Dog mistaken for a lion leads to 911 call

Charles with Virginia Zoo Executive Director Greg Bockheim

When a 911 call came in on Tuesday the caller reported they had seen a lion cub on the loose in Norfolk, Virginia. Police responding to the report called the zoo to make sure their two lions were in fact still in their cages. It turns out a lion cub wasn’t on the loose, a Labradoodle was.

Charles the Monarch is a fun loving Labradoodle. His owner, Daniel Painter, has him shaved to look like Old Dominion University’s mascot, Big Blue. Painter often takes Charles with him to his business on Colley Avenue, the same street where the 911 caller thought they saw a lion cub.

This isn’t Charles’ first incident of mistaken identity. Police have received reports previously of people seeing a lion when it really was just Charles. Painter has also experienced people running to their cars in shock when he takes Charles to a park by the zoo. “They think it’s a lion out there,” said Painter. “I tell people he’s a Lab-a-lion, and half the people believe that.”


  1. Deborah says on  01/09/2013 at 7:56 am

    He shouldn’t be “ON THE LOOSE!”

  2. Regina says on  01/09/2013 at 11:43 am

    Doggy Styln’ on Witchduck Rd. does his hair. She does such a good job!!

  3. let's go mets 2013 and beyond! says on  01/09/2013 at 11:44 am

    That doggie looks like he’s a lot of fun!

  4. Anonymous says on  01/09/2013 at 8:15 pm

    Sorry but I think the neighbors should be use to him by now since he is allowed to roam free. Hopefully he won’t get hit by a car or shot by someone who gets scared by him. Secondly I think the cut looks ridiculous.

  5. Anonymous says on  01/10/2013 at 8:56 am

    This guy is just asking to have someone shoot that dog.

  6. Anonymous says on  01/10/2013 at 2:57 pm

    It never said the dog was on the loose. He was with his owner going to his job. He should be able to shave his dog the way he wants. He has him modeled after a mascot. whats the big deal. I think he looks cool.

  7. karen says on  01/10/2013 at 10:51 pm

    i love the cut i have two doodles . my male doodle looks just like yours twins .can you find out what the groomer calls the cut .i would love to get my dog that cut.

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