LAKEVILLE, MASS. (WHDH) - Police are trying to determine whether a man was within his rights to shoot and kill a young dog in his neighborhood in Lakeville.

The dog, owned by Pat Bates and Chrissy Dashner, was one of two that escaped from their home. Bates says he was out looking for the dogs when he heard gunshots.

Not long after, they got a call from Lakeville Police saying a neighbor had admitted to shooting and killing the 1-year-old golden retriever, Wally.

“I find it hard to believe the golden was aggressive,” Bates said.

7News tracked down the neighbor, who didn’t want to be filmed and wanted only to be identified as Mark. He says he didn’t have a choice in the incident.

“What can I do?” he said. “I don’t want to be bit by a dog.”

Mark says the dogs were trying to get into his chicken coop. When he went outside to scare the dogs away, the German Shepard ran past, but the golden retriever became aggressive, snarling and showing teeth, then charged.

“There was nothing I could do,” he said. “It happened so fast…I had to shoot the dog.”

Bates says he wasn’t great at keeping the dogs contained but was getting better. He had recently ordered an electric fence system that had arrived just that day.

Mark added that he loves animals and deeply regrets having to shoot a pet.

(Copyright (c) 2023 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox