No decision on German shepherd’s fate as negotiations continue

ST. GEORGE — Prospects appear brighter for Champ, the German shepherd set to be euthanized for being aggressive toward police officers, after city officials met Thursday with family members of the dog’s owners and their attorney.

“We are getting close … on a resolution to keep Champ around,” attorney Ryan Blake said after emerging from a meeting in City Hall.

He said he could not divulge details of the meeting, but that “it sounds like everybody is satisfied,” adding that a final resolution is expected by next week.

City officials declined to comment.

Champ’s owner, Willie Mosher, did not attend the meeting because he is being held in Purgatory Correctional Facility in connection with the incident that eventually led to the decision to euthanize the dog.

On May 3, officers were called to a domestic incident involving Mosher at a home where the dog was present.

According to officials, Champ acted aggressively toward officers on the scene, as well as a passerby. Police released footage from officers’ body cameras that appear to show the dog lunging toward them.

Mosher was arrested and Champ was impounded.

A hearing examiner determined May 17 that the dog should be euthanized the following day.

However, Mosher’s father, Shane Mosher, used social media to “get the word out” about the dog’s plight, he said. His post went viral, prompting the city to postpone putting the dog down and reconsider the order.

Read more: City spares German shepherd from death, for now

Shane Mosher said that the city “very much wants to keep Champ alive” and that the family is in agreement with the city’s proposal, and he is looking forward to picking the animal up next week.

Blake, who said he technically represents Willie Mosher and his ex-girlfriend Sophie Bailey, co-owners of the dog, said that the city code underlying the situation calls for a dog to be put down if it poses a risk to public safety.

“What we’ve got here is not a clear-cut situation,” he said, adding that discussions on that issue have been productive.

Shane Mosher said Champ is not a violent or vicious dog. He has never seen the dog attack anyone, nor has he seen it act aggressively or viciously in the past.

“Champ does these ‘flybys,’ where he comes up to you and then keeps on going,” he said, “but he is a loving, beautiful dog.”

“We have done all of this to keep Champ alive.”

Blake commended the efforts of city officials, saying that many have been involved in the effort to reconsider the decision to put Champ down, adding they were under no legal obligation to do so.

“There were a lot of people jumping in to do what they could for Champ, including the city.”

When asked what he wants for his clients, Blake said, “I want to keep Champ around. I want to see him with his family and with those that love him.”

“And it looks like that is going to happen.”

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • PlanetU May 24, 2018 at 9:07 pm

    Thanks for saving this dog, City of St. G, attorney’s and whomever else is responsible. Hopefully, he won’t misbehave again, the dog, I mean. The owner?????

    • Carpe Diem May 25, 2018 at 6:16 am

      The “owner” has racked up at least 6 mugshots over the years.

      The “woman”? She has had 4 mugshots just in the past 7 months, once for this incident on the 911 hang up etc, then the other 3 times, for retail theft, at least one being between $500-$1500. The latest shoplifting arrest was just recently, after the dog incident. (And she has two small children) SMH

  • justsaying May 24, 2018 at 9:57 pm

    Looks like a cool dog just doing what a good dog does for its owner, protecting. Champ probably “feared for their safety”.

    • Carpe Diem May 25, 2018 at 6:19 am

      Obviously an untrained dog getting drug around by an irresponsible owner. How does this end well?

  • Striker4 May 24, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    I watched the video….police over reacted

    • Randys Sister May 25, 2018 at 7:48 am

      Funny because I also watched the video, and no they didn’t 🙂

      • Real Life May 25, 2018 at 9:39 am

        His judgement is usually a little “clouded”.

  • Anon May 25, 2018 at 8:38 am

    It seems to me that the police, who work with German shepherds quite frequently, should know that aggressive behavior incites the dogs protection instinct to kick in. I’m not blaming the police for being stern/aggressive, as this is the way they are trained and need to be trained, but they should know that these are protective dogs.

    That said, it wasn’t an over reaction on the police officer’s part. If the dog hadn’t meant any harm, the owner wouldn’t have run over to the incident to call him off. I still don’t think he should be euthanized though.

    • comments May 25, 2018 at 9:03 am

      At the very least the dog should be seized from his trailer trash drunkard owners and adopted out.

  • Carpe Diem May 25, 2018 at 12:01 pm

    Everyone is sooo concerned about Champ…. I am more concerned about Willie.

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