‘Charles the Monarch’ owner found guilty of failing to care for animal in appeal bid

Charles the Monarch. WAVY/Walter Hildebrand.

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The owner of famed Norfolk dog “Charles the Monarch” was found guilty of failing to care for the animal in an appeal hearing Monday.

Monday’s hearing for Daniel Painter came after he was found guilty of violating a plea agreement with the City of Norfolk in April.

WAVY News 10 cameras spotted Charlie running around a Norfolk restaurant patio in April. Earlier that day, Painter and the city had reached a plea agreement after he was charged with failure to exercise proper care and control of his animal.

The April agreement included a long list of provisions.

One of those provisions stated that, if Charlie was found at-large or loose again, the dog would be handed over to the city and then adopted out to a responsible owner.

Painter and his attorney appealed the April ruling, leading to Monday’s hearing in Circuit Court.

However, a judge found Painter guilty of failing to care of Charlie in a way to prevent the dog from becoming a nuisance. A Norfolk Animal Control officer testified that Charlie had been in the shelter four times and the office had received seven calls from people who spotted Charlie on his own since 2010.

Painter now has to pay a $1,000 fine, must perform 40 hours community service and will be on two years probation for conviction.

“The judge was fair. It wasn’t nowhere considered the dog would ever be taken from me. I’m just glad somebody with common sense stepped in and made a good ruling,” Painter said.

WAVY News asked Painter if he thought he had been a responsible dog owner.

“Yes, very much so,” he said. “Most people leave their dogs at home in a closet or in a back yard fenced in with a chain. Charles goes with me. He’s a very happy dog.”

He did not seem concerned that his dog had been at the shelter four times.

“In seven years? Not bad,” he said.

If the dog is found off his leash again, Painter faces a $1,500 fine and up to 60 days in jail, his attorney said.

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