Gabriel Pilotti of West Chester, Pa. was sentenced on Monday to two years probation of which 90 days are to be under house arrest with a monitor, restitution of $800. per dog, a $1,000 fine, and 200 hours of community service reports the Facebook page called Justice for Argus and Fiona.
In September, a jury found Pilotti, 73, guilty of two counts of animal cruelty for shooting two Bernese Mountain dogs without provocation. The first degree misdemeanor animal cruelty convictions carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Pilotti claimed the dogs were trying to harm his sheep when the dogs escaped from their home on Feb. 12 through a broken part of the fence. Under an old farm law in Pennsylvania, a person can kill a dog if the dog is caught in the act of pursuing a domesticated animal. Pilotti claimed the dogs were attacking his sheep, however an investigation later established the dogs were not pursuing the animals.
Pilotti shot Argus, 2 in the head and then shot Fiona, 1, as she tried to run away.
On the Facebook page, the dogs' owner heartfelt statements uncovered the profound sadness how torn and devastated she was about her neighbor's egregious actions:
"On one hand, Gabe was able to produce some strong evidence that he has lived a selfless and upstanding life, on the other hand he looked down the barrel of a gun at a beautiful family pet and as the judge put it " Blow his head off his body at point blank range" and then without thought shot a scared puppy as she was fleeing the scene. I'm willing to accept that Gabe may not be a bad person, but he did a very bad thing. If he had just come to us with sorrow and remorse or showed some plain old human grace our lose would've still been devastating but our feelings for him would have been much different...Respecting each others property, respecting each others animals and respecting each other as human beings could be a great start."
Pilotti apologized to the court.
Rest in peace Argus and Fiona.
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