MCCUNE, Kan. (AP) – A small-town mayor who shot two dogs dead after months of complaints about aggressive dogs turned himself in Wednesday to face criminal charges but said he was just protecting his community.

Don Call was charged with two felony counts of animal cruelty and one misdemeanor count of criminal discharge of a firearm. He was released on $3,000 bond.

Call acknowledges he killed the animals Sunday, after being told they were chasing children in his southeast Kansas city of about 400 people.

He said he had warned Duane Wahl, whom he believed to be the dogs’ owner, that “if he did not want to take care of the dogs, that I was going to shoot them the next time.”

Wahl told the sheriff’s department last month he would get rid of the animals, and he said the dogs shot Sunday were not his.

Call shot the dogs with a rifle while sitting in his vehicle, a sheriff’s report said.

Under a city law, dogs running at large are subject to impoundment, and no dogs can be “disposed of until after a minimum of three full business days of custody.”

Sheriff Sandy Horton said his department wasn’t told the dogs were chasing children. He has said the mayor should have contacted authorities before taking matters into his own hands.

If convicted of felony animal cruelty, Call faces up to a year in jail on each count.

Information from: The Morning Sun,

AP-ES-02-04-09 1847EST

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