MINOOKA, Ill. (STMW) — Police say a 66-year-old southwest suburban man shot and killed a bulldog after believing his dogs were being threatened, the Herald-News is reporting.

Debbie Fitzgerald said her three bulldogs were in the back yard of her home in a Minooka subdivision on April 1 when they got out through a gate that wasn’t closed properly.

“I wasn’t home, but my 15-year-old son was, and when he noticed they were gone he called the police to let them know about the loose dogs,” she said.

The mother bulldog went in one direction, while her 10-month-old pups, Charlie and Roscoe, crossed Ridge Road into a different subdivision.

Police Chief Justin Meyer said a resident spotted the two loose dogs about 7 p.m. and called police to the 1400 block of Levato Lane, where homeowner Merrill Kaval became upset when the bulldogs came into his yard and barked at his two poodles.

Kaval took his dogs inside the house, and Roscoe and Charlie went to another yard, but Kaval quickly came out of his house with a handgun and shot Charlie in the back of the head, according to police.

Fitzgerald said at that point another resident grabbed Roscoe to hold him.

Kaval was arrested on felony charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and criminal damage to property, Meyer said, adding he had a valid FOID card.

Charlie and Roscoe’s mother was discovered by another resident and turned over to police.

Fitzgerald said she was picking up the dog when she learned what had happened to Charlie.

“This could’ve been avoided. His dogs were back inside when he came out,” Fitzgerald said of Kaval. “I’m just lost. This is very upsetting.”

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)