Neighbor charged in Chester Co. dog killings

Gabriel Pilotti

February 22, 2013 2:53:15 PM PST
A Chester County man has been charged in the killing of his neighbor's dogs.

Gabriel Pilotti, 72, of West Vincent Township, has been charged with cruelty to animals and recklessly endangering another person for the February 12th shootings.

"The youngest one doesn't still get it. The older ones understood but yea, we're upset," said Mary Bock, owner.

Her pets 'Argus' and 'Fiona,' Bernese mountain dogs, got out of her backyard Tuesday morning.

Bock says Pilotti left another neighbor a voicemail message after the shooting and her husband immediately went to find out what happened.

"He asked him, 'What should I tell my 5 kids.' He said 'Tell them I shoot first and ask questions later.' Just absolutely couldn't be bothered. There is more than just an animal rights thing, there is a question of humanity here too," said Bock.

Originally Pilotti said the dogs were pursuing his sheep in an enclosed area of his backyard.

However, during the investigation, police say they determined the dogs were not chasing the sheep at the time they were killed.

"The single shot shotgun means he would have had to shoot he first dog, took the shell out, reloaded and shot the second dog," said Tom Hogan, Chester County District Attorney.

Pilotti later, according to the criminal complaint, confessed to police that "At the time he shot, the dog was not pursuing any sheep."

Court documents also show, the second dog was not near the sheep when he shot her either. Pilotti admitted, "He shot the dog as it was running away from him and the sheep."

"At some point I hope he is standing in front of the 5 children who have lost their pet and apologizing and telling them he is sorry for what he did," said Hagan.

As for her children, Bock says she's still trying to help them cope with the loss of their pets.

"They're already asking," she said adding that her family is planning to get more dogs after they put up a privacy fence.

Pilotti won't be arrested and taken to jail on the charges but will be summoned to appear before a judge.