ShareThis Page

Ligonier Township woman sentenced for dog law violations

| Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 5:09 p.m.

In an unusual move, a Ligonier Township woman has been ordered to serve five days under county supervision after repeatedly violating the township's dog laws.

Cheryl Sierocki, 54, was sentenced earlier this week to at least five days in jail or some alternative program for violating a term of her probation that prohibited her from keeping dogs at her Friendship Lane property.

Assistant District Attorney Pete Flanigan said township police and Sierocki's probation officer had seen and photographed Dots, a Dalmatian, on Sierocki's property, in violation of the order from Westmoreland County Judge Debra Pezze.

“I'm not defending myself, I understand what Judge Pezze had to do,” Sierocki said. “I thought I was off my probation. Dots was just visiting. She wasn't living here permanently.”

Flanigan said he asked for a more stringent sentence.

“I've certainly never heard of someone going to jail for a dog law violation,” Flanigan said. “But this woman has a 10-year history of dog law violations. It was a unique case, and I asked for a unique sentence.”

The probation was set for a 2008 case. Sierocki pleaded guilty to five counts of failing to keep the Dalmatian and a mixed-breed dog confined to her property in exchange for three years probation. Pezze said the probation would terminate in 18 months if there were no further problems with the dogs.

A little more than a year later, Sierocki's probation was revoked after officers found the dogs on her property.

She was resentenced to four years probation and she was ordered to not keep, maintain or permit anyone else's dogs on her property.

The Dalmatian returned last October, Flanigan said.

Court records indicate Sierocki has a history of letting her dogs roam free in the neighborhood, off Cool Springs Lane. She received 16 citations in the last six years for failing to keep the canines confined to her yard.

In the affidavit of probable cause in the 2008 incident, neighbors told police they were “terrorized” by the dogs.

But Sierocki said the dogs were family pets.

“Neither dog was ever cited for biting anyone,” she said. “My neighbor has me on 24-hour surveillance. I thought this lynching was over, and it's unfortunate that a nice neighborhood has come to this.”

Jewels Phraner is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.