PA man kills neighbors' dog for trespassing


It's happened again.

Another Pennsylvania man shot and killed a neighbor's dog that wandered on the property where he lives.

This time it was in rural Northumberland County after a German Shepherd escaped from the yard of a Watsontown family late last month and was shot twice at close range by a neighbor.

Wayne Vanblargen, 69, went outside at about 1:50 a.m. armed with his .22  after motion detector lights went on, according to news reports.

“About 15 minutes later I heard a couple of gunshots, and I heard the dog bark. I knew it wasn’t good,” said owner Kristy McNett.

She said her family adopted two-year-old Rayne as a rescue several months ago.

“I don’t know why. I don’t know what went on in his head to make him do that,” McNett told WNEP-TV. “Worst part is trying to tell the kids, we had to tell them this morning she was gone, they’re pretty upset.”

State police said Vanblargan will be charged with animal cruelty, according to news reports. Court dockets today do not yet reflect any charges filed.

It is at least the third such case this year. A Chester County man was found guilty of shooting and killing his neighbor's Bernese Mountain dogs when they came on his property.

A Lancaster County man is facing similar charges for shooting and killing a 14-year-old Jack Russell terrier that entered his property last month.

What's with this "shoot first" mentality in Pennsylvania?

I live in a rural area and my motion detector light goes on fairly frequently. Sometimes it's the wind or humidity, sometimes a wild animal that sets it off. Who runs out with a gun when their light goes on and shoots to kill a dog 15 feet away?

Chester County sheep farmer Gabriel Pilotti tried making up a story about shooting his neighbors dogs - one as it trotted toward him and the other as she tried to flee - to "defend his flock," before admitting the dogs were in fact not threatening his animals.

Animal welfare advocates say the Northumberland County prosecutors should vigorously pursue the case.

"The shooting of an innocent defenseless dog will no longer be tolerated in this state," said Tom Hickey, a member of the governor's Dog Law Advisory Board. "As with the case of Gabriel Pilotti, convicted last month of two counts of animal cruelty in Chester County and now facing five years in prison, justice will be served in this case too. This was a beloved family pet and Pennsylvanians are sickened by this and are demanding justice"