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      4 Exclusive - Dog owner accused of cruelty agrees to give up 'Champ'

      A Harlingen dog owner at the center of an animal cruelty case, which has garnered nationwide attention from people who wish to adopt the pet, wants the public to know he is not a monster. "I don't want them to put him to sleep," Jose Gonzales said while trying to fight back to tears. He knows his 4 year old dog named "Champ" faces being euthanized because of his admitted actions. "I'm the one who got him in that situation... He can't defend himself... He don't know what's going on... He don't know the danger he's in," he said. "Champ" has been under quarantine at the Harlingen Humane Society since November 12th. Police found the dog bloodied and cut, according to a report. Jose admits he punched his pet, but in self defense. He has bite marks on both hands. "Champ" apparently tried to defend his friend, a female pit bull recently introduced into the home that Jose was disciplined for a mess she made. "I feared for my life right there," he said.

      "That hadn't happened before with him... That's an isolated incident ... Me and him have never been through that situation before and I didn't know how to react." Police were called in after neighbors claimed they heard a loud yelp sound from the dog. Jose knows he was wrong but denies he abuses animals. "I just reacted the only way I know how... But not out of hate or vengeance... Just out of protection... Concern for my health ... That's all," he said. He's willing to go to jail, pay a fine and all costs associated for the "Champ's" care received; anything to ensure his dog will live. Reporter: "Are you willing then to give up 'Champ' in order for him to have a better home?" Jose: "Yes. I don't want him to go to sleep... I don't want him to die... Cause he doesn't deserve that." An attorney for Jose plans to file a motion to prevent the shelter from taking any action until a judge reviews the case. About a dozen signatures have also been collected from neighbors on a petition that states Jose has never displayed questionable signs of abuse, neglect or cruelty towards his pet.