`Best Dog’ gets probation from New Castle judge | PostIndependent.com

`Best Dog’ gets probation from New Castle judge

Ryan Graff
Post Independent Staff Writer

NEW CASTLE- Maureen O’Brien, owner of Otis, the 2003 Local’s Choice for best dog, went to New Castle Municipal Court Tuesday for vicious dog charges.

Judge Hugh Warder imposed a one-year deferred judgment and sentence. If Otis behaves himself for one year, O’Brien won’t face any penalties.

“I’m satisfied,” said O’Brien after Warder issued the order. “He’s just not a bad dog.”

O’Brien’s day in court came after Jerilyn Wright of New Castle filed a complaint with the New Castle Police Department. Wright said her dog was attacked by Otis on June 5.

In a telephone interview after the court appearance, Wright said she was walking by O’Brien’s house when Otis, who was tied up in O’Brien’s yard, broke out of his collar and attacked her dog.

“He picked up my dog and started shaking it,” said Wright.

“He was very vicious and it was scary,” she said.

O’Brien says that Otis did “go after” Wright’s dog. She thinks he was probably confused or nervous because there were kids with Otis in her driveway at the time. O’Brien said Otis may have thought he was protecting the kids.

Despite the attack on Wright’s dog, O’Brien said Otis, who came to her as a stray, is a good dog.

“It was a very unfortunate situation and I’m sorry it happened,” she said, noting that Otis now wears a shock collar.

Otis likely won the Post Independent’s Local’s Choice for best dog because he often went to work with O’Brien at the Valley View Hospital.

“I still think he deserves it, because he’s not a bad dog,” she says.

Meghan Cole, O’Brien’s neighbor, agreed that Otis is well liked.

“He’s like a big teddy bear, everybody likes him,” she said.

Wright disagrees a,d said the contest needs to be reassessed.

“Maybe you need a better method of selection for best dog,” she said.

Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515,

ext. 535


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