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Saxonburg Borough Manager Faces Charges for Fatally Shooting Neighbor’s Dog

by Lisa

SAXONBURG, Pa. (KDKA) — The Saxonburg borough manager, Steven May, is confronting criminal charges after admitting to shooting and killing his neighbor’s dog. May’s attorney revealed that the borough manager used a crossbow, under the mistaken belief that the dog was a coyote.

The incident unfolded on Goldscheitter Road in Buffalo Township, where the family’s four Australian Shepherds roamed freely on their expansive 100-plus acre farm. The unfortunate event occurred when one of the dogs, named Bear, did not return home in early November, prompting a frantic search by the Goldscheitter family.

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Gerry Goldscheitter expressed the emotional toll, saying, “It’s hard. It’s a daily reminder because he should be here with the other three.” The family tirelessly scoured the area for Bear, deploying cars, ATVs, and foot searches while distributing fliers.

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On the third day of the search, May, a neighbor of the Goldscheitter family, contacted them, suggesting that Bear had been hit by a car. However, May later confessed to the Saxonburg police that he had shot the dog with a crossbow, believing it to be a coyote. According to the criminal complaint, May disposed of the deceased dog in a dumpster behind the borough building, where he serves as the borough manager, waiting until darkness to do so.

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May’s attorney, Phil Dilucente, asserted that the incident resulted from a misidentification, stating, “This was a misidentification. It turned out to be a canine. He thought it was a coyote.” Dilucente emphasized May’s remorse, describing him as an animal lover who deeply regrets his actions.

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In an effort to make amends, May has offered to pay for a new dog for the Goldscheitter family. The family’s grief is compounded by the circumstances of Bear’s demise, and May’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for January following his release on charges. KDKA-TV reached out to the mayor to ascertain May’s employment status with the borough but received no response as of Thursday.

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