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Doug Burkholder, an animal protection officer, is warning against taking matters into your own hands when it comes to aggressive dogs. ((CBC))

P.E.I.'s Humane Society is reminding Islanders there are proper ways to deal with aggressive dogs, in light of the court case of a Roseville man who shot and killed a dog through his neighbour's window.

"You don't want to see it get to the point where somebody feels like they have to take action into their own hands because that's certainly not wise," said Doug Burkholder, an animal protection officer for the P.E.I. Humane Society.

"Between the local police department and us, I'm sure we could work something out."

Earlier this week, court heard Joseph Benjamin Muncey Clements was so frightened of his next-door neighbour's dog that he shot the animal out of fear.

Clements's wife said Cujo — the two-year-old pit bull mix that lived next door — was aggressive and sometimes left to roam free outside.

Clements shot the dog through his neighbour's kitchen window in May. He will be sentenced on July 5.

Communities such as Charlottetown, Summerside and Cornwall have dog control bylaws that make it illegal to let dogs run loose. Other municipalities fall under a similar provincial law.

In rural communities where there is no such bylaw, the only thing police officers can do is talk to dog owners and advise them to keep their dog on a leash.

"If there's no legislation, there's not a lot you can do," said Burkholder.

"If there is legislation saying that dog cannot be roaming free in that community, then you can lay a charge, go to court."