MILTON -- A man charged with animal cruelty for shooting and killing a neighbor's dog in Northumberland County was in court Thursday.
Wayne Van Blargan covered his face after giving up his right to a hearing on animal cruelty charges in Milton. State police accuse Van Blargan of shooting a killing his neighbor's German Shepherd in September.
Rayne was a big part of the McNett family and was a companion for the four children. Rayne was shot and killed in late September after she got loose, and wandered onto the property where Van Blargan lives near Watsontown.
"The kids still miss her, and talk about her all the time, she'll ask where she is, one day at a time," said Kristy McNett.
The McNetts came to court wanting to see to it that Van Blargan is held accountable for taking Rayne from them.
But Van Blargan's attorney said his client never meant to kill the McNetts' pet and wants to fight the animal cruelty charges in court.
"My client feels horrible about what happened, he feels a great amount of sorrow for the family," said attorney Jerry Lynch.
Their defense: That Van Blargan had no intention of harming a dog but instead thought the animal was something other than a beloved family pet.
"He thought it was a coyote, and therein lies the real problem, someone's got to take care of the coyotes that are harassing the community," added Lynch.
Still, the McNetts aren't convinced and want justice for Rayne.
"There was no obvious need for it to happen, wait for the next step and see what is going to take place," said Shawn McNett.
State wildlife officials said there have been few if any reports of coyotes in the area. The animal cruelty case against Wayne Van Blargan now goes onto court in Northumberland County.