CHESTER SPRINGS, Pa. – A Pennsylvania man accused of shooting two his neighbor's two dogs after he saw them near his sheep now faces criminal charges.
MyFoxPhilly.com reports that Gabriel Pilotti, 72, was charged Friday with two counts of cruelty to animals and one count of reckless endangerment person for allegedly killing two of his neighbor's Bernese mountain dogs, Argus and Fiona, with a shotgun on Feb. 12.
Court documents say the West Vincent Township man initially told police he saw the dogs chasing his sheep. But police say he later changed his story and told them he shot one dog while it was trotting slowly toward him, and killed the other as it was running away. Police say at no time were the sheep in any danger.
"There was no justification for the killing of these two dogs. The defendant has been charged and will be dealt with appropriately. Our sympathies go out to the family and children who lost their beloved pets," Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said in a news release.
Pilotti's attorney, Thomas H. Ramsay, tells the Daily Local News of West Chester his client is remorseful but feared for the safety of his livestock.
The dogs' owner, Mary Bock, told MyFoxPhilly.com that neither Argus nor Fiona had threatened his sheep.
"They never made contact with the sheep. They're herding dogs, they'd definitely be attracted to the sheep, but not to hurt them at all."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.