On February 19th, 2013 this blog broke the story of intolerable cruelty in West Vincent Township. It was about the unwarranted shooting of two puppies named Argus & Fiona by a man named Gabe Pilotti in West Vincent Township. Since that time there has been much back and forth and legal hop scotch as people wait for a trial date so justice may be done the right way through our legal system.
This morning was supposed to have been the court date at the Chester County Courthouse in downtown West Chester, PA. These were the charges levied back in February by the Chester County District Attorney’s Office:
1 M1 18 § 5511 §§A2.1IA Cruelty To Animals 02/12/2013 T 295420-6
2 M1 18 § 5511 §§A2.1IA Cruelty To Animals 02/12/2013 T 295420-6
3 M2 18 § 2705 Recklessly Endangering Another Person 02/12/2013 T 295420-6
But according to my sources, no court date took place earlier this morning. (I am sick or I would have been at the courthouse, truthfully.)
The Bock family has suffered through the loss of their dogs and the ups and downs of the justice system, and I feel really badly for them and the memory of Argus & Fiona. No one has asked for the sun, moon, or stars. No one has condoned or asked for vigilante justice. All anyone has asked for is that the justice system see this through and for lawmakers to consider strengthening dog laws in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania so families and pets in this state not only have legal recourse, but laws that aren’t antiquated and might actually protect innocent pet owners and their domestic animals.
We’re still waiting. And we want everyone to know we have not forgotten Argus & Fiona. And neither should you.
I know that West Vincent Township would love everyone to forget about Argus & Fiona because it happened in that warped Mayberry. And like everything else that happens in West Vincent, it seems to be a bit of a hot mess still doesn’t it? After all, why is it months ago when the charges were announced, why is it that West Vincent Township PD couldn’t confiscate one shotgun pending the outcome of the legal proceedings?
Mary Bock commented the other day on the Justice for Argus & Fiona Facebook page:
To all the wonderful people who have been supporting us and this fight for justice for Argus and Fiona, I wanted to give you a little update as to where we stand. Because the defense has control over the dates for court appearances, our initial main concern was having the gun removed from Pilotti’s possession….but because he has an “emotional attachment” to the gun it wasn’t that easy…..The DA suggested…that the gun be placed in a lock box at his neighbor’s house. The background checks were done on the neighbor and the gun was handed over….Sometimes it’s very hard to get any information…Thank you everyone for the continued support and all of your kind words
Again, I am not having a gun debate here (nor am I deliberately slamming or questioning the Chester County District Attorney’s office ) but I still fail to understand that since there has been a reckless endangerment charge pending why West Vincent didn’t pick up that gun and simply lock it up for safekeeping when those charges landed months ago? I have been told that is common practice when there are legal proceedings pending so I have always found this back and forth on what should be fairly cut and dry confusing. I also do not get how you could have an emotional attachment to a shotgun, do you? I sure hope that West Vincent has periodically checked to see that this gun is in fact locked up in this neighbor’s gun safe don’t you?
I do know that people in West Vincent are holding their breath still on this and let me be abundantly clear, I embrace responsible dog ownership just like I embrace responsible gun ownership. I also respect the farmers’ rights to defend their livestock in crisis situation, but this was never a crisis situation because these puppies never attacked anything did they? I am also still at sixes and sevens as to whether or not Gabe Pilotti is actually a farmer or truly a hobbyist? There is a difference.
I will also state again for the record that despising what Mr. Pilotti did in February is honest human emotion. However I do not condone the behavior of people who stood in the middle of roads shouting with bullhorns or trespassed on people’s property or threatening him. That is all wrong.
I post today to reaffirm that people have not forgotten these poor dogs and what fate befell them and to remind lawmakers that they can’t just talk a good game when it comes to protecting our domestic pets like dogs. They actually have to get off their duffs and DO something. These pets aren’t property like an azalea bush or an ear of corn, they are part of our families. And since Argus & Fiona were shot to death we have heard of other cases of intolerable cruelty like this in Pennsylvania and other states.
Please contact your lawmakers again about Justice for Argus & Fiona and for changes to the dog laws and animal cruelty laws so animals are properly protected. I would also go as far as to suggest not only contacting your state elected officials (as in State Representatives and State Senators) but your U.S. Congressman as well for stronger Federal laws. For most of us in Chester County, we are either served by Pat Meehan or Jim Gerlach.
And I really hope some day that Mr. Pilotti can express remorse to the Bocks eye to eye, don’t you? After all how will that man ever have peace in his own world without doing that?
I will close this post with a Buddhist prayer I find oddly apropos here today (yes I know not the norm you expect from a Catholic but never the less):
By the power and truth of this practice:
May all beings have happiness and the cause of happiness
May all beings be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow
May all never be separated from the sacred happiness which is sorrow less
And may all live in equanimity without too much attachment and too much aversion
And live believing in the equality of all that lives.
-The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying