Randy Feigles, of 715 Harris Lane, Montoursville, was found guilty of two counts of cruelty to animals by a Lycoming County jury Tuesday evening.
Jurors debated for several hours after the prosecution and defense rested their cases around 4 p.m.
The Fairfield Township man was charged by Lycoming County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Human Officer Lawrence D. Woltz last June for killing one dog and wounding another with a 9 mm handgun.
Feigles claimed a neighbor's dogs repeatedly chased and pursued him on his property, making him fear for his safety.
Kevin and Lora Sullivan's dogs Lucky and Sadie were shot while Feigles was on his riding tractor last May 29. Lucky, shot in the head, escaped with his life, but Sadie didn't fare the same.
"He looked at me in the eye and told me, 'yes, I did it,' " Kevin Sullivan testified.
"Sadie was my baby. I was hysterical," said his wife.
The case is one of many high-profile animal cruelty incidents the SPCA has dealt with during the past year.
Before the incident, the Sullivans and Feigles had never met. In statements made to Woltz, Feigles did say he saw the dogs in his yard before. This time, however, Feigles told Woltz he feared for his safety and that of his 10-month-old daughter. According to Feigles, the dogs were at his feet attempting to bite or attack him. He said he attempted to scare the dogs away several times by throwing rocks and eventually firing warning shots into the ground.
The Sullivans heard the shots, but thought nothing of it because some neighbors occasionally shoot targets in the area. Those shots, the Sullivans believe, actually were the ones aimed at their dogs.
"He took away one of the Sullivan's family members and maimed one of them," said Melissa Kalaus, assistant district attorney.
Kalaus said the dogs - one of which weighed 16 pounds, the other 20 pounds - were a nuisance, but were not aggressive. Feigles chose to shoot the animals instead of taking other reasonable defenses such as going inside or calling authorities.
She said Feigles then dumped Sadie's body in the woods and continued with his mowing.
"She was still warm," Lora Sullivan said of her dog when she and one of her sons found it in a wooded area that bordered the properties.
Sullivan said her dogs never showed signs of aggression and were friendly with children.
Woltz said some of the statements made to him by Feigles caused him to be immediately concerned. According to Woltz, during a personal interview at the scene of the incident, Feigles told him he "should have used hollow points (bullets) because he certainly would have killed both."
"Maybe I should have run them over with the tractor and ground up their legs," Woltz said Feigles told him during his investigation.
Defense attorney George Lepley asked Woltz if he recorded his conversation with Feigles or took notes while talking with him at his property. Woltz said he didn't.
Lepley added that Feigles had no intention of running the dogs over. The shooting was in self defense, he argued.
"I didn't want to harm the dogs, but I had no choice," Feigles wrote in a statement to Woltz.
Lepley said Feigles shouldn't be convicted of animal cruelty because he did not willfully or maliciously shoot at the Sullivan's dogs.
"If the dogs are pursuing him, he has the right to shoot the dog," Lepley told jurors.
Feigles' sentencing will be held in June.