Animal rights activists protest at hearing for man accused of shooting dog with crossbow

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MOUNT OLIVER, Pa. —

Protestors and animal rights activists showed up Wednesday to confront a man accused of animal abuse as he attended his preliminary hearing.

Jesse Fitzgerald walked into the Mt. Oliver Magistrate’s Office on Wednesday for a hearing on charges he shot a pit bull in the head with a crossbow.

“The problem is the laws in Pennsylvania are very lax when it comes to animal cruelty laws. We need it to not just be a misdemeanor, but a felony,” animal rights activist Jennifer Bird said.

Bird was one of the dozens of protestors who yelled and held signs as Fitzgerald entered the Magistrate’s Office.

“The only thing I have to say is that the dog attacked me. Yes she did,” Fitzgerald said as he was being led back to the Allegheny County Jail.

Several charges of animal cruelty were held for court. Fitzgerald’s mother, Kathy Timlin, was at the hearing and said she is torn between her son and the dog, Kila.

“Kila is my girl. I love my son, don’t get me wrong, I love Jesse to death. But he needs help and I wish to God he gets help,” Timlin said.

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