intolerable cruelty: northumberland county


Northumberland County was formed in 1772 from parts of Lancaster, Berks, Bedford, Cumberland, and Northampton Counties and named for the county of Northumberland in northern England. It’s pretty darn rural.

But they apparently also shoot dogs first there and ask questions later.

waynevI don’t know anyone in Northumberland County, certainly don’t know this family named McNett who just lost their dog to a trigger happy gent named Wayne Van Blargan, but I am going to post about it anyway.  The similarities between this and what happened to Argus and Fiona at the hands of Gabe Pilotti are just too creepy.

And this Van Blargan guy doesn’t even have the excuse of livestock,  he just mowed this dog down and shot her in the back from 15 feet away. No reports of the dog attacking anything or being a menace.  Just shot in the back which means much like the late great Fiona, this dog, named Rayne, was probably running away from this guy.
kids and dog

Rayne, a rescue German Shepherd, and family pet to four little children was only out 15 minutes.  You know, pretty much like Argus and Fiona?

I am sick over this.  I am tired of dogs just being shot basically for the hell of it in Pennsylvania.  Only up there in Northumberland County is truly Pennsyltucky and I am afraid if there is not a public hue and cry that the judge might not care so much.

blood trailThis poor dog doesn’t sound like she got out much and she deserved better. This poor dog triggered the outside lights at this house where this Van Blargan stays so he can’t say he did not know what he was shooting, can he?

They say charges   will be filed against Van Blargan before District Judge Richard Cashman of Milton, PA . Milton PA is 50 miles north of Harrisburg, PA.  The name of the town where this German Shepherd named Rayne was shot is called Watsontown and at the time of its formation this tiny borough was named for brothel owner John Watson. I don’t even think they have 3000 residents. It is supposed to be served by this local paper called Standard Journal but apparently this isn’t newsworthy to them.

However, other media outlets are interested and I think Argus & Fiona would like it if people paid it forward to now get Justice for Rayne.  Pilotti gets sentenced later this month in Chester County, and you know how long it took the Bock family to get there.  So if you are an animal lover, please pass this story along.

This shows the GLARING and ABSOLUTE need for better dog laws in PA.  And this is not a gun rights issue, it’s a time to deal with fools who shoot dogs issue.

While Governor Tom Corbett is wasting our taxpayer dollars running around Pennsylvania in a homophobic anti-gay marriage snit, he could actually be doing productive things like protecting our dogs in Pennsylvania.

I also urge everyone to contact Attorney General Kathleen Kane and demand her office get involved in helping protect dogs in PA.  And contact your state representatives and state senators to write the bills that could become laws to protect PA dogs.

Lynda Schlegel Culver is the state rep that serves the township (Delaware) where Rayne was shot. John R. Gordner is the State Senator. Follow the hyper links for their contact information and flood their offices with a demand for action.  And contact your own elected officials.  There are too many parents having to explain to kids why family pets who were in perfect health aren’t coming home.

Dog’s Shooting Death Leaves Family Heartbroken

Posted on: 6:00 am, September 25, 2013, by

DELAWARE TOWNSHIP – A family in Northumberland County does not understand why their neighbor went to extremes and shot and killed their dog.

The German Shepherd wandered into the neighbor’s yard near Watsontown when it was shot.

The McNett family took in Rayne a few months ago as a rescue dog.

Not until early Wednesday morning did they have a problem with their neighbor who police said shot and killed Rayne, leaving the family heartbroken.

Kristy McNett remembered the last moments she saw the family pet before Rayne was shot and killed overnight near her home in the Watsontown area.

“About 15 minutes later I heard a couple of gunshots, and I heard the dog bark. I knew it wasn’t good,” said McNett.

Rayne got loose and wandered into a neighbor’s yard…. The dog set off motion lights, and investigators said Wayne van Blargan shot twice from a distance of 15 feet, killing the McNett family pet.

“I don’t know why. I don’t know what went on in his head to make him do that,” said McNett : Northumberland County family left devastated after neighbor shot family dog

September 26, 2013

Kristy McNett’s affectionate German shepherd accidentally slipped out of the family home on Wednesday near the Watsontown area of Pennsylvania and was allegedly shot by the next door neighbor according to a report by

McNett’s family, which includes four children, are absolutely heartbroken after Rayne, a dog they rescued just a few months prior, was shot at close range from a distance in the back, from  not more than 15 feet.

Family Dog Shot, Killed Created on Wed, Sep 25, 2013  by Britt Swartzlander

5 thoughts on “intolerable cruelty: northumberland county

  1. The McNett family is a part of my family! Good, kind and loving people. I am so sad the kids had to lose their pet!

    • Sue, you guys need to be proactive. Start contacting your elected officials and demand better justice for domestic pets. I don’t know where your local SPCA and animal rescues are in your part of the state but you need to contact them for their advocacy as well. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment I was so sick when I read about this

  2. I respect and applaud your love of animals, especially dogs as I have two of my own and would be heart broken if this ever happened to one of them. I take issue with the fact that you pick on an entire group of people because of where they’re from. This happens a lot more than you think in all small rural areas. It isn’t just Northumberland County. ( I remember a year ago when kids from Clinton County tied a dog to their back bumper and drug it for over a mile.) There are stories like this one occurring almost daily from all parts of the state.

    Also, I would urge you to look at The Daily Item. This is the paper that most of us FROM “Pennsyltucky” get our paper. There was an article on this particular story in the September 25th edition. It’s not fair to blast my hometown or it’s area, for a few bad apples. Most of us wouldn’t dare do anything like this. Thanks

    • With all due respect, I’m pretty familiar with areas outside of Harrisburg and the coal regions. I’ve known many people from those areas who called it Pennsyltucky. How do you think I learned the term in the first place? The answer, since you don’t know me, is from THEM.

      I am a writer and a blogger and this is my opinion.

      And if your hometown paper is so fabulous they should be covering the story every time they go to print (virtually or physically) until it’s at it’s conclusion: with an animal cruelty conviction. They should also be trying to get the story on AP feed so it goes across the state.

      I am sorry for you that you can’t see I am not “picking” on an entire group of people, I’m not picking on people at all. Well except for maybe Gov. Corbett because I think he is a jerk – I say that is registered Republican incidentally.

      I hate to say you need to take you out of the equation that this is about those who hurt animals, but you do. Do you have the courage to your convictions and are you willing to stand up in a public forum and say this kind of animal cruelty needs to stop no matter where you live in Pennsylvania? That is what needs to happen. That incidentally, if you have read all my coverage of animal cruelty is exactly what I’ve been saying. Honestly it is hard to be respectful of people who do not have a voice, are afraid to have a voice, yet feel free to criticize my voice and tell me what my voice should say.

      I have written about cruelty like this happening in Berks, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester, Lancaster and other counties.

      Am also truly sorry you choose to shoot the messenger instead of looking at the core issue. But at least I have your attention, so maybe there’s hope.

  3. The heartache caused by this act of violence against Rayne does not go away for the children! They are my grandchildren and the oldest one said on Sunday of last week that he was sad. When I asked him why, he asked me why this man shot Rayne? I told him I didn’t know and that some people just have a lot of anger in their heart!! The two-year-old just keeps saying, “that bad man shot my puppy!.” It’s sad and I wonder how this is going to affect the rest of their lives!

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