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Mastiff 1, Reporter 0
CNN's Soledad O'Brien attempts to evict family because of their dog.

Back in January, CNN correspondent Soledad O’Brien complained about a Neapolitan Mastiff who lived in her exclusive New York City co-op building. As secretary of the co-op board, she and the other board members filed a 20-page affidavit claiming that poor Ugo had to go due to his "size, slobbering, shedding, drooling, gassiness and odors." Were they serious? Clearly, the board members are not dog people as just about any pup could be described this way at one time or another.

Owner Steven Lyon and family refused to give up Ugo. The board then stupidly insisted on evicting the family from their $3 million condo. O’Brien even signed the marching orders. Thankfully, a judge dismissed the case this week and only O’Brien is in the doghouse. Due to threats over the past couple months, she resigned from her position on the board. I can only imagine how this has affected her very public career as well. Maybe she should focus on that instead of picking on a dog for just being a dog.


Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

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Submitted by Karen | May 29 2009 |

My goodness, couldn't many humans be described in the very manner in which this woman described the dog? I live with a human who is rather large (and still I love him), slobbers (ok, just when sleeping), sheds (i wash my tub down on a regular basis), drools (did I mention his sleeping habits?), definitely has gas issues (he's a guy, but I'm not going to get all sexist on this one), and odors (don't we all have personal odors?). In this day and age of political correctness, is it fair to judge a Mastiff against a teacup poodle? You live in a building that allows dogs. If you don't like it, move.

Submitted by Carolyn (with M... | May 29 2009 |

I agree with Karen. It would be a little more understandable if the dog had been aggressive or a a non-stop barker. Nothing like that was mentioned amidst his other "faults."

Submitted by erin | June 1 2009 |

I could not agree more with the previous comments!! I know more than a handful of humans who fit the description O'Brien used in the affidavit against Ugo. A more understandable reason to ask for eviction would be if the dog showed aggression. Even though I have never been a guardian of a Neapolitan mastiff, I have been blessed to have loved both an English and a bull mastiff. You could not have asked for better companions. Both were the most loving, sweetest, and loyal friends. O'Brien should be ashamed and a big thumbs up to the judge who dismissed the case.

Submitted by Anonymous | June 16 2009 |

O'Brien has been in the public eye long enough to know the repercussions of those actions way before she did it! There are too many people in all social circles who love their animals as much as their companions, their children and their family...sometimes more...sometimes that is all they have to love...why would she be so blatantly stupid? Poor career choice for her.

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