Does the law allow you to kill an animal that wanders on your property?

Mark Shelley looks over kennel where he kept his two dogs.

Some are questioning when is it okay to kill an animal that makes its way onto your property, after a Marlboro County man was arrested for shooting his neighbor's two dogs.

On Monday, McColl police charged Brandon Todd with Malicious Injury To Animals and Discharging A Firearm Within City Limits.

Officers say he shot and killed Mark Shelley's two dogs last Sunday at his home on Sesame Street in McColl.

An incident report says Todd says the dogs were threatening his chickens.

South Carolina law section 16-11-510 says it's illegal to maliciously shoot, cut , maim, or wound an animal.

You could get up to 10 years in prison if convicted for the crime.

However, police say it depends on the situation as to when you can kill an animal.

They say if it threatens your life or others, then you're within the law.

If the animal isn't a threat, police ask that you call 911.

Shelley wishes his neighbor would have called him.

"If the dogs would have killed his chickens and he would have called, if that would have been the case. I'd been more and glad to pay whatever the amount was for the chicken," said Mark Shelley.

Shelley says his dogs meant the world to him and his family.

He describes them as friendly animals.

"There never was a threat. Playful dogs, you can ask anyone, lots and lots of obedience training. Everyone knew the dogs and there was no threat in the dogs at all."

It is against the law to allow a dog to run at large.

McColl police say they will cite someone if it continues to be a problem.

They say they had never gotten a complaint about Shelley's dogs before.

A court date on this matter has not been set.