When is it legal to shoot an attacking animal?


Puppy

New member
Seems to me the originator did not give us a complete enough story.

A dog growling is not an attack. It may just be a warning to stay away. So if a person tells you to stay away do you think it's okay to shoot him?
 

tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
Seems to me the originator did not give us a complete enough story.

A dog growling is not an attack. It may just be a warning to stay away. So if a person tells you to stay away do you think it's okay to shoot him?

The rule of thumb to remember when employing deadly force is a reasonable fear that your life is in danger. A dog's growl, while menacing and perhaps scary sounding, is not, by itself, a deadly threat. That being said, if I saw a scary looking dog (such as a Doberman or a Rottweiler) growling at me, I would definitely draw my weapon in case he decides to charge.
 

Puppy

New member
The rule of thumb to remember when employing deadly force is a reasonable fear that your life is in danger. A dog's growl, while menacing and perhaps scary sounding, is not, by itself, a deadly threat. That being said, if I saw a scary looking dog (such as a Doberman or a Rottweiler) growling at me, I would definitely draw my weapon in case he decides to charge.

That's pretty much what I would do as well. And always remember that rule of thumb about "reasonable fear" may and probably will be second guessed by police, government attorneys, Judges and juries.

When I took my CCL training the instructor told of an incident where a guy was hiking in the woods. Two dogs came over a hill and he felt threatened. He fired only warning shots and the dogs ran off. About that time the dogs owner came over the hill and raised holy heck, called the law and the guy lost his CCL.

Don't know if I could do it but it might be better to be able to show at least one bite mark.
 

molonlabetn

New member
Just remember the 21' rule... dogs are faster, one should probably consider a 50' rule. They an be on you in a flash, I wouldn't mess around waiting for an obviously agitated and menacing dog that could do me harm to make the first move if it was really close and advancing on me, if I couldn't get away.
 

kwo51

New member
Whats eating you baby. He killed my toy poodle .Bit me on the leg, got teeth marks to prove it.
 
There are a lot of wild dogs in many of my favorite hunting areas. There were a few times where my hunting buddies and I came close to having to shoot attacking wild dogs. It's fortunate that the dogs decided to run off once we started loading our shotguns and rifles.


gf
 

BikerRN

New member
I would use the same standard against a dog as I would a person in town or a populated area."Am I in fear of my life or serious bodily harm?"

When I'm at the ranch any loose dog is "fair game" to be shot on sight due to the tendancy of dogs to attack cattle, which are a monetary commodity. If the dog has a collar with the name and number of the owner I will then call the local constabulary to issue a citation to the owner of the dog for "Dog At Large" and "Dog Harrassing Livestock." Both are misdemeanors. :D

It depends on where you are, what you may do. Also, I carry a blade and find that if a dog has me in his jaws that the blade is a better option. Just because a dog growls is not justification to shoot it. I've been growled at a lot in my lifetime.

The previous story in NM sounds like the guy was mad because the dogs killed his dog. In short, too much talking when the Police showed up. Let your lawyer do the talking. IMHO, the only thing you need to say is: "I was in fear of my life and had no other options. Here's my ID, there are witnesses located, (point them out), I will be happy to talk with you after I calm down and talk with my attorney and get medically cleared by a physician. I want Medical Treatment now please."

Biker
 

The Gunny

New member
Laws also vary greatly from county to county and city to city with in the same state. Until this year the county in which I live in the state of Washington had no laws regarding requiring dogs to be leashed. This resulted in a lot of shot dogs as there was also no animal control. This has happened in suburan areas near my own house and was in fact lawful. In fact I was very tempted to shoot my own neighbors very aggressive dog. It has charged me a number of times in my own yard last year. I have called the county sheriffs office and they said if I feel threatened I am justified in shooting the animal. I don't want to but I will let the neighbor know if it happens again on my property I will shoot his dog. Best bet is to check with local law on the matter.
 

BikerRN

New member
Best bet is to check with local law on the matter.

Correction: Best bet is to check with a local lawyer on the matter.

I'm not a lawyer, and I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night, just someone that has seen the pitfalls of others when they take actions they shouldn't have.

Lots of people consider their pets to be "part of the family". Many people on a jury will have this same belief. Do you want Susie Soccarmom and Joe School Principal having to decide if you did the "right thing"? Clint Smith said it best, "Every bullet you fire has a lawyer attatched to it." I personally want to make darn sure that I have no other options before I shoot.

Biker
 

Zippo74

New member
First Hand Experiance

Just this past summer I was walking my 5 month old German Wirehair and things were good.

Up the block I saw a woman, her child and thier Palmerainian ( spelling sucks.. Small Dog looks like a dust mop ) They were playing in the yard.

I didnt think much of it. Made sure I was on the other side of the street. On the Sidewalk and Copper ( my dog ) was on a tight leash so he could not run over and say Hello much like he wants to do to every dog, person, cat, bird, tree, rock, leaf he sees

Walking along I am constantly correcting him..... " Heal " Stay here....

Minding well he stays on my side and walks with me... And then all of a sudden out of nowhere from about 150 yards away this dog charges...

Teeth and fur was all I could see... like lightning he was on us.....

the woman is yelling.." ELVIS GET BACK HERE... GET BACK HERE.... ELVIS "

Not once lifting her fairly large behind from the Porch mind you.

Well I dont know Palmeranians very well.. but apparently they are the Rici Tiki Tavi of the dog world.

This little bastard was on us like white on rice.

Copper again being only 5 months old was thinking " HOLY CRAP IM GONNA DIE !!!"

I fought off the urge just to stomp a mud hole in this little things ass and seperated them.. admitidly yelled at the woman and went on my way...

When I got home Copper was injured.. to the extent that he needed a few shots...and 4 small stiches.

That made me think...

I called the Sheriffs department explained the sittuation and asked for advice.

Now this is in Michigan..

They explained to me...

That a person has every right to protect themselves and thier pets against any type of animal attack if harm is believed to occure.


And I asked them to clarify.

He went on to tell me.. that when I saw the dog advance.. Seeing him barking growling and snareling.... I would have been 100% within my rights to STOP...( Lets not use the K word... we never want to Kill anything.. we want to STOP it from doing harm ) the dog before he ever got near us.

Thats just my experiance.

Derek
 

PascalFleischman

New member
I fully agree with you Derek, but here in Memphis, my first phone call would've been to 911 informing of a discharge of a firearm in self defense. The lady "Not once lifting her fairly large behind from the Porch mind you" would've made her first phone call to the news crews. People love pit bulls around here as status symbols, and they treat them like fighting dogs. I'd draw in an instant if I saw a large dog charging like that. Pomeranians are less than 15 pounds. You'd have a hard time justifying an armed confrontation with an ankle-biter. Could you not have scooped your dog up? Would a swift kick to this dog not have done the same as a double-tap? Situational awareness is always key.
 
Just this past summer I was walking my 5 month old German Wirehair and things were good.

Up the block I saw a woman, her child and thier Palmerainian ( spelling sucks.. Small Dog looks like a dust mop ) They were playing in the yard.

I have a Maltese. While taking him on walks I often run into various dogs of different sizes. My dog is very well behaved (for a Maltese) and for the most part follows the commands when given. The larger dogs that attack are hit with a healthy dose of foaming pepper spray, the smallers ones (like the Pomeranian in this case) are punted like a football. I've punted Chihuahuas', Pomeranians', Poodles' and even an Australian Silky Terrier.

We're not allowed to "carry" here in Hawaii, so the pepper spray and sometimes a big stick come in handy. I once was at the dog park and a lady's German Shepherd was fighting with a Pit Bull. The two lady dog owners couldn't get them apart. After trying to shoot them down with a water hose, I resorted to the pepper spray. The Pit Bull then decided to turn to me, at which point he got a swift kick in the ribs. The lady was eventually able to get her Pit Bull back on the leash. She got sued by the owner of the German Shepherd, and in turn decided to sue me for pepper spraying and kicking her dog!

Lot's of "goofy" folks out there. I wish the two dogs were smaller. I've always wanted to see a Pomeranian go at it with a Chihuahua. :D


gf
 

HK4U

New member
I think you would have to use common sense. If it were a chihuhua that is one thing. A pit bull is another. It all depends on the animal.
 

Statkowski

New member
And in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

3 Pa. C.S. § 501, KILLING DOGS; DOGS AS NUISANCES

(a) LEGAL TO KILL CERTAIN DOGS - Any person may kill any dog which he sees in the act of pursuing or wounding or killing any domestic animal, wounding or killing other dogs, cats or household pets, or pursuing, wounding or attacking human beings, whether or not such a dog bears the license tag required by the provisions of this act. There shall be no liability on such persons in damages or otherwise for such killing.
 

Puppy

New member
First a growling animal is not necessarily an attacking animal.

When I took my CCWL class the instructor gave a specific example which covers this type of situation.

A guy was hiking in a wooded area when two dogs came over a hill growling and fussing, but not actually attacking. The guy fired simply to scare them away, not to kill them. Seconds later the dogs owner came over the hill raising holy hell and called the police.

I don't remember any further details except that the gun owner lost his license.

My conclusion is that you better either have bite marks or some witnesses because otherwise it's your word against his.
 

Fallguy

Citizen
First a growling animal is not necessarily an attacking animal.

When I took my CCWL class the instructor gave a specific example which covers this type of situation.

A guy was hiking in a wooded area when two dogs came over a hill growling and fussing, but not actually attacking. The guy fired simply to scare them away, not to kill them. Seconds later the dogs owner came over the hill raising holy hell and called the police.

I don't remember any further details except that the gun owner lost his license.

My conclusion is that you better either have bite marks or some witnesses because otherwise it's your word against his.

I think the main reason the gun owner lost his license is because he ended up shooting and killing the owner of the dogs and was convicted of 2nd degree murder, not because he fired a shot trying to scare the dogs off.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15199221/

http://www.haroldfishdefense.org/
 

toreskha

Titles are un-American.
A good backup measure for this is to have a cell phone with a camera on it. Immediately after the incident, you can take pictures or a video of the scene while the gun is still smoking if you feel that it will support your side of the story in court.
 

kwo51

New member
They work well in patrol cars. Mount one in your hat. Cellphone on lapel in picture mode. Makes one think.
 

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