When 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.
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?
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.
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
(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
(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
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: