Charges Filed In Shooting Of Neighbors' 2 Dogs - FOX 35 News Orlando

Charges Filed In Shooting Of Neighbors' 2 Dogs

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Gabriel Pilotti, 72, of West Vincent Township, faces charges of cruelty to animals and recklessly endangering another person, prosecutors say (Courtesy: Chester County D.A.'s Office) Gabriel Pilotti, 72, of West Vincent Township, faces charges of cruelty to animals and recklessly endangering another person, prosecutors say (Courtesy: Chester County D.A.'s Office)
Police say a shotgun was used to kill the Bocks' Bernese Mountain dogs, Argus and Fiona. Police say a shotgun was used to kill the Bocks' Bernese Mountain dogs, Argus and Fiona.
CHESTER SPRINGS, Pa. -

Charges have now been filed against a Chester County man accused of shooting his neighbors' two dogs when they got into a penned-in area for sheep on his yard.

Gabriel Pilotti, 72, of West Vincent Township, faces charges of cruelty to animals and recklessly endangering another person, according to a news release issued Friday afternoon by Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan.

However, the D.A. stated in his news release, "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.

Police were called out to the neighborhood on Feb. 12, when the two Bernese Mountain dogs – Argus and Fiona – were shot dead with a shotgun.

Dog owner Mary Bock said her neighbor told her his reaction was to shoot first.

Bock said the dogs are gentle, herding animals that – when they got past a hole in their backyard fence – were instantly drawn to its sheep, and their instinct was to protect the sheep.

Police initially said Pilotti's neighbors could not press charges in the matter because, under Pennsylvania law, a homeowner is allowed to shoot animals that are pursuing his or her livestock.

However, police conferred with the D.A.'s office and conducted a follow-up investigation.

"Through that follow-up investigation, the West Vincent Police determined that the dogs were not pursuing the defendant's sheep at the time he shot and killed the dogs. The defendant shot the first dog in the head. The defendant then re-loaded the shotgun and shot the second dog as it was fleeing away from the defendant and the sheep. There is a house in the line of fire directly behind where one of the dogs was shot."

Hogan said police did an "excellent job in relentlessly pursuing this case until they revealed the truth."

FOX 29's Claudia Gomez was at a news conference to announce the charge and will have more details and reaction in a live report on the FOX 29 News at 5 & 6.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE: FOX 29 News At 5 & 6

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