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Family’s dog fatally shot; Neighbor facing charges

A Lakeville family said they are heartbroken because their dog was shot and killed. (Family photo)

A Lakeville family said they are heartbroken because their dog was shot and killed.

Now, their neighbor, Mark J. Vasseur, 61, is facing charges of shooting a domesticated animal.

Vasseur, admitted to shooting Wally, a golden retriever. But he claims Wally, along with the couples’ other dog, Zeke, were after his chickens.

Vasseur told WCVB he felt he and his wife were in danger.

“That dog was growling and -- teeth showing,” he told WCVB. “It would’ve bit me. I’m truly sorry, but there’s nothing I could do about it.”

But according to Wally’s owners, Krissy Dashner and Pate Bates, he was furry and friendly – and far from ferocious

“He was our baby. We went and picked him out -- he picked us,” Dashner told WCVB, with Bates adding, “He would light up when he saw someone. He was always just a very happy dog.”

Sunday evening was no different for Dashner and Bates.

“I let the dogs out and I was going to put them on the run, but before I could put them on the run, they bolted into the woods,” Bates said.

The couple said they sensed something was wrong when they heard gunshots.

“When I heard the gunshots, I just had a sinking feeling that that's what happened,” Dashner said.

While Zeke returned, Wally did not.

Animal control later delivered the news, noting that Wally had been shot five times.

The couple said while they agree that people have a right to defend their livestock, they wish Vasseur, talked to them about the dog.

“(We) hope you know that you changed our lives completely,” Dashner said. “We had a whole family and we expected to raise the dogs with our son and now we can't.”

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