Is Shooting an Attacking Dog Considered Self Defense By Law?
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Thread: Is Shooting an Attacking Dog Considered Self Defense By Law?

  1. Is Shooting an Attacking Dog Considered Self Defense By Law?

    Went for a little walk yesterday and ran into a dog ( which was friendly) but it got me thinking about if I ran into a dog that was going to attack and had to defend myself by shooting it I am wondering how that is handled by the law.

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  3. #2
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    it would depend on the state you live in. best advice is ask a lawyer.

  4. #3
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    I can't imagine any state saying that you couldn't defend yourself against an attack by any animal of sufficient size with lethal force. That would be like saying that you couldn't defend yourself against a human stabbing you over and over again.
    One must be wary of the mentality creating the problem or the law creating the crime.

    I love America and the Constitution, if you don't then get out!

  5. #4
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    I actually heard of a story where a man was walking in his neighborhood and a dog had chased him, he tried running and the dog has bitten him, he had pulled his weapon and shot it twice, he was not charged. Ill see if I can find it and ill post it on here for you.
    Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American Soldier....One died for your soul; the other for your freedom.

  6. #5
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    IMO I wouldn't care. I was attacked by a Pit when I was about 17. I spent 11 days in the Hospital from it,The owner denied owning the dog. The neighbors came forward and said he did. He was responsible for the medical bills
    Just last year my kids were playing out side and the guy down the road had let his pits out to "play" as he said . The dogs had chased the kids into the garage,luckily I was in there working on something. I might add a 45 in a garage was pretty loud. I shot one and the other ran home. The owner came to my house to see what had happened,so I told him (standing with the dead dog between us). A short while later the Sheriff arrived and got my side of the story(and the kids). I was told there would be no charges filed because it was in defense.
    Come to find out in Alabama there is a vicious dog law. These dogs have to be in a pin with the fence at least 1 foot under ground and the owner must carry an additional policy for the dogs..He had done neither. I found out later that his Home Owners had been canceled and he has not been able to get any since this mishap. I guess it depends on where you live and the circumstance.
    Its Better To Have It And Not Need It Than To Need It And Not Have It.

  7. #6
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    I had a similar event not too long ago. I was walking my Siberian Husky when what appeared to be a Rot came from the porch of a house and started growling and barking. The owner was in the yard and I told him that if I feel the dog is going to attack I was going to shoot it. He said "that dog wouldn't hurt anyone".

    Well, the dog started running at me so I drew on it- and the owner took off running after it and grabbed it. I told him he was lucky I was in a generous mood.

  8. #7
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    FYI : But don't shoot the dog to protect YOUR dog. A dog is considered property (in Ohio at least) and you can't shoot to protect property. Only human life!

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Tackleberry561 View Post
    IMO I wouldn't care. I was attacked by a Pit when I was about 17. I spent 11 days in the Hospital from it,The owner denied owning the dog. The neighbors came forward and said he did. He was responsible for the medical bills
    Just last year my kids were playing out side and the guy down the road had let his pits out to "play" as he said . The dogs had chased the kids into the garage,luckily I was in there working on something. I might add a 45 in a garage was pretty loud. I shot one and the other ran home. The owner came to my house to see what had happened,so I told him (standing with the dead dog between us). A short while later the Sheriff arrived and got my side of the story(and the kids). I was told there would be no charges filed because it was in defense.
    Come to find out in Alabama there is a vicious dog law. These dogs have to be in a pin with the fence at least 1 foot under ground and the owner must carry an additional policy for the dogs..He had done neither. I found out later that his Home Owners had been canceled and he has not been able to get any since this mishap. I guess it depends on where you live and the circumstance.
    As is the case in most states. The insurance companies see dogs of that breed(as well as others)as to high risk. If you can manage to get home owners with the above breed it's at twice the cost.

    THEY MAY TAKE OUR LIVES BUT THEY'LL NEVER TAKE OUR FREEDOM!!!!!

  10. #9
    In New York State it is perfectly legal to immediately destroy a dog that is attacking you, another person, or a domestic animal.

    Specifically, section 121-a of the Agriculture and Markets law states:

    1. If any dog shall, without justification, attack a person, or behaves
    in a manner which a reasonable person would believe poses a serious and
    unjustified imminent threat of serious physical injury to a person, when
    such person is peaceably conducting himself in a place where he may
    lawfully be, such person or any other person witnessing the attack or
    threatened attack may destroy such dog while so attacking, and no liability
    in damages or otherwise shall be incurred on account of such destruction.

    2. If any dog shall, without justification, attack a companion animal,
    farm animal or domestic animal, or shall behave in a manner which a
    reasonable person would believe poses a serious and unjustified imminent
    threat of serious physical injury or death to a companion animal, farm
    animal or domestic animal, where such animal is in any place where it may
    lawfully be, the owner or caretaker of such animal, or any other person
    witnessing the attack, may destroy such dog, and no liability in damages or
    otherwise shall be incurred on account of such destruction.
    The courts have held that this provision applies to both civil and criminal liability, and allows one to destroy a dog that has engaged in the proscribed behavior but is presently retreating.

    However, if the dog is leaving and you shoot it, then although you can't be held criminally or civilly liable for shooting the dog, you can still be held criminally liable for illegally discharging your firearm (if you are in a non-discharge area) because you wouldn't have the necessity defense in that situation. You or another person or another domestic animal would have to be under attack to invoke the necessity defense.

  11. #10
    Join Date
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    Greater Houston Area, TX
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    In Texas if your "in fear for your life" you good to go.

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