Over a month since Gabriel Pilloti allegedly shot and killed her two beloved dogs, Mary Bock says he still hasn't apologized.
"Mr. Pilotti has not reached out at all," she said. "Supposedly he'd like to reach out now. But my feeling on that is that he had ten days."
Pilotti, 72, appeared in court on Wednesday for a preliminary hearing. He's accused of killing Bock's two Bernese Mountain dogs, Argus and Fiona, back on February 13 in West Vincent Township Chester County. The dogs had escaped from their fenced yard and wound up inside Pilotti's yard, where he keeps his sheep.
Pilotti shot both dogs, according to police. Investigators say he told them he was afraid the dogs would hurt his sheep.
“I asked him why he would shoot two dogs,” said Bill Bock, Mary's husband. “And he said, ‘I shoot first.’”
The shootings caused tension in the community because initially, Pilotti was not charged. Prosecutors said his actions were justified because of a Pennsylvania law that states you can kill a dog if it’s caught in the act of pursuing a domesticated animal.
West Vincent Police went back to investigate some more, however, and determined that the dogs were not chasing or pursuing Pilotti’s sheep when he shot them.
According to District Attorney Tom Hogan, Pilotti, shot the first dog in the head, then reloaded his shotgun and killed the second dog as it was running away from Pilotti.
“There was no justification for the killing of these two dogs,” Hogan said. “Our sympathies go out to the family and children who lost their beloved pets.”
Pilotti is charged with cruelty to animals and recklessly endangering another person because police say there was a house in the line of fire when Pilotti was shooting. Police also say Pilotti "expressed remorse for his conduct."
During his court appearance, Pilotti said nothing to the Bock family, who attended the hearing. His attorney said that Pilotti will likely be entered into a program for first time offenders. If accepted, his record could be expunged.
As for the Bock family, they say they're working with lawmakers to change animal cruelty laws in Pennsylvania. They also plan to attend all of Pilotti's court appearances.