SUMTER- No charges will be filed against a man who shot a dog that he said was threatening him, Sumter Police Chief Russell Roark said.

The dog was not on a leash and was growling when it charged the man around 2 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Park. The man fired once, killing the dog, Roark said.

The man had a concealed weapon permit and reported the shooting immediately to officers, Roark said.

Sumter requires dogs to be on leashes outdoors.

The homeless couple who own the dog said the man killed their dog without any warning.

"I don't know if he thought she was being aggressive, but all she did was look at him," Nina Lambert told The Sumter Item.

Brady and Nina Lambert said their dogs helped them deal with the stress of losing her job and being evicted from their home in April.

The couple had two dogs with them Thursday. Ayakashi, a 1-year-old Rottweiler mix, was killed. Nina Lambert said they got the dog as a puppy.

"My neighbors were abusing her," she said. "I asked if they would give that dog away, and then I gave her to my son and said 'happy birthday."'

A second dog, Tinkerbell, was not hurt. The couple said their two dogs helped them deal with the stress of Nina Lambert losing her job and being evicted from their home in April.

They had to check out of the motel they were staying in Thursday, and went to the park with plans to stay for a few days because they couldn't take the dogs to a shelter, Nina Lambert said.

"They're my family I always felt like they would protect me," she said.