intolerable cruelty

dogsWhen I saw a post on a friend’s Facebook wall this evening from one of their friends, I had to read it half a dozen times to make sure I wasn’t reading incorrectly. When I read what I read I started to cry, and also thought I would throw up. It was Just. That. Awful.

Here:

intolerable cruelty

I have to ask why these things happen in West Vincent Township? I am told this occurred in West Vincent Township within the last week?  This is crazy and it is sick and this guy shooting up dogs should not be able to hide behind antiquated farming statutes.

Do we really believe this guy with the gun doesn’t know his neighbors’ dogs?  Do we believe that he really gave these dogs a chance? Can it be said if he had, they would be with their humans?

map of area

I am generally speaking a big supporter of farmers, and I get how farmers do not want livestock worried in a field. The thing is this: if you are a farmer or are dog saavy you know when a dog is herding, playing, or attacking.

Oh and here is a voicemail left for a neighbor (who turned this over to grieving family and police apparently) by the dog shooter:

I just don’t believe this farmer guy did not have any options other than to gun down two dogs who could still be considered puppies. The family knows nothing can bring back these beloved pets.  But they do feel there should be some accountability – the wife said to me in a note:

[We] know that nothing will bring our pups back, but if we could save another family from having to go through this, we would do anything. This man will do this again, I know this in my heart.  He is using this law as justification and is showing absolutely no remorse

These people have little kids.  How the heck do you tell little kids their neighbor shot their beloved dogs? And yes I get there are laws designed to protect farmers, but most of the farmers I know wouldn’t just shoot puppies.  They might round up the dogs and turn them over to animal control for return to their families but they wouldn’t just gun down a neighbor’s pets.

My heart bleeds for these people.  I think West Vincent resdients should bring this up in person at the next township meeting. I think the media should investigate. I think the Chester County SPCA and Humane Society should investigate.

2.20.2013 UPDATE:

I am told by sources that the Chester County SPCA is going out to investigate today?  Here is hoping they check things out thoroughly.  Sources tell me this guy really isn’t much of a farmer that the sheep mostly keep his lawn cut?  Also if this guy is in a R2 (think that is the residential zone) in West Vincent, does he legally have enough acres to keep farm animals/livestock which is what sheep are?  If his acreage with the amassed lots he owns is under 10 acres how does that work?  I mean out there you must have a minimum of 2 acres to keep one horse for personal use, right? But farm animals are different and how many years has this guy had sheep?  I ask because is it not true if he does NOT have the correct acreage he could be in violation of current zoning and prior to the 2010 revisions as well? Are all his grazing or “pasture” areas fenced in? Is he connected over there or something?  Also, if this guy is in a residential zone, is he compliant with PA gaming laws in a residential area with regard to the safety zone for discharging rifles and shot guns?

I had more farmers contact me today.  Some who were very amusing to me because they scoffed at the idea of this guy really being a farmer. (I don’t know so I leave it up to the experts as it were.)  Including one who said he had to shoot a feral dog years ago because it mauled and killed two of his sheep – he said he hated to do it, but in that case the dog was wild and was caught in the act.  This farmer said to me if he had seen these dog he would have maybe fired a warning shot, but most likely he would have plunked them in a stall in his barn and called the police to return the dogs to the owners with a warning.

I found a reference to PA law below – not a lawyer, not sure if it applies, but read it:

Safety zones – 34 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 2505

§ 2505.  Safety zones.
(a)  General rule.–Except as otherwise provided in this
title or to any political subdivision, its employees or agents,
which has a valid deer control permit issued under section
2902(c) (relating to general categories of permits), it is
unlawful for any person, other than the lawful occupant, while
hunting game or wildlife, taking furbearers of any kind, or
pursuing any other privilege granted by this title, to hunt for,
take, trap, pursue, disturb or otherwise chase any game or
wildlife or to discharge, for any reason, any firearm, arrow or
other deadly weapon within or through a safety zone, or to shoot
at any game or wildlife while it is within the safety zone
without the specific advance permission of the lawful occupant
thereof.
(b)  Penalty.–A violation of this section is a summary
offense punishable by a fine of not less than $200 nor more than
$500. A second or subsequent offense within two calendar years
is a summary offense punishable by a fine of not less than $500
nor more than $1,000.
(c)  Definition.–As used in this section, the term “safety
zone” means:
(1)  Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (2), the
area within 150 yards around and that area which is below the
highest point of any occupied dwelling house, residence, or
other building or camp occupied by human beings, or any barn,
stable, or other building used in connection therewith or any
attached or detached playground of any school, nursery school
or day-care center.
(2)  When applied to properly licensed persons hunting
with bow and arrow or crossbow, the area within 50 yards
around and that area which is below the highest point of any
occupied dwelling house, residence or other building or camp
occupied by human beings or any barn, stable or other
building used in connection therewith and the area within 150
yards around and that area which is below the highest point
of any attached or detached playground of any school, nursery
school or day-care center.
(Nov. 25, 1988, P.L.1082, No.125, eff. imd.; Mar. 29, 1996,
P.L.41, No.13, eff. imd.; Dec. 19, 1996, P.L.1442, No.184, eff.
60 days; June 28, 2002, P.L.474, No.79, eff. 60 days; June 23,
2004, P.L.435, No.43, eff. July 1, 2004)

Cross References.  Section 2505 is referred to in section
2741 of this title.

West Vincent Zoning: See Satndards for Raising Animals Codified-Draft%20ZO-TOC-4-12-12 (Also see other pages like page 83 of the West Vincent Zoning Code

Excerpt from Gaming LawsWV Zoning 1

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pine

So this Bing image shows how residential this is, right?  Maybe Chester CountyDA needs to look at discharge of weapons in R2 zone ? Do you all not see
numerous dwellings that *possibly* could be well within the 450 ft gun safety zone?  I am told the area where he keeps the sheep is fenced, but in poor repair, with a section patched with plastic garden fence? If dogs as big as sheep can get in, sheep can get out, right?  Again, is he possibly in potential violation of zoning and gun laws?  Pine Drive is the first development approved in WVT in the late 60’s or early 70’s, correct?Isn’t it the only development ever approved with 1 ACRE LOTS?  So what about that safety zone in the entire residential development and discharging a weapon? Guns are a hot nationwide topic are they not?  Even in PA?

FIVE people have sent me photos. Here are the ones pertinent to this discussion:

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86 thoughts on “intolerable cruelty

  1. This is so tragic, so sad, and my heart breaks for the children. I can tell you (coming from a long line of farmers) that dogs that run stock aren’t tolerated under any circumstances, period.
    A neighbor had a similar incident about ten years ago.

    I agree that there should have been at least one warning from the farmer but I believe that he was totally within his rights. When you move to an agricultural area, you need to be mindful that you’re not in the suburbs any more and that in some cases the rules are completely different.

    • the problem is my sources tell me this guy ives in a R2 residential zone, so technically he might not be a farmer? After all if you have to have 10 acres to keep farm animals like sheep and you might be up to 4 acres short, who is in violation? Out there you can have 1 horse on a minimum of 2 acres for personal use, but these are farm animals so maybe someone is in violation of zoning? Another thing, because this guy lives in a residential area, was he compliant with PA gun laws as to firing a shot gun or a rifle in a residential area? And is it true this guy really isn’t a farmer per se he keeps sheep so he doesn’t have to mow his property? My sources tell me the SPCA is headed his way today.

      • how can you call herding a few sheep in a small fenced in area ‘run stock’ not like they were chasing them off. Probably had them neatly in a corner of the pen. Perhaps a shotgun blast to his head is in order.

      • Yikes, I understand the sentiment, but want no one to get hurt. I have no problem in the right to bear arms category, provided people are responsible. What I would like answers to include the Chester County DA possibly opining on guns and safety zones if that makes sense? This might be out in West Vincent but doesn’t he live in a sub-division technically and legally?

    • The farmers knew which also included my Grandfather and Father when I was growing up definitely knew all the neighbors and their animals. If they didn’t they would have asked around, besides if they were wild dogs you as a farmer would definitely know the difference by the way the animal moves. Sad to call this man a farmer, sounds like a grumpy man with no knowledge of animals. I would check on how his livestock looks just saying.

  2. Oh no..This is a terrible tragedy. If this is the person I am thinking of. I had a conversation with
    him a couple of years ago. He keeps his sheep and makes a modest income from them. He also gets a property tax break. I think the sheep may be much more important that you might think to this older gentleman. I do no know the demeanor of this older gentleman but I would really want to find out from him what he was thinking at the time…Perhaps he can’t see very well. Perhaps he is sick….I feel very sorry for all involved. I am an animal lover and have had dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, and horses. Those children must be devastated. I know that sometimes it’s really hard to keep dogs that want to run. Hopefully the people involved can find peace after this..
    Patricia Kozak

    • Where has it been said the dogs loved to run as in they were loose all the time? As for this “older gentleman” I don’t know how sorry for him I feel. After all, he lives in a freaking subdivision so what if one of his shots had gone astray and hit a person? It is bad enough he murdered two dogs who were in essence puppies, isn’t it? I understand his sheep might be important but making the correct choices and smart choices when it comes to firearms and evaluating a situation should be important.

      I know I am not off base because I have had farmers tell me how they feel and every single one sad given the circumstances this guy acted in haste. These weren’t marauding vicious and feral dogs. They were puppies who got out and were having an adventure!

      • After seeing more information, It’s obvious that he did shoot first. The law protects him in this instance. That doesn’t make it right. He used a shotgun. Not bullets shells with shot most likely. There is not much danger of stray fire from a shotgun…It’s really a shame he didn’t try to rectify the situation in a more intelligent humane manor. I feel really bad for the children involved.

  3. Sick. It’s not like these were coyotes who would eat his sheep. This guy obviously knew they were family dogs. I don’t know the penalty for animal cruelty, but hopefully it is high enough he gets charged, convicted and loses his right own firearms forever if it is a M1 or a felony.

    • He can hide behind antiquated farm statutes. I guess it needs to be up to the municipality to see if he was in violation of zoning for farm animals and up to the Chester County DA to look into safety zones with regard to discharding firearms in a zoned residential area huh?

      • So animal cruelty is thrown out on a farm? I can understand a farmer’s concern, but there is also common sense. These are collared pure bred dogs.

        If I were a farmer in that situation, I would have observed to see if my sheep were truly in danger before taking such drastic actions. Herding or playing around the sheep by these two dogs is not putting the sheep in any danger.

  4. It sounds like a rotten situation for everyone involved. However, I’m curious as to how the owner knew where the dogs where when they were shot. Did he see them run into the yard? Was he chasing them and trying to get them out of the yard when the farmer took action? If so, the owner’s life may have been in danger. If the farmer is willing to kill two dogs while the owner is within range of being shot, that’s a significant issue law enforcement needs to look into.

    On the other hand, if the owner was not present, and did not see what transpired, he may not have seen what the farmer saw. If the farmer is protective of his sheep, and saw the dogs’ herding as a prelude to an attack on his animals, he may have acted with the intention of protecting his flock. Not saying it was the best split second decision, but it may explain his thinking at the time.

    Either way, great reporting! I intend to read this blog more regularly now. Please keep us posted on what happens. I hope the family doesn’t let this sour their views on life, their neighbors, and having pets.

  5. And as you pointed out, the safety zone for hunting is 150 yards or an occupied dwelling or farm building – unless the owner gives permission to hunt closer. One would assume this farmer would give himself such permission on his own property.

    However, this farmer was not hunting. This would go to protecting livestock with farm laws I am not familiar with.

    I assume he was allowed to discharge a firearm in what is a more rural township. More congested townships have laws that ban the discharge of firearms within their townships except at approved firing ranges.

    • Yes, this is that runner who always had at least 1 dog running with him, sometimes more than 1. I know him well as a long time resident here. Always a nice guy! I can’t believe the whole situation. I also know the dog breed well. and they are lovers! And still big puppies! Just shocking!

  6. I have to imagine that the second dog was terrified after the first shot was fired… The image of this farmer pulling the trigger on a frightened puppy is sickening!!! He wasn’t protecting his animals at that point – he was hunting family pets for sport… This man is obviously unstable and a danger to the community!
    Shooting dogs on your property is the last resort for any stable member of a community. Using it as a first option to resolve a “dog chasing sheep” – NOT even harming, but just chasing sheep is evidence of a sociopath.

    • Pete I can’t even comprehend…after all these dogs were technically PUPPIES and I heard from the wife of this distraught family that the dogs had never gotten out before, that a tree had fallen way in the rear of the property creating some sort of gap in part of the fence – she said and I quote:

      “the dogs didn’t roam and they had never been to his house before, neighbors were interviewed and verified that. So this isn’t a case of us being negligent constantly and the dogs always bothering those sheep…. tree fell on the fence in an area that I couldn’t see from the house. That is how they got out. I had just removed their electric fence collars because they were in the back yard (completely fenced in), not the front…Gabe said on his message that he shot the dogs at 11:25, I let them out in the back yard to go to the bathroom at 11:10ish, maybe even a few min. later…Those dogs had never jumped a fence before, the female was physically too fat to, so I still can’t figure out how they made it into the sheep area”

      Also I have been told someone named Sandy Cantrell is supposed to be checking the zoning whoever that is? They must work for West Vincent?

      People keep asking what phone numbers they can use to contact the media to express outrage, so here ya go: The Daily Local Newsroom is 610-430-1130; contact NBC10 online http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/contact-us/ , 6 ABC News Tip Line: #6abc from your cellphone or (1-866-639-7749) 1-866-NEWS-SIX, Fox: Call 1-800-220-6397,(215) 925-2929 (Main Phone),(215) 982-5494 (Fax) ,(215) 982-5500 (News Desk), CBS3 215-977-5333 (News), 215-233-3333 (Tips Only), 800-223-8477 (Toll-free), 215-977-5658 (Fax)

    • The second was a one year old female Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. She was cowering in the corner and was shot as she was trying to leave the property. He only fired 2 shots – one for each family pet. He knew that they were Bernese Mountain Dogs and as a “sheep farmer” should know that they are absolutely no harm to his sheep. They are herding dogs.

  7. I hope there is a way to post the news story tonight for those of us in other states who are following this horrible story

  8. § 5511. Cruelty to Animals:

    (a) Killing, maiming or poisoning domestic animals or zoo animals, etc.–

    (1) A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if he willfully and maliciously:

    (i) Kills, maims or disfigures any domestic animal of another person or any domestic fowl of another person.

    (3) This subsection shall not apply to:

    (i) the killing of any animal taken or found in the act of actually destroying any domestic animal or domestic fowl;

    From the voice mail She has in her original post, “Gabe” states the dogs were “chasing” his sheep. That”s not “destroying” his sheep, which is an exception.

    I also don’t see this applying to exceptions in the the Game Law either.

    34 Pa.C.S. §§ 2384:

    Any dog pursuing or following upon the track of any big game animal in such close pursuit as to endanger the big game animal or to be in the act of attacking the big game animal at any time is hereby declared to be a public nuisance and may be destroyed as provided in this title.

    Sheep are not big game and they were not being endangered or attacked if they were just being “chased” as “Gabe” says on voice mail..

    Now, maybe I am missing something from some Farm Law, but the DA really needs to look into this.

  9. In this country, a man is innocent until proven guilty. How quick we are to pass judgement. Please listen to both sides of the story. You may be surprised………

      • That’s your opinion.
        Who’s to say that a dog is worth more than his sheep?
        Who made you the judge?

        There is more to the story. As stated above, you have passed judgement on an issue that we don’t quite know all the facts yet.

      • Hey Ted, I have tolerated your opinion and I am pretty much done.If you are speaking for Gabe Pilotti tell him to put on his big boy pants and speak for himself. Ask him how he has sheep on under ten acres while you are at it since he technically seems to live in a residential subdivision. Ask him why his own fencing appears on camera to be in some disrepair if he is worried about sheep. Ask him where he stands on responsible gun ownership- because I may be a mere mortal and a female but I heard their were laws/rules about discharging firearms in what is by its very zoning a residential area.

        And if you watched the news last night a guy who actually is a farmer out there went on camera to say what happened was wrong that he should not have shot first as it were.

        I am entitled to my opinion and this is my blog. So if I want to express my opinion that this guy recklessly murderd dogs I can indeed do that.

        congrats you just made the trash can list for future comments

      • Good morning,

        I am not speaking for Mr. Pilotti. I am speaking for myself. I’m sorry you are getting angry. Aren’t I allowed to have my opinion? I respect yours.

        It seems you got upset when I mentioned how one animal is worth more than the next….

        I did watch the news. (seemed a little spliced from Dr. Boden) I did used to live on the street. I am not a “yokel” as was claimed above. And, I don’t jump to conclusions as some have here.

        The fence in disrepair is not where the sheep are kept. They are kept in a fully functional fence as I have seen with my own two eyes.

        I appreciate the conversation and I hope you do too.

      • Ahhhh I see. thanks for clearing that all up. So to you categorize all women as angry who have opinions which differ from yours? I am appalled by your assertion that it was ok for those dogs to die. Mr. Pilotti took the shoot first ask questions later approach. I find that irresponsible and morally reprehensible.

      • Good afternoon,

        I never once said it was ok for these dogs to die. Again, we don’t know the whole story. Seems to be a lot of jumping to conclusions before all facts are presented.

        There are a lot of “rumors” and “I think this is the law” and “I think this happened,”, talk……

        If he committed a crime, then he should pay for that crime. If he did not commit a crime, then this is a good life lesson. Life isn’t always fair, but if there was not a crime, then I’m sure people will be sure to be a little more careful in the future.

      • I’m sorry did your friend Gabriel not jump to conclusions as you say when he shot those dogs? If Gabriel has something to say, he’s welcome to post a comment here if he chooses. However don’t expect me to feel a particular degree of sympathy for him

      • Exactly my thought! Talk about irony–he believes it’s o.k. to shoot first and ask questions later, but suddenly NOW is the time for cool reflection and analysis!? He didn’t sound the least bit sorry or sympathetic when he left the VM for the neighbor bragging about shooting these two dogs.

  10. Please note that these poor lost dogs are not part of the herding group as defined by the AKC but the working group. Here is a link to the AKC Breed Description:
    http://www.akc.org/breeds/bernese_mountain_dog/index.cfm
    They are companion animals and in no way deserved the fate they received. My Terriers could inflict more damage as a medium sized dog than these two. What a shame that PA has such antiquated laws. No wonder why puppy millers thrive in this state as well. My heart goes out to this family.

  11. My family and our 2 dogs live on Pine Dr. The shooter opens his fence every time it snows for the kids to sled on his hill. We have brought our dogs down there and they have run free on his hill. I strongly feel that he was using this opportunity to kill 2 more dogs. He killed 2 other dogs, but that seemed warranted since they were attacking the other farm’s animals. I guess maybe he got a taste for it. Almost all the families on our street have dogs that are fenced behind electric fences. I was told that we should put up fences now in addition to the electric fence. Because of this gun happy dog killer, do we all need to fence ourselves in and our animals? What about the kids? I have already told mine that they are not to go anywhere near that house. However, he has at least 5 houses right around his property that have children in grade school. I am sickened and saddened by this and hope that West Vincent Township wise up and realize that we are all living in neighborhoods now, not homesteads.

    • Hi Stacy, then you and other concerned citizens need to go to the next West Vincent Supervisors meeting and express your opinion – even if they say nothing back at the time, you have a right to be heard. Thanks for writing in

  12. Wow. As I started reading I thought maybe you were being a little melodramatic with the “Just.That.Awful” but sadly you weren’t. My heart breaks for the Bock family. And those poor puppies. Ugh.

    • No I was not being melodramatic. And allow me to share with you Mary Bock just posted about this situation on the Justice For Argus & Fiona page on Facebook:

      Just wanted to clear a few things up here and let people know why we are exposing this story in this way: We are not the type of people that are 100% comfortable with this type of attention, however if something good can come from this awful tragedy it will be well worth it and it will give our dogs short life a purpose. To us this is a question of humanity. Weather you are an animal lover or not, I know that I personally do not want to live in a world where you can not trust that you or your pets’s lives are in danger from your neighbor. Yes, we do feel guilt about not knowing the piece of our fence was damaged. From the time the dogs got out, until the time they were dead was 15 minutes. For 10 of those minutes, I was in active pursuit, even driving by Gabe’s house. Not knowing of course that just a few feet away from me, my dogs were splattered all over his yard. There are many questions about what happened that are not out there because they are theories that can not be proven. Like how my dogs got into Mr. pilotti’s sheep pen area. The fence was high and the dogs had never jumped a fence before. Our male definitely had the physical ability to jump it so its possible, but the female did not. The police said that from how they found the bodies, Argus was staring him in the face when Gabe shot him point blank from close range. If Argus was standing looking at Gabe, how could he be pursuing the sheep. As Gabe reloaded the gun, Fiona tried to run and was ultimately executed cowering up against the fence, according to the police. If she so easily jumped in the pen, why didn’t she jump out to escape? The speculation from many, including authorities is that Gabe opened the gate to let them in so that it was “legal for him to kill them” He was well aware of the law and stated it to the police as soon as they arrived. Then, if you heard the message, called a neighbor to brag about it. This pure evilness is why we are fighting to make a difference. This law does serve a purpose for sure, but needs to be amended. Maybe just the verbiage, “pursuing” is a broad term. This is not only an animal rights issue but also a human issue. This will happen again, maybe not in the same way, but probably with this same individual. Having the law on his side, in his mind, makes the choices he made that day ok. Most people would not abuse this law, but because of Gabe Pilotti we are reminded that people can be very cruel and unfortunately we cannot trust in humanity to always make the best decision. Thank you for all the support on this page. To anyone who’s dog has ever escaped your yard, even for a few minutes, this should matter to you

    • That seems a little harsh. Have you spoken with Gabriel to see his side. Do you know all the facts? “prison for the rest of his worthless life.” That’s a bold statement to make about facts you aren’t quite sure of yet.

    • Ted, go back to the hole you crawled out of. To even intimate that you support this scumbag – makes you a scumbag.

  13. This is typical in today’s so-called civilization. This guy is so full of fear and self-hatred he has to make others suffer for his own self-loathing. In this case three sweet dogs. This is why people abuse children and animals, they can’t take responsibility for their own twisted-up internal bullshit and are driven to puke it out on others. Sure, he’d say he was just protectin’ hiz property; that he is an honest, christian, hard-workin’ man with strong Amer-can values but those are the self-deceptions and public BS that are the pantomimes he fosters to cover up the hateful person he really is. Too bad this sadist-cum-fascist, believes he is going to heaven instead of the hell where he belongs,

  14. There has been some talk that Mr Pilotti may have indeed opened his gate to allow the dogs on the property as it seems nearly impossible that the smaller of the two dogs could have jumped the fence. In that case I believe Mr Pilottis intention was to execute these dogs. The sheep were in no danger from these big teddy bears..he did what he did and appears to have enjoyed it. Absolutely horrifying.

    • This is the first time I have posted to a blog. I can’t help but comment because I feel so compelled. This is truly a sad situation for all parties involved. Firstly, it is never easy to lose a pet. Often times, folks consider pets a member of the family so their loss is felt with tremendous sadness. I do believe that the farmer was also put in an incredible difficult situation. I am not sure of how many of you are aware that several months ago several animals on the farm directly across the street from Mr. Pilotti were attacked and killed by two dogs that escaped from their owner’s residence. I do think it is important for the owners of the pets to take some responsibility. We have to consider that Mr. Pilotti did not know these dogs or their intentions.
      Hound dogs are typically not herding dogs. For those Chester Springs residents we know all too well the fox hunts that occur with hounds in our own backyards. The Bock family clearly sees their dogs as pets. To a farmer, to the sheep, these animals may have been viewed in a very different light. After all pets are animals. All animals have animal instincts. The fact cannot be denied that these dogs escaped their yard, traveled a half mile and found their way to livestock. Mr. Pilotti was forced to make a judgment call on his own property regarding his sheep. I ask you to consider what makes someone’s dogs more valuable than someone else’s sheep? Had these dogs stayed on their owner’s property we would not be discussing this issue.
      Someone’s pet is only a pet to those who own it – outsiders do not know the temperament of an animal by merely looking at it. A family friend recently had this same breed dog jump her 6 foot fence into her yard. The family friend proceeded to look at the dog tag to return the dog to its owner only to be bitten in the face as the dog did not know her. She now needs plastic surgery. Animals are just that and they will revert to their instincts for various reasons.
      It is easy to vilify one’s split decisions. Mr. Pilotti was not hunting someone’s pet. Someone’s pet was potentially hunting his sheep and he acted according to the law to protect his own. It is easy to become distracted by the heartstrings of these dogs being someone’s pet, however, the owners must assume some responsibility for not containing their beloved pet. I imagine the Bock family would experience the same sadness had their dogs been hit and killed by a car as they roamed outside of the safety of their yard; however, they would most likely be less distracted by their anger.
      Some claim “intolerable cruelty”. Mr. Pilotti’s actions are tolerated by the law and we live in an area that requires such laws to protect and support our local farmers and their livelihood. I believe it is a stretch to assume that Mr. Pilotti hunted someone’s pet with cruel intentions as opposed to defended his sheep against intruders with unknown intentions.

      • With all due respect, I think that if a warning shot had been fired and he hadn’t bragged about shooting first and asking questions later, it would all be a little easier to understand. The fact that he didn’t attempt to scare them off before shooting and that he was at point blank makes it all a little hard to buy.

  15. This man killed multiple dogs last year- he is gun happy and this WILL happen again unless he is stopped. He is a fervent, self-rightenous, bible believer and believes his way is the ONLY way… It is never OK to shoot first and ask questions later. These dogs were just herding not hurting sheep. There is a big difference and he needs to be held accountable.

  16. Can somebody quote the exact statute that allowed these killings?

    I posted two statutes above that would appear to make these illegal killings.

    What statute is the DA going by where he states this was allowed?

  17. Also, side note- this man is not a farmer- he only has sheep so his property is classified as agricultural land which receives a tax break. Laws need in this township need to be changed.

    • How do you know why he has sheep out of curiosity? And may I ask what classifies as a farmer?

      • It is my understanding that 5 acres are required for a tax break, and then only if your income is strictly agriculture! Gabe has 4 acres I have heard. This is a residential development of mostly 1 acre lots. Hardly a farm.

  18. As a sheep owner, domestic dogs are the number one concern for sheep safety. Unlike wild predators who kill efficiently and quickly, domestic dogs will chase sheep, tire them out until they give up and then gnaw off a leg or maim them until the fun ends and leave them for dead. Lots of blood, lots of fear, lots of suffering. If you are like us, and your sheep are your pets, this is also extremely devastating for adults and children. While a person who is familiar with dogs would see this breed and know what they are bred for, it’s difficult to know if your sheep are in danger or not based on them being herded/chased around their field and presumably frenzied.

    I asked the gun guy at Walmart if I could just buy a paint ball gun with blue paint and shoot dogs in my field and then they’d go home with a ‘warning’ splotch and owners would make sure to secure their own fences better. Guess what? If i do that I could be charged with animal cruelty and face a judge, but if my livestock is in danger and I shoot/kill a dog I’m completely safe.

    *I’m conflicted on this story. For me the moral is to keep your dogs safe and contained. The number one problem here is that the dogs got out…period. If you have 2 burmese mountain dogs and have for 2 years, you need to know how to contain them.

    *If you’re a livestock owner you need a secure pasture and if an obvious pet dog is in your pasture and hasn’t actually hurt an animal you should always first attempt to catch it or scare it away before killing it….period.

    Unfortunately this seems like it was a bad combination of improperly contained dogs and a trigger happy neighbor and it could’ve been easily avoided on both ends.

    • I can do you a favor and end your conflict on this nightmare. The way the dogs were shot indicated that at the time of execution, the dogs were not chasing the sheep. So, the psycopath’s mere presence in the field had laready effectively ended any “worrying of sheep”. This cold blooded low life scumbag intentionally and without any hesitation decided to MURDER these two family pets. He then feeling all high from the murderous rampage wanted to boast of his slaughter and left a voicemail on his neighbor’s answering machine. He will be repaid in full, believe me, he will. On the other side of your conflict, first time the dogs got out and the owner was approximately 5 minutes behind them in an attempt to brign them hoime to their loving family. Ther eis not a single dog owner in the world who has not had at least one instance of their pet break loose. Also, dont see the logic in the punishment of MURDER for merely scaring the dumb animal. So your conflict is now resolved!

  19. A Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the most magnificent animals on the planet. They serve, as does the St. Bernard as rescue dogs. Their personality is 2nd to none. Hit my gut that 2 had been shot – though normally do not get that involved in the animal world. There is more than enough human misery. I did take the time to inform the police department, as I had the privilege
    of raising one years ago, and know the breeders and trainers in the field.

  20. Here’s the law:

    “(a) LEGAL TO KILL CERTAIN DOGS.– Any person may kill any dog which he sees in the act of pursuing or wounding or killing any domestic animal, wounding or killing other dogs, cats or household pets, or pursuing, wounding or attacking human beings, whether or not such a dog bears the license tag required by the provisions of this act. There shall be no liability on such persons in damages or otherwise for such killing.”

    So you can legally kill any dog that enters your property and plays with (“pursues”) your dog or sheep or whatever. That’s an insane law. It just invites people to kill other dogs on their property who are remorseless and sick individuals.

    I would remove “pursuing” and leave it as “attacking, wounding or killing”. This law needs to be changed. I agree with protecting your own dogs and livestock from dogs that are attacking in a violent manner, but the “pursuing” language is too broad and invites sickos to shoot friendly dogs who are just playing around.

  21. He had other options, but chose not to use them. Why did you not try yelling at them? After killing the 1st dog, the second dog was not a threat, and there was no excuse for killing the first , let alone the second dog. What if someone was trying to catch the loose dogs, would you have shot them too? Those dogs are in no way aggressive. I have nothing nice to say about you!!!!!!

  22. My heart goes out to the Bock family. When I was a child my dog was murdered by our sick neighbor. Our dog had never escaped before and was just laying in her driveway. Our neighbor didn’t have any animals except for a cat, so it’s not like our dog was chasing or disturbing anything. Anyway she took the belt that held her pants up and strangled our dog. After days of looking for our dog we received a tip that she had killed him and buried him. The CCSPCA did come and investigate. They dug up our dog and insisted on a necropsy. We ended up going to court and basically she was slapped on the wrist with a fine.
    My question about Mr. P is this, if he is lacking the 10 acres for farm animals, is he “grandfathered?”
    Also my last comment, we have several ponies all have different values. We love them

    • Cont from above. We love all of our ponies dearly. If a couple of large dogs started to chase any of them I would want the right to stop the dogs by any force possible. I personally would have a hard time shooting any dog(s) and feel Mr. P could have handled the situation much differently and chose not to. As a livestock owner I do want to retain my right to shoot if need be. After all my little girls would be devastated if their favorite pony tripped and broke her leg running from dogs chasing her. Just looking at this sad situation from the flip side.

      • Also forgot to mention the fence judging by the photos looks similar to fence we use for our ponies. Our fence is a tighter smaller square, but our 100 lb large dog can wiggle and crawl under the fence. Perhaps that is how the two BM dogs got in with the sheep???

    • Your story is famliar. I’m the one who called your family and told them what had happened. I lived on the farm across the street from your house.

  23. With a Berner beneath my desk and another at my side as I work, reading about this has made me sick to my stomach. The thought of these 2 playful and timid mountain dogs being gunned down in broad daylight with one cowering against a fence in unmeasurable fear only to be felled by yet another un-necessary shotgun blast is beyond disturbing. The playback of the phone message where Mr Pilotti is almost jubilant that he has just gunned down another 2 dogs and that he knew they were Bernese Mountain Dogs should convince all of the evil that resides within his being.

    Given that the police are reluctant to take action against this individual, this should not leave us all without a say. Mr Pilotti mentions on the recording that he just came from work. He earns a living somehow. He is involved with several corporations, has business associates and sells a service or product to someone. We need to reach out to these people who support his life style and stand together to boycott anything that derives him an income.

    Whose with me?

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  25. As the owner of a Bernese Mountain dog I am sickened by this. They are rated as one of the top dogs to have with children. They are sloppy affectionate. We have horses, cats, chickens, other dogs and our Berner would NEVER hurt any of them. They are lovers not fighters. Our Berner constantly wants to play with the other animals…she loves them! We have had other animals wander onto our property and she instantly became friends with them (not the best watch dogs.)The fact that he didn’t even TRY to scare them off before shooting is criminal. Unless they were mauling his sheep there is no excuse! My heart aches for this family and I want to cry every time I see their picture. I hope that the DA brings charges against him. People can’t just go around shooting family pets without just cause and a dog being on your property is not just cause. I have no doubt that these dogs would never have hurt a single sheep.

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