WEST CHESTER (AP) – A suburban Philadelphia man has been convicted of two counts of cruelty to animals for shooting two of his neighbors’ dogs in February.
A Chester County jury on Wednesday found 73-year-old Gabriel Pilotti guilty of two counts of animal cruelty for killing the Bernese mountain dogs – 2-year-old Angus and 1-year-old Fiona – after they had escaped the fenced yard of their owners, Mary and William Bock.
Judge Ronald Nagle, who presided over the three-day trial, set sentencing for Oct. 28. The animal cruelty counts are first-degree misdemeanors punishable by a maximum of 2½ to five years in prison.
Prosecutors said Pilotti killed the dogs without provocation. Pilotti said he feared the dogs would hurt his sheep.
Pilotti, his attorney and prosecutor Kevin Pierce declined to comment after the verdict.