MAYES COUNTY, Oklahoma - Controversy is rising over a dog that was shot and killed in Mayes County.

Some are outraged, calling it a case of animal cruelty, but the man who did it says he was protecting his animals.

Scot Earp said he and his family volunteered to foster the momma dog and her puppies because they love animals but said it's that love of animals that led him to ultimately put the dog down. 

A picture of a dead dog and a dead chicken has many outraged on social media.

Some call it animal cruelty, but Earp said that's not true.

“The dog was fine for a week and a half and she started getting out," Earp said. “Sunday morning they got down to feed and found a bunch of dead chickens; the dog was loose, they found the dog in the chicken pen,” Earp said.

“The dog was running across in front of the pen and had a chicken in its mouth and I shot the dog to protect my livestock,” Earp said.

Earp's 12-year-old daughter raises awarding winning chickens and was devastated when they found a dozen of them dead.

Earp said as a dad he'd had enough.

“They can’t comprehend the work and dedication that she has and that she's put into this for it to be destroyed by a dog that we did everything we could to keep from getting out,” Earp said. 12:41 

Dana Gray with the Oklahoma Animal Alliance said the family should have handled it differently.

"While that is tragic, it's important to remember that he and his wife volunteered to foster this dog. They stepped up to foster the dog and keep it safe," Gray said. 

She and others say the family should have returned the dog sooner if they were having problems.

Earp said he's not happy about the situation but said he doesn't regret doing it.

The sheriff's office said under Oklahoma law, it's not a crime to shoot an animal while protecting your livestock.