Posted: 9:24 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012

Authorities order dog in Crissy Field horse attack euthanized

Charlie pit bull attack 0810
Charlie pit bull attack 0810


Authorities have ordered the dog that attacked a police horse at Crissy Field last month euthanized, said the dog's owner Friday.

Animal Court officials ruled Thursday that the pit bull named Charlie be turned over to Animal Care and Control after he attacked a United States police patrol horse named Stoney.

Authorities said they would make a decision by the end of the week if the dog would be put down. Charlie's owner, David Gizzarelli, now has three days to appeal the ruling.

Gizzarelli said before the verdict was read Thursday that he felt nervous, but optimistic.

San Francisco police officer John Denny ran the hearing at animal court in San Francisco City Hall.

First to testify in the case was Eric Evans, the United States Park Service police officer who was partnered with Stoney.

Evans recounted the attack on Stoney earlier this month at Crissy Field.

"He was just completely covered, bites, gashes, blood," Evans said. "He may be retired. The dog chased my horse for 1.6 miles, that's unheard of."

Gizzarelli said in court that he was trying to call his dog and grab the dog. At the time of the attack, Charlie was in an off-leash area exercising his right to run, he added.

It's a spot Gizzarelli said that U.S. Park Service police horses should probably avoid.

"They are putting farm animals with domestic animals," Gizzarelli said. "Any dog, not just a pit bull, could have chased after that horse, could have caused a problem."

Denny said that if the police horse is under control, then it's not asking too much for the dog to be under control.

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