Giri was arrested last month at his home after he admitted he took a dog he’d said was being neglected by its owner.
Giri, who is known for murals such as the two in Anniston that mark the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, met behind closed doors with the prosecutor and the dog’s owner, David McPeek, Monday at Piedmont Municipal Court, where the case was to be heard.
According to an agreement between Giri and McPeek, the charge would be dropped if Giri agreed to pay his court costs and post a statement online that McPeek was not abusing his dog. Giri had blogged in detail about the incident on his personal website.
Municipal Judge Bud Turner dismissed the charge.
Giri said McPeek was concerned that claims he was neglecting his dog were causing his young children unnecessary stress.
“That was his biggest worry,” Giri said.
McPeek said he’s mostly glad his children can breathe a little easier knowing their dad’s name will be cleared publicly.
“That’s what’s important to me, is my kids -- that people don’t think their dad is an animal abuser,” McPeek said.
The dog, an Akita named Butch, was taken from the grounds of a Piedmont auto shop on U.S. 278 where McPeek kept him as a guard dog. Giri said in an interview with The Star last week that the dog looked malnourished, and that after several weeks of feeding Butch himself, and what he said was no action by Calhoun County Animal Control to remove the dog, he took the matter into his own hands.
Charles McDonald, director of Calhoun County Animal Control, said last week that after investigating Giri’s concerns, his department found no laws being broken by McPeek. Butch was later returned to his owner, and has been moved from McPeek’s auto shop to his Piedmont home.
Star staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563 or on Twitter @burkhalter_star.