When is it legal to shoot an attacking animal?
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Thread: When is it legal to shoot an attacking animal?

  1. #1

    When is it legal to shoot an attacking animal?

    Say you go for a walk with your wife in the park, and a dog belonging to another park visitor is off his leash. The dog approaches, growling deep in its throat. At what point are you legally justified in shooting the dog? Do you have to wait until it actually injures you? Until your life is threatened?

    I don't know the answer to this question, I'm asking. Please back up your answer with a reference to the law.


    (update: I've written to the arkansas state attorney general about this. Will post the answer when it comes)
    Last edited by ishi; 10-08-2007 at 10:41 AM.

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  3. #2
    First let me say I am NOT an attorney and it may be best to contact one for a legal answer. States differ in their laws and, in many, you could be liable just having a gun in a park. This could open you up to, not only possible arrest, but a lawsuit as well. In other states the unprovoked threat would be enough to defend yourself.

  4. #3
    Join Date
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    ishi, what state are you in? That would help you get the correct answer.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by ronwill View Post
    First let me say I am NOT an attorney and it may be best to contact one for a legal answer. States differ in their laws and, in many, you could be liable just having a gun in a park. This could open you up to, not only possible arrest, but a lawsuit as well. In other states the unprovoked threat would be enough to defend yourself.
    Okay, never mind the park. The park is just setting; your point is well taken that some parks don't allow firearms. This might happen walking on a sidewalk or on the street or in a parking lot. It's a general question.

    By the way, I'm hoping other forum member will chime in with laws in their states. I'm curious if anybody actually knows the law concerning this. It seems to me that getting attacked by an animal might be a more likely happenstance than being attacked by a human. So it seems beneficial to discuss it.
    Last edited by ishi; 10-08-2007 at 10:53 AM.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by ishi View Post
    Okay, never mind the park. The park is just setting; your point is well taken that some parks don't allow firearms. This might happen walking on a sidewalk or on the street or in a parking lot. It's a general question.

    By the way, I'm hoping other forum member will chime in with laws in their states. I'm curious if anybody actually knows the law concerning this. It seems to me that getting attacked by an animal might be a more likely happenstance than being attacked by a human. So it seems beneficial to discuss it.
    In that case Ishi, I can say that here in Georgia there have been cases where free roaming dogs were shot because of aggression. Those doing so were found "not liable". Georgia now has a "no retreat" law which makes it even more likely that shooting a vicious dog attacking unprovoked would be found as self defense.

  7. animals

    Here in eastern New Mexico this week, a man shot and killed a roaming, aggressive dog in his yard. He had multiple encounters with the dog, had repeatedly called animal control, and last week the dog killed his dog. This week, when it came at him, he shot and killed it, and stated that animal control was not an option as there was always a long delay before they arrived.
    His gun was confiscated, and he was sited for negligent use of a firearm, and animal cruelty.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Here in eastern New Mexico this week, a man shot and killed a roaming, aggressive dog in his yard. He had multiple encounters with the dog, had repeatedly called animal control, and last week the dog killed his dog. This week, when it came at him, he shot and killed it, and stated that animal control was not an option as there was always a long delay before they arrived.
    His gun was confiscated, and he was sited for negligent use of a firearm, and animal cruelty.
    Do you have a link? NM is very pro gun and I wouldnt think this would happen here.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Ziggy View Post
    Here in eastern New Mexico this week, a man shot and killed a roaming, aggressive dog in his yard. He had multiple encounters with the dog, had repeatedly called animal control, and last week the dog killed his dog. This week, when it came at him, he shot and killed it, and stated that animal control was not an option as there was always a long delay before they arrived.
    His gun was confiscated, and he was sited for negligent use of a firearm, and animal cruelty.
    Please cite your source and post it...

    This needs to be reported and opposed; by those willing to do so such as http://www.saf.org/
    and http://www.gunowners.org/

    The right to self-preservation is an in-alienable right...

  10. http://www.cnjonline.com/news/office...ded_block.html (sorry, apparently my html skills are non-existent)
    It was local news, the third article on this police blotter is the brief about it.
    Last edited by Ziggy; 10-09-2007 at 11:47 AM.

  11. #10
    from the article:

    Around 8:30 a.m. Sept. 28 an officer responded to a shots fired call in the 2000 block of Chaparral.
    When he arrived he found a dog on the ground that had been shot. The officer spoke with a man, who told him he had shot at two dogs. He said he had experienced trouble with the dogs before and had seen them chasing his dog.
    He said the week before two similar looking dogs had killed his Chihuahua, and when he called police and animal control, it took them too long to respond.
    The man received citations for animal cruelty and negligent use of a firearm inside city limits.

    Not too detailed, but it sounds like "seen them chasing his dog" was the best defense he was able to give. So apparently the dog was not menacing him personally, or surely he would have said so(?).

    Good example, but we're still no nearer to getting the law on this.

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