intolerable cruelty: northumberland county

rayne1

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

examiner.com : 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 wnep.com.

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

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:

k00fwg 1

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