City spares German shepherd from death, for now

ALERT: This report includes details and visual material that may not be appropriate for all viewers. Discretion is advised.

ST. GEORGE — City officials granted a stay of execution for a German shepherd that was scheduled to be destroyed Friday under the city’s version of the “three strikes” rule.

Police officers said the dog attacked them as they were responding to a domestic violence incident at its owner’s home on May 3. It was apparently the third reported attack by the dog, Champ, although city officials did not immediately provide copies of the other reports when requested by St. George News.

Photo of Champ, a German Shepherd that was granted a stay of execution, St. George, Utah, May 18, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Brady Mosher, St. George News

The City Code describes a “vicious animal” as any animal “which has bitten a person or other animal without provocation” or one that has a “known propensity to attack or bite human beings or other animals.” A dog can be impounded by an animal control officer and destroyed when “there have been three reported attacks by the same animal.”

The day after the incident with police, a city animal control supervisor sent a letter to Champ’s owner, Willie Mosher, stating that “‘Champ’ must be destroyed for committing three reported attacks under section 5-2-8(B).”

The incident was reviewed by the city attorney’s office and an administrative hearing was scheduled for Thursday. The hearing examiner was Kevin Taylor, deputy chief of the St. George Fire Department. After reviewing evidence provided by the parties involved, Taylor determined the dog was vicious and should be euthanized.

Champ’s situation went viral overnight on social media and was picked up by news outlets. Champ was spared for the time being. City officials hastily called a press conference for Friday afternoon, but then canceled it at the last minute. Instead, they released a statement and police officer body camera footage from the May 3 incident.

The video showing body camera footage from 2 cameras can be viewed at the top of this report. 

The statement said that Champ will be housed at the animal shelter until a third-party animal behavioral expert can assess the dog, after which city officials will determine the next course of action.

“The City of St. George takes these incidents very seriously and will continue to do everything possible to ensure the safety of the public, our police officers and lives of the animals involved.”

Also included in the statement was a description of the events of May 3.

The incident began shortly after 6 a.m. with a 911 call in which the dispatcher could hear arguing before the call was disconnected. Officers were dispatched to the home.

When the first officer arrived, the dog ran out of the house, past Mosher and tried to bite the officer on the arm.

A second officer arrived on scene and “the dog charged the officer without provocation and tried to bite him multiple times.” (See Ed. Note)

The statement also said that “Mr. Mosher tried to take the dog inside but the dog went after both officers. The dog was tased at that time.”

Letter sent from animal control supervisor about the agency’s determination on German Shepherd “Champ,” dated May 4, 2018, St. George, Utah | Image provided by Shane Oaks, St. George News

Champ then ran off and was monitored by other officers until animal control could respond. The dog was “aggressive” toward the animal control officers, as well as with a student walking to school.

The animal control officer was then able to safely capture the dog.

During the incident, officers told Mosher to control or secure his dog multiple times, but he did not. Nor did he intervene when he witnessed his dog attacking the officers, according to the city’s statement Friday.

Mosher is alleged to have pushed officers, thrashed from side to side and ripped one of the officer’s shirts before police were able to arrest him, according to a probable cause statement in support of the arrest. He was taken to Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

Mosher faces multiple misdemeanor charges in connection with the incident.

This report is based on statements from city officials, civilians or agencies and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Ed. Note: An earlier version of this article implied Champ tried to bite a third officer on the scene before he was tased; however, the other officer in question was an animal control officer on scene after the dog was tased.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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38 Comments

  • comments May 18, 2018 at 10:37 pm

    It feels like a visit to the trailer park, and yet the neighborhood looks kinda nice. Figure it out. Classy classy.

  • Gary May 19, 2018 at 8:44 am

    Once again the animal is punished because the owner has encouraged this dog. This person should be barred from having any pet ever in the future.

  • DRT May 19, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    Put down both the dog, and the owner.

    • Carpe Diem May 20, 2018 at 7:04 pm

      “Dead Right There”, eh?

  • comments May 19, 2018 at 3:36 pm

    The cops showed a lot of restraint with these lowlifes. I’d prob have shot the dog dead(i hate mean dogs), tazed the idiot drunkard boyfriend, cuffed him and put him in the patrol car (leg shackles too). And I would’ve put the potty mouth idiot woman in cuffs too just bc she seemed like a loon who is prob on drugs. I’m guessing it was her that called police for a request to get her drunk trailer-park-bred guy friend out of her(?) house.

    If you’re not already in a trailer park… these two clowns will bring the trailer park to you, even if your neighborhood looks kinda high end.

  • tazzman May 19, 2018 at 7:19 pm

    Sounds like that animal needs a leash and some training.

    The dog might need help too.

    • LunchboxHero May 19, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      Haha 🙂

    • Carpe Diem May 20, 2018 at 7:05 pm

      That French Poodle needs to be housebroke.

  • mater May 19, 2018 at 7:46 pm

    unfortunately this beautiful Shepard will need to be put down due to it owners. period . i know a lot of dog owners and animal lovers who will disagree but once a behavior is in grained you can not love it away. blah blah blah it cant be done ive seen first hand if an animal with issues is removed from a bad situation it can be stabilized and live a fairly normal life BUT when unexpected things happen and upset the animal it will revert out of instinct or force of habit to unacceptable behavior suddenly and viciously! and whomever is closest will get the impact of this action be it the person whom has tried to “rescue” the animal or a child or another animal.sorry its the truth…………..

  • PlanetU May 19, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    I vote to save this beautiful dog and euthanize the owner.

  • Dolly May 19, 2018 at 9:24 pm

    Hats off to SGPD for not letting this turn into something really bad and for sharing the body-cam footage with the public so openly. Being an officer is a thankless job and having to put up with this low-life pair is just a part of that tough job. No wonder there’s an officer shortage.

    The patience shown by both officers is remarkable, especially when both were threatened by the dog. As far as others commenting about this being an up-scale neighborhood – they’re probably renters and landlord is not around. Besides, this crap can happen anywhere. Starting to feel like Vegas around here…

  • Rob83 May 19, 2018 at 11:38 pm

    Ok, so I watched that video a few times and my two cents are: The second the door started to open, Mosher reached for his dog, not the woman. Any one else notice this? It’s clear to me Mosher loves his dog very much and I used to own German Shepards, they protect their owner if they sense the owner is in danger, no matter how socialized the German Shepard is. Another thing I noticed, that nobody is talking about, Mosher was trying to get the dog into the house and the woman refused to let him get the dog in the house and that’s when the dog ran and got tasered.. I’m really glad this went viral and Moshers mother should be allowed to testify for the dog, she said Champ has been to numerous baseball games and never showed such behavior. Also, Champ should not be decided if he is fit after he’s been locked away for two weeks, not allowed to his family, after getting tased.

    • comments May 20, 2018 at 10:42 am

      I get people’s love of their dogs. But that cop showed a ton of restraint. A dog that comes at me like that is gettin’ a bullet. And I’m someone who usually likes dogs.

    • Carpe Diem May 20, 2018 at 2:32 pm

      Mosher’s Mother? Why would she show her face, her son is whoring about on Thurs am drunk and or stoned out of his mind with his “pit bull” errr French Poodle and also rans German Shepard?

      What an embarrassment for her son to exhibit this behavior. I was hoping they would Taze Mosher the same time they got the dog… and the Poodle too for a bonus. Triple dip!

    • Carpe Diem May 20, 2018 at 7:03 pm

      I would agree with you, he didnt manhandle the woman… however he didnt leave on her command. I doubt he hit her and he should fight it. The odd thing is, besides his resisting, there might not have been much to arrest him on. Being a jerk is common but not criminal.

  • Rob83 May 19, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    I also need to comment about how the woman addressed the officer, I get she was really upset about it, but saying “too bad” the dog didn’t kill him. Just wow, really disrespectfull to someone there to help her to begin with.

    • comments May 20, 2018 at 10:43 am

      It’s like they say “you can take the girl out of the trailer park…”

      • Carpe Diem May 21, 2018 at 8:33 am

        Check his ring finger, it’s broken badly.

        05:12

  • vintagehippie May 20, 2018 at 10:25 am

    WOW !!! This whole thing really looks like a mess. The guy appeared to be either very drunk or on some kind of drug. The woman was acting more berserk than the dog. If either one of this couple is halfway smart they should end that relationship ASAP. It appears to be beyond repair. As far as what to do with the dog, that’s a big question. I can readily imagine that the dog was worked up due to the couple being in a very serious argument. The behavior of the woman towards the police officers was completely inexcusable. I certainly commend the professional behavior and restraint exercised by the officers in not shooting the dog or tasing either of the owners. These guys were great !!! I can certainly see why it is so difficult to recruit good cops.

  • Carpe Diem May 20, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Kinda funny how the French Poodle lady escaped the long arm of the law and her ‘detainment’. Funny part of a sad domestic mess. Props to the cops!

    • Rob83 May 20, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      Actually Carpe, she did not escape, she was arrested for falsely calling 911… I went to school with her, so noticed when she got arrested and lined the dates up.. She is a great lady, we all have our ups and downs…

      • Carpe Diem May 20, 2018 at 6:56 pm

        Well, I think she lined up all her downs in one big fat row… And with THAT attitude, she is due for more most likely.

  • SSTEED May 20, 2018 at 3:47 pm

    Why were the police there in the first place? It looked to me like no one wanted them there and they were sticking their nose in peoples business.

    • Carpe Diem May 20, 2018 at 6:57 pm

      Well, anyone who has been around very long is aware that those “STEED” peeps need watching. CLOSELY!

    • SSTEED May 20, 2018 at 7:35 pm

      Thinking is a threat to national authority. Maybe we should criminalize it after we give up all our guns.

      • Carpe Diem May 21, 2018 at 8:22 am

        warren STEED jeffs was a bit of a threat, he’s been handled tho.

        • SSTEED May 21, 2018 at 10:49 am

          For all we know he is living down on Epstien’s island. His job was to destroy that community and the people he works for have used his behavior to portray the whole town as child abusing pedophiles. Most of what I have heard from the news has zero correlation to my experience. I left shortly after he came to power and I know a lot changed after that. It doesn’t bother me that by name I’m associated with him- I’ve lived with the unrelenting slander all my life; and I get a kick out of obliterating peoples perceptions of “you people” in my everyday life. You have every right to be prejudice of me, and I’ll stand with you in defending that right.

          • Carpe Diem May 21, 2018 at 12:06 pm

            Well, actually there were 12 other leaders who spent / are spending prison time for that FLDS Church run pedophile program nonsense. Also, the wool has been shorn from their hides in the form of multi million dollar and Real Estate lawsuit losses. The men and women who were perhaps not indulging in the practice, but gave up their young girls to those creeps are as culpable in my eyes. Good riddance to their house.

            That you got out, is good. Best of luck to you. But realize I see in your posts things like “they were sticking their nose in peoples business” and it raises my hackles. I will likely debate those types of comments in the future as well. This punk Mosher is 57 and a career drunk – but in this State there is a revolving door for these idiots until they kill someone.

  • Rob83 May 20, 2018 at 4:13 pm

    I hope all three of them can recover from this day. One off day shouldn’t result in all of them not being able to get a job at Walmart because there might be a DV on their record now, like it’s done to me, what a joke. I’m always considered one of the hardest dedicated workers any employer had, yet can’t work a decent job because of a DV? Something seriously needs to change in this insane society! On top of this, she no doubt was and has been abused, I know her anger! LOL….

    • comments May 20, 2018 at 5:15 pm

      so, as well as being a victim of DV, you’re also a perpetrator? hmm

    • Carpe Diem May 20, 2018 at 7:00 pm

      This behavior isn’t “one day” or a “bad weekend”. Look at the tats, the uncontrollable dog, the drunk behavior at 6 am on a Thursday. The 911 call, even tho she got arrested for it, might be the one thing that saves her.

      • ladybugavenger May 21, 2018 at 5:52 am

        Well, I wouldn’t say drunk behavior on a Thursday morning constitutes any kind of conclusion. Not everyone, like myself, has weekends off. I cant stay up past 11 and cant have too many drinks without feeling like crap, but others can. If it were a Saturday, would you make the same reference?

        • Carpe Diem May 21, 2018 at 8:02 am

          Call it a SWAG, “Sophisticated Wild A** Guess”

          Oh, but my SWAG is corroborated. Google “Willie Mosher utah arrest”

          Check images. There are at least 5 mug shots, not counting the latest one that isn’t shown. A career drunk idiot. It’s a lifestyle, not a weekend bender. I seriously hope he doesn’t have possession of a DL or vehicle.

  • Carpe Diem May 20, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    This has gone viral, latest video on “Police Activity” on Youtube, and headlining on “LiveLeak”. More to pop up this week for sure.

    Congrats, Mr and Mrs Mutt and Jeff up Dixie Downs way.

    • comments May 20, 2018 at 10:07 pm

      So these idiot lowlife drunkard/druggies are gonna become famous? hahahahaha.

      • Carpe Diem May 21, 2018 at 8:20 am

        Oh, yessss. This has just come out yesterday I think, and youtube already has 5 videos of it, with Police Activity clocking 220,000 at 8 am and growing, and Liveleak with 60,000 views. By EOW this clip should have at least 1,000,000 views IMHO.

        A couple things I see on the open channels – Willie has a serious break on his ring finger… that’s messed up. Visible best when he is sitting on the rock waving his left hand about. He doesn’t notice or care.

        Half the people say they would shoot the dog, the other half… the people. Pretty much everyone is disgusted with the behavior and give props to the cops.

        • Carpe Diem May 21, 2018 at 8:28 am

          * Not all give props to the cops.

          But remember, FELONS can’t vote! 😎

  • Carpe Diem May 21, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Update: Willie is still in Purgatory, and his waco mugshot shows an abrasion on his forehead where he lost a piece of skin. Apparently he resisted arrest – and I don’t know why that video wasn’t released but I bet it’s good! He now wears stripes, as in that photo.

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