LAKEVILLE — Lakeville Police have officially charged the man who fatally shot a dog that came into his yard on Sunday afternoon.

In a press release on their Facebook page, Lakeville Police state that as a result of the investigation, they have charged 61-year-old Mark J. Vasseur of 9 Susan Lane with malicious killing or injury of a domesticated animal.

The dog, a one-year-old Golden Retriever named Walle, had escaped from its home Sunday afternoon and ran into the woods. The owners were searching for the dog when they heard gunshots. Lakeville Police soon called to tell them that Vasseur, their neighbor, had admitted to shooting the dog.

Vasseur told police the dog was bothering his chickens. When he tried to ward off the dog, he told police Walle became aggressive and charged at the man. He says he shot the dog in self defense.

Vasseur will be arraigned in Wareham District Court at a date still to be determined.