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In the Media

article imageU.S. family mourns as neighbour kills their Bernese Mountain dogs

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By Marcus Hondro
Feb 23, 2013 in World
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There does not appear to be a reason for the neighbor of Argus and Fiona to shoot and kill the two Bernese Mountain dogs. Yes, they escaped their yard in Chester County, Penn. when a tree fell on their fence, and they trespassed next door.
But they didn't actually do anything
True, neighbor Gabriel Pilotti has sheep and the dogs were among them. However, there is no indicator they attacked sheep and Argus and Fiona were not, their owners, the Bock family, insists, mean or intimidating animals who would threaten Pilotti, or anyone. Yet instead of alerting the Bock family that the dogs were in his yard, Pilotti got out his shotgun and killed them both.
Dogs family turns to Facebook
In terrible pain, the Bock family went to Facebook and created a website around the death of their beloved family pets. It's taken off, with dozens of people writing comments and mobilizing the community toward making certain that Pilotti was charged and justice prevails.
Here's an exert of Mary Bock's Facebook comments: "We are not the type of people that are 100% comfortable with this type of attention, however if something good can come from this awful tragedy it will be well worth it and it will give our dogs short life a purpose.
"To us this is a question of humanity. Weather [sic] you are an animal lover or not, I know that I personally do not want to live in a world where you can not trust that you or your pet's lives are in danger from your neighbor. Yes, we do feel guilt about not knowing the piece of our fence was damaged. From the time the dogs got out, until the time they were dead was 15 minutes. For 10 of those minutes, I was in active pursuit, even driving by Gabe's house. Not knowing of course that just a few feet away from me, my dogs were splattered all over his yard."
Man who kills dogs says he overreacted
In response, Pilotti, 72, charged with the killings Friday over a week after the incident, spoke with Fox News and called what he did that day an "overreaction" and said he has been "in prayer" for the Bock family and their "five beautiful children." He said in May of 2012 other dogs broke into his pen and killed sheep, and that painful memory was behind his shooting Argus and Fiona with his single-shell shotgun. He regrets doing so, he said.
But in a talk with the Delaware County Daily Times, Mary Bock said the attitude of their neighbor was disturbing and they believe he was happy with the killing."It seemed like he almost enjoyed it a little bit,” she said. “He was so cold and callous, he feels like he did nothing wrong. There were a million things he could have done differently, and he chose to pick up that gun and kill them.”
A century-old law allows residents of the county to kill intruding animals on their property but, as the Bock's and others on their Facebook page point out, that right to shoot them comes only if they are in pursuit of your livestock, reportedly not the case here. Since being brought up on charges, Pilotti has said he'd like a chance to meet the Bocks and apologize in person.
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