By Dan Lampariello
MILAN, Tenn. -- A pit bull shot and killed in Milan on Monday is stirring up controversy.
Police say the dog was vicious, but the dog's owner, Andrew Newtson, says the police officer who shot his dog could have went about the situation in a different way.
Newtson says rather than killing the dog, the officer could have waited for animal control to respond.
"I would understand if my dog had someone pinned up against the house or he was mauling someone," Newtson said. "Yes, shoot my dog. I'd rather a human being have their life than my dog."
Milan Police say they were called to the home because the dog had charged someone on the street.
"The dog displayed itself in an aggressive manner," Milan Police Chief Bobby Sellers said. "[It was] showing its teeth, growling, and started toward him and then he had to shoot the dog."
Newtson says his dog has never done anything like this before.
"I can take him anywhere," Newtson said. "I've taken him to my neighbors, they've pet him. Two or three times a week I take him for walks. I let kids pet him."
Witness to the event Mary Dennie says the dog was ready to attack when police arrived.
"The police shot that dog right there at the mailbox," Dennie said. "Because that dog was after them."
Chief Sellers says he would have shot the dog as well if he was in the same position.
"I stand behind him 100 percent," Chief Sellers said. "I've been in that situation when a dog was trying to attack me and I've had to use my pistol to defend myself."
Another witness at the scene said the dog was just defending his territory and the police officer used excessive force.
Milan police have not been called to any incidents involving this dog before.
They have cited the dog's owner for owning a vicious dog and he is set to appear in court July 2.