Trial begins for man charged with shooting 2 dogs

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — A trial is underway for a Chester County man who admitted shooting two of his neighbors’ dogs in February because he feared they would hurt his sheep.

Gabriel Pilotti is charged with two counts of animal cruelty and one count of reckless endangerment 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.

Pilotti’s jury trial began Monday.

Court documents say the 73-year-old Chester Springs man told police he shot Angus in the head while the dog trotted slowly toward him, and killed Fiona as she was running away. Police said the dogs were killed without provocation.

Defense attorney Thomas Ramsay said Pilotti just wanted to protect his sheep.

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