FAYETTE COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Ed Gilland says he and his son came back to their Kincaid home this week and found their beloved dog, Buddy, missing.
"I knocked on my neighbor's door and I asked her, 'do you know where Buddy is?'" he said. "And she said 'Yeah, I shot her.'"
But the neighbor, Alicia Johnston, says she had no other choice, saying the dog broke free of its chain and was threatening her children - after eating two of her pet chickens.
"The dog was loose and it came running down towards us," she said. "It was growling and had its hair standing up, all signs of being mad."
Buddy was found a day later wandering the neighborhood and bleeding from the jaw. Gilland says she was rushed to the animal hospital - but it was too late.
Ed's mother, Brenda Jackson, also feels the loss, saying Buddy was a part of the family.
"The night was so cold after he got shot...there was almost frozen blood on him," she said.
Gilland says he never knew Buddy to act vicious and was heartbroken to see her suffer.
But Johnston says she saw a very different side of the dog.
"I [told him], you would have done the same thing...you wouldn't have let it go after the kids," she said.
West Virginia law says you do have the right to shoot another dog if it comes onto your property and threatens your livestock - including chickens.