Man pleads guilty to shooting neighbor's dog

Michael O'Brien given probation; dog lost leg

SAN DIEGO - A Fallbrook man who shot his neighbor's dog -- resulting in the amputation of one of the dog's legs -- will be sentenced next month after pleading guilty to felony animal abuse, the San Diego Humane Society announced Friday.

Michael O'Brien will be placed on three years probation, will not be allowed to own an animal during that time, and will be ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,400.

O'Brien pleaded guilty late last week to shooting his neighbor's 9-month-old Siberian Husky named Gunner.

Despite losing a leg, Gunner is home and doing well today, officials said.

"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," he said. "The punishment for crimes against animals has become more appropriate n the past year. This is a step in the right direction, but we still have a long way to go."

O'Brien is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 15.

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