Use of deadly force to protect medical service dog


kyffemt911

New member
I'm new here, so this may have already been asked/answered...
I live in KY and have medical service dog; can I use deadly force to protect her? FYI: in KY, it's a felony to permanently disable/kill a service dog; misdemeanor to injure a service dog.

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XD40scinNC

New member
I have a dog, that is a pet. If I am with my dog and someone intends to do him harm, I assume that they also intend to do harm to me, and will defend myself appropriately.
 

bofh

Banned
If the use of lethal force is justified by a person with a service dog based on self defense, then the question in the OP is irrelevant. You are defending yourself and not the dog. The question in the OP is only relevant if the service dog is killed and the service dog owner does not have a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily harm. According to the law, an animal is not a person. It is property. I don't think Kentucky has a statue for using deadly force to protect property. The actual circumstances will decide if you will be charged with murder, manslaughter or nothing.

As with all these of "could I shoot someone" discussion threads, the OP is asking the wrong question. You never ask "could I shoot someone"! The question is, "do I have to shoot someone". I highly recommend to either take a legal training class or get some legal reading material about what happens after the fight. Realize that you will get taken into custody and you will go through the legal system. You better immediately spend some money on a lawyer (several thousand Dollars) to protect yourself. You may be spending a night (or more) in jail. You will need to post bond and spend more money on the lawyer if you get charged.

In short, shooting someone is a life changer. It will impact your personal life forever. You may lose a lot of money, your job, friends, family members, your mental health, and possibly your freedom. There is a basic cost/benefit trade off. Are the benefits of shooting someone outweigh these costs. If you defend your own life or the life of a loved one, it obviously is. Would you be able to live without your service dog, or would you rather spend some time in prison, knowing that your service dog is alive?

Resources:

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5 Things Every Reasonable Gun Owner Ought To Know

 

bronzedragon18

New member
service animals

If the use of lethal force is justified by a person with a service dog based on self defense, then the question in the OP is irrelevant. You are defending yourself and not the dog. The question in the OP is only relevant if the service dog is killed and the service dog owner does not have a reasonable fear of imminent death or serious bodily harm. According to the law, an animal is not a person. It is property. I don't think Kentucky has a statue for using deadly force to protect property. The actual circumstances will decide if you will be charged with murder, manslaughter or nothing.

As with all these of "could I shoot someone" discussion threads, the OP is asking the wrong question. You never ask "could I shoot someone"! The question is, "do I have to shoot someone". I highly recommend to either take a legal training class or get some legal reading material about what happens after the fight. Realize that you will get taken into custody and you will go through the legal system. You better immediately spend some money on a lawyer (several thousand Dollars) to protect yourself. You may be spending a night (or more) in jail. You will need to post bond and spend more money on the lawyer if you get charged.

In short, shooting someone is a life changer. It will impact your personal life forever. You may lose a lot of money, your job, friends, family members, your mental health, and possibly your freedom. There is a basic cost/benefit trade off. Are the benefits of shooting someone outweigh these costs. If you defend your own life or the life of a loved one, it obviously is. Would you be able to live without your service dog, or would you rather spend some time in prison, knowing that your service dog is alive?

Resources:

Link Removed

5 Things Every Reasonable Gun Owner Ought To Know

Correction . Service animals are usually considered persons not property. For example , K9 police dogs are considered police officers in many jurisdictions. As the OP stated it's a felony in his state too kill or permanently disable a service . That suggests to me that KY considers service animals persons.
 

bofh

Banned
Correction . Service animals are usually considered persons not property. For example , K9 police dogs are considered police officers in many jurisdictions. As the OP stated it's a felony in his state too kill or permanently disable a service . That suggests to me that KY considers service animals persons.

Please cite the law that justifies using deadly force against a person to protect a service dog! This is not about other laws that exist that make certain actions against an animal a felony, but about the law that justifies using deadly force against a person. The law defines what is lawful and what is not. There is no suggestion involved here.
 

XD40scinNC

New member
My dog is within 6' of me (6 foot leash), and I can only assume that anyone wanting to harm my dog, within 6' of me, also intends to do me harm, and I will react in kind.
 

bofh

Banned
My dog is within 6' of me (6 foot leash), and I can only assume that anyone wanting to harm my dog, within 6' of me, also intends to do me harm, and I will react in kind.

I fully understand that. You would be defending yourself. Excluding this type of self defense, it becomes problematic. The question raised by the OP is about defending the service animal when self defense is not applicable. It would be interesting to see a specific example of that.
 

bronzedragon18

New member
re law

Please cite the law that justifies using deadly force against a person to protect a service dog! This is not about other laws that exist that make certain actions against an animal a felony, but about the law that justifies using deadly force against a person. The law defines what is lawful and what is not. There is no suggestion involved here.
Yes sir there's suggestion here. The OP didn't specify whether service animals are considered persons under KY law. I'm not familiar with KY law and laws vary widely on service animals but the fact that it's a felony in KY to kill or permanently disable a service animal strongly suggests that SAs are considered persons.
As for the law that justifies using deadly force ,like I said,service animals are usually considered persons in most jurisdictions

though laws do vary. If a service animal is considered a person then the defense of a third person rule is relevant. Again ,laws vary so check with your local PD . Bofh please feel free to not take my word for it . Go down to your local PD and shoot a K9 police dog . If you survive the experience report back to us.
 

BluesStringer

Les Brers
If a service animal is considered a person...

They aren't, period.

Go down to your local PD and shoot a K9 police dog . If you survive the experience report back to us.

Here, let me fix that for you: "Go down to your local PD and shoot the phone book in the lobby. Or stand outside and shoot into the ground, or Hell, even shoot yourself in the foot. If you survive the experience report back to us."

Show us where in the history of history, an actual person has ever been prosecuted for murder or manslaughter for killing a dog. If service dogs were considered "persons," murder or manslaughter would be the resultant charge for killing them. There's a huge difference between "felony" and murder. One is the charge, the other is the level of charging.

I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on the internet, and neither should you.

Blues
 

bofh

Banned
Yes sir there's suggestion here. The OP didn't specify whether service animals are considered persons under KY law. I'm not familiar with KY law and laws vary widely on service animals but the fact that it's a felony in KY to kill or permanently disable a service animal strongly suggests that SAs are considered persons.
As for the law that justifies using deadly force ,like I said,service animals are usually considered persons in most jurisdictions

though laws do vary. If a service animal is considered a person then the defense of a third person rule is relevant. Again ,laws vary so check with your local PD . Bofh please feel free to not take my word for it . Go down to your local PD and shoot a K9 police dog . If you survive the experience report back to us.

So, what you say is that you can't cite a law or a case that supports your position and you offer instead a lot of hand-waving and an irrelevant comparison. Got it. Good luck with that in court, because that's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. Please cite the law that justifies using deadly force against a person to save the live of a service animal.

A law stating that killing or permanently disabling a service animal is a felony is irrelevant. What you think the law "suggests" is irrelevant. The only relevant statue is that homicide is unlawful, unless explicitly stated otherwise, such as in the case of self defense or defense of another person. It there is such a thing that a service animal is considered such another person, then this must be written in the law. Any interpretation by you what the law "suggests" is irrelevant.

It is funny that you choose an ill-conceived example using a PD, as police officers often unnecessarily kill service animals. I guess their owners could have lawfully killed those police officers then, right?

Kansas Cop Kills Army Veteran’s Service Dog, then Issues him Two Citations
San Diego Police Shoot Man's Service Dog Dead After Responding to Domestic Violence Call
Link Removed
Link Removed
TRIGGER-HAPPY' COP KILLS DISABLED MAN'S SERVICE DOG
 

bronzedragon18

New member
partial apology

So, what you say is that you can't cite a law or a case that supports your position and you offer instead a lot of hand-waving and an irrelevant comparison. Got it. Good luck with that in court, because that's not how this works. That's not how any of this works. Please cite the law that justifies using deadly force against a person to save the live of a service animal.

A law stating that killing or permanently disabling a service animal is a felony is irrelevant. What you think the law "suggests" is irrelevant. The only relevant statue is that homicide is unlawful, unless explicitly stated otherwise, such as in the case of self defense or defense of another person. It there is such a thing that a service animal is considered such another person, then this must be written in the law. Any interpretation by you what the law "suggests" is irrelevant.

It is funny that you choose an ill-conceived example using a PD, as police officers often unnecessarily kill service animals. I guess their owners could have lawfully killed those police officers then, right?

Kansas Cop Kills Army Veteran’s Service Dog, then Issues him Two Citations
San Diego Police Shoot Man's Service Dog Dead After Responding to Domestic Violence Call
Link Removed
Link Removed
TRIGGER-HAPPY' COP KILLS DISABLED MAN'S SERVICE DOG
I was relying upon memory,which it seems is defective in this case . Seems service animals aren't considered as persns ( yet ). So if you kill one you can't be charged with murder or manslaughter. Also seems that legal protections extend only to rescue or law enforcement animals .Laws concerning the latter cary but in my state of Texas if you kill a police dog you can be charged with animal cruelty,a third class felony carrying a maximum sentence of two years in prison and a $10 k fine .To answer your question both no they can't. The officer however can be charged with animal cruelty though this seldom happens . What usually happens in these cases is that the PD gets sued.
 

bronzedragon18

New member
Seems like my memory is defective on this. Service animals aren't considered as persons (yet). So you can't be charged with murder or manslaughter for killing one. Also seems legal protections are extended only to rescue or law enforcement animals. Laws vary but in my state of Texas if you kill a police dog you can be charged with animal cruelty which carries a maximum sentence of two years and a $10 k fine and is a third class felony. To answer your question bofh no they can't , though the officer can be charged with animal cruelty though this seldom happens. Far more common is the PD gets sued.
 

Frisco85132

New member
Justification is in articulation. Frisco, what do you mean by this? ***GASP***

If you say "That mothereffer tried to shoot my dog, so I blew his butt away"....then you're going to have a hard time selling it.

However, if you are forced to fire to stop a deadly attack and articulate it this way: "I was walking with my dog and that man pulled a gun/knife and I was forced to fire to stop his attack. You can see the gun/knife on the ground by his right/left hand. I want to cooperate fully, but I am really shaken up right now and will wait until my legal counsel is present before I answer any more questions".

You have been totally honest. You WILL be shaken up (but don't try the BS Bubba "faking a heart attack" dodge). You have pointed out critical exculpatory evidence (the gun/knife), and you have asserted your right to remain silent until your lawyer shows up. Then...STFU. At this point, you have hit the brief highlights, placed yourself as the intended victim, and got made the positive claim of self defense.

Saying NOTHING as some idiots recommend will generally get you into cuffs, into jail, and into a whole metric pantload of charges because the responding officers have NOTHING to go on and an uncooperative suspect who is now standing over a dead body with a smoking gun in their hand. Remember, dipwad attorneys who advocate saying NOTHING are used to defending GUILTY people, not honest people who righteously defended their life against an unprovoked deadly attack.

There is no time for detached reflection in the face of an upraised knife...if Subject A pulls a knife/gun and you believe you are in "immediate and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm" then you have the right to act in immediate self defense. Personally, I see no difference in 45 degrees of muzzle angle between pointing a deadly weapon at my dog, or pointing that same weapon at me. See what I am getting at here? You were not "merely defending your property in the form of your dog", you were responding to an immediate deadly threat which you perceived to be directed at you.
 

G50AE

Well-known member
In a thread like this one, I would expect NavyLCDR to post a picture of his sheepdog Daisey.
 

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