After Weeks of Confinement, Dre the Pit Bull Is Free

He escaped from his family's home and faced euthanasia as a "vicious dog," but he gets to go home.

Carol Bryant  |  Sep 13th 2012

Dre the Pit Bull is free! And he has been reunited with his family.

For those who have been following along, we rejoice in sharing the news that officials in Brighton, CO, have given Dre back to his family after they’d spent nearly two months apart. Dogster readers will recall the plight of Dre through our exclusive updates throughout August.

On July 26, one of Mary O’Brien’s children accidentally pressed a button on the remote garage door opener at their home. O’Brien’s cousin was babysitting and did not realize what had taken place. Dre and Machomotto, the family’s dogs, ran outside through the open garage door.

Apparently, several people called animal control, with another person calling 911 to report vicious dogs on the loose. It was reported that five officers were needed to obtain Dre, though none of them was injured either through bite or scratch. (With five strangers chasing me, I can’t say I’d react the same way.)

The authorities released Machomotto (not a Pit Bull), but then quarantined Dre and labeled him “vicious.” What ensued were weeks of agony for the family, questionable treatment of the dog, and isolation of Dre from his family, his special food, and his necessary medications. Dre’s health began to deteriorate, and he had allergic reactions, according to the family.

Dre sat in a kennel, locked in a tiny area. He was stressed and confused. I would be, too, and probably gnawing at myself in the same situation. He got little interaction, and he waited. We all did.

Dogster last reported on Dre on Aug. 21. Supporters held silent protests and contacted television news stations. A lawyer from Animal Law Center joined the case. Backers circulated a petition online and got more than 60,000 signatures. Thankfully, Dre was moved from animal control and his isolation kennel to a foster care situation with the group Canine Candor, who saw the gentle personality of Dre.

According to Denver Westword blogs, the Animal Law Center hired a behaviorist, who revealed that Dre is not vicious. A judge then urged the city of Brighton to assign its own behaviorist to test Dre. The test exposed Dre to an umbrella opening, a gun being fired, and other loud sounds, and he reacted, but he had a very quick recovery time. The analysis revealed he is stable and well mannered. Again, if someone shot a gun around my dog, I know he would run for cover.

The city and the family reached a plea agreement, according to a report by, which includes animal-care guidelines and follow-up evaluations. A fine and security requirements are also part of the deal. Dre, however, is home, and it is reported he will be training for Canine Good Citizenship.

To Mary O’Brien and all of Dre’s family, along with the Animal Law Center, thank you for believing in the power of good and never giving up.

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