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Old January 15, 2012, 09:12 AM   #1
stonewall50
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Shooting a Dog

I feel I must revisit this, and I have proposed this question before too. I find it more important this time because a friend of mine was attacked and put in the hospital because of a neighborhood dog.

In all situations we are talking about a dog that is capable of doing damage too. Not a small dog.

Would it be legal for a CCH to shoot this dog in defense of another person during the incident? I have not found something that objects, other than the "I love my dog" owners that don't understand human worth vs dog worth.

What would the law be if a dog attacked me? Would I be allowed to excersise self defense and shoot the dog?

Understand that I am not a cowboy when it comes to this. I take my responsibilities seriously, and more importantly in this situation I was raised by a veternarian and grew up around aggressive dogs, nice dogs, and everything in between. I am wondering what my limits would be? I live in Florida if anyone feels that might change anything.

I know that as of right now, if I felt someone's life was in danger, or my own was, I would not hesitate to do the right thing. I would like to know if it is the legal thing though.
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Old January 15, 2012, 09:19 AM   #2
Pond, James Pond
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I do love my dogs. Fortunately, neither is aggressive (although barks very loud: ear asssault...), but some choose their dogs for exatly that trait: aggression.

I cannot comment on the legality of your situation, I'm afraid, but if your safety, indeed life, or those of another person (assuming that other person were definitely not an aggressor) are in danger, I'd have to say, yes, use your gun if that seems the best course of action.

Unfortunately for dogs, even if they were defending their owner, if they have attacked a human, I think most would be put down.

Sorry that this is not a legally specific answer.
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Old January 15, 2012, 09:34 AM   #3
Sparks1957
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I wouldn't shoot unless someone was really in danger, otherwise you may end up in some trouble with your neighbors and the local law officers.

Last edited by Tom Servo; January 15, 2012 at 10:26 AM. Reason: Redacted response to deleted post
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Old January 15, 2012, 09:38 AM   #4
MLeake
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Check your local laws regarding deadly force and justification.

Specifically, check for defense of third party.

We have it in MO, and we had it (they still have it) in GA and FL.

If it would be justifiable to shoot a human due to a reasonable fear of death or serious injury to an innocent third party, I am pretty sure a dog is out of luck.
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Old January 15, 2012, 09:42 AM   #5
Brian Pfleuger
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If a person is at substantial risk from a dog, virtually every jurisdiction would allow deadly force against the animal.

I say "virtually" because some one will surely come up with some sort of exception, though I can't really imagine it in legal terms.

Deadly/physical force laws are directed at force against humans. The only laws that really apply to defending against a dog would be animal cruelty laws, in most cases.

Regardless, the standard for justification is going to be a lot lower than it would be against a human. In the scenario of a direct, "in-progress" attack, a person would certainly be justified in shooting the dog.
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Old January 15, 2012, 09:44 AM   #6
Pond, James Pond
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To clarify; what I posted was for a worst case scenario.
I would personally trust more in the likes of pepper spray which I think would be a far more effective defence in most cases involving most animals.
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Last edited by Tom Servo; January 15, 2012 at 10:27 AM. Reason: Redacted response to deleted post
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Old January 15, 2012, 09:51 AM   #7
hogdogs
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As a long time bull dog owner and hunter of hogs with dogs using some high prey driven bulldogs for catch duty, I realize a dog of mine could go on the attack due to prey drive stimuli etc...

Generally perfect non aggressive angels but not the sort of dog I can run loose like 5 of my indoor outdoor pet dogs.

Even with my indoor/outdoor pet dogs, if they go "broken arrow", if the victim don't take them out, I sure will...

I ain't tolerating it from mine and I sure won't tolerate it from others.

As for CCW, I have never heard that it cannot be deployed against a vicious dog.

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Old January 15, 2012, 10:18 AM   #8
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PK, as far as just shooting the dog goes, I agree with you.

As far as firing the gun inside city limits goes, there are prosecutors who will want justification for deadly force, or they will press charges - since deadly force will have been used in a populated area.

(Edit: Legally, this is about potential bystanders and human victims, not the dog; I had a friend charged with discharge of a firearm within city limits for shooting a rattlesnake in his backyard.)

Depending on where you are, and where any stray bullets go, there can be felony level charges.

Last edited by MLeake; January 15, 2012 at 10:33 AM.
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Old January 15, 2012, 10:27 AM   #9
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Use the same logic as applies to deadly force on a human.

"Nuisance" is not enough, but a large dog which cannot be disengaged while mauling a 6-year old is toast.





postscript: I note that Moderator has eliminated the offending/dangerous post. Good job and quickly done.

Last edited by Al Norris; January 15, 2012 at 10:53 AM. Reason: cleared up reference to deleted post
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Old January 15, 2012, 10:30 AM   #10
Tom Servo
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Most jurisdictions allow for shooting an animal that presents a danger. The burden of proof is generally lower than it is for self-defense cases involving humans.

I love my dogs. They're my friends and companions, and I actually do believe they have souls. That said, the law sees animals as property, and as such, they do not have the same legal protections people do.

That does not make wanton cruelty acceptable or legal, though.
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Old January 15, 2012, 10:35 AM   #11
Sparks1957
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Well said, Tom. Thank you.
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Old January 15, 2012, 10:39 AM   #12
mehavey
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Let me demonstrate how quickly something posted here is picked up and distributed by the likes of the Google search engine:

Code:
Shooting a Dog - TheFiringLine Forums
thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4909195One method, not very humane,
but effective, is to put out  XXXXxxxxxxx [details deleted by moi]. In their ...
Even though the url cited no longer listed Rifleman's post, the actual summary of Rifleman's words *is* listed in the cached Google outline.

Do NOT post something on this or any other open forum that you don't want to see spread all over the new York Times front page. The internet is like fire... crucial to today's information age, and just a likely to burn your house down when mishandled.
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Old January 15, 2012, 10:43 AM   #13
Al Norris
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And with that, the thread is closed.

The OP started another thread in Tactics that is essentially the same. It was started one minute earlier, which makes this thread a duplicate.
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