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Man pleads guilty to animal abuse for shooting neighbor’s dog

SAN DIEGO —Fallbrook resident, Michael O’Brien has pleaded guilty to 597(a) felony charges of animal abuse for shooting his neighbor’s dog in the leg.

The 9-month-old Siberian husky named Gunner had to have a leg amputated, but he is home and doing well today. The San Diego Humane Society and SPCA immediately filed animal cruelty charges against O’Brien for the shooting.

O’Brien will receive three years of probation, must pay $4,400 in restitution and is not allowed to own an animal for three years.

“O’Brien claimed to be irritated with the dog. It’s inexcusable to harm an animal for any reason and, on behalf of this community of animal lovers, we won’t tolerate it,” said Dr. Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society and SPCA. “Our Humane Officers are in the field seven days a week responding to claims of animal cruelty and giving a voice to the defenseless. The punishment for crimes against animals has become more appropriate in the past year. This is a step in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go.”

Suspicions of animal cruelty or neglect can be submitted on the San Diego Humane Society website or by calling 619-243-3466.