WAREHAM — The man accused of killing a family dog in Lakeville last month pleaded not guilty Thursday in Fourth District Court.

NBC10 is reporting that Mark Vasseur admitted to shooting at the golden retriever, named Walle, at least six times, with two bullets striking the dog. The 61-year-old claimed it was in self defense, after the dog tried to attack his chickens and then came at him.

The dog's owners have said that Walle escaped one afternoon and ran into the woods, before they heard gunshots a few moments later.

Vasseur is due back in court in January for a pretrial hearing. His gun license has been revoked.