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View Full Version : Fired my pistol in SD tonight...


5whiskey
July 4, 2009, 11:06 PM
So yeah, happy 4th of July. I had one of the greatest training excercises that *could've* gotten ugly tonight. Everything turned out well, thank God, but I did get a chance to see how my carry method works in real life stress.

Anyway, I'm walking through the subdivision with the GF, her kids, her brother, and her mother. I was carrying (obviously) when 2 dogs ran up the driveway of a neighbors house un-restrained. Not a trot, or a playful run... mind you I know the difference. This was a "seek, close with, and destroy who's coming near my turf" run. We were fairly spread out as a group, which I didn't like because I didn't know where everyone was. As soon as I saw the dogs, I began to draw and I yelled forcefully. This MAY have been our saving grace because this did disrupt the dogs and made them pause. Had they not paused, and if they would have been intent on doing damage, then they would have reached someone in the group before I could draw and fire.

Anyway. The dogs paused for a brief second but were *way* too close for comfort. They were probably 20' or less away and appeared to be trying to decide their next course of action. I paused for a second, but decided they were too close for comfort, so I fired three warning shots into the ditch bank and then began to aim at the dogs. I didn't have time to really aim because they decided to split pretty quickly. So, I've critiqued myself, and am open to further critique.

- I was carrying my off piece that I VERY rarely carry anymore. The only reason I had it is I didn't have the means to properly secure it off my person at the time, so I had it in my carry pocket and my normal carry piece in the other pocket. The manual of arms is different, so I fumbled with the safety for a second. It was brief, but it could've been long enough for someone to really get hurt. The DA/SA pistol will now ride safety off because of the location of the safety, the long trigger pull, and the fact that the safety is in a different location and throws in a different direction than on my normal carry piece.

- I'm a dog person. I'm not typically afraid of dogs. When they paused, I hesitated for a second trying to figure out whether they were still a threat. The whole ordeal occured in about 4 seconds, so this happened VERY fast. I still hesitated and that could've hurt.

- I am pretty decent at pocket carry. It is my preferred method.

- Forceful and assertive verbal commands work to your advantage. I think that *perhaps* this simple act did the trick. Verbal commands on dogs or humans are FTW.

- When traveling in groups, it's a good idea to keep the group tight together. One person walks 20' ahead, the other 2 15' behind... another reason I hesitated was trying to figure out who was closest to the danger so I could protect them. I was trying to make alot of decisions in a small amount of time. Travel in tight groups unless in combat and you expect grenades.

- Some will probably criticize me for it, but I stand behind my logic of firing the warning shots. I didn't want to shoot the dogs because they paused, but they were still WAY too close for comfort. I only wish I would've fired the warning shots earlier instead of taking the time to assess whether they were still a threat.

- No one was hurt, and I got to judge my response in a real life stress situation. I will politely talk with the neighbor about his dogs tomorrow. They were out of town this weekend.

Critique me, I want to hear it.

Jacobie
July 4, 2009, 11:20 PM
So you can read dog's minds? How do you know they just were not in a hurry to lick someone or be petted? Sorry but I personally think you over reacted and if you were willing to fire your gun in a subdivision at "charging dogs" that had not ttacked anyone yet I think you need not carry a gun. Whats next the pizza guy coming up your drive instead of the nieghbors cause he got the address mixed up?

JohnKSa
July 4, 2009, 11:23 PM
So you can read dog's minds?Interesting question.

But you're exactly correct. Unless he could read dog's minds there was no way to rule out that an attack was imminent.

raftman
July 4, 2009, 11:37 PM
Was there any kind of reaction from the neighbors on this one? I mean, it is 4th of July, but one would think gunfire in subdivision would still get a lot of attention, no?

Were you sure enough that there was enough of a danger to justify discharging the gun? People say here will say, time and time again, any time one pulls out their firearm, and especially when they fire it, they're taking a number of very serious risks, and they could ruin their lives forever if they do the wrong thing, and the lives of others too. I guess in regards to legal risks, they would probably be lesser on account of the fact that it was dogs that you were trying to dissuade, there are still crimes that you could have been charged with, and it still could have made your life unpleasant for a long time. Are you convinced the amount of force you've shown was worth taking the chances? I guess that's a "standard" answer, but it's true is it not? It's possible that no consequence may come of it, but you still took the chance.

Jacobie
July 4, 2009, 11:38 PM
In response to John (I can't figure out how to qoute from my phone) I am willing to take a dog bite before I fire my gun. When ad only when the dog was "attacking" someone would I then even think of firing my gun, to me a few stitches would not be a big deal to know that I was justified in firing off a gun in a subdivison. Especially on a holiday night when people are outdoors.

fixxervi6
July 4, 2009, 11:38 PM
Warning shots - super bad mojo

If you felt threatened enough to draw, you should have shot the dogs.

I have a dog situation in my nieghborhood, dog is extremely aggressive, its bitten people before. The owner lets it run free after the animal control place is closed and the cops won't do anything.

When the dog is out, I make the kids come it - too bad you can't choose your neighbors. I've certainly felt VERY threatened by this animal as it approaches me growling and showing its teeth. I usually will put my hand on my piece and have it ready just in case he ever actually jumps on me but I've found that keeping the kids indoors and taking an aggressive stance when it approaches me keeps me from getting jumped on - so far. I keep the kids loaded up with pepper spray just in case, they've been told not to hesitate spraying the dog in the face.

I'll only shoot it after I have teeth marks to show I was defending myself. I know I shouldn't have to do that, but this is a laywers world.

Jacobie
July 4, 2009, 11:42 PM
Great points Raftman. Did you call the police and alert the neighbors that "dogs that may be a threat" where out an about? Or are you so convinced that the dogs were intent on hurting someone that you just left the scene, only for them to attack the next group of people that walked by?

curt.45
July 4, 2009, 11:44 PM
3 shots? sounds like 1 would do.

how did the others in your party react to you shooting?

JohnKSa
July 4, 2009, 11:45 PM
Just deleted a post from this thread. The OP's request for critiques does not mean that it's ok to post insulting responses.I am willing to take a dog bite before I fire my gun.It's fine for you to make that decision when your flesh is all that's in jeopardy. Other people may justifiably place a slightly higher priority on keeping their hide intact.

I do agree that warning shots are normally a bad idea. On the other hand, having a dirt bank handy to function as a safe backstop makes the situation a bit abnormal...

txbirddog
July 5, 2009, 12:20 AM
So you can read dog's minds? How do you know they just were not in a hurry to lick someone or be petted?

Maybe I or the OP can't "read their minds", but I have been around dogs enough to "read" their body language.

Don't want your dogs to be in danger of being shot,,,,keep them under control,,,,at ALL TIMES!!

Composer_1777
July 5, 2009, 01:24 AM
When good dogs go bad there is one man who is their best friend


Cesar Millan!

obxned
July 5, 2009, 01:28 AM
I know 'dog', and I can surely tell bossy 'Get off my turf' from 'I want to kill you'. I am sure I am not the only one who can read the signs.

Warning shots are an absolute no-no, except if they solve a problem without bloodshed.

Both the dogs and the humans left the scene intact. That's a pretty good outcome.

Lost Sheep
July 5, 2009, 01:41 AM
Sorry for your troubles and thanks for asking our advice/critique. On a side note, you really don't deserve harsh words when you ask for help.

So, I have a couple of questions. Do you know these dogs? And do they know you? You stated that you know the owner.

When you fired the three rounds, at least you fired them into a known, good backstop, not into the air. I thought three might be excessive, but I don't know how many you would have left. In my pocket carry gun, I would have only had two left.

Killing or wounding a dog in front of the kids would possibly be traumatic for them, so your restraint is understandable and, I think commendable. There are (despite policy statements of various law enforcement and military agencies) two schools of thought on warning shots. A generation ago, they were well thought of. They are no longer popular. They may work better against canines than against people. You were there. So, you stated the dogs hesitated when you used your command voice, then broke off when you fired the warning shots. Do I have that right?

In your opinion, in hindsight, would your voice commands have sufficed? If so, the warning shots were unnecessary. Since the dogs did break off their stalk, actually killing one or both was, indeed, unnecessary. Your tactics worked.

Whether your tactics were optimal is open to question. Like I said, you were there, so your hindsight will be better than mine, but I think against two dogs that responded to your command voice would mean the shots into the ditch were overreacting and a shot into the dogs would definitely be unwarranted.

Getting between the kids and the dogs would have been my choice, while commanding the dogs to "Stay". If positioning myself thus would have put me in the position of charging the dogs, so much the better. Most dogs approached thus will hesitate and let others of their pack make flanking movements. But with only two, and against three adult people protecting two kids, should be a defensible postion without gunfire if you could get into that formation. The most important thing is, "Nobody runs away."

I don't know the laws in your area, but letting dogs run while you are away from home is not a good idea. And if a dog is wont to form a pack with others and go hunting, it is a really bad idea.

Good luck. Keep up the training and the introspection.

Post-incident review is a good thing.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

Lost Sheep.

A personal anecdote--- I had a friend who had a dog who HATED children. I don't know why. He may have been abused as a pup, but he went crazy around anyone under 4' tall. He was never allowed out without a leash or being within a secure, fenced yard and supervised. He was not fond of other dogs either, but did live amiably with cats, very small dogs and a bird. Go figure. He was normally an obedient, friendly and good dog. Anyhow, he did get out (squeezed through a gate you would not have believed was possible) and tried to attack a young dog being walked by two of our neighbors. He rushed around and around trying to get to the dog, but leaving the neighbors alone. But scared his owner in the extreme, who could not get through the gate for several seconds. He was put down that afternoon. (He was getting old and arthritic, too, but this was his lst chance at being dangerous.)

Wildalaska
July 5, 2009, 01:51 AM
What kind of dogs? (OP, see note in my post below. JohnKSa)

WildtryinghardtobenicehereAlaska TM

BikerRN
July 5, 2009, 02:07 AM
I'm glad you and your family are OK and Happy 4th to you all.

Personally I'm not a fan of "warning" shots for various reasons. One, it reduces my ammo capacity, and with a 5 shot J-Frame and three dogs that's cutting it too close for comfort for me. Second, I'm responsible for every round I fire, and any damage it may cause. That means I need to have a verified threat in front of me, or be at the Range to fire my gun. I also need a safe backstop. Third, dogs are really hard to kill with a handgun, and easy to miss. I much prefer a shotgun loaded with 00 Buck for most adversaries, bi-pedal or canine.

I faced off three stray pit bulls one night in an alley with only a J-Frame. No shots were fired, but I wasn't feeling too keen about only having five rounds. For dogs in crowded environs I've resorted to getting bit, unless I have the shotgun. My preferred technique is to "give" the dog my arm while I rip with my blade. This does two things, first it shows that the dog in question is in fact a threat and second it reduces danger to others if I miss with my handgun. Yes, my technique is traumatic to witness, and it hurts to get bit, but it does work, at least in my limited expirience.

Take care and stay safe.

Biker

JohnKSa
July 5, 2009, 02:14 AM
What kind of dogs?To the OP. Please respond with size & weight information but NOT the breed.

From past experience it is impossible to keep a dog thread civil once the topic of breed is introduced.

BillCA
July 5, 2009, 02:19 AM
5Whiskey -- What size of dog?

For me, it's the size and breed of the dogs that would determine my reaction. A pair of Yorkshire Terriers would be a nusiance. A pair of Irish Wolfhounds or even Airdales would be frightening.

As to warning shots... Human beings can recognize the significance of you presenting a firearm pointed in their direction. An animal usually does not. If verbal commands and attempts to make yourself look larger and more aggressive don't work and you want to dissuade the dog, a shot may do the trick just due to the loudness of the gun shot. I'd probably never use more than two shots for that purpose, however.

So you can read dog's minds? How do you know they just were not in a hurry to lick someone or be petted?

It's not a dog's mind that you can read, but its body language. I've owned Dobermans, worked with Rottweilers and other breeds. You can generally tell the difference in the way they hold their bodies or the noises they make when they are agressive vs. playful.¹

I...think you over reacted and if you were willing to fire your gun in a subdivision at "charging dogs" that had not [a]ttacked anyone yet I think you need not carry a gun.

I am willing to take a dog bite before I fire my gun. When a[n]d only when the dog was "attacking" someone would I then even think of firing my gun, to me a few stitches would not be a big deal to know that I was justified...

You've never been around large dogs much, have you? If you have, you'd know how arrogant that statement sounds.

I think it's also fair to say you have never seen the results of an attack by one (much less two) aggressive dogs of any consequential size. An attack by a dog between 50 - 90 pounds can be very serious. A labrador or even a Golden Retriever can do a lot of damage. Other dogs, like Rotts, Dobermans and Shepherds will grab hold, then shake, stripping muscle from the bone. I've seen the result from an untrained Shepherd defending his lady owner. Gruesome is an apt word for the results.²

So sure, you go ahead and let him take that first bite. :rolleyes: I won't. But I won't shoot if there is a chance I can use voice commands and what's called "command presence" to ward off the dog. A large animal like a Rottwieler, Shepherd, Labrador, Wolfhound, etc. at 20 feet that is being aggressive and threatening is too close for comfort. They can cross that span in less than one second.

Remember too, the Tueller drill says a man can cover 21 feet in 1.3-1.5 seconds.
I guarantee you that an animal like this....
http://i241.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/BillCA/Dogs/54DobermanPincher.jpg
can cover 21 feet in less than one second.

¹ The primary difference is watching their gait and how they place their front feet. A playful dog's front feet will splay out so he can change direction quickly. A dog coming to greet you will hold his head up and wag his tail, taking trotting steps. Rump down and ears back indicate an attack is imminent.
² The woman's 94 lb female German Shepherd was not protection trained. But when a stranger assaulted her in the garden, Heidi first removed a 4" piece of his left buttock, then grabbed his left arm and shook it. Her teeth stripped away most everything on his ulna bone from elbow to 3" above the wrist. She inflicted several other bites before he quit trying to fight and collapsed when he got to the sidewalk. (He also had priors for drugs and assaulting women).

Maser
July 5, 2009, 02:28 AM
Well, considering there was kids involved, it's understandable that you wanted extra precaution, but I have to say that warning shots just waste ammo. What if the dogs didn't back off and continued to engage you and your warning shots caused your gun to jam? Also too, it's the Fourth, is it possible that the dogs were just freaked out a bit from the fireworks and just running around? During a couple hours ago when we were setting off fireworks here, there was a dog running around and it was running up to random people and not doing anything. Just running around harmlessly.

Anyways, glad everything worked out in the end and there was no injuries either to you, your party, and the dogs.

Jim March
July 5, 2009, 02:37 AM
So you can read dog's minds? How do you know they just were not in a hurry to lick someone or be petted?

Some of us CAN read doggie body language quite well.

One big clue is the tongue. If it's flopping around loose, it's set up for maximum blood cooling and is NOT retracted out of the way prior to chomping. That's actually your best clue, unless it's VERY cold out - unlikely this time of year anywhere in US.

Second is that dogs will almost never come up to a stranger at a dead flat sprint. They'll "bound" towards you. It's still running but it's more obviously playful.

Remember, dogs have a form of body language they can read off of each other, loosely similar to most carnivores...which is why you have those famous pics and videos of polar bears playing with huskies up in Canada, or why my ferrets could make friends with dogs at the park who had never seen a ferret before despite a weight difference of around factor of 20 or more.

Some of us are very capable of reading carnivore body language.

As to the warning shots. If the backstop was decent, and it sounds pretty good (dirt at a steep inbound angle?), then I'm not going to second guess. Well...OK, three seems odd, one should have done it, two at the most. But he was there, I wasn't.

MadSammyboy
July 5, 2009, 07:04 AM
I'm with the people here who've written about body language. If you've spent time around dogs, you can possibly detect aggressive vs. playful/curious/whatever behavior.

I think the fact that there were kids in the OP's party probably has a good bit to do with his reaction. I don't think I'd pull a gun on a dog if I knew it was owned and not diseased or something (a wild dog running at me is going down for sure), but I can't say I wouldn't pull if there were kids at risk, even if the dogs WERE spoken for. Protecting kids comes before everything else.

Three shots does seem like one or two too many, but like others have written, only the OP was there. In any event, and with all due respect, I guarantee this was a far bigger ordeal for him than for anyone commenting, so I don't see why people should be snarky. If you disagree, fine, but why be condescending about it? The guy's already struggling with what happened.

Just a few thoughts from the peanut gallery.

Creature
July 5, 2009, 07:38 AM
Did you call 911 after you fired the three shots and report what happened?

Dragon55
July 5, 2009, 07:39 AM
2 dogs makes this situation much worse. They were only 1 short of a pack.

I agree with others in that 1 shot may have been enough. However, in your situation sounds like you did need to shoot at least once.

I find it odd that these dogs reacted this way with so many people in your 'pack'.

I think it was a territorial thing and doubt they would have ventured far off their territory but hey... I wasn't there.

My only tactical question is after you fired did you zero in on the closest dog in case you had to take it down? I mean after all, you had to pick one and you can't shoot both at once.

Creature
July 5, 2009, 07:44 AM
Did these dogs ever actually leave their owner's property?

#18indycolts
July 5, 2009, 08:32 AM
I would have pulled my gun only if absolutely necessary, and it didn't sound like this was. Maybe a little too quick to pull.

MLeake
July 5, 2009, 08:43 AM
Willing to take permanent tendon or ligament damage?

Willing to take upwards of 100 stitches?

Willing to lose muscle tissue?

Willing to lose use of the limb?

Methinks Jacobie hasn't read much on large dog breed attacks. Either that, or he's much braver than I am.

Note: Broke up a fight between a Great Pyrenee and a Pit bull yesterday at the park. I love dogs, and am not unduly afraid of large breeds. Violently aggressive large breeds inspire what I consider a reasonable and necessary amount of fear. In the market for a Vizsla at the moment, and have owned a shepherd/rott mix and a catahoula, and taken care of dogs ranging from labs to American bulldogs. I have a lot of experience at breaking up fights at my local dogpark, too.

However, the injuries I described above have all been suffered in recent history by victims of serious dog maulings. I didn't bother to list fatalities, but although they are rare, they happen, too.

So how much injury are you willing to suffer before a firearm comes into play, exactly?

On reading of minds, as several posters have already noted, it's all in the body language. Some breeds are more vocal than others, so growling isn't necessarily a valid cue, but it isn't hard to read body language if you know dogs in general. The OP indicated he has plenty of dog experience, so I'll assume he can read the cues.

In the OP's case, assuming he is familiar with dogs, and the dogs were threatening, and assuming he had a safe backstop for his warning shots, I have no problem with his actions. The local police may cite him for discharging a firearm within city limits (I know somebody who was hit with a misdemeanor charge in the Orlando area for dispatching a rattlesnake in his yard with an M-1 carbine many years ago), but then again they may not.

One thing is sure, the dogs didn't harm the OP or his group, and neither the dogs nor any third parties were actually harmed.

Creature
July 5, 2009, 08:47 AM
So how much injury are you willing to suffer before a firearm comes into play, exactly?

Enough to justify using deadly force. A dog "bite" is not quite the same as a "mauling" which implies multiple bites, severe lacerations ... and major, perhaps life threatening, damage.

MLeake
July 5, 2009, 08:53 AM
.... you should let the BG stab you at least once, to see if he really wants to hurt you, or if he's just trying to get your attention. Also, you'll have wounds to show the DA...

hogdogs
July 5, 2009, 09:00 AM
Creature, If my most adored and loved personal pet pit-mix so much as brushes a tooth on anyone not on my property I am fine with her being shot dead...
I am not one to put levels of force on levels of aggressive transgression. Levels are too relative.

In this case I wouldn't fire 3 "warning shots"... heck I likely wouldn't fire any but if I suffered a "nice attack" I may pop one off!
I wouldn't likely remember the pistol for dogs... Step in front of the leader and attack... Something about a human brain over the dog brain leaves me the winner. I love a good scrap with a viscous dog/s...
Brent

LeopardCurDog
July 5, 2009, 09:02 AM
I think you did just fine. BillCA echoes my thoughts, so I won't go into any of that.

My only critique would be fumbling with the safety. All my carry guns have no safety to deal with. They are revolvers, Glocks, or a P89 DC. I'm not saying you need these types of guns, but I'm saying I need mine to all be the same. No safety, or all have the same type of safety.

Creature
July 5, 2009, 09:08 AM
.... you should let the BG stab you at least once, to see if he really wants to hurt you, or if he's just trying to get your attention. Also, you'll have wounds to show the DA...

A dog is not asking for "your money or your life.". Its a dog. Acting like a dog.

In this case, it was a couple of dogs that were marking their territory. I also doubt that these dogs even intended on directly attacking. I would bet that they were intent on merely barking and making a lot of noise...especially since the "offending pack" out numbered them. Besides that, a dog is also is unlikely to cause a lethal mortal wound with a single strike like your knife example.

MLeake
July 5, 2009, 09:15 AM
The odds of serious injury from a single bite are significantly lower than the odds of serious injury from a single stab wound.

On the other hand, the odds of there being only one bite aren't all that good in the case of a charge attack. When those aren't bluffs, they will often as not lead to an attack in earnest.

A single bite is more likely to occur defensively, when you encroach on the dog, or do something that hurts the dog (had experience with this as a kid, with my grandparents' arthritic hound - he wasn't mean at all, but small kids don't know their own strength, and it's easy to cause pain on an arthritic body). The dog will snap in warning, the bite may or may not be that damaging, and the dog will typically retreat.

A dog charge for bluff, to mark territory, doesn't normally leave the territory.

A dog charge, snarling and serious, is often precursor to a mauling, and not a single bite. Having experience with dogs, if I read the indicators that a mauling is in the works, if I have a firearm, it will be used.

MLeake
July 5, 2009, 09:18 AM
there was a news article yesterday or the day before about a small child being attacked by a pair of dogs, while the child was with others.

Just because your pack is larger, does not mean an aggressive dog will not attack.

Again, I love dogs, and particularly large breed dogs. I am very pro-dog. But that also means I respect what a dog is capable of doing. Downplay the threat at your own risk.

Creature
July 5, 2009, 10:04 AM
Just because your pack is larger, does not mean an aggressive dog will not attack.

In this case, the two dogs never actually attacked. Whether that was because of the OP shouting at them and his subsequent warning shots fired, we will never know. But one indicator to me that the dogs had no intention of physically attacking was when the OP pointed out that the dogs stopped when he shouted at them. They barked and made it clear that the pedestrians were close to their territory. A pack of dogs will hesitate to attack another pack that is larger in number and physical size.

The OP has yet to say what the property owner said, if anything, about the incident. Are these dogs socially adjusted to their pack and simply "marking" their territory? Or are the dogs known by the owner to be vicious and unpredictable? Doubtful since the owner feels comfortable enough to allow these dogs to be unleashed on an unfenced yard.

MLeake
July 5, 2009, 10:14 AM
... about owners being sensible enough not to allow vicious dogs to run loose. Where I grew up, most dogs ran loose. Probably wasn't legal, but it was the norm. Semi-rural Maine was pretty dog friendly, at the local level.

However, I can tell you from firsthand experience that there are a lot of idiot dog owners out there. I've run into them in parks, on trails, on streets. They either don't know how to control their dog, or don't care how their dog acts. Some of the worst ones seem to think that an aggressive dog reflects cool points on the owner. Interestingly, most of this last group seem to be in their late teens to early 30's, and favor wife-beater tanks, sleeve style tattoos, and Fast and Furious style cars, at least at the parks I used to frequent in Florida.

In the OP's case, you probably have a point. The "pause" may have indicated the end of a bluff charge. For that matter, the property may have an invisible fence. (Not all dogs running loose are actually running loose, at least not if they don't like electric shocks...)

The warning shots in this case may have been overkill. Then again, given that the OP was trying to ensure the safety of a group that included kids and a grandmother, I won't fault him for erring on the pro-active side, since he seems to have ensured a safe backstop for his warning shots.

Creature
July 5, 2009, 10:27 AM
Dont get me wrong. I wasnt there. I didnt have to make that call. The OP felt in danger and thats no small matter.

But often times, animal and human interaction that is hostile is often based on misunderstanding on both parts.

MLeake
July 5, 2009, 10:34 AM
That would be me.

Always has been. Dogs just like me. I guess they can tell I like them. I'm that guy who can pat the dog that never lets strangers near it.

I've also had to take positive control of boxers, rotts, pits, shepherds, dobies, and even a mastiff when dogfights have gone past the dominance stage at the park, primarily because a lot of large dog owners don't seem to have a clue what to do in those instances.

In one case, had to break up a tiff between two boxers that was taking place between the legs of an older man, who was scared half to death. One of the boxers was his dog...

Somehow, I've managed to avoid getting bitten, though I've had a few scratches.

Just saying, I have a lot of experience at observing dog behavior, and dog-human interaction. I have to assume I'm not the only one, so I'll give people some benefit of the doubt when they feel threatened by dogs.

But the more I think about this case, the more I wonder:

How close was the OP's group to the dogs' yard? Did the group move away from the yard at all, giving it a wider berth, when they became aware of the dogs? Did anybody in the group have any past experience with the dogs?

As always, there's info that we don't have, that could make a lot of difference.

But in fairness, when the adrenaline is up (and especially if guarding kids), it may be hard to take note of a lot of pertinent factors.

Captain38
July 5, 2009, 10:37 AM
I recall jogging unarmed at night along the ocean at Daytona Beach years ago and having TWO dobermans race at me in what I read as "attack mode" only to have them called off as they got dangerously close to me by their apparent owner who was smoking back among the vegetation approximately 75 yards away.

But I digress! I just wanted to point out that in a recent report I reviewed of shots fired by the NYPD during a recent year that JUST UNDER HALF of all shots fired were a combination of accidental discharges PLUS shots fired AT DOGS!

Superhouse 15
July 5, 2009, 10:41 AM
Ability: Yep.
Opportunity: Yep.
Jeopardy: Yep.

My only concern is the 3 shots. Might deplete too much of my ammo in a pocket gun, but it worked for you.

Deet
July 5, 2009, 11:17 AM
Glad it worked out okay. I'm not upset with how the dogs acted or how you reacted. It worked out without anyone getting hurt. I believe you should confront the owner and insist he keep his dogs restrained. Most cities have laws that demand a dog owner to keep his dog under control at all times. Most owners don't realize their 50 pound playful puppy that is good with kids, well behaved, and non-threatening doesn't quite look the same to a person being charged.

verti89
July 5, 2009, 11:19 AM
I'll start by saying I have grown up with pretty big labs and lab mixes, I love dogs, and the only 2 dogs I was ever really nervous around was a very big very playful boxer who didn't seem to have that natural restraint/boundary when playing, and my grandmothers ****zu who hated me and constantly was nipping my ankles.

Across the street from me is what i would call a 40lb mutt. Very playful, and gets out quite a bit. Has definitely given me a start when I hear her running up behind me but as soon as I turn and see it is her I am not worried. But down the street my wife and I were walking one night and there was a similar sized dog, another mutt i think, that was coming at my wife and i and our 2 dogs VERY aggressively. We hadn't had any issues with dogs before so I hadn't bothered bringing a whoopin stick, so I got my wife behind me with our little 15lb killer terrier (yes she really is way more dangerous than my big dog on a normal basis), made sure i had a good handle on my bigger 60lb lab shephard mix and tried to scare the dog off. I was loud aggressive and swinging a newspaper I had found, not really at the dog but just around trying to be 'bigger'. My big dog was very defensive and we kept slowly backing away staying between the bad dog and my wife. A stranger actually stopped and got out of her car to help me try and outnumber and scare the dog off but the dog wasnt backing down and was snapping so my wife and i started quickly walking away while the stranger kept the dogs attention. When we were far away the lady got back in her car. From that point on I carried an aluminum broom handle, which while it wont stop a dog, im pretty sure it could be painful enough to dissuade, but as soon as I finally get my CHL in the mail I will be carrying.

2 different dogs 2 very different situations. You HAVE to be able to read the body language and decide. Assuming this guy was not close to these dogs' yard he had no reason to assume they were bluffing and totally did the right thing IMO. I would agree that the safety issue needs to probably be worked on, but on the warning shots, what difference does the number taken really matter?? I mean if capacity was an issue that is really the only problem I see with it. The ditch was a legitimately safe backstop so I guess I don't have a problem firing 3 shots. As far as waiting untilt he dog bites?? Please give me a break. I might wait until the dog got very close because I would first be more confident they aren't bluffing and second closer they are the bigger the target.

5whiskey
July 5, 2009, 11:35 AM
To the OP. Please respond with size & weight information but NOT the breed.

The dogs weighed in between 50 and 60 pounds per with the height of a medium sized labrador. I should've included that information, sorry.

Well, considering there was kids involved, it's understandable that you wanted extra precaution, but I have to say that warning shots just waste ammo. What if the dogs didn't back off and continued to engage you and your warning shots caused your gun to jam? Also too, it's the Fourth, is it possible that the dogs were just freaked out a bit from the fireworks and just running around?

While it could happen, it worked in this case. Yelled, dogs hesitated. Fired, dogs fled. Plus I didn't have to explain to a neighbor why I killed his dog, and there will be no court case, etc. The outcome worked, so I'll take my chances with the 1 in a million "gun decides to jam for the 3rd time in it's life after over 1200 rounds during the warning shots".

Did these dogs ever actually leave their owner's property?

They absolutely did leave the owners property. The closest one was in the street when I fired.

I think the fact that there were kids in the OP's party probably has a good bit to do with his reaction. I don't think I'd pull a gun on a dog if I knew it was owned and not diseased or something (a wild dog running at me is going down for sure), but I can't say I wouldn't pull if there were kids at risk, even if the dogs WERE spoken for. Protecting kids comes before everything else.

This is absolute truth, although I'm not going to get mauled myself over not wanting to hurt neighbors fluffy either. Had it not been for the children, and the fact that they were split up and I couldn't protect both of them at once, then I wouldn't have been so quick to draw/fire.

My only concern is the 3 shots. Might deplete too much of my ammo in a pocket gun, but it worked for you.

I agree. 3 warning shots was probably 2 too many. Every time I have trained for carry/SD it has been to put 3 shots center mass and re-eval. Kind of a "pulling it once mean it's worth pulling 3 times". No I didn't have to fire 3 shots, and I think that warrants a little wrist slapping. I still had plenty of feed left, though. Pistol held 14 rounds. I fired three rounds because that was how I've trained to do it. 1 wou'dve worked and saved ammo but my response was semi automatic.

5whiskey
July 5, 2009, 11:46 AM
Creature, you're doing a whole lot of assuming.

The OP has yet to say what the property owner said, if anything, about the incident. Are these dogs socially adjusted to their pack and simply "marking" their territory? Or are the dogs known by the owner to be vicious and unpredictable? Doubtful since the owner feels comfortable enough to allow these dogs to be unleashed on an unfenced yard.

The neighbor was out of town. The neighbor is also new. I've never seen his dogs before. I think it may would be safe to assume that the dogs were not running lose on purpose, they probably found a way to break out of their containment. I never said they "stopped in their tracks" when I yelled either. I said they hesitated... that being and meaning one began to slow advance and the other started headed for another person that was with me... which was about 25' behind me. I am not going to let a kid get scratched, much less mauled, by someones fluffy for fear of responding.

Creature
July 5, 2009, 11:52 AM
They absolutely did leave the owners property. The closest one was in the street when I fired.

Okay, then I must have missed something. How close did that one dog get to the closest person in your group? Why fire the three shots if it appeared that your yelling stopped their advance?

Wildalaska
July 5, 2009, 11:54 AM
You didnt call 911 and report this? Why not?

Your failure to do so raises my left eyebrow

WildthatsabdasignAlaska TM

Ricky B
July 5, 2009, 11:57 AM
2 dogs makes this situation much worse. They were only 1 short of a pack.

I agree entirely that two dogs makes this situation much worse. Having more than one dog brings out the pack mentality of dogs, and dogs, by instinct, will do things in packs that single dogs would not do.

Regardless of the actual definition of "pack" (if there is one), as far as I am concerned, two dogs make a pack since pack behavior can be brought out with just one other dog. Locally, there have been some very well-publicized human deaths resulting from two-dog attacks.

The ditch was a legitimately safe backstop so I guess I don't have a problem firing 3 shots.

It was probably as safe as the OP was going to find, but three shots means three times the chance for a freak accident. What if there had been a stone or a piece of steel covered with a fine layer of dirt in the ditch that was hit by a round? A ricochet does not leave the surface at the same angle as it hits it. Thus, it might hit a stone at 45° and leave at 10°. Hard to calculate angles, collateral damage, etc., while facing down dogs. Just another thought for the after-action review.

Hardtarget
July 5, 2009, 11:59 AM
My neighbor's pit bull charged me this week (Tues) as I walked past the house. When a dog comes hard charging off the porch, hair standing up, stiff legged, teeth bared...I figure I'm going to be bitten.

I'd been cutting grass so i did not have mt pistol on me...only a pocket knife. A loud stop command worked. Then a command to "get back" as I advanced did the trick but he was still growling and barking...from in the yard (he did advance to mid street).

Dogs are hard to deal with. This family is new to the neighborhood. I spoke with the owner half hour later to suggest putting the dog in the fenced back yard. We'll see.

Glad you didn't get chewed up! Dog bites are ugly and HURT!

Mark

Throne Raider
July 5, 2009, 12:21 PM
Legitimate critques on here are great. Monday morning QBing is a bit questionable. 5Whiskey had split second to act, which if you've been a shooting situation then you know that is about all you get.

Love dogs, have a GS and two Rots (one still in training). If they decide they want you, you belong to them. It is instructive to watch a rot whip a small animal side to side, breaking it's back and neck.

If you've never experienced a dog bite, you don't know what you're missing. Years ago, Sergeant said, "Throne (well he actually used my real name) we have a burglar in that house. Sheriff is bringing his dog. You kick the door to let the dog and handler in."

I said, "Sure" (stupidly proud that I had a reputation as excellent door kicker which I learned in the Oakland academy)

Deputy and dog showed up, I kicked door and stood the heck out of the way, facing the outside wall, not moving. Saw dog out of corner of eye enter house then immediately back out and lung at me. Pain like you never felt, my gun arm went numb (or I swear I'd have shot him before the handler got him off) Was a full two weeks before I got the feeling back in my arm enough to draw my pistol and get off front desk light duty!

Moral of story: If I see dogs running at me and think they are going to do me again, or a child, no warning shots. I won't fault 5whiskey for what he did. Just be glad it was 4th of July and all the sounds blended in! (Best time to commit a 187 lol)

Creature
July 5, 2009, 12:26 PM
Just be glad it was 4th of July and all the sounds blended in! (Best time to commit a 187 lol)

By that you are inferring the 4th of July is the best time for committing murder...because of the background firecrackers?

hogdogs
July 5, 2009, 12:28 PM
As the owner of some pretty "high prey drive" bulldogs, I have seen some brutal "yard fights" over many trivial issues. One thing I learned is the pack mentality is ruthless. The head honcho dog and a "lesser" dog can get into a fight and as soon as possible, which ever dog is on the losing end is at risk of death if others jump in the fight.

I do not own human or dog aggressive dogs but the prey drive is too much for me to allow little kids in the "dog yard" without super tight supervision... These dogs home in on a squealing playful toddler as if it were a pig or other target critter and it could get me on TV and right into prison. Responsible dog handling is required with all dogs but too many folks overlook the prey drive, pack attack mentality other other hereditary and genetic instincts. While my dogs are trained, they are from working lines of high drive breeds. You can never train out or water down a genetically created trait.
Brent

B. Lahey
July 5, 2009, 12:38 PM
I love a good scrap with a viscous dog

Hogdogs, I think you missed your calling. You should look into the wild world of Animal Control.:D

I liked the rodeo events with vicious animals too, it was the best part of the job.

Creature
July 5, 2009, 12:41 PM
Okay...putting all that aside for a moment, why hasnt the OP answered a direct question that has been asked twice already?

OP: if you felt so threatened and you were so in fear of serious bodily injury occurring to yourself or someone in your group that you felt compelled to fire three shots, why didn't you call 911 immediately after the incident?

Wildalaska
July 5, 2009, 12:44 PM
It is instructive to watch a rot whip a small animal side to side, breaking it's back and neck.

really? What kind of small animals you reffering to...the neighbors cat?:cool:

Wildandthe911questionAlaska TM

hogdogs
July 5, 2009, 12:46 PM
B..., Naw they would frown on the 9 shot .22wrm revolver I use as the feral cat trap device!:D
I actually started out my hog trappin then doggin as a freelance state permitted wildlife trapper. Would like to be a "dog cop" but I would bring home too many and save taxpayers a ton of money ridding the world of others...
I have more strict animal judgement lists than the authorities (call me cull happy) and far more stringent expectations of animal owners too....
Brent

5whiskey
July 5, 2009, 12:49 PM
I absolutely called 911 and reported it. Of course I did so after the fireworks were over... I would change that part of the story. What happened of that, you may ask? The sheriff called me on the phone, asked what happened, and said he would leave a note on that neighbors door.

hogdogs
July 5, 2009, 12:52 PM
OP: if you felt so threatened and you were so in fear of serious bodily injury occurring to yourself or someone in your group that you felt compelled to fire three shots, why didn't you call 911 immediately after the incident?
Not speaking for the OP, but for me... when dogs charge me, this isn't the best time to initiate a phone conversation... Once it is over, the emergency is over so it is not legal to dial 911 which is limited to emergency. If it isn't an emergency than I got better things to do besides buggin' the cops to discuss a dog complaint. My list of better things to do includes sittin here pickin' belly button lint. I also prefer to discuss with my neighbor the situation so as not to cost them $250 in fines. I also don't need the strife of a ticked off guy. I rather handle it face to face so he is well aware I ain't just blowin' smoke and am really serious about him controllin' the dogs so I don't have to do it myself!
Brent

Creature
July 5, 2009, 01:02 PM
Interesting. A report of two vicious dogs on the loose ...vicious dogs that just charged and nearly attacked a group that contained children, with shots fired even.....and no immediate / in-person response from the police. Sounds like your sheriff and his deputies are mightily overworked.

B. Lahey
July 5, 2009, 01:04 PM
It was the 4th of July, of course they were overworked.

Bet that wasn't even close to the most dangerous call of the day involving shots fired.

Creature
July 5, 2009, 01:07 PM
Rounding up all the delinquents shooting off illegal fireworks I presume? Give us a break.

B. Lahey
July 5, 2009, 01:11 PM
I guess the monacle-wearing tuxedoed citizens of Virginny never fire guns dangerously on the 4th?

Why don't you give me a break.:rolleyes:

I bet there was some serious firearms law-breaking going on in 5whiskeys neighborhood just like evey other neighborhood in the US yesterday.

When Cooter lights off his hunting rifle into the next house over, drunk on radiator fluid, that gets a bigger response from the cops than some dogs that didn't bite anyone.

5whiskey
July 5, 2009, 01:11 PM
Not speaking for the OP, but for me... when dogs charge me, this isn't the best time to initiate a phone conversation... Once it is over, the emergency is over so it is not legal to dial 911 which is limited to emergency. If it isn't an emergency than I got better things to do besides buggin' the cops to discuss a dog complaint. My list of better things to do includes sittin here pickin' belly button lint. I also prefer to discuss with my neighbor the situation so as not to cost them $250 in fines. I also don't need the strife of a ticked off guy. I rather handle it face to face so he is well aware I ain't just blowin' smoke and am really serious about him controllin' the dogs so I don't have to do it myself!

I happen to agree with that Brent, but I did notify LEO (though not through 911) about the incident because I was concerned that the dogs were still running loose. Not becuase I shot my firearm and was about to shoot a dog. You can hate me, flame me, talk smack to me... around here shooting a dog is not an earth shattering event. I've shot several. I've put my own dog down because I thought he was too agressive. I've put 2 of my dogs down because they were injured. I've killed a neighbors dog that got into daddy's chickens when I was 12. The thought of calling the law never even occured to me then, or anyone else for that matter. Daddy took the neighbors dog back to him, along with the 2 chickens he killed, and buried it for him. I guess people were more civil back then... the neighbor helped Daddy bury the dog and they still went fishing together.

Things have changed a bit since I grew up. I understand that. Plus, I didn't like the idea of aggresively dogs running loose in a residential neighborhood. I called the SD using the administrative number. Everything is kosher on that end.





BTW, I don't mind legit questions. Such as the 911, why shoot 3 warning shots. I've addressed those. For everyone on their moral high ground high horse of "OMG he shot his pistol, he's guilty and trigger happy and ready to kill something"... stay out of my thread or I'll lock it myself.

Creature
July 5, 2009, 01:13 PM
Keep stretching B...maybe someone will actually take your comments defending that sheriff's department seriously.

hogdogs
July 5, 2009, 01:14 PM
Rounding up all the delinquents shooting off illegal fireworks I presume? Give us a break.
Traffic control likely trumps a loose dog complaint on fireworks day!
Brent

OuTcAsT
July 5, 2009, 01:15 PM
5whiskey,

Sounds like you did fine given the circumstances. Glad everyone (including the dogs) is OK.

As for firing at a dog inside a suburban area, I will share a story that I posted here a couple of years back;

A few years back, I Lived in an urban area, fairly nice neighborhood, was supervising my kids, and some other neighborhood kids, playing in my yard.
I hear a child screaming across the street and see him being attacked by a dog, the dog was tossin' him like a chew toy. I ran across the street and finally, after much kicking and punching, managed to get the dog to release the childs thigh, the dog then lunged at me, I drew my 1911 and fired 1 round into the dogs head point blank, and dispatched him. I re-holstered my weapon, and began to asess the childs wounds as my wife called 911.
Apparently someone else had as well, seconds later no less than a half dozen patrol cars pulled up, I was not really paying attention as I was busy rendering first aid to the victim. Next thing I know, I have several officers drawn down on me and ordering me to the ground felony-stop style. I get a knee in my back and on my neck, cuffed, dis-armed, and after being thrown onto the hood of a black and white,and searched again, locked in the back of said black-and white.
After the situation was explained to the officers by witnesses, and by me, the officers explained quite clearly that the initial call they got was for "shots fired" they roll up and see me covered in blood and armed, and a victim on the ground. their first impression was to neutralize the obvious threat...ME. They were so happy that I had helped them out that they left me a citation for unlawful discharge of a weapon.

Note: I am NOT judging the police response here, I understand it fully, and , other than some un-necessary language, have no problem with it, (well, other than that citation) :) The boy had to have several surgeries, but he came through fine. The dog owner got really pi$$ed at me, but soon forgot about it when the lawsuits started piling up.

5whiskey
July 5, 2009, 01:15 PM
okay, then i must have missed something. How close did that one dog get to the closest person in your group? why fire the three shots if it appeared that your yelling stopped their advance?

because i'm not comfortable with two large, aggressive seeming dogs being within 25' of me and small children

I don't mind questions like "are you sure the backstop was adequate?". I don't mind comments such as "yeah, you need to keep the group closer together for events such as this" or "you need to overcome that safety fumble with more training". Or even "you could've just fired one warning shot". If there is any other way my tactics were deficient then tell me please. To question the decision made on grounds of morals does not comprise the response I was looking for. I acted as responsible as can be reasonably possible at the moment, balancing the need to be safe with the use of a firearm with the need to protect small children, without shedding any blood in the end. In other words don't give me some garbage such as...

Before I use a firearm in SD against a dog, I will have teeth marks in me already so as to easily defend in court.

#1 I'm not letting teeth marks get into small children when I'm there if there's any way I can prevent it.
#2 This is the polar opposite of the attitude "yeah doggies, I'm gonna shoot that boy for trespassing. Yee-haw". There's extremes on both ends of the spectrum.
#3 I'm not you ;)

Creature
July 5, 2009, 01:15 PM
Once it is over, the emergency is over so it is not legal to dial 911 which is limited to emergency.

Right. By that logic it would be illegal for a woman who has been raped to dial 911 after the rapist has left the scene, right?

Buzzcook
July 5, 2009, 01:16 PM
I would suggest going back to the house in question and telling the owner that their dogs "Threatened" your group. They might then take whatever actions are necessary to keep the dogs under control in the future.
It is a good idea to notify the police or animal control in case the owner doesn't take care of the situation.

As for how you handled the situation, it worked and no harm was done.
I take your description of the attitude of the dogs at face value because I wasn't there.

B. Lahey
July 5, 2009, 01:16 PM
THE DOGS DIDN'T BITE ANYONE. NOBODY WAS HURT.

What do you expect, the friggin' SWAT team to show up?

Creature
July 5, 2009, 01:17 PM
because i'm not comfortable with two large, aggressive seeming dogs being within 25' of me and small children

But you were comfortable enough not to dial 911 immediately to report two apparently very dangerous dogs on the loose that you fired three shots at? That is amazing to me.

Creature
July 5, 2009, 01:18 PM
THE DOGS DIDN'T BITE ANYONE. NOBODY WAS HURT.

What do you expect, the friggin' SWAT team to show up?

Dont be silly. I would expect the sheriff or one of his deputies to show up. Not at all unreasonable, wouldn't you say?

B. Lahey
July 5, 2009, 01:18 PM
They did show up, so what are you freaking out about?

Creature
July 5, 2009, 01:19 PM
Traffic control likely trumps a loose dog complaint on fireworks day!

Since when has traffic control trumped shots fired in any municipality?

Creature
July 5, 2009, 01:20 PM
They did show up, so what are you freaking out about?
The sheriff called the complainant to say they would leave a note with the dog owner. Come on now.

B. Lahey
July 5, 2009, 01:25 PM
Showing up eventually to notify the neighbor is good enough for me. Doesn't sound like rushing out there sirens blazing would have done a damn bit of good. They had bigger things to worry about at that moment if the 4th in that town is anything like the 4th in mine.

Creature
July 5, 2009, 01:28 PM
So you dont think vicious and attacking dogs on the loose in a neighborhood where children obviously reside warrants your or the sheriff's attention? You dont consider citizens shooting their guns off in the street in order to defend themselves from serious bodily harm is enough to tear you away from traffic duty? I find that even more interesting.

hogdogs
July 5, 2009, 01:29 PM
Quote:
Once it is over, the emergency is over so it is not legal to dial 911 which is limited to emergency.
Right. By that logic it would be illegal for a woman who has been raped to dial 911 after the rapist has left the scene, right?
Ummm not an acceptable comparison!
Since this situation did not involve physical contact I guess you should have asked...
"So if a guy says something lewd to a pretty girl insinuating sexual contact..." At which I would say it likely isn't worthy of a 911 call afterwards... should he approach her further after the remark he needs 2 CoM!!!!
Brent

Creature
July 5, 2009, 01:31 PM
Ummm not an acceptable comparison!

So shots fired is not enough to justify a call to 911? Calling in a pair of vicious attack dogs on the loose would result in an arrest of the caller. Seriously ... that's just amazing.

B. Lahey
July 5, 2009, 01:32 PM
That's not the real question.

Traffic duty? Yes. But would a no-injuries call of some dogs scared off with gunshots into a ditch tear me away from my assault with a deadly weapon call? No. Drunk Cooter shooting up his neighbor's house? No. Murder investigation? No.

You seem to deny that crimes more serious than justifiable dog-scaring happen on the 4th. You must live in a concrete cube 40' underground.

hogdogs
July 5, 2009, 01:35 PM
Did the OP claim a shots fired report? Or did he report a dogs on the loose complaint?
Me? I wouldn't even bother reporting "shots fired" if I was the one who safely discharged the lead into a ditch bank!
Shots fired complaint is reserved for those times when pistol slugs whizz by my head in my yard 'cuz some yay-hoo didn't bother with them safe gun handling rules and refused to step out of the woods when I walked over to tell him if he shot my truck it would result in sever pain for his 2000 body parts...
Brent

Creature
July 5, 2009, 01:35 PM
No...I live in the urban sprawl that is Hampton Roads, VA.

And I am 100% sure that my 911 call to report my shooting off three warning shots on a public street to fend of two vicious attack dogs would have resulted in the response by the local police with at least two cruisers. And I would not have been arrested for making my apparently "illegal" call to 911...

OuTcAsT
July 5, 2009, 01:35 PM
Since when has traffic control trumped shots fired in any municipality?

Apparently there was no such call by anyone or, it would likely have drawn a response similar to the one that happened to me in my earlier posting.

Also, since no person, or animal was injured, and no property damaged, why call 911 ? The only thing that would accomplish is 5whiskey possibly having to waive his 5th amendment right by admitting to firing his weapon at a pile of dirt. Unless the dirt files a complaint, I don't see the emergency.

Fact remains, he did call, and the Sheriff handled it as he saw fit. Having a "nit" shortage today ?

5whiskey
July 5, 2009, 01:44 PM
Yeah creature, I honestly think this has something to do with the fact that you live in an entirely different location. I understand what you're saying and asking, but around here the simple fact is Deputies have enough to do covering this VERY large county without worrying about animal controls problems. Not to mention most of the deputies grew up here, and shooting a dog is not on their list of priorities. I live in a rural county, surrounded by a bunch of farm land. I do happen to live closer to a town, but that doesn't negate the fact that someone shooting at a dog isn't an alarming call to them. It also helps that I personally knew the deputy on duty ;)

5whiskey
July 5, 2009, 01:50 PM
Now, can we get past criticizing the Sherrif department in my county?

Also, for everyone that freaked out about me firing... I am open to legitimate alternatives to defending a group of 6 people that are spread out from 2 vicious seeming dogs when no one is capable of SD but myself without using a firearm. I could've waited a little longer, but I was not comfortable with those dogs remaining that close to me and friends/children given their actions .5 seconds earlier. How else could I have solved the situation? Run away? I think anyone who knows dogs would advise strongly against that. Keep yelling at the dogs... that may would've done the trick but the fact of the matter is if one dog would've pushed the attack I'm not sure I would be able to dispatch it before it got to a kid. In that case, I would have to go hand to hand with one dog while the other dog runs free. It was really a kinda messed up situation, but I'm open to suggestions all you high horsemen ;)

KCabbage
July 5, 2009, 02:02 PM
You did what you thought was best. It did seem like your verbal commands sufficed, but I wasn't there so I really don't know.

I haven't read through the last 2 or 3 pages so I don't know. Did you ever report this vicious dogs? I think it would be a good idea.

Don't get too caught up in the criticism, refer to my first sentence ;)

sakeneko
July 5, 2009, 02:09 PM
If I were to sum up most of the (sensible) stuff I've read in this thread, it would be:

1) You and those with you got out safely, and you didn't have to shoot the dogs, so all is well.

2) A warning shot might have been a good idea in this case, although it usually isn't. Three was probably too many.

3) Might have been a good idea to tell us, up front, that as soon as you got home safely with the family, you called the police and told them what had happened. :o)

There might have been better ways, in retrospect, to have handled this, but based on the outcome I'd say you did okay. Take some notes from what the more experienced (and sane) people here are saying, and if (God forbid) you face a similar situation in the future, you can probably respond even better. Even then, though, the best possible outcome you could hope for in a situation like this is to get home with your family, nobody was hurt, and you didn't have to shoot the dogs to make it so. :-)

zippy13
July 5, 2009, 04:34 PM
Fifty years later, I still have the dog bite scars on the back of my leg from being blind sided while walking home from school as a teen. Lassie ruined that day for me. I've been dog cautious ever since.

Several years ago, we had problems with a pack running wild in our rural neighborhood. Every morning a group of 4 to 6 would cruise the area looking for crimes of opportunity.

Animal Control set out traps, and the one in our yard caught one. But, the dog was able to squirm free as the officer tried to put into her truck. A few days later, we were literally trapped in our house. They chased my wife into the house. And, when we cracked open a door, the pack was right there barking and growling with their teeth exposed and thrusting at us. The situation had become intolerable, we shouldn't have to call Animal Control every morning just to be safe on our own property. I was going to put down the leader with a head shot, but being an old softy, I went for his rump with a single shot. He dashed away yelping with his blood thirsty brethren close behind.

Brent's right about the pack mentality: As I was making my report to the humane officer, she commented that she'd talked with the vet who'd been tending to the rump wounded dog. He'd asked, "Who could shoot such a sweet and loving dog?" It was a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde situation. No questions were asked about the shooting being justified.

TailGator
July 5, 2009, 04:35 PM
Re the ability to judge a dog's intentions by its body language: veterinarians and their staff do it all the time. I teach the basics to my staff very early in their training and the skill is constantly refined. No reason at all that people who around dogs a lot, including, apparently, OP, cannot skillfully read the dogs' attitude.

Can dogs injure and incapacitate quickly, with one bite? You betcha! A very skilled member of my staff had to have very expensive hand surgery and extensive physical therapy after a single bite that happened so fast we were all stunned. The idea of waiting to be bitten before defending oneself or others from a dog bite, in the professional opinion of this 27-year veteran of veterinary practice, is nothing better than asinine.

We should also consider that if the dog is close enough to bite, the OP's firearm is going to be pointed at rather severe angles, always moving with the target, and the "what is behind the target" concerns, for both misses and over-penetration, become very difficult or impossible to deal with. And most dogs are smaller bodies than humans, so even placing a muzzle against the body wall risks having a projectile exit with significant enough velocity to injure or kill.

It is hard to criticize the OP response to the situation, IMO. He used the gun as a noisemaker rather than an instrument of injury or death, but it was effective. I have little doubt that his own body language played a significant role in redirecting the attacking dogs, but together with the noise from the gun it worked, and I am in favor of what works. Like some of the other posts, I have been under dog attack (outside of the office) in a pack situation, and it is a very fast-developing and highly dynamic situation, very frightening. Dogs are quite intelligent animals and out-thinking 2 or 3 at a time can be very difficult. I would say congratulations to OP are in order for getting himself and his group of vulnerable people, especially the kids, out of a very sticky situation with no injuries to human or dog.

Mike Irwin
July 5, 2009, 05:24 PM
"So you can read dog's minds? How do you know they just were not in a hurry to lick someone or be petted?"

One doesn't need to know how to read a dog's mind.

One does, however, need to know how to read a dog's BODY.

With a dog, body language is everything as an indicator as to whether it's coming in for an attack or or a belly rub.

Most humans can, instinctively, make that determination pretty quickly. It's one of those things that evolution bred into us, and which still hasn't been bred out.

johnwilliamson062
July 5, 2009, 05:36 PM
I deal with the financial consequences of dog bites relatively frequently. A Liability claim from a bite on the arm can easily run $100,000 by the time plastic surgery is done and if any vascular or muscular damage is done(why everyone with a dog should have higher liability insurance). Of course it is much cheaper. Dog bites to the face are much more expensive if someone doesn't care about the scars. From the bites I have seen from aggressive dogs the long term scarring is much worse than modern burn scars.

A dog bite from an aggressive dog is no small thing. It is a lot different then when you step on a dogs tail or wake up in the morning and trip over a dog sleeping where they normally do not and they bite you reflexively or to make sure you realize they are there. Even a retriever can do a lot of damage if they are intent on causing damage, let alone some of the larger more aggressive dogs brought up by previous posters.

If they had not responded to the verbal commands I would recommend shooting them. Waiting it out or warning shots is your call, but I would not have lowered my ammo capacity when expecting to shoot 3 running dogs. Even if carrying my G26, which at 11+1 and another mag with 12 is my highest capacity, I would have wanted all the rounds I had available. In the heat of the moment I probably would not have thought about legal concerns too much. This 'only draw if you intend to shoot' line is great classroom legal garbage. If I can draw and defuse the situation without firing I will, that option just isn't always open.

I know all the dogs in my neighborhood were going crazy b/c of the fireworks last night, couldn't fault them any for being off a bit, but I would still shoot if I felt threatened by one.

Mike Irwin
July 5, 2009, 05:45 PM
"all the dogs were going crazy from the fireworks last night."

When the city fireworks started at the high school about a mile from my house Mason yawned, stretched, turned a circle, and went right back to sleep.

hogdogs
July 5, 2009, 06:15 PM
I didn't so much as hear a firecracker...:D

I have been a dog lover and owner since the ripe old age of 2. Having spent countless years in the lawn maintenance field and all aspects of pest control I have gotten pretty good at both reading dogs as well as the proper postures and behavior to present the intentions I want presented to the dogs.
Goes both ways...
Brent

Shane Tuttle
July 5, 2009, 06:28 PM
Alright, 5whiskey, I'll give you my thoughts. Even though there are some very sound/thoughtful/insightful as well as VERY arrogant/pompus/insulting statements that I would like to respond in detail, I'll try to keep it reasonably short.

The only questionable item I see is the number of shots fired. That's been covered ad nauseam. Even then, it's splitting hairs a bit. You either have a safe place to fire warning shots or you don't. It appears you did. So, if you have several rounds left in your magazine, I see it as a moot point. One point of critique I see is you appeared to fire 3 times due to your training habit. This, to me, is a little disturbing. I haven't been trained to fire three shots then assess the situation. It's fire until the threat is stopped. At the point of needing to fire your gun, you won't have the luxury to stop and access the situation. I would suggest further training to relieve yourself of that habit.

I don't recall if you had the time or if your family has been trained to take evasive maneuvers when a threat is apparent (it all happened in 4 short seconds, right?). If not, I would debrief your family on what to do if similar situations arise in the future. It may be as simple as retreating behind a bush located behind you, etc. It's going to be difficult for several family members with different experience levels and ages to react as efficient as what we would like. I wouldn't expect a 4 year old to know what to do in every situation at any given time. But I would expect for them to do whatever their elders say for them to do. In other words, I wouldn't expect for them to grab a fire extinguisher if your house is caught on fire. I would expect them to know to stay low to the floor and escape the house via trained fire exits.

This is mainly what I observe. I think you did in what was the best interest for the safety of your family.

As for the dog issues:

I love dogs. Training/obedience is one of my hobbies. But I do NOT have the same tactics for them as I do humans. This is a fundamental difference that some may or may not comprehend or agree. A human life or their well being ALWAYS trumps a damn dog. I'm not going to wait for the dog to bite my arm, nor give the opportunity to close in closer than, say, 20 feet. I think a person carrying a firearm for his/her safety of oneself or family does NOT need to know everything there is about dog postures. Basics, yes. Details of foot positioning, etc. shouldn't be a prerequisite for responsible carry, IMO. I view if an uncontrolled dog is advancing my way in what I feel is aggressive and I don't have time to successfully place myself or my loved ones in a safe condition before contact is made, the dog will be put down without hesitation. It appears that the dogs really toed the threshhold and you displayed good judgement.

Texasborn
July 5, 2009, 06:34 PM
I can't second guess the OP, except the 3 warning shots was too excessive.

My 7 yr old was bit in the face by a neighbors dog. His lip was ripped up pretty bad. The dog weighed about 35 lbs and the dog bit and left instantly. He was surprised by my son, so he bit and ran away. He needed 8 stitches and it healed perfectly. (no noticable scar) My point is that a dog attacking a child is different than a dog attacking me. My boxer catches rabbits and breaks their backs within 2 seconds of the catch. I've seen it twice. He also has killed 2 or 3 dozen birds and driven off a bobcat. My other boxer has jumped the fence and caught 2 armadillos. They are great with people, but they are very capable of doing great damage. Fireworks drives them nuts too. They stay inside while we do fireworks.

5whiskey
July 5, 2009, 06:52 PM
One point of critique I see is you appeared to fire 3 times due to your training habit. This, to me, is a little disturbing. I haven't been trained to fire three shots then assess the situation. It's fire until the threat is stopped. At the point of needing to fire your gun, you won't have the luxury to stop and access the situation. I would suggest further training to relieve yourself of that habit.

That's the form of critique I was looking for, and something I agree with... thank you.

I view if an uncontrolled dog is advancing my way in what I feel is aggressive and I don't have time to successfully place myself or my loved ones in a safe condition before contact is made, the dog will be put down without hesitation. It appears that the dogs really toed the threshhold and you displayed good judgement.

This probably IS pertinent information that I don't think I've told yet. Actually it's only becuase I didn't really remember thinking it, but looking back I think I chose to shoot into the ditchbank because there was a house maybe 200' behind the dogs. Meaning the backstop really wasn't a good one. Yeah the angle would've been kinda close, but not very because the dog was 20 to 25' out. I think that's probably one factor in the decision I made to use warning shots instead of taking out the dog. Had I not been around other houses and not had to worry about knowing what's beyond my target, the dog would probably be dead now.


And last, but not least.

3) Might have been a good idea to tell us, up front, that as soon as you got home safely with the family, you called the police and told them what had happened. )

No, not really. I'm not posting up here to be judged on my morals so everyone can scream "bad shoot". I have no doubt that it would've been warranted had I killed the dog. Whether I called authorities or not doesn't pertain to the ACTUAL SITUATION THAT COULD HAVE HURT SOMEONE. That's what I want critique on, not legal and moral mumbo jumbo. That's all I've read in here lately. While I think it rates discussion, this isn't the case. Trust me.

Tater.40
July 5, 2009, 07:08 PM
Shooting a dog or someones pet is 10 years in prison where I live they concider it a crime here.It,s some kind of animal controll law here.

BikerRN
July 5, 2009, 07:28 PM
Shooting a dog or someones pet is 10 years in prison where I live they concider it a crime here.It,s some kind of animal controll law here.

It's much the same where I am.

That's why I favor giving the dog my arm and using a blade. Then you have proven that the dog is aggressive to humans, at great pain to you I might add.

Biker

Tater.40
July 5, 2009, 07:31 PM
That pretty good Idea giving the dog your arm to show proof .

Texasborn
July 5, 2009, 07:54 PM
A good sized dog is capable of ripping a toddlers arm off in a few seconds. A kid changes the whole picture. I'd be inclined to let a dog bite me and use my knife, but if a dog is threatening me and my 7 yr old I'm more likely to shoot it. A dog is supposed to be on a leash in a public place.

verti89
July 5, 2009, 08:22 PM
1. I honestly cannot even see where Creature is coming from, and I am a fairly open minded person, but this guy is OUT there...

2. Have any of you 'let the dog bite me first' supporters actually been bit by a dog?? And if you actually have...***?? are you a masochist?? It seems to me that killing someones pet should be punished, but obviously this is not a blanket, for every dog that dies unnaturally, someone goes to jail for a decade rule. Otherwise vets would be few and far between.

ISC
July 5, 2009, 08:28 PM
If you felt threatened enough to shoot, you should have shot the dogs.

Sportdog
July 5, 2009, 08:31 PM
I think that you did just fine......but...... I haven't heard the dogs side of the story.;)

Magi
July 5, 2009, 08:35 PM
I agree with ISC. I also think that 911 should have been dialed immediately.

Tucker 1371
July 5, 2009, 08:53 PM
I think you handled it well, especially since you had a known good backstop. The only thing I may have done differently is only firing one warning shot so as not to leave yourself handicapped if the dogs hadn't run.

Everyone can sit here and say what they want but here's how it would break down if it had happened differently.

You have a CCW, see the dogs charging, do nothing and you or your kids are seriously injured or worse. You get criticized.

You have a CCW, see the dogs charging, decide to skip the warning shot and drop one or both of the dogs. You get criticized.

You have a CCW, see the dogs charging, yell and luckily they go away. It'd be nice if we knew ahead of time that would work 100% of the time, wouldn't it? Sorry folks, it's an imperfect world, we don't. You still might get criticized.

Considering that everyone including the dogs went home and had a happy 4th I'd say your actions brought about the best outcome this situation could have possibly had. Good job.

On a side note, idk about others here but it is really difficult for me to read dogs sometimes. I was out for a run on campus one day a few months ago and this guy was walking with his girlfriend and his unleashed dog of a breed that has a rep for not always being very nice. The dog sees me from about 50-75yds and makes a beeline for me at a full blown sprint. I stop, pull the iPod out and get in a squared stance with my arms cocked about waist high, thinking I'd sling her aside when she jumped. When she got to me all she want to do was get petted... the guy apologized, leashed her (the dog :D), and we all went happily about our day. Just goes to show, you never can tell.

surg_res
July 5, 2009, 09:09 PM
I think that aggressive dogs are probably a more of a threat to people in this forum than aggressive humans. When I go on walks, I sometimes carry for that exact reason. If the dog bites you, the city will have it put down anyway--so might as well defend yourself, if you can do it safely!

The OPs natural instinct kicked in, as he decided to confront the threat and show a warning. The worst thing he, or others could have done is turn and run--as that would certainly have triggered a predator-prey response. Big dogs do a lot of damage and can easily kill people, especially children.

Kyo
July 5, 2009, 09:12 PM
I would just like to contribute my thoughts on this. You did what you thought was right. Ok. 3 shots would be pretty effective and from your story it was.
My dog, when hearing fireworks, cowers and hides somewhere because she is scared. She don't like them. She is a puppy though. Different dogs, different reactions. On the other hand, towards people on the other side of the door, she is a mean barking dog. Which she should be until I open the door, and then she is fine.
Point is, its easy to tell if a dog wants to come up and jump on you from excitement, or to bite you. My dog loves to jump on family that she hasn't seen, or even strangers. I control that and explain, and people are fine. Now, if my dog started to run towards someone, and there were little kids around, and someone wanted to shoot my dog because they felt afraid of what was going to happen, it would be MY fault. I lost control of my dog. Some people can't read dogs. Some can. Regardless the dog should be under control. If not, its the risk the owner takes. I never had anyone mis-read what my dog was intending to do(lick your face and smell your butt and wag her tail)
You did fine.

Sixer
July 5, 2009, 09:20 PM
1. I honestly cannot even see where Creature is coming from, and I am a fairly open minded person, but this guy is OUT there...

Ha! No doubt there.

I'm not waiting for any 60 pound animal to give me or my loved ones an unfriendly nibble. I recently had to female friends out for a jog get contfronted by a Rot. The dog was outnumbered but that didn't seem to make a difference. By the time they tried to make a run for it, the Rot was already on top of one of them. Luckily they were close to home at this point. The other female (a competitive target shooter) was able to retrieve her .22 hadgun from inside the house. 6 shots point blank to the side of the dogs head didn't seem to phase it. The 7th shot put it down for good, but the damage was already done. 17 staples in the forehead and a number of stitches to her wrist were needed.

To the OP... glad everyone made it home safe. Had it been me, I'd give strong verbal warning then shoot to kill with any further advance.

Shane Tuttle
July 5, 2009, 09:29 PM
Shooting a dog or someones pet is 10 years in prison where I live they concider it a crime here.It,s some kind of animal controll law here.

And I'm willing to bet a nickel there's more to your statement than that. Are you insinuating that an animal has rights over the protection on oneself or family?

That's why I favor giving the dog my arm and using a blade. Then you have proven that the dog is aggressive to humans, at great pain to you I might add.

Some people in this world value the muscles, flesh, bones, and nerves in their arm to work for a living. To readily allow a physical assault from an aggressive canine just to think it's the best course of action to prove my innocence to the jury isn't in my cards. On top of that, thinking I will have the leverage, control, and balance to whip out my knife and effectively stab a 65lb. aggressive meateater that's mangling away at my limb and dragging me about without stabbing myself in the process isn't the best course of action to say the least.

OuTcAsT
July 5, 2009, 09:30 PM
it would be MY fault. I lost control of my dog.

Exactly, it is the owners responsibility to control the dog, and he usually will be held responsible for any damage as a result of his failure to do so.

Shooting a dog or someones pet is 10 years in prison where I live they concider it a crime here.It,s some kind of animal controll law here.

I will not call BS on this as I know there are some strange animal laws out there, but, I would really like to see how a DA would prosecute that in a case similar to this one.

That's why I favor giving the dog my arm and using a blade.

I sincerely hope this was sarcasm, as I find it impossible to believe that anyone would, for any reason, consider this a good idea . Seriously ? :rolleyes:

Perhaps you should read what the "doc" said;

surg_res said;

I think that aggressive dogs are probably a more of a threat to people in this forum than aggressive humans.

And our resident Veterinarian TailGator said:

Can dogs injure and incapacitate quickly, with one bite? You betcha! A very skilled member of my staff had to have very expensive hand surgery and extensive physical therapy after a single bite that happened so fast we were all stunned. The idea of waiting to be bitten before defending oneself or others from a dog bite, in the professional opinion of this 27-year veteran of veterinary practice, is nothing better than asinine.

An MD and DVM say it's a bad idea ? That's good enough for me.

Having not only grown up around dogs of various breeds, sizes, and temperaments, but been bitten, or seen it happen to someone else, if I have any doubt, then the dog will not get the benefit of it.

OuTcAsT
July 5, 2009, 09:36 PM
thinking I will have the leverage, control, and balance to whip out my knife and effectively stab a 65lb. aggressive meateater that's mangling away at my limb and dragging me about without stabbing myself in the process isn't the best course of action to say the least.


Gonna have to go with Tut on this one.

ROTFLMFAO ! :D

hogdogs
July 5, 2009, 09:56 PM
These pics are of my left hand after one quick nip from one of my catch dog bulldogs. It was an odd situation. We were trying to get him loaded into the top section of a buddies dog box. His little bulldog had been gunnin for a scrap with my dog all night and as junior and my buddies hefted him up the little dog clamped down on my dogs hind paw and no one noticed. They thought mine was just resisting the loading and I reached up for his collar and the 3 of us gave one good heft and in the increased pain he turned and nipped me one chomp. I still have some problems with the index finger.

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y267/hogdogs/P8210071.jpg
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y267/hogdogs/P8210069.jpg
Both the injury at my tip and on my palm at base of index finger are full through and through...
Reason enuff for me not to volunteer to an aggressive dog encounter!
Brent

OuTcAsT
July 5, 2009, 10:02 PM
These pics are of my left hand after one quick nip from one of my catch dog bulldogs.

Ouch ! Soak that in some coal oil, you'll be fine ;)

This is why I would never;

favor giving the dog my arm

Why not just hang out "ol blue" then ya got both hands to work the blade:D

Sarge
July 5, 2009, 10:10 PM
I had to shoot one while on a call a couple of weeks ago- 'dogbite' call of course. I was basically out on foot looking for victims & complainants and as soon as I found them the dogs-which I hadn't found yet-found me.

I heard snarling and barking off to my left rear and as I turned to face the racket, I saw two large dogs charging me at full speed from the middle of the street. A big Pit Bull was in the lead with a big brown Shepherd mix coming alongside and damn, they were coming fast! As they closed the remaining 20 feet the Pit had lowered its body, preparing to lunge.

I drew my Glock 22 and yelled ‘STOP!’ as I blocked the sights on bottom of the Pit Bull’s chest- a smaller target than it sounds like. There was no time to do anything but shoot and I found myself shooting one-handed. At 12 feet I fired two shots, which made it flinch but did not stop the charge. I compensated for the dog’s movement and triggered two more shots. It then started yelping, bleeding and flipping around the yard like a porpoise so I shot it once more through the shoulders. The other dog decided discretion was the better part of valor, and evaporated into thin air. I had planned to simply shift the gun across to him and keep firing, if Cujo #2 kept on coming. I have no doubt I would have gotten chewed on by both of them if I hadn't opened fire. As it was I had blood on my pants from the double-tap into the pit; he was that close.

I estimate the time from threat recognition, until the last shot was fired, at five seconds tops. My cursory examination of the dog revealed at least three holes in its front chest and shoulders, and the finisher which exited behind the off-shoulder. The load was 165 grain Golden Saber. They are hard to stop when committed to an attack.

hogdogs
July 5, 2009, 10:11 PM
Outcast... I whooped out the betadine from my cut bag and wrapped an old t-shirt around it...
There is nerve damage on that first joint. Since I later flipped a truck onto the whole arm and hand so I can't tell if any of the other holes still bother me.:o
But man that thing hurt like mad, hand was useless for weeks and sore for months... Them bulldogs sure do have bite to them. I am 100% positive an arm would be absolutely destroyed in seconds and forget savin' a kid who took it in the face or neck!:eek:
Brent

OuTcAsT
July 5, 2009, 10:16 PM
I whooped out the betadine from my cut bag and wrapped an old t-shirt around it..

That's probably best, but the old "brown bottle Lysol" does the trick too... just some wisdom from my Pappy. :)

If "coal oil" , "lysol', or "corn cob wine" can't fix er, you're probably gonna die. :eek: :D

(apologies to the folk on the other side of the "line" it's a Southern thang, ya'll just wouldn't understand)

hogdogs
July 5, 2009, 10:25 PM
Gotta watch the "wisdom" sometimes! As a little boy I swore my mom was evil and was punishing my stupidity to always get wounded by using thes 2 things!
mercurochrome and merthiolate
Mentioned in this little diddy I found geeting the spelling right.
http://lifeinmathews.blogspot.com/2009/04/mercurochrome-and-merthiolate.html
Can't remember which one but one of them required the wounded kid to start blowing on the boo-boo before the stuff was even on!
Brent

OuTcAsT
July 5, 2009, 10:27 PM
Can't remember which one but one of them required the wounded kid to start blowing on the boo-boo before the stuff was even on!


Merthiolate, Burns like hell !

djohn
July 5, 2009, 11:12 PM
I watched my dad get his hand mulched by a 6 month old puppy with out mentioning breed it was large breed used as guard dogs or work dog.He was petting the dog gentlly as the dog was laying down and seemed to be enjoying my dads loving nature with animals and with out warning the dog bit and released but it was enough to take his hand to bare flesh and Mind you a puppy at 6 months.I also have a friend that nearly lost his leg from a bit that caused massive tissue damage and many stiches latter,he know has massive scars for life at his ankle and lower leg.


If I think a dog is going to attack especially if I am walking with my children, I am not going to fire a warning shot but I am going to put a 45 hole in it.I rather face charges then face lose of limb or my throat ripped out.In most case though I have fended of dogs by yelling and charging them.It worked on a couple of occasions.The dogs looked at me as I was nuts and they ran away.I also have been bitten more then once buy not taking some action.

Cumminspwrd02
July 5, 2009, 11:56 PM
5whiskey, I think you took the right action. If I were in your situation I would do the same. Even though the dogs are pets, they are still animals and have instincts.

A few years ago my younger sister (16 at the time) was walking home from a friends house at night. A dog attacked her on her walk home, not a large dog, maybe only 50 lbs but it left her with multiple stitches in her hand and two broken fingers. From her account, the dog growled at her and then jumped at her. Ended up biting her left hand. Luckily she was able to use her right and an repeatably punch the dog in the snout and head till it let go. She said the dog did run off yelping after she hit it a few times. She's lucky she didn't get hurt anymore than she did. She was walking on the street like she always did, passed the same houses on the way home, and this time some neighbors dog decided to attack her. Never found out for sure who's dog it was be we have a good idea.

I am also a dog owner, I have two large rots. Both dogs are big teddy bears but if I saw them run at me I would feel threatend and would not want to experience be mauled by a 140lb dog. I would shoot of a warning or two if they got to close for comfort, especially around children.

Sixer, very true about the shots the Rot took. I have a few friends that are LEO's and they have said a Rot will take multiple shots before going down.

djohn
July 6, 2009, 12:17 AM
My sister had a 125lb rotti put to sleep know of old age and hips.It jumped up on my to grete me and knocked me over.I am only 5' 7 1/2 I think the dog was taller then me.:eek:

Sarge
July 6, 2009, 12:20 AM
I've seen several folks mention fear of being charged if they have to shoot a dog in self-defense. I know laws and ordinance vary according to jurisdiction; I also know if you're packing legally and the shot dog is off its property, and in close proximity to where you were when you shot it- none of the cops I know is going to arrest you. Can't say what your local situation is, but it might be in your collective best interests to find out.

BTW I love Rotts.

omkhan
July 6, 2009, 01:04 AM
I think it was a job very well done. Since human know well what drawing a pistol means, the warning shots were pretty much justified. Grea job to keep you & your loved ones safe.

BikerRN
July 6, 2009, 01:11 AM
In the "ideal" world I would just shoot the dog(s) and that would be that.

I don't live in an "ideal" world and know what the political landscape is here. As far as ever being bitten, yes. Once as a kid in the face, and again on the arm as an adult.

Yes, nerve, bone and muscle damage can and does occur. This is not a tactic I favor, but one that will hopefully let me continue living without sitting in a prison cell. I really don't believe the number of people here, where I reside, that think animals have "rights".

Anyway, I've posted enough on this topic and know what works for me.

Biker

cartjudge
July 6, 2009, 01:26 AM
;)Dogs are just or can't be preditable. Yes, they could have come up to
you, sniffed and shown affection or they could have done the mentioned
things then got hostile. Dog's you don't know could very well put you
on unease. You did the best discouraging them and then shooting in a
safe place when they didn't respond. A dog bite burn's like hell. You
would have a legal action against owners if bitten but may have had a
good reason to shoot (IMO). Anyway, life seems to go on and no one's
bringing any charges against you. Good luck with your future carry.

bcarver
July 6, 2009, 02:19 AM
I would not have shot from public right of way to private property as it sounds you may have done.
If legally on private property I would not have wasted shots on warnings.
If yelling and stompimg don't stop the animal I would shoot center mass.
The only time I shot at a dog he was about 18" away.
I don't fear dogs but shall not take a bite to let one live.
drawing your weapon seems proper but when they broke the charge shots may not have been needed.
Warning shots are just bad. they are reckless and I can't reconcile that fact.

Sixer
July 6, 2009, 03:02 AM
Well, the warning shots seemed to work in this case. No one was hurt... including the dogs.

As far as private property goes, to me it's a non-issue. As long as my family and I haven't jumped the fence into somebody's back yard of course. Other than that, if I sense my family or I are even remotely in danger from a dog, sasquatch, giant rabbit, etc... my weapon will be drawn and any aggressive behavior will be followed by shots. It will be my decision on whether or not they are a warning or kill shots.

GojuBrian
July 6, 2009, 04:19 AM
I know of someone who was bitten ONCE on the head by a large 120lb mixed breed dog. She had plastic surgery to repair her ear, 48staples on her scalp and forehead.

I would not bewilling to take a bite or let anyone else take a bite.

I think since you had time to draw your weapon and know your backstop that there was probably no real danger. If there was real danger they would have been on you. but otoh it could have turned dangerous real fast.

All in all, you did ok in my book. :)

TailGator
July 6, 2009, 09:01 AM
FWIW - dogs' mouths are not as clean as sometimes said, and bite wounds frequently become severely infected. A doctor's care has to be recommended for a bite wound of any severity at all, because antibiotics are frequently indicated.

And as far as people taking responsibility for their pets - I can't count how many times I have treated dogs and cats that were hit by cars and listened to the owners angrily inveigh against the drivers, as if it is the responsibility of every driver on the planet to miss their dog, rather than their responsibility to keep the animal safe. Hope this doesn't qualify for a rant, but it is a pet peeve of mine and, more importantly, probably another indication of a societal tendency to blame others for the results of one's own poor judgment and lack of responsibility.

I feel better now, thanks.

Hardcase
July 6, 2009, 10:00 AM
When this discussion started, I initially thought that the OP's decision to draw and fire was reached too hastily. But after giving it some thought (with time that the OP did not have during the incident), I think that, other than the warning shots, he did what was necessary.

What would you do if you weren't armed? Probably shout a stern command to the dogs and back away. And what if that didn't work? Then you'd get attacked. But the OP was armed, so he had more options. It seems to me that firing one warning shot into the ditchbank (which I'll assume was a safe backstop) would be a reasonable reaction - the other would be to shoot the dog. Three shots has already been mentioned.

What else could he have done? Fired no warning shots and waited until the very last minute to shoot an attacking animal. But that runs the risk of waiting too long and, even more importantly, missing the shot and hitting the victim. He could have fired no shots and taken the actions of an unarmed person. I don't know about that - I'm not willing to put my family's well being up against that situation.

The only other thing that I would have done is this: After shooting and once I had determined that the threat was gone, either by the animals running away or by me and my family running away, I would have called 911 right away. Although the immediate danger was gone, the two dogs were still loose and shots had been fired...I want to be the guy to tell the police that I fired the shots and why - I don't want the police to be looking for me because somebody else called. Also, the OP had plenty of witnesses to back him up regarding his use of force.

I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that the OP's use of force fit the description of use of force: he felt that his or his family's lives were in danger and he acted with the minimum amount of force necessary to resolve that danger.

And somebody needs to smack that neighbor around for letting his dogs run loose in that situation.

flyguyskt
July 6, 2009, 10:20 AM
probly been said in here already...but rabbies vaccine is not a once bitten twice shy deal...nasty nasty nasty

my 70 pound doberman is pure sweetness but i have had her nip me while playing. i knew she was not trying to hurt me but WOW... just clipped my for a split second with her fron baby teath and it broke the skin through a winter carhart jacket!!!

Ricky B
July 6, 2009, 10:56 AM
Shooting a dog or someones pet is 10 years in prison where I live they concider it a crime here.It,s some kind of animal controll law here.

I question whether that is an accurate statement of the law as it it written, which in any event would be a "human control law." :cool:

In any event, it is most unlikely that self-defense or defense of others from imminent risk of great bodily injury would not be a complete defense.

The notion that such a law might be on the books in some unmentioned state should not deter anyone from acting to protect humans from the risk of death or great bodily injury at the teeth of two large aggressive dogs (or even one).

MLeake
July 6, 2009, 11:32 AM
... pertains more to incidents like a recent one where some idiots did a drive-by shooting on a medically retired SEAL's service animal, just because they felt like it. Read about that one in a recent military online newletter.

I strongly doubt any state in the US would serve up prison time for a justifiable SD shooting against any animal.

Big Ugly Tall Texan
July 6, 2009, 11:32 AM
I have found myself in similar situations.

Each time, I drew a mental line and told myself that if Fido crossed that line still showing agression he would be one dead dog.

NONE ever crossed the line.

They might not be able to recognize a gun, but they can recognize when you are prepared to defend yourself and have no fear.

I once saw about a 150-pound St. Bernard put a scared sheriff on the roof of a car but back down from a deputy that stood his ground and pulled a .357.

I think they can sense it.

rburch
July 6, 2009, 03:54 PM
My grandfather bred rottweilers for years, he has several news clipping he collected over the years.

I remember more than one of rottweilers taking people's arms or legs off. Now the one's my grandfather had were things like a family dog stopping an attempted kiddnapping, or a police dog protecting his partner, but the damage itself should be noted.

Also one of the dogs my grandfather sold got out and was hit by a toyota corolla going 40 mph, totaled the car, left the dog with bruises and a limp for about a week. The driver in the car was injured worse than the dog, he broke his hand on something inside the car.

Not trying to demonize rotts, or say they're better than other breeds, they're just what I'm experienced with.

Now as to the OP's situation, I don't see a problem with his actions (except maybe the 3 shots, but that's been covered)

The results seem to show you did the right thing, so all I can say is glad everyone got out uninjured (I include the dogs in that)

markj
July 6, 2009, 04:47 PM
What would you do if you weren't armed?

I am unarmed while in public most of the time. Work at a college thing.

Seems to be a lot of dog attacks these days, read about em all the time. However I also see a lot of large dogs as a hunter etc. I usually walk with a walking stick, keen invention, long enough to fend off most anuimals, strong enough to whap one upside the head which usually makes him wish for other game.

In the city, it is illeagal to shoot a firearm like he described.

5whiskey
July 6, 2009, 05:41 PM
They might not be able to recognize a gun, but they can recognize when you are prepared to defend yourself and have no fear.

I once saw about a 150-pound St. Bernard put a scared sheriff on the roof of a car but back down from a deputy that stood his ground and pulled a .357.

This is another take-away I learned from this incident. I honestly felt that portraying a forceful tone and fight ready (as opposed to flight ready) body language worked in my favor. Looking back I probably would've been okay with just commands, but that wasn't a chance I was willing to take. Quiet honestly, with children involved I'm still not willing to take it. I stand by my actions. Had it just been me, I would've held my ground and waited a minute or so to observe their demeanor. I didn't have that luxury at the moment, and I wasn't comfortable with dogs that size that I don't know being so close to small children given their body language up to that point.

Seems to be a lot of dog attacks these days, read about em all the time. However I also see a lot of large dogs as a hunter etc. I usually walk with a walking stick, keen invention, long enough to fend off most anuimals, strong enough to whap one upside the head which usually makes him wish for other game.

That, good sir, is advice similar to what I'm looking for. I don't want to resort to a firearm if I don't have to. Perhaps a large stick would've actually been better in this case since all angles of fire were very screwed up (why I chose the ditch bank, and probably why I chose warning shots instead of engaging the dogs. I honestly couldn't tell you everything that was running through my mind). I may have to have a walking companion such as you describe for any more walks through the neighborhood.

And somebody needs to smack that neighbor around for letting his dogs run loose in that situation.

I still haven't caught the neighbor at home yet, but this is the first time I've had a problem with this and he's been here probably 3 months now. I'm assuming he was out of town for the 4th, and the fireworks in the neighborhood un-nerved the dogs until the managed to chew out of their containment. While they weren't contained in a foolproof manner, I wouldn't exactly say it warrants smackinig the neighbor around just yet. Very frank and firm conversation, yes, but not smacking around.



Thanks for all of the replies and for sticking up for me when others were trying to paint me as someone waiting to "get my gun off". God bless :)

hogdogs
July 6, 2009, 05:56 PM
Very frank and firm conversation, yes, but not smacking around.
And if he gets lippy at all after the talk then it is..."POW... right to da moon, Alice.. to da moon!" :D
Brent

5whiskey
July 6, 2009, 05:59 PM
And if he gets lippy at all after the talk then it is..."POW... right to da moon, Alice.. to da moon!"
Brent

Duly noted Brent... and I'm a honeymooners fan as well :D

jon_in_wv
July 6, 2009, 06:27 PM
It took 14 stitches in my face to close the wounds from a friendly St. Bernard that trotted up with its tongue out and tail wagging. It was my own dog too. It gave me one quick nip and let go. If it was intent on hurting me seriously I have no doubt it would have done very, very severe damage. Saying that you'll "take a dog bite" from a large dog before you would shoot is pure ignorance. You may not get a CHANCE to fire a shot after that first bite. I doubt I could have fired with half of my face removed. (I got 6 stitches where the tooth entered next to my right eye socket and 8 stitches on the left side of my jaw) With that logic I should obviously get shot or stabbed before I shot in self defense too right? Or are you guys seriously posting on the internet that you value the life of a dog more than a human and would me more likely to shoot a human for a perceived threat than an animal? That would play very well in court indeed. Good luck with that.

My life is not there to trade with a dog's. If it threatens me I will defend myself as I would any threat. To do otherwise could be a grave mistake. Just my opinion.

Buzzcook
July 6, 2009, 06:55 PM
I doubt the 10 year penalty for shooting a pet.

Currently if an animal is wrongly killed, unless there are unusual circumstances, you have to pay the replacement value of the animal.

I have heard of attempts to change the law so that monetary damages for things such as pain and suffering can be added when a family pet is concerned.

In cases of animal cruelty there can be a jail sentence. See Michael Vick.

Another thing to consider, if you wrongly shoot/injure an animal you could be liable for all of that animals vet bills. That can mount up into several thousand dollars.

OuTcAsT
July 6, 2009, 07:22 PM
FWIW - dogs' mouths are not as clean as sometimes said


I would think this would be an understatement, however, if I had the same agility, the same could likely be said for me. :D

MLeake
July 6, 2009, 08:21 PM
As other posters noted, our body language means something to the dog.

Establish that you are Alpha as quickly as possible. Assume your full height and an assertive body attitude. (picture a relaxed fighting stance) With either animal, command voice is a huge help. Learn it if you can. Done properly, you can convince most dogs not to close. (Trained guard/attack dog, be prepared for phase two...) The ideal here is calm, confident, controlled, but in command.

As far as non-lethal dog options:

Long sticks are good, if you carry one. The walking stick idea is excellent.

Dogs don't like pepper spray. If it's legal where you live, that could be a good investment. Try to be aware of wind direction.

Water hoses or buckets of cold water work surprisingly well, but most of us don't walk around with those...

If you are not armed, I've found that when it comes to physical engagement (IE pulling dogs off other dogs or people) the two methods that have worked best for me have been:

1) bury the dog with body weight, if it's large, and take a position behind it with a grip similar to a half nelson (gives it nothing to bite); immobilize it, but talk in a calm, soothing manner - idea is to show that you are boss, but you don't intend to harm the dog - this has worked for me on separate occasions with a mastiff, a great pyrenee, and a dobermann.

2) take it up into the air by the back of the neck, if light enough (60lbs or smaller). Mother dogs shake a pup by the nape, so this establishes dominance on a very primal level for the dog. The grab technique I use for this is not quite an openhanded punch, but it's a hard sweep. I'll either take the dog completely off the ground, or up vertical with its hind legs barely touching. This has worked with smaller boxers and pit bulls.

In either case, take control, but try to calm the dog. You want it to respect you, not become crazed by fear. In either case, do not release the dog until its attitude has calmed down. You have the tiger by the tail until that point.

One thing you cannot do with the dog is act tentatively. The owners I've seen get bitten have all been extremely timid about physical engagement. If you have to engage, engage decisively.

KCabbage
July 6, 2009, 09:17 PM
FWIW - dogs' mouths are not as clean as sometimes said
Dog's having clean mouths is a myth.


A couple months ago I was playing with my Husky and I hit the crevis between my ring finger nail and the skin on one of his teeth. It hurt bad enough to stop playing. The sharp pain went away within a day or two, but then I started having a pressure feeling and half of my finger started swelling up, throbbing, and turning purple. Shortly after I noticed underneath the skin where the tooth punctured looked green. At this point I was wondering if a surgeon was going to have to cut my finger tip off :eek: So I grabbed a sharp pin, sterilized it, and punctured the area. I applied pressure to see if I could get anything out and all this nasty greenish puss came out. I poured rubbing alcohol on it and opened it up a bit more to release all the gnarley funk I could. Poured alcohol on it again and put a bandaid on it(I think). A day or so later the swelling went down, the throbbing went away, and now i'm left with a normal looking finger WHEW!

BikerRN
July 6, 2009, 09:31 PM
Saying that you'll "take a dog bite" from a large dog before you would shoot is pure ignorance.

No, in my case it is said by someone that has been trained in how to take a dog out with a blade.

As I get older I favor this approach less and less as the years go by, but for now it is still a viable option for me. Go back and read my post regarding being bitten. Dogs are actually pretty easy to counter after you spend some time being the "Dummy In The Bite Suit". :)

Biker

MLeake
July 6, 2009, 09:37 PM
(note: been there, done that, and Malinois bites still hurt)

... is that in the real world, you aren't wearing the suit.

If theoretical legal concerns trump the inputs of medical doctors, veterinarians, and canine handlers (representatives of each field chimed into this thread), then so be it. But that single bite could cost you an arm.

The only way I'd offer up my arm is if I had no other alternative. I've been in a situation where I considered the technique, once - I was going to drag the sucker out into the lake we were next to, lock him onto my arm with the other hand and my hip, and hold him under water, if it came to that - but the dog backed off when I advanced on him.

(note: I expected a MAJOR infection if I used this technique, and am very happy it became unnecessary)

Go Alpha early.

Don't use empty hands when other options are available.

Bites can ruin your day.

BikerRN
July 7, 2009, 12:42 AM
I never said it would be "pretty".

As far as being the dummy in the suit, I am well aware that in the real world I won't have the suit on. That's why I call it, "giving my arm" because I most likely won't have it after the encounter.

Biker

Sixer
July 7, 2009, 01:02 AM
Dogs don't like kicks, punches, strikes to the solarplex (sp?) Just something to consider if you ever have to fight with one.

hogdogs
July 7, 2009, 01:12 AM
Sixer, I prefer a brutal grappling approach to begin. rear choke hold and bottom jaw assault for me as well as limbs.... Gotta take out the weapon and mobility ability.
Brent

R1145
July 7, 2009, 01:40 AM
We can quibble about technique, warning shots (which I agree are not a good idea) and dog behavior, but the basic issue is that owners have a duty to control their animals on public property.

The reasonable man test that generally applies to self-defense situations should not assume the shooter understands animals like the "Dog Whisperer". If the animal is running loose, in a place open to the public, and acting in a way that appears aggressive, it shouldn't be a surprise if it is shot by someone who feels threatened.

AZAK
July 7, 2009, 04:22 AM
Well, bears in Alaska are kind of like really BIG dogs. (I hear that their mouths are not the cleanest thing in the world too.) Bear spray has been basically 100% effective when used in Alaska,
http://www.adn.com/bearattacks/story/381252.html
you might consider taking along a can when out for your daily constitutional.

I personally carry bear spray and a handgun when out for a "walk" or hike. And when feeling confronted, I have pulled both over the years; the spray is always first these days for four leggeds.

Glad that everyone went home safely. Just thought that since you are asking for input on the event and that you are also looking for better preparation for the future that I would chime in. Hope that this helps.

I personally would also make it a high priority to contact and discuss this with your neighbor. Prevention is always preferable to dealing with the "aftermath"; it could happen again.

djohn
July 7, 2009, 11:43 AM
How to avoid dog attack.

1.Keep a safe distance between yourself and dogs being walked on a lease.

2.Ask owner's permission before approaching a dog,on lease or in yard.

3.Never approach a barking,snarling,sleeping,eating, or nursing dog.

4.Do not stare the dog in the eyes.

5.Turn sideways and slowly withdraw.

6.put an object such as a tree,post,or bench between you and the dog.

7.speak softly and gently to calm the dog,Good dog,it's ok,go home."

8.Stand still or maintain a constent slow pace out of the dog's territory.

9.If local law allows,use pepper spray when charged by the dog.

10.If charged,get something between you and the dog's mouth-umbrella,pack,jacket,stick.

11.If attacked, curl up in a ball and protect your face,neck and head.

Tips.

1.you can't out run a dog,not even a olympic sprinter could.

2.Be aware of dogs a block or more ahead,change your route or turn around to avoid unleased dogs.

3.Know the weapon laws in the community you are walking in and obey them.

jon_in_wv
July 7, 2009, 05:43 PM
Unless you walk around in a "bite suite" I would still advise against taking a bite first.

I've spent countless hours learning to defend myself from human attacks. I'm not likely to let someone attack first to test those skills. The best response to an imminent threat is to stop the attack in the first place. I assume most of us have trained to shoot a firearm but I'm not likely to let someone shoot me first if I can help it nor am I going to give a dog a pound of flesh from my arm so I can use some knife technique on him. If your close enough to use your knife I would say your pretty safe to use whatever force you see fit.

Oh, and you must not have read the rest of MY post where I explained just how dangerous it can be to let the dog attack first. I also know what can happen first hand and I wasn't wearing a bite suit to protect me. I've been attacked by a large dog on another occasion too. I have the scars from both encounters and I would not hesitate one second to shoot a large dog that is threatening me or my family. I'm curious, would you let the dog bite one of your children first? What if it isn't going after you?

Nate1778
July 7, 2009, 05:47 PM
Shoot the dogs, tell the cop it was fun, have the city pay for the defense, tell them you have a long fear of dogs due to family abuse, walk after a week with less then a smack on the wrist.


Tell them you were defending yourself, your going down sucka.............

ws6_keith
July 7, 2009, 06:39 PM
Well, I read most of the thread. To the OP - you did what YOU felt was right, so you did right. No one was hurt in the incident, so +1 there.

To Jacobi - you obviously have never been seriously injured by a dog, or have ever seen anyone injured seriously by a dog. When I was nine, the loveable 90# (breed omitted) dog next door ran by while I was playing with my next door neighbor and gave me a love tap on the leg. Cost me 70 stitches, then a skin graft, plastic surgery and 3 months out of the 3rd grade.

ECHOONE
July 7, 2009, 11:34 PM
Reading Minds,Or Reading Signs,, To all the people that think there the dog whisperer a word of advise,I too handled,cared and trained dogs for well over 20 yrs,Yes you can read most dogs by the signs and body language,but never feel that all will give you either.Point in case.After meeting a Rotty and his owner I sat with both talking for a good 10-15 minutes,the dog was well trained,he wasn't stressed,seemed very calm and had excepted my trust as he licked my hands as I scratched his chin and was petting him,after ending our chat I slowly stood up took one step back then turned to walk away. It was then that I heard his chain snapping,thank god his owner had control and was antentive! with no sign, body languag, or provocation this dog lunged for the back of my neck once I had turned around! So one never knows,Murphys law ALWAYS applies.You never take a chance with an animal even if you think you know him!
I do however feel in this case shooting his revolver was overreacting! 3 warning shoots was total overkill!

Farmland
July 8, 2009, 12:50 AM
I probably have a little more experience with animals than most people. I sorta of raise them. Though cows are a little larger than most dogs they for the most part a little more gentle. Except for those Bulls that after a certain age you better carry a nice size bat and never trust that it is going to leave you alone.

Seriously I have had the most gentle cows for one reason or another get a little disturbed with my presence and trying to avoid a couple thousand pounds of an animal that has its mind set on one thing isn't fun. And the important part is that even though you think you can read their minds you really can't. Most of the time they will lesson to commands and be the most docile animal you will ever know.

Thus I'm not afraid of animals, when you work with them you can't be, though I have learned to respect them. I sure know when I feel threaten by one and sadly to say when that happens it is time to cull them.

Dogs aren't much different if one shows teeth I am threatened. Dogs should be good natured animals however if they rush you in any way but a wagging tail and that stupid grin they get when they want to be hugged your probably in danger. Even though I'm a country boy we still don't let dogs like that run off a chain. maybe that is why I have never owned a dog like that, not much sense having one that needs to be chained.

If I feel threaten by a dog and I have a gun I would probably skipped the warning shots and eliminated the threat when they reach a certain point. I had a friend killed by a bull two years ago and then the neighbor was seriously hurt trying to save him. The bull just wanted to do his own thing and my friend was in the way, there was no warning at least you had a warning first.

Even though we all try to say animals are human we forget one thing they are made a little different than us and they don't know when they are doing wrong and I certainly wouldn't want to be the one on the wrong side of the teeth.

Tater.40
July 8, 2009, 12:06 PM
Thats the way the laws are around here you shoot a dog or someone pet your can count on going to jail for a long while .

Senator Vitaman
July 8, 2009, 12:57 PM
I think some people here are being a bit over-the top. A dog is an animal. This means that you don't have as high of a standard for using deadly force (I think, though check your laws, that you can use deadly force if an animal's causing significant harm to your property) and they are also to be treated differently for self-defense. While a human can 20 yards away might not be too much of a threat, an animal is a bit different. They run faster and probably take more time to stop if they are shot. (Like when deer run 100 yards after being shot) They are also more dangerous. If I get in a fistfight with someone about my size and skill and get cut I'm not as likely to die as if an animal bites me. The animal is also less likely to stop before killing me and while a human might just punch your face, an animal will bite and shake, seriously hurting you, or maybe even go for the throat.

Some people have said they would rather be bitten that shooting a dog. If you have other people in the group, I question how ethical it is to allow a human, a person, to be bitten by an attacking animal just to save said attacking animal.

Shooting a dog or someones pet is 10 years in prison where I live they concider it a crime here.It,s some kind of animal controll law here. Would that law really apply to cases of self-defense? If laws against shooting people don't apply in self-defense cases, how could that apply?

jon_in_wv
July 8, 2009, 06:31 PM
Some people have said they would rather be bitten that shooting a dog. If you have other people in the group, I question how ethical it is to allow a human, a person, to be bitten by an attacking animal just to save said attacking animal.

Common sense, I like it. Almost forgot what it sounded like. Good job my friend.

Shane Tuttle
July 8, 2009, 07:29 PM
Thats the way the laws are around here you shoot a dog or someone pet your can count on going to jail for a long while .

There have been several members questioning your claim as well as me. After reasserting the statement I must ask for specific sources of the law by which you speak.

Brian Pfleuger
July 8, 2009, 07:35 PM
Here would be the SC law in question, I believe:

§ 47-3-530. Penalties for stealing or killing identifiable dog.

Any person stealing any positively identifiable dog is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction must be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not less than thirty days nor more than six months, or both.

Any person killing any dog when owner may be identified by means of a collar bearing sufficient information or some other form of positive identification is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction must be fined not less than five hundred dollars nor more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not less than thirty days nor more than six months, or both. This paragraph does not apply to the killing of a dog threatening to cause or causing personal injury or property damage.

I believe that the bolded sentence would quite handily except the OP from prosecution...

MLeake
July 8, 2009, 07:37 PM
IE don't take a stray and put it down before checking tag and microchip.

B.N.Real
July 8, 2009, 07:57 PM
Never fire a warning shot.

Shoot to stop or kill the animal.

Discharging any firearm in any neighborhood can lead to a stray bullet killing a child or someone else.

You are very lucky the home owner has'nt called police and had you arrested.

It does'nt matter at all that I personally approve of what you did.

It is blatently illegal to fire a handgun in a neighborhood unless you are in imminent personal danger and every shot you take has to be justified soley to stop that deadly threat.

You are three times guilty of endangering the entire neighborhood you were in and in Northern Virginia,you would be arrested and jailed and your handgun would be taken away.

You would also likely never be able to own a handgun again.

Only fire your handgun when you are responding to a deadly threat and fire it directly at and into that deadly threat.

Also,if you were convicted of a felony endangerment of that neighborhood,it could affect your ability to get a job for the rest of your life.

All of this is why I am thinking very seriously of getting one of those bear pepper foam cans and wearing it everywhere I go.

Especially when I cannot legally carry.

Brian Pfleuger
July 8, 2009, 08:05 PM
That SC law reads like it's intended for pounds and shelters...



"Any person stealing...."

"Any person killing..."

:confused:

MLeake
July 8, 2009, 08:13 PM
.... the part about killing. Nice sarcasm, PeetzaKilla, but note the following:

"any dog when owner may be identified by means of a collar bearing sufficient information or some other form of positive identification"

Why else would the ability to identify the dog matter, in that paragraph?

I don't think they're saying it's ok to just go around killing collarless dogs in the neighborhood.

Obviously, the bolded portion in your post exempts self-defense.

Brian Pfleuger
July 8, 2009, 08:17 PM
Not the part about stealing...
.... the part about killing. Nice sarcasm, PeetzaKilla, but note the following:

"any dog when owner may be identified by means of a collar bearing sufficient information or some other form of positive identification"

It wasn't sarcasm. It says "any person". It doesn't say "read the tags first" it says "identifiable". In other words, if the dog has a collar and tags. The law has other sections dealing with pounds and such and it uses the exact phraseology to indicate such. I'm no lawyer but "any person" seems self explanatory.

MLeake
July 8, 2009, 08:23 PM
That would include microchips and tattoos, since they are positive ID forms. These would apply at vet's offices, shelters, and pounds.

I looked up the statute you quoted, PK. It's from SC's animal control laws. Guess what: this part of that statute probably pertains to animal control destroying a dog without making reasonable attempts to find an owner.

Where should your sarcasm be directed now?

Brian Pfleuger
July 8, 2009, 08:29 PM
No one expects a "civilian" to be able to identify a dog using RF tags and there is NO mention of such, while "collar" is specifically mentioned.

As for the purpose of the law:

"Title 47. Animals, Livestock and Poultry. Chapter 3. Dogs and Other Domestic Pets."

No mention of shelters, animal control officers or other specifications.

Once again "any person"....

How is this even a disagreement? Tuttle8 asked for the law, I obliged.

MLeake
July 8, 2009, 08:36 PM
And my mood is just fine. However, I misread your meaning behind, "it wasn't sarcasm."

But your cite is from Article 9, Registration of Dogs.

Yes, it says any person. However, some of the language ties in with the subsection that addresses responsibilities of animal control officers. My guess is they wrote this statute as all-inclusive, to include both abuse and other types of killings of dogs.

5whiskey
July 9, 2009, 12:15 AM
Never fire a warning shot.

Shoot to stop or kill the animal.

Discharging any firearm in any neighborhood can lead to a stray bullet killing a child or someone else.

You are very lucky the home owner has'nt called police and had you arrested.

It does'nt matter at all that I personally approve of what you did.

It is blatently illegal to fire a handgun in a neighborhood unless you are in imminent personal danger and every shot you take has to be justified soley to stop that deadly threat.

You are three times guilty of endangering the entire neighborhood you were in and in Northern Virginia,you would be arrested and jailed and your handgun would be taken away.

You would also likely never be able to own a handgun again.

Only fire your handgun when you are responding to a deadly threat and fire it directly at and into that deadly threat.

Also,if you were convicted of a felony endangerment of that neighborhood,it could affect your ability to get a job for the rest of your life.

All of this is why I am thinking very seriously of getting one of those bear pepper foam cans and wearing it everywhere I go.

Especially when I cannot legally carry.

Funny how the Sheriff Deputy who shoots with me in the back yard has never arrested me. Don't apply arcane laws that apply in your area, and the layout of your area, to mine. ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS WHY I SHOT INTO THE DITCH BANK AND NOT SHOT THE DOGS IS BECAUSE ENGAGING THE DOGS WOULD'VE BEEN MORE DANGEROUS BECAUSE THEY WERE DIRECTLY BETWEEN ME AND A HOUSE.

You are three times guilty of endangering the entire neighborhood you were in and in Northern Virginia,you would be arrested and jailed and your handgun would be taken away.

You would also likely never be able to own a handgun again.

Yes I'm quoting you again. You're very quick to try and scare me into thinking I'm going to jail when you don't even know where I'm from or the laws in my area. Excellent legal advice. I'll keep it in mind :rolleyes:

pax
July 9, 2009, 12:29 AM
Good thread, but after 7 pages there's little left to be said that hasn't been said already. Since there are some signs that tempers are beginning to wear thin, and since the thread has pretty much run its course anyway, I'm closing now.

Thanks for the discussion everyone!

pax