David Gizzarelli took in more than $17,000 in donations from big-hearted dog lovers in what he described as an attempt to save his dog Charlie, who was deemed dangerous after attacking a National Park Service horse.
But his attorney says Gizzarelli is unable to help out with the $9,000-plus tab for veterinary care, feeding and shelter that Charlie, an American Staffordshire terrier, has received since last August, when he was taken into the custody of animal control in San Francisco.
Apparently the $17,000 that was donated was spent on attorney fees, paying for the horse’s vet bills and “other living expenses.” That’s what Gizzarelli’s new attorney says, adding that his client can’t afford to help pay the bill and is currently sleeping in his car.
On Monday, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Nathanael Cousins ordered Gizzarelli to pay anyway — specifically, half of the costs for boarding and treating Charlie since the incident.
Gizzarelli is still raising money to “help save Charlie” — via a Facebook page and his Help Save Charlie website — even though he has relinquished ownership of the dog, who is now in foster care and will likely end up in an adoptive home or sanctuary.
Until his court appearance, he had not provided any accounting of where the donated money went, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
Charlie has been in the custody of Animal Care and Control in San Francisco since August, when he was deemed “vicious and dangerous” by the police department. The cost for housing him and providing veterinary care for an earlier injury totaled $9,808 as of Monday’s hearing.
Gizzarelli, in an earlier settlement, agreed to give up custody of Charlie and attend a hearing to discuss payment for Charlie’s care.
But he kept selling “Help Save Charlie” merchandise and collecting donations even after that. And while Charlie could probably still use help — he hasn’t been deemed adoptable yet — it appears little if any of the donated money has gone for the dog.
Questions during Monday’s hearing revolved around the amount of legal fees Gizzarelli paid to two attorneys, and $3,000 his attorney said was spent on ”food, transportation and housing” — apparently for the human, not the dog.
Gizzarelli’s attorney, Orestes Cross, said his client has no money. “My client is on social welfare, living on $422 a month and sleeping out of his car,” told the judge during the hearing. “He fought the fight because he cares about his dog.”
Rebecca Katz, director of Animal Care and Control, says some donors to Charlie are likely upset. “I don’t believe those who contributed expected that money to go toward personal expenses,” she said. Since the settlement, Charlie has been in foster care. According to Katz, he needs several more months of training before he can be considered for adoption or placed in a sanctuary.
Gizzarelli faced federal assault charges after the attack on the police horse, but according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office those have been dropped.
(Photo: Help Save Charlie Facebook page)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 24th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accountability, accounting, american staffordshire terrier, animal control, attacked, avid gizzarelli, bills, care, charlie, court, donations, donatoins, donors, expenses, facebook, feeding, help save charlie, horse, magistrate, money, national park service, park service, san francisco, shelter, veterinary, website
Lisa Ison was going through a rough time four years ago when she met Bella, a Pekingese-Pomeranian mix, at an animal shelter in Denver.
“I was depressed. I was lonely. It was a real hard time and she saved my life,” said Ison, who was recovering from a back injury, a divorce and getting laid off. “I live alone, so having her there, she is always happy to see me and she is so loving. My life would not be the same without her.”
So when Bella became severely ill earlier this week after eating a ham bone, Ison was understandably distraught when a vet told her that trying to save her dog was going to cost around $1,800, half of which would be required up front.
“She was dehydrated, vomiting and not eating,” Dr. Jeff Steen at the Alameda Vet Hospital told 9 News in Denver. “She could have gotten septic and died.”
Ison didn’t have that kind of money. “I live paycheck to paycheck … I was hysterical. I was crying,” she said.
Ison stepped into the rest room to compose herself, and when she came out, a middle-aged couple she had met in the lobby gave her a hug and told her not to worry.
When she went to the front desk, the $900 had been paid.
After a few days, Bella pulled through. Ison still has the other half of her bill to pay, which she plans to do over time. Her donors remain anonymous.
“I was so touched and so moved that somebody would randomly do something so kind and so giving in these hard times. It restored my belief in human kindness,” Ison said.
Posted by jwoestendiek September 9th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alameda veterinary hospital, bella, bill, costs, denver, donation, donors, emergency, ham bone, health, illness, kindness, lisa ison, mystery, pekingese, pomeranian, strangers, vet, veterinarian, veterinary
As public relations professionals go about rehabilitating Michael Vick’s image, his old place is getting a makeover, too.
Inside the home that once served as headquarters for Bad Newz Kennels in Surry County, Virginia, the quarterback’s cream colored carpet has been ripped up and replaced with rubberized flooring; his oversized tiled shower is now being used for doggie baths.
Dogs Deserve Better, which bought Vick’s former home, continues its work to turn it into a rehabilitation center for chained and abused dogs, assisted by generous donors and volunteers who are showing up regularly, including a group from Baltimore who arrived there this weekend.
According to a Sunday report in the Newport News Daily Press, nine dogs are now living at Good Newz Rehabilitation Center, with five more expected in coming weeks.
“It takes most dogs that have spent their lives in pens or on chains about three months to learn to play, to learn to chase a ball, because they are so traumatized,” said Tamira Thayne, founder of the Dogs Deserve Better.
Dogs will spend three to six months in rehabilitation before they are put up for adoption on Petfinder.com, and adoption fees will range from $75 to $150, depending on the pet’s age and size.
Vick’s former house will also serve as headquarters for Dogs Deserve Better, which formerly operated out of Thayne’s hous in Tipton, Pennsylvania.
The Daily Press article says Dogs Deserve Better was able to raise $180,000, within weeks of annoucing their intention to buy the property. One anonymous donor contributed $10,000, a private business donated $18,000, and one contributor, Monica Severy of Virginia Beach, has pledged to donate $5,000 a month for the next decade — more than enough to cover mortgage payments.
Dogs Deserve Better received a $10,000 grant to make the house more dog-friendly. Thayne installed the rubber flooring, added a dog door, bought tarps and fencing for yard areas so some dogs could stay outside during the day. All the yards have shaded areas and plastic, bone-shaped swimming pools to keep the dogs cool on hot days; all of the dogs sleep inside at night, Thayne said.
Thayne said Vick’s old living room will be used to provide dogs with obedience training.
Thayne said few have been made in the four buildings where Vick’s pit bulls were trained to fight and kill other dogs. All of them are painted black, windows included.
One of them has eight kennel runs, and some of the vestiges from the property’s past remain – unused syringes, which once were used to inject dogs with steroids and antibiotics, and a ”rape stand” used for breeding purposes.
Thayne says she’s not sure if she’ll take down the buildings, but that she doesn’t plan to use them for rehabilitation.
“I feel like they need to be seen,” she said.
The Daily Press also reported that some neighbors aren’t pleased with the property’s new use.
Neighbor Earnst R. Hardy Sr. said at least one of the dogs has ended up on his property.
“All the time he (Vick) was over there fighting and breaking the law, he didn’t disturb me,” said Hardy. “I’ve had more problems with them in the six weeks they’ve been here than I ever had with Vick.”
Thayne told the newspaper she feels the house has been rehabilitated.
“Dogs are living in the house and people say Michael Vick is rehabilitated. I hope he is … and I hope people will focus on the beautiful stuff happening here instead of the hideous crimes that occurred here in the past.”
Posted by jwoestendiek August 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, bad newz, center, dogfighting, dogs, dogs deserve better, donors, good newz, house, kennels, makeover, michael vick, moonlight road, pets, pit bulls, property, rehabilitation, remodeling, surry county, tamira thayne, virginia, volunteers