Having offered my understanding of the legal aspects of the question (really no problem with shooting the dogs in this case) I'll confess that I wouldn't have jumbed in the pit. I'm not 18 any more, weigh considerably more than I did then and a 14 foot drop would more than likely leave me unable to do anything useful.
Opening fire with a legally owned and carried pistol seems much more useful. Modern warfare is all about fire and movement. I'd fire. Someone else can move.
As to what I would do if it were my child, well that's different. I'd jump in and die gloriously. Hopefully I'd think to hand the pistol to someone who could use it before I jumped.