All the times I've used it on suspects (over 10 years now) I have NEVER had it work by itself. I have always used it to distract the suspect and then go to a different technique (ie. baton or takedown etc). The bad guys (girls to) only start whining and crying after they are in cuffs. They tried issuing us pepper foam for a short time and the suspects started scraping it off their faces and throwing it back
. Anytime you use it you will get contaminated also. As far as animals go the dogs I've used it on just snorted and kept coming. One did stop and licked it off (i guess it tasted good
). I would more recommend a civilian taser for self defense. If nothing else pepper spray can be used to spray the attacker therefore buying time to run away.