Lion dog reunited with owner

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The owner of the famed dog “Charles the Monarch” received a suspended sentence and a hefty list of court-ordered provisions in a plea agreement Friday.

Daniel Painter, the owner of Charles, was charged with failure to exercise proper care and control of his animal.

He pleaded guilty to the charge, and received a total of 60 days in jail and $2,500 fine suspended — conditioned on two years good behavior — and a total of six agreed to provisions.

The list includes 40 hours of community service he must complete by 5 p.m. on June 1 — with proof shown to a deputy city attorney. Painter must also:

  • Install and maintain a six-foot fence or electric fence at his home to “prevent Charlie the Lion Dog (Charlie)” from getting loose again.
  • Keep Charles on a leash at all times whenever he takes him off the property. The only exception to this is when Charles is performing official “ODU Mascot duties while at the ODU football stadium on ODU property.”

Along with those provisions, Painter will also be required to submit a handwritten report on “why it is imperative that a dog owner ensure that a dog not be allowed or permitted to roam at large in an urban setting” by May 2.

Read: Daniel Painter Plea Agreement

Charles gained widespread — and even nationwide — fame after people saw him running through the streets of Norfolk, and mistook him for a lion. He is now ODU’s unofficial mascot and has a popular Facebook page.

He was spotted running free again through the Colonial Place area of Norfolk in late March. Charles has been locked up at Animal Control since that time.

The city says Painter agreed that he will lose custody of Charles if the dog is found at-large again.

If that happens, Charles would be handed over to the city, and then be adopted out to a “responsible owner.”

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