NEWCASTLE, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A shooting in the town of Newcastle has caused quite an internet firestorm.
Nathan Brewer let his 2 year old black lab out on Wednesday morning to play, just as he'd done every other day. He had left to go to a job site, while a friend stayed to watch Bentley, but the dog never came home.
Neighbor, Lee Straw, says the dog had gone up the road about half a mile, and gotten into his sheep pasture and was chasing the sheep. He says he tried to call the dog off, but Bentley just wasn't listening, so he did what he had to to protect his livestock, and shot and killed Bentley.
Straw says he hates that he had to kill a neighbor's dog, but in the last 10 years, he's lost 47 sheep to neighborhood dogs - 7 of those dropped dead from stress. He admits Bentley has never been a problem in the past, but he wasn't taking any chances with his pregnant flock.
According to Maine Law, Title 12: "An owner of domestic animals, livestock or poultry... may kill any dog killing or attacking the domestic animals, livestock or poultry."
Brewer says, he can't imagine his dog attacking anything and just doesn't understand why the situation had to escalate to this, before animal control could step in.
In the meantime, a Facebook page has been set up called Justice for Bentley, where a number of people have showed their support for Brewer. Others have backed Straw, saying he was within his rights. Straw's farm has posted a blog in response on their website.
Animal control officer, Mark Doe, says once he's done his investigation he'll pass along his findings to the Lincoln County District Attorney's office for their review. Right now no one faces any charges.