FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – A man was forced to shoot and kill a dog on the loose after it attacked him in a Flagler County neighborhood, deputies said.
James Armes, 69, said he had no choice Sunday morning after two German shepherds started chasing him and his 10-month-old cocker spaniel-maltese mix named Dolly while they were walking on Westchester Lake in Palm Coast.
"One was on the one side of me. One was on the other side, just trying to get my dog," Armes said. "My dog was squealing."
Armes said he was afraid of what the dogs were going to do next, so he took his gun from out of his back pocket and pulled the trigger, killing one of the dogs.
"It was either the dog was going to bite me and kill my dog or I was going to have to kill one of the dogs, so I killed one dog and the other dog turned around ran," he said.
The two German shepherds had escaped from the backyard of a nearby home, their owner told deputies.
Armes' wife, Dorothy, said she recently had an encounter with the same dogs.
"They looked up at (us). They seen us and they come running after us and I knew I was in trouble," said Dorothy Armes. "They started nipping at Dolly and started jumping at me."
A few men in the neighborhood who happened to be sitting outside ran over to help Dorothy and Dolly after hearing Dorothy's cries for help and were able to get the dogs off them, she said.
No one answered when WKMG went to the dog owner's home Monday, but a German shepherd was seen peering out the window.
"It was an unfortunate incident but I don't think he had any other recourse," Dorothy Armes said of the shooting. "So, we really feel bad about it. We just hate for this to happen to anyone's animals."
Armes was acting in self-defense and had a concealed weapons permit, deputies said.
“This is an unfortunate, tragic neighborhood situation. While we never want to hear about the killing of a pet, pet owners must be responsible and watch over their animals,” Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly said. “If you know your pet to be aggressive, it is your responsibility to keep them on your property or on a leash.”