BRIGHTON -- A plea deal was reached for Dre O’Brien Tuesday morning, the mixed breed dog accused of being vicious.
As a result of a positive report from the dog behaviorist the city hired to evaluate his behavior, the prosecution agreed to allow Dre to return home and dismissed four of the five charges in the case, according to the public relations consultant for the Animal Law Center, Kurt Holzberlein.
According to attorney Jennifer Edwards, O’Brien plead to one count of vicious dog. The remaining counts of vicious dog and dog at large were dropped. She said the dog was extensively evaluated by a behaviorist that the city hired and found him not to be a dangerous dog.
“He made some recommendations for socialization and that sort of thing for Dre and some further training,” she said of the behaviorist. “He believes Dre can get his canine good citizen certificate pretty quickly. That’s the goal now is for Dre to become a canine good citizen.”
Edwards believes the claims the city made that the dog was aggressive and vicious were false.
“I don’t think he was in any way as aggressive as they portrayed him to be. And if he was, it was the result of the way they were treating him or the fact that he was scared or whatever,” she said. “I think it’s important to really shed some light on the fact that there was no bite alleged in this case. If this was a vicious, aggressive dog that was trying to bite someone, he certainly could have.”
Dre was reunited with the O’Briens around 1 p.m.. Owner Mary O’Brien said the family was more than ecstatic to have him back in their home.
“We’re just excited that we can get on with our lives, that he’s home and we have him back and our kids have him back,” she said.
O’Brien said it was devastating not having Dre in the home and really threw everybody off.
“We felt like we were missing a member of our family for such a long time,” she said. “I know the kids were affected by it a lot more than we were because we could understand. I don’t think they’d realized why their best friend was out of the home and where was he and when he would be coming home.”
Dre’s story quickly spread around the web through social media and petition sites. O’Brien said the outpouring of support from these people has been “amazing.”
Dre and a Doberman pincher Machomotto got loose July 25 after a child from the home got hold of a garage door remote and opened the garage door. While loose, the dogs approached three people who called animal control.
After animal control officers caught the dogs, Machomotto was allowed to return to the home but Dre was kept due to allegations that he was vicious and aggressive.
“Our primary concern is and always will be public safety,” city spokeswoman Kristen Chernosky said. “If this takes care of the issue, then we are more than happy with this resolution.”
Contact Crystal Nelson at 303-659-2522, ext. 223 or email email@example.com.