By John Ostapkovich

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (CBS) — A 73-year-old Chester County man was sentenced today for shooting two neighbor dogs that had wandered onto his property last February.

Gabriel Pilotti of West Vincent Township argued that he was justified in turning his shotgun on the two Bernese Mountain dogs, Argus and Fiona, because he thought they were after his sheep.   Pennsylvania law allows such defense of livestock (see previous story).

But a jury didn’t buy it and convicted him of two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty (see related story).

Now, the judge has given him 90 days of home confinement, 200 hours of community service, and $2,600 in fines and restitution.

Chester County assistant district attorney Kevin Pierce says he had asked for jail time.

“We thought it was appropriate based on the fact that he did use a gun in a residential neighborhood on two animals that basically didn’t deserve it.  The judge basically compromised and split the baby and said that he would give him electronic home monitoring,” Pierce said.

And Pierce says Pilotti delivered an apology to the court and the dogs’ family that Pierce terms “relatively heartfelt.”

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