Saxonburg Borough manager accused of shooting his neighbor’s dog with crossbow

SAXONBURG, Pa. — Saxonburg Borough Manager Steven May was criminally charged Wednesday with animal cruelty after allegedly shooting his neighbor’s dog with a crossbow.

According to May’s attorney, Phil DiLucente, May thought the dog was a coyote.

“It’s a mistaken identity,” DiLucente said. “Hunters, every day, shoot at people by accident thinking they’re animals. Now imagine a four-legged creature, no dog tags, no anything, and it looks like a coyote. That is the mistaken identity of a dog.”

According to court paperwork, May was charged Wednesday, arraigned and released.

The incident happened on Nov. 11 along Goldscheitter Road in Buffalo Township, Butler County.

The dog’s owner told police it had gotten loose and they were looking for it.

According to the criminal complaint, three days after the red merle Australian Shepherd escaped, the owner received a call from May.

He told the dog’s owner he found the dog hit by a car and disposed of its body in a dumpster by the Saxonburg Borough building.

The police report states he later confessed to the family that he shot the dog with a crossbow thinking it was a coyote and offered to pay for a new dog.

“He feels horribly because, like all of us, he loves animals,” DiLucente said.

DiLucente also said his client hopes to make things right with the family and get back to serving the Saxonburg community.

“This is a newer position for him. He takes his job very seriously and it’s unfortunate for someone like him to have to experience this.”

Channel 11 reached out to the Saxonburg Mayor asking if May’s arrest will impact his employment status with the Borough. So far, Channel 11 has not heard back.

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