I woke up thinking of the laws that need to change, and in my mind a bunch of things need to happen:
- Punishment AND fines for animal cruelty need to be tougher all the way around. It needs to mean more than an inconvenience
- Pennsylvania as in the Commonwealth needs to recognize companion animals like dogs as more than property- people discussed that a few years ago when trying for stiffer puppy mill laws but I do not recall anything than some stuff getting watered down. I bet Tom Hickey from the state is watching this blog, and I would like him to connect with me.
- Also farm statutes must be updated so there is less “fuzzy” area. My thought is two-fold: protect the dog owners better, but still give farmers recourse. I have not fleshed that thought out anymore than that but in PA we need to remember the importance of farms as they do drive enough of state economy still.
- I believe that municipalities like West Vincent that used to be extremely rural need to be made to look at their zoning more closely. After all, when you get down to it development doesn’t happen without them does it? So it is incumbent upon them to work harder for better relationships between old and new. Also what defines a farmer versus a hobbyist with tax breaks?
- Gun and gaming laws. I do not want this tragedy to be overshadowed and used by a national political debate. My frame of reference is simple: school people on existing laws because one of the things so irresponsible about what happened is the fact a shotgun was discharged like that in what I am told is R2 residential as opposed to land area zoned agricultural and am I wrong in that?
State Senator Andy Dinniman who represents a lot of us and is a huge animal advocate is working on some law having to do with dog owners being able to sue for damages. He says and I quote ” I am drafting a law that would allow pet owners to civilly sue those who harm or kill their pets.” I do not know the specifics other than that but would ask that if some of his staff is watching this blog if they could post specifics as they occur.
I urge you to contact your lawmakers on a state and federal level and ask for change that will protect our dogs better. They are a part of our families not like an ear of corn.
In Chester County to connect with Andy Dinniman:
One North Church Street
West Chester, PA 19380
Monday-Friday: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m
In Chester County to bump it up to a Federal level to Congress:
111 East Uwchlan Avenue
Exton, PA 19341
940 West Sproul Road
Springfield, PA 19064
Phone: (610) 690-7323
Fax: (610) 690-7329
Together if we focus together and ask for Justice for Argus & Fiona, maybe we can propel that forward to someday mean Argus & Fiona’s Laws.
I will also comment briefly that in spite of media spin the Facebook page Justice for Argus & Fiona , it was set up with a peaceable goal of true justice. As in through the legal system, including changing laws to better protect dogs.
After all, one of the people who helped set up the Facebook page was Mary Bock, who is a truly lovely and gentle woman who has shown such grace and peace in the face of unbelievable family tragedy. Make no misunderstanding with regard to that page as it is not for deviant purposes and implication is resented. People are banned and comments are removed. Posting and commenting is a privilege, not a right.
However, the unfortunate reality is that in this world two of the most heated topics in the world are issues having to do with children and pets, and this issue involves BOTH.
Below are some media snippets from yesterday afternoon as the region learned the dogs would start to have justice, and did not die in vain. I will comment that I am struggling with the statement Mr. Pilotti is purported to have released about remorse and prayers for the family. Part of me hopes it is true, yet part of me wonders why he simply did not do that before the media and public got news of what happened? Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t he have almost a week in between the actual date of tragedy and media whirlwind to pray and show remorse?
In any event, those of us supporting the Bock family do not support violence. Nor do we support nut jobs that stand outside anyone’s home screaming anything. No matter WHAT has transpired, we as a society cannot swirl downwards into utter lawlessness. More bad acts will not solve any issue.
So I ask all of you to use your energy to speak out for dogs. Get laws changed. And oh yes, no matter what West Vincent says if you live there you have a right to be heard at the Supervisors meeting. They may decline comment, but you have the right to public privilege of the floor or public comment. They do not have to respond, but as elected and appointed officials part of their job is to listen. Just be polite.
I am told that this coming Monday is a normal Supervisors meeting. Monday at 7:30 PM at their Township building 729 St. Matthews Road, Chester Springs, PA 19425
Media has reported that West Vincent has not really been chatting with anyone. I guess “unavailable” and “declining comment” would describe it best? In any event, they provide their township contact information on their website as:
729 St. Matthews Road Chester Springs, PA 19425
Phone: (610) 458-1601 Fax: (610) 458-1603
As always, thanks for stopping by. And to that eternally curious woman who keeps asking a mutual friend about this blog to the point of obsession? Lady, if you have to ask you don’t need to know. Grow up and quit looking for chickenman conspiracies behind every bush and hillock in West Vincent. (No I do not know who chickenman is, nor do I care. Even chickens have First Amendment Rights…)
Face it, you live in warped Mayberry and the sooner you own that the more at ease your mind will be. I know it is hard for some to fathom that I post recipes and discuss politics and local issues, but so be it. Far more interesting than standing in someone’s kitchen telling birthing stories and discussing which mustard goes best with a honey baked ham, yes?
Considering that he LAUGHED, no GIGGLED, at the very end of his phone message announcing the assassination of those beautiful pets….I will not be able to stomach a remorseful statement from or believe that Mr. Pilotti has any sincere remorse or wishes for prayers for the Bock family.
In answer to your last question…YES!!!!
Having lived in West Vincent for 46 years and knowing Gabe most of this time, I find this totally out of character for him. He is 72 and has to be impaired in some way. There is just no good reason for this senseless event! I also find the developments of this whole situation very similar to the attempted eminent domain grab of the Ludwigs Corner Horse Show grounds by WVT just over a year ago. Another senseless event by our elected officials for a still unknown reason. Public uproar then brought a change to the supervisor’s decision. In the current matter, nothing happened until the public again would not accept the resolve of the situation by the township who were doing the best with what the standing laws allowed. The voice of the people here again brought positive action. God Bless Austin Russel and Tom Hogan for doing the more intensive investigation that lead to an arrest. They are good public servants and should be commended for their outstanding service. This is in the hands of the county now, and cool heads should prevail as justice is administrated at the proper level by the proper authorities. The real shame is there will never be a winner here as there was with the horse show issue. Nothing will bring the dogs back, and Gabe has ruined his own life at his own hand. The Bock family will have this in their hearts forever. Just terrible for the children to endure. Anyone who has ever owned a dog knows they are family. The laws are too vague and subject to question. They have to be more definitive. Also, in this case there was no mention that the sheep were being chased or even in danger. I also shot a dog in the distant past when we too had sheep. The difference was I had 2 dead sheep, and a dog with blood all over it. On the other side, sheep are some of the dumbest animals we have ever had. They are easily excited, and will drop dead from fright if even chased by a predator. No good ending for this. Hope time heals for all. Lets let the courts do thier job and keep emotions under control until justice is served. And thanks to you for making a difference!
My heart goes out to the family of argus and fiona. Our dogs are our children. Lawmakers need to realize this. Any human that can raise a gun and shoot any animal is not an animal loving person. My family would walk thru fire for our dog therefore we feel argus and fiona’s family’s pain. Justice will be done whether it b here on earth or in the afterlife. In our prayers.
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my heart goes out to the Bock family what a terrible scarring they have endured. I feel our laws need to be left how they are. Just because one crazy man took things to the extreme. I find Mr. Pilotti’s actions disgusting just as many other people. I feel if any of the language is changed it will leave livestock owners high and dry. We personally have allowed joe public to enjoy and use our open space next to our farm and thru our property. Do you have any idea how many people we have coming thru that bring their dogs unleashed??? A great deal, it’s unbelievable.
We have horses and some ponies. We consider them our pets however the law views them as livestock. Say some large dogs come under my fence and “playfully ” herd my horses, what happens when one trips and breaks a leg trying to get away? I am sure livestock value is capped in the court of law, how does one recoup $20k? That said, in the heat of the moment I won’t be grabbing my cell phone to video large dogs chasing/herding my livestock to prove any action I take. If I have to chose between my horses or someone’s dogs, I am sorry it’s going to be my horses. Yes, I own dogs too, I love them dearly! Also remember a neighbor killed our lab/ golden retriever mix, he was just laying in her driveway and there was no livestock involved. One last thought, if any of my livestock were pregnant I can promise you I wouldn’t want any dogs in the pasture playing or otherwise, I feel it’s not conducive the their health. People need to respect other’s animals and all animals need equal protection from the Mr. Pilotti’s of the world- not just dogs.
Here is my take. 1. If you weren’t there to witness the event, you really can’t say what occurred. 2. It is definitely a tragedy for these 2 animals to have been killed, but the loss of these animals does not warrant the death threats this man has received. 3. Understanding the history of prior events with other animals of Mr. Pilotti’s having been killed by other dogs, I can understand his reaction (again I don’t condone it). 4. This man has had animals on this property for at least 40 years – that does supersede any ‘new’ laws regarding livestock on property. 5. We can NEVER say how any animal will react or when their ‘kill’ instinct will kick in, even in seemingly gentle animals – they are animals! I have witnessed many events when very docile dogs are instantly transformed by their animal instinct. 6. Don’t be so quick to judge a person. Conversations, messages, events taken out of context can EASILY be misread. 7. I know Mr. Pilotti personally. He is not perfect – like every one of us! But he is also a man who is kind, generous, and loving. Loss has been a significant part of his life, and I am sure he was motivated to protect the animals whom he loves as much as the Bock’s love theirs. 8. Lastly, it is easy for me to say I would have handled this differently. I do not own a gun. I do not have livestock. I have not suffered the loss of a child, wife, or animals that I love to beastly attacks. There but by the Grace of God, go I.
Dear Open Mind,
I disagree completely but am happy to post your comment because you stated your case politely. I have done my research on Mr. Pilotti, and I know his life has neither been perfect nor easy. But he admitted what he did, didn’t he? And I have to be honest I am torn about his remorse which appeared in the media over the weekend more than a week after he shot those dogs.
I went to farmers and gun owners I know to chat with them about this when I first heard about it. And while they admit the would not choose such a course of action they all agreed on another point: he had other options.
However and let me be clear, I am disgusted by ANYONE who thinks threatening this man or his property is OK. It is not.
I’m not sure what you disagree completely with in my statement. Yes, he admitted he shot the dogs. I don’t think there was ever any question about that. And, remorse is one of those immeasurable things – we all express ourselves very differently. I wasn’t there so I don’t know what his other options would have been, but I can imagine that they were many. Hindsight is 20/20. I, myself, have been remorseful of many things I have done, but know that I am more than any one of those things, and humanity requires that we look at the whole picture when we judge others. That does not mean that he should not ‘pay’ in some way for his actions. My most pressing concern is how social media allows for the ‘mob mentality’ to rule. And, I have to tell you I am shocked by the ‘outrage’ over 2 dogs when I have not seen an equal outrage over the inhumanity of how we treat each other. Maybe I missed it, but when I see over 2000 people jump on the bandwagon for the dogs in 24 hours, I have to wonder if these same people have an equal concern for the 17 year old boy who was murdered earlier this month and then set on fire? Is there a page about justice for him? I did not see a multitude of posts by the people who are so outraged by the killing of the dogs. Again, I could have missed those posts, but where is the perspective?
I am not mob mentality, don’t condone it either. You shouldn’t be so shocked over the outrage on this issue it was indeed intolerable cruelty. People have issues they choose to get involved with pure and simple. I have to ask are you from that Calvary church the accused dog shooter belongs to?
Dear Open Mind,
Regarding your statement #1) Have you read the police criminal complaint and affidavit of probable cause in this matter? Mr Pilotti tells how it happened to police investigators.
The first dog, the male trotted towards him as he stood on the other side of the fence. No sheep were within sight and he shot the dog in the face and the dog dropped to the ground and died. The second dog, the female was then seen running away from the area and Mr Pilotti felled that dog with another shotgun blast. This dog dropped, got up, ran a bit more fell and died.
Regarding #5) Mr Pilotti was in no danger himself even if some KILL instinct kicked in turning the big teddy bear like Bernese Mountain Dog into a snarling beast given he was on the other side of the fence. The first dog was merely trotting up to greet him and the second was running for its life.
Your #7) If none of this was bad enough, how do justify the phone call Mr. Pilotti made to a friend to gloat that he just killed 2 more dogs and that he knew they were Bernese Mountain Dogs and obviously not some other ravenous dog breed. If this is your idea of a kind, generous and loving man your circle of friends must be extremely limited with no others to compare to.
Obviously it is your goal to help Mr Pilotti and there is still time for Mr. Pilotti to man up, be kind, be generous, be loving and visit the Bock’s. A heartfelt apology, restitution and the sharing of tears with the family and children would go a long way in the healing process for all.
What matters here is his interaction with the Bock’s and not so much with many of us here. Perhaps you could go with him for support.
dear James thanks for commenting and interestingly enough I was just told that West Vincent doesn’t expect anyone much to show up for their supervisors meeting. Hope the entire area proves them wrong
James – as I said, I do not condone his actions – don’t get me wrong. However, no matter what the police report says, I was not there and therefore have no clear understanding of what happened, what led up to it, or how I might have handled it. I listened to the phone message in question. It is garbled at best, and I could not get a read on much of anything from it, nor was it intended for my listening. Finally, it is not surprising that you, like many others, resort to insults as your method of debate.
There is no option to reply to your reply to my reply to your reply to my post…so I am replying here. No I do not attend Calvary Chapel. I worship at at church in western Chester County as I live west of Coatesville.
I have the comment choices allowed by wp. My sources say you are a West Vincent insider? As in have to do with that township somehow? And that Calvary draws from all over and has a reputation for religious extremism so glad you aren’t part of that. thanks
No, I have nothing to do with West Vincent. I am familiar with Calvary Chapel and from what I understand they are a very popular, bible-based church. Not that it has anything to do with this subject, but since you brought up religion, I will happily share that I am a born-again Christian, meaning that in my walk of faith, I came to a point when I made the conscious, public decision to follow Christ. I am not sure what you mean, but some say that those who believe in creationism are religious extremists. Others say that if you believe that abortion is murder, then you are a religious extremist. I believe both to be true. I believe that we are all sinners, and Christ is our only salvation through His gift on the Cross. I also believe that you, as an American, have every right to believe in what you chose without me forcing you towards my beliefs. My prayer, of course, is that you are a believer and that you have His gift of salvation that is so freely offered. I long to live in a world where we don’t have to mark a time when life begins because life is cherished from the beginning. I don’t consider a person of Jewish, Muslim, or any other faith to be a religious extremist because their beliefs differ from mine. I don’t see people from Calvary Chapel out picketing like that of the Westboro Baptist Church; but if they did, as long as it didn’t interfere with my free speech or right to liberty, as Americans, they have that right.
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