By Lisa Redmond


AYER -- A Shirley woman who made headlines last year when she passed out on train tracks and was pulled to safety by her pit bull, who lost a leg in the process, was fined $100 by Judge Peter Kilmartin for walking on the tracks.

In Ayer District Court on Monday, Christine Spain, 54, admitted to one count of illegally walking on railroad tracks during the May 2 incident that cost Spain's 8-year-old pitbull, Lilly, a broken pelvis and an amputated leg.

A charge of animal cruelty was dismissed earlier as a part of a motion by defense attorney Debra Dewitt, who successfully argued that Spain never intended to hurt the animal. A third charge of obstruction/endangerment of a railroad was dropped.

Shirley police alleged that while walking home along the train tracks from her boyfriend's home, Spain collapsed on the tracks. Officials say it appears Spain was intoxicated. The conductor said that as he tried to slow the train, he saw the dog pull Spain off the tracks.

Spain was unscathed but the train's wheels hit the dog, seriously injuring the animal, according to reports.

Lilly was transported to Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, where the dog had its leg amputated and broken pelvis treated.

Spain's son, Boston Police Officer David Lanteigne, commented in earlier reports that he rescued Lilly three years earlier, thinking she would make a good therapy dog for Spain.


He said his mother has battled alcoholism, depression and anxiety for years. He said Spain doted on the dog.

In published reports, Lanteigne admitted his mother relapsed just before her collapse on the train tracks. Shortly after the accident, Lanteigne said his mother and Lilly would be staying with him in Boston while both recuperated.