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Old July 5, 2009, 01:31 PM   #76
Creature
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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.
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Old July 5, 2009, 01:32 PM   #77
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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.
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Old July 5, 2009, 01:35 PM   #78
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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...
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Old July 5, 2009, 01:35 PM   #79
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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...
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Old July 5, 2009, 01:35 PM   #80
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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 ?
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Old July 5, 2009, 01:44 PM   #81
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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
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Old July 5, 2009, 01:50 PM   #82
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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
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Old July 5, 2009, 02:02 PM   #83
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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
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Old July 5, 2009, 02:09 PM   #84
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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. )

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. :-)
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Old July 5, 2009, 04:34 PM   #85
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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.
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Old July 5, 2009, 04:35 PM   #86
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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.
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Old July 5, 2009, 05:24 PM   #87
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"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.
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Old July 5, 2009, 05:36 PM   #88
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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.
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Old July 5, 2009, 05:45 PM   #89
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"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.
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Old July 5, 2009, 06:15 PM   #90
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I didn't so much as hear a firecracker...

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...
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Old July 5, 2009, 06:28 PM   #91
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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.
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Old July 5, 2009, 06:34 PM   #92
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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.
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Old July 5, 2009, 06:52 PM   #93
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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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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.

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Old July 5, 2009, 07:08 PM   #94
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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.
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Old July 5, 2009, 07:28 PM   #95
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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.

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Old July 5, 2009, 07:31 PM   #96
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That pretty good Idea giving the dog your arm to show proof .
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Old July 5, 2009, 07:54 PM   #97
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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.
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Old July 5, 2009, 08:22 PM   #98
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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.
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Old July 5, 2009, 08:28 PM   #99
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If you felt threatened enough to shoot, you should have shot the dogs.
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Old July 5, 2009, 08:31 PM   #100
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I think that you did just fine......but...... I haven't heard the dogs side of the story.
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