A homeowner accused of shooting and killing his neighbor's dog claims he was defending himself, though the canine's owner says otherwise.
The incident occurred Monday afternoon in Hohenwald, about 80 miles southwest of Nashville.
Homeowner Wendell Kelley said he was working in his driveway when his neighbor's Labrador approached him.
Kelley told News 2 he tapped the dog in the face to get it to move along and the canine pressured him into his truck. Kelley said he then went into his home to get his firearm.
After getting his semi-automatic rifle, Kelley walked back outside to check the mail where the dog approached him again before he opened fire.
“I felt threatened. He was eight feet from me at the time and [I] fired a few shots. The last shot, I saw a girl come out of the house and I stopped firing,” he recalled. “He had his ears laid back and he was snarling. I felt like I was protecting myself.”
Nashville's News 2 spoke with the dog's owner, 13-year-old Peggy Galloway, who said she exited her house as soon as she heard the first shot only to find her beloved dog dying in the street in front of her house.
“I was coming out the door when I heard the first shot. I was half way up the driveway when I heard the second shot,” she recalled. “I got to the top of the road and he shot again. I was running to him and he shot again and I screamed, ‘Please, don't shoot my dog!' and he wouldn't listen and then he walked by me and said he would shoot the rest of them.”
According to the girl's mother, Janice Galloway, the lab, a purebred AKC, was a friendly animal that would let children pull his ears.
“I'm tore up. This is like one of my kids. It's been hard,” she said. “He tried to say it attacked him. My dog has never attacked anyone.”
Kelley says both he and the dog were on the road when he shot the dog. He denies the family's claims that he was on private property when he opened fire.
Kelley said he wishes Galloway had not seen him fire shots at the dog.
“Yes, I do regret that,” he said.
Since Monday's shooting, the Galloway family has launched a Facebook campaign. Kelley said there has been threats to vilify him.
The Lewis County sheriff said both sides have been interviewed and the facts will soon be presented to the district attorney.