Gabriel Pilotti, of Chester County, Pa. was found guilty of two counts of animal cruelty on Wednesday in the shooting deaths of a neighbor's two Bernese Mountain dogs. The first degree misdemeanor animal cruelty convictions carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
According to ABC local.com, the jury in the three day trial decided Pilotti killed the dogs without provocation although Pilotti stated he feared the dogs would hurt his sheep.
The tragedy in the death of Mary and William Bock's two beloved dogs happened in February when the dogs escaped from their yard because of a break in the fencing. Within ten minutes the Bocks' were out searching for their dogs even passing by Pilotti's home, but the dogs had already been shot and killed.
Two-year-old Angus and one-year-old Fiona were gentle and friendly dogs, however Pilotti, 73, defended his position telling the family he was protecting his sheep with the comment, " I shoot first."
Judge Ronald Nagle will sentence Pilotti on Oct. 28.
A Facebook page titled Justice for Angus and Fiona had many positive comments on Wednesday with poster Kristin Lawhorne stating:
"Thank God there was justice for Argus, Fiona and the Bock Family. It will not bring back your beloved Family members but it does send a message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated! Their death although senseless is not in vain. This provides a path to change the laws and finally see our beloved furbabies as Family not property! Next step Argus & Fiona's Law!!!!!!!"
And isn't that what being able to bring justice to the senseless killing of pets is all about as well as justice prevailing?
Rest in peace Argus and Fiona.
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