Man, 72, now an alleged dog killer but we need to keep our heads and let the system work

Gabriel Pilotti

Flashback…

Portions of a story from ABCNews.com:

By PIERRE THOMAS (@PierreTABC) , JASON RYAN (@JasonRyanABC) , JACK DATE and THERESA COOK

July 18, 2007

Atlanta Falcons star quarterback Michael Vick has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly participating in a dog fighting ring.

The indictment, filed in Richmond, Va., Tuesday afternoon, alleges Vick and three other defendants violated federal laws barring competitive dog fighting, and obtained and trained pit bulls for the purpose of fighting. The charges also state the venture was based in a Smithfield, Va., property, but that the defendants conducted the enterprise across state lines.

Investigators said Vick purchased the property at 1915 Moonlight Road in June 2001, and that the illicit business started early that year and continued through April 2007.

Vick and the others “used this property as the main staging area for housing and training the pit bulls involved in the dog fighting venture and [for] hosting dogfights,” according to the indictment.

Dog owners reportedly brought their animals from the Carolinas, Maryland, New York, Texas, Alabama and other states to compete in the illegal matches. The owner of the winning dog would receive a cash prize. Those purses ranged from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Spectators and other dog owners were also allowed to bet on the fights.

But the dogs involved did not receive prize fighter treatment. Prosecutors alleged that the losing dogs were sometimes executed — drowned, hanged, shot or electrocuted.

One female pit bull was entered into a match around March 2003. “The purse for the dog fight was established at approximately 13,000 [dollars] per side, for a total of approximately 26,000,” the indictment stated.

The Bad Newz Kennels dog, however, lost the fight. “Peace, after consulting with Vick about the losing female pit bull’s condition, executed the losing dog by wetting the dog down with water and electrocuting the animal,” the indictment stated.

Dogs that were found during training sessions to be poor fighters were sometimes put to death as well.

Fast forward to February 22, 2013:

From the Daily Local News website:

By MICHAEL N. PRICE

WEDT CHESTER — Authorities Friday announced criminal charges in connection to the Feb. 12 killing of two family dogs in the Chester Springs section of West Vincent.

Gabriel Pilotti, 72, was charged with cruelty to animals and recklessly endgangering another person for killing two of his neighbor’s pets.

“There was no justification for the killing of these two dogs,” said Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan. “The defendant has been charged and will be charged and will be dealt with appropriately. Our sympathies go out to the family and children who lost their beloved pets.”

The Bernese Mountain Dogs, 1-year-old Fiona and 2-year-old Argus, were killed with a shotgun after they escaped from their fenced-in yard in the unit block of St. Anthony Lane. The Bock family, the dogs’ owners, said they got out of the yard through a hole in a fence caused by a falling tree limb. The family was not aware of the fence’s damaged section because it was not visible from the home, Bock said.

Once on the loose, Bock said, the dogs made their way through several nearby properties and ended up at Pilotti’s home on Pine Drive, where they were shot after apparently chasing several sheep.

Click to read the charges: Charges in Dog Killings

Click to read the police complaint: Complaint in dog shootings

Now at this point in time, Mr. Pilotti is innocent until proven guilty. However, in a statement to police he admitted that the two dogs he shot were nowhere near his sheep. He basically shot one of the dogs in the head and then reloaded and shot the other as it took off away from him.

So unless there is a lot missing here that we haven’t heard, Mr. Pilotti is going to have a tough time fighting these charges.

The question on everyone’s mind is this: why did he do it? We’re not talking vicious animals here. He saw the dogs and saw what they were doing and it wasn’t attacking his sheep as he originally reported. So at this point it seems as though we can assume he told a lie.

Now his supporters have been out in force saying he had had farm animals killed in the past by dogs of whatever. In that case, I fully support his right to defend his animals. And I hear all of their rants that he is a nice guy who goes to church and helps those less fortunate. Well, unfortunately none of that matters at this point because right now he’s charged with cruelty to animals and recklessly endangering another person.

Michael Vick wasn’t known to be a bad guy before his arrest either.

I would urge calm in this case though. Our initial reaction when animals are hurt or killed is to want to get revenge on those responsible. Jail them or worse…

However, as responsible citizens I think we need to take a breath, be happy law enforcement authorities did a good job in this case and hope that justice prevails. We have a system of justice in this country and this is an instance where cooler heads need to prevail and allow the system to work.

It’s very likely that Mr. Pilotti will have a tough time defending his actions. He will probably end up with a guilty plea, a negotiated plea, something that isn’t going to send him to jail. He’ll get probation, face very large fines and possibly have his guns taken away from him.

And that’s a good thing.

None of us knows Mr. Pilotti well enough to really tear into his character. However what he has done at this point is enough to say he’s doomed in the court of public opinion. And maybe he doesn’t care about that.

Moving forward I think it’s safe to say that our legislators should probably take another look at the law that allows people to simply load ‘em up and shoot at what they think are life-threatening situations to livestock, etc. It’s bad enough that someone’s family has lost their family pets. Imagine what would have happened if a small child was out with those two dogs trying to get them back home? This tragedy could have been a lot worse.

Let’s try to make something positive come out of this. Get the guns away from this guy, give him an appropriate punishment and take a hard look at the laws that date back 150 years.

It needs to happen.

 — Andy Hachadorian

 

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About fromtheeditorchair

I am the editor of the Daily Local News.
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3 Responses to Man, 72, now an alleged dog killer but we need to keep our heads and let the system work

  1. Concerned Citizen says:

    Mr. Hachadorian I ask you how can you tell your readers to let the system work and cooler heads prevail when you slight Mr. Pilotti. Your remarks that his supporters are ranting that he has had incidents on his property with other dogs “or whatever” and yet the media has been giving the Bock family more than their share of their 15 minutes of fame. Mrs. Bock is all over the media tellling her side of the story like it was fact and she knew exactly what went on Mr. Pilotti’s property and you all are eating it up not corroborating your facts and condemning a man so viciously that he is now being charged with crimes that would not have even been an issue if the media and the Bock’s had stirred the pot. People are calling for Mr. Pilotti’s death that he should be put down like the dogs he shot, that he would have shot little children if they had been there (that one even from your own poison pen), that he has no right to live and yet the Bock’s get to mourn the loss of their pets whom they could not keep on their own property, cry foul, stir the media that Mr. Pilotti is a violent man and yet their “supporters” are asking for a violent end to this man’s life.
    I was a supporter of Mr. Hogan the Chester County District Attorney until he bent to public hysteria and nothing more and charged Mr. Pilotti. Has anyone even thought why Mr. Pilotti has not come forward to speak to anyone from the media? Look how they are handling reporting the story. Sensationalistic journalism if you can even call it journalism, looking for the easy headline instead of the truth of the matter. I would think an ethical editor would have learned long ago that there are three sides to every story, his, hers and the truth, but it doesn’t seem like any media outlet wants the truth they want the viewers and readers and that is the true shame in this….two dogs are dead and a man is charged with crimes he did not commit because you all want viewers and readers.

    • Actually, if you click on the the complaint link or the second link it indicates that Mr. Pilotti has confessed to shooting the dogs and admitting they were never near his livestock. Seems like that pretty much sums it up.

  2. shug says:

    THis is outrageous. Two very gentle breed dogs are dead. One, shot in the head. All it would have taken was a phone call to the animal warden. All it would have taken was some sensibility. There are many options out there besides shooting an animal. What has happened to the humanity of people? Bernese mountain dogs are hearding dogs, bred to herd sheep and goats and to not hurt other animals. I think it is important to find out how well cared for Mr. Pilotti’s sheep were provided for.
    How very sad. As I said, all it would have taken was a level head and a phone call. I fell horrible for the Bock family. As a child I had a dog removed from my families home and shot in the head. We never found the perpetrator but the memory from finding our family pet has NEVER been erased.

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