointed out that Charlie's life could have been spared if Gizzarelli agreed to relinquish custody. The city attorney's office had earlier offered a deal to send Charlie to an animal sanctuary.

Gizzarelli didn't want to discuss why Charlie wouldn't be living with him anymore.

To see a video of Charlie, click below.

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