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  #1  
Old 03-20-2013, 9:46 AM
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Question Can you legally kill a dog attacking your dog

I've been trying to research this but can't seem to find a definitive answer.

The scenario is, you're walking your dog in a residential area on leash. Out of the blue an aggressive dog runs up on you and starts attacking your dog. You fear for your dog's life. Could you shoot the attacking dog if a CCW holder or stab the dog with a knife with the intent to kill? What if that same dog attacked you?

I'm afraid emotions in a situation like that would take over, and I'd like to know the ramifications beforehand.
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Old 03-20-2013, 9:54 AM
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From what I recall, your dog is considered property. You cannot use deadly force to protect property.

If someone killed your dog, you cannot shoot that person until that person turned their intent to you.

If a dog attacked you, I'm sure you can protect yourself. But knowing that we are in CA, I'm sure there are other laws that the D.A. would charge you with.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:04 AM
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The California Agricultural code allows you to kill any stray dog that is even just aggravating your animals/livestock. But that would be on your property, not out for a walk.

That's the most I know of.

I say kill it and say that it attacked you. I just would not shoot it, I would ram my thumbs in its eye sockets. I don't need any problems with guns right now.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:07 AM
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I don't know the exact answer to your question but I can tell you that, as crappy as this sounds, legally a dog is considered a piece of property. So legally the concept of fearing for life or great bodily injury and self defense probably couldn't be applied to protecting your dog. Granted, if you shoot another dog it's not considered "force" since you're shooting at a piece of property. You might be in violation of "discharging a firearm within city limits" or "negligent discharge of a firearm" depending on the circumstances.

If the dog attacks you it's a different story though and all the elements for using a firearm for self defense apply.

Good question to ask a firearms lawyer.

Last edited by RedVines; 03-20-2013 at 10:16 AM.. Reason: grammar
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:12 AM
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My thoughts are that glassman's suggestions would give you more problems than just shooting an aggressive dog.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:14 AM
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Last year a guy was walking his dog in South Sacramento. He was a CCW licensee. A loose pitbull charged at him and his dog. He drew and shot the animal, which died. Sac PD showed up at the scene and didn't arrest or cite him. Told him he was totally within his rights and they weren't going to do anything about it.
He was walking past a park where a family was picnicking. It was this family's dog which they were allowing to run free, which charged the CCW holder. The family was angry but the Sac PD said it was their responsibility to leash their dog.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:20 AM
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I don't care either way. If a dog is attacking me, my dog, or a friend and I fear for myself or them, I'm stabbing the hell outta the attacking dog.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:21 AM
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Uh, I'm not sure thats correct.

It is correct to say you can't use lethal force against a human in defense of property, (ie dirtbag stealing your car). Nor could you use lethal force on someone killing your dog (but no threat to you).

You do have a right to protect livestock. I personally have shot several dogs harrasing livestock.

Of course, doing that in suburbia may not be the best idea. And the additude towards such a shoot would be biased by the community, (ie downtown LA vs rural farming community).

If the shoot was done safely and with due regard to down range, back stop etc etc, I would have no problem if you shot a dog that was attacking/killing your dog.

YMMV I guess



Quote:
Originally Posted by NytWolf View Post
From what I recall, your dog is considered property. You cannot use deadly force to protect property.

If someone killed your dog, you cannot shoot that person until that person turned their intent to you.

If a dog attacked you, I'm sure you can protect yourself. But knowing that we are in CA, I'm sure there are other laws that the D.A. would charge you with.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bainter1212 View Post
Last year a guy was walking his dog in South Sacramento. He was a CCW licensee. A loose pitbull charged at him and his dog. He drew and shot the animal, which died. Sac PD showed up at the scene and didn't arrest or cite him. Told him he was totally within his rights and they weren't going to do anything about it.
He was walking past a park where a family was picnicking. It was this family's dog which they were allowing to run free, which charged the CCW holder. The family was angry but the Sac PD said it was their responsibility to leash their dog.
I'm pretty sure the story would be different had the incident took place in front of the family's house.
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:01 AM
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Good responses so far. It seems many would act accordingly with the legal ramifications a secondary concern. If a pet is considered property unlike livestock then it would be a matter of killing personal property to protect your personal property???

Does anyone know what the penal code this would fall under or any case history other then the incident in S. Sac?
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:21 AM
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Just tell the attacking dog it's illegal to attack other dogs or humans. That should do it. 😏
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Old 03-20-2013, 11:44 AM
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I've had that happen on my property, once the neighbors dogs killed my chickens, I shot and killed both dogs with chickens still in their mouths, called the S.O. the dog owner had to pay 2x value of my chickens. Other time another neighbors Doberman attacked a puppy of mine, I shot and killed it {the Doberman} the neighbor was warned by the S.O. to keep his dogs off my property. I don't know how it works on public streets, I don't think pets are considered "property" they may be considered 'livestock' which you are able to defend. Never shoot {or stab} to kill, only shoot to stop.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NytWolf View Post
From what I recall, your dog is considered property. You cannot use deadly force to protect property.
Ah, but you are not kidding, you are destroying the property of another. It rests on your local ordinances. I know in Riverside County a dog is considered property and, at one time, if someone killed your dog they owed you $25 for loss of property. I once complained about a barking dog at 3am and the cops did nothing. After weeks of this I asked what would happen if I shot the dog (bluffing!). They said I'd owe the owner $25, then when they realized it was the same guy calling about the noise, they sent a cop out. The county is rather built up now and the same laws may not apply.

Oddly enough you can break a car window to rescue an overheating dog, so there is a balance in there somewhere. Unless you kill an animal with malice the courts tend to not care much. Dogs get run over every day, heck UPS ran over my dog and called to whine that the driver was traumatized and it was MY fault.
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  #14  
Old 03-20-2013, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brien
If a pet is considered property unlike livestock then it would be a matter of killing personal property to protect your personal property???
You're assumption that that a pet is treated the same as livestock if flawed.

For use of force issues, pet is just property, like a car or a television. The rules that allow you to protect livestock and use deadly force against them on your property doesn't apply...otherwise, you could shoot someone for rapping on your fish tank and scaring your fish
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9mmepiphany View Post
You're assumption that that a pet is treated the same as livestock if flawed.

For use of force issues, pet is just property, like a car or a television. The rules that allow you to protect livestock and use deadly force against them on your property doesn't apply...otherwise, you could shoot someone for rapping on your fish tank and scaring your fish
I don't know the legal answer, but you can't compare those two.

Shooting a person for disturbing your fish is not the same as shooting a dog killing your dog.

Shooting a person = homicide.
=/=
Shooting a dog = destruction of property.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:37 PM
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I wasn't

I was pointing out that you can apply the "harassing livestock" application of deadly force to pets

Maybe a better example would be a cat pawing at the fish tank
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Old 03-20-2013, 1:13 PM
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you never shoot or stab to kill that is what killers do

you shoot and stab to stop the attack what ever happens after that is incidental
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Old 03-20-2013, 1:57 PM
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After you read all of the posts regarding shooting a dog attacking your dog while out on a walk with it on a leash and the ramifications of doing that, especially in an inner City where the discharge of the firearm could possibly lead to your arrest, depending on the local jurisdiction's interpretation.

Look into carrying a stun gun and pepper spray. I've used both on Dogs and both worked relatively well. Absolute last resort would be to shoot the Dog.
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Old 03-20-2013, 2:09 PM
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Go back with a honey badger.
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Old 03-20-2013, 2:55 PM
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NO.
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Old 03-20-2013, 3:29 PM
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Go back with a honey badger.
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Old 03-20-2013, 3:47 PM
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Old 03-20-2013, 4:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NytWolf View Post
I'm pretty sure the story would be different had the incident took place in front of the family's house.
It happened at a park, but the dog was came from the owners house across the street.
Guy was walking his mini rat dog...American Bully (not a pit) charged out the front door and took off across the street.
Guy felt threatened. All shots were within 6'. 1st round missed. 2nd went right between the shoulder blades. 3rd went through the side.

Dog died on the doorstep.
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Old 03-20-2013, 4:30 PM
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I've had dogs go after my dog when I've been walking her. She's a large chow mix and seems like other dogs like to attack her. I've certainly kicked the you know what out of some attacking dogs. I'd be hesitant about shooting a dog attacking your dog but if the aggression was turned toward you, I would think that you have the right to protect yourself. However, I think your question would best be answered by an attorney who specializes in firearms law.
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Old 03-20-2013, 8:53 PM
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If you have a CCW then you were given a copy of the rules and went through the course and know or should know when to legally discharge a firearm in defense of self or others. That being said, shoot the dog! If it is agressive enough to take off after your dog while you are walking it then it is agressive enough to go after you and that is what your were preventing. You shot the dog before it killed your dog and went after you.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:07 PM
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Brien,

I wish you would change your avatar. That is the ugliest scank I've seen - not to mention an incredible waste of good oxygen. Sorry, just MHO.
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
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Go back with a honey badger.
Bad idea. Honey badger don't care!
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Old 03-20-2013, 10:40 PM
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Meanwhile back in PA

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Old 03-20-2013, 11:11 PM
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I was recently placed in this scenario. Pit bull off leash charged and attack my 4 month old pup. I was able to separate the pit while the owner watched. I almost shot the pit as it was standing one top of my pup and my pup was yelping out in what I thought at the time was pain. Owner held onto dog and I started to walk away. The POS eminem punk let the pit go and the attack was on again a second time. Now I'm pissed. Pit got back on top of my pup and was growling and appeared to be bitting my dog. The owner again sat ideally by and watch.... I picked his pit up my the neck and threw it at him. I told him if he let his dog go again I would shoot his dog on the spot. Punk didn't like that but didn't let his dog go again. I was lucky in that my dog did not receive any injuries, however at the time based upon the aggressive nature/actions of the dog and the loud yelping from my dog I thought she was injured.
As a responding LEO I would not charge any offenses if someone else was in the same situation but had shot the dog. I called my local animal control to get their advise in case of future a incident. They told me I could use a shovel or board or w/e to "protect my property" even if I kill the other dog. I asked specifically if discharging my gun would have been acceptable and he would not answer the question, "couldn't give legal advise."
I wonder how this would play out in the hands of a DA.
I look forward to seeing what any lawyers, if any present, have to say.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:01 AM
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Kick the dog, and once it starts biting you, shoot it.
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Old 03-21-2013, 1:49 AM
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I'm not a LEO but I think firing in a residential area would be a last resort if my own life were in danger. How do you know where a missed shot might go? Right thru a wall and kill a child?

Do whatever is necessary to escape the situation, but if the agressor dog isn't biting you, don't draw.
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Old 03-21-2013, 9:10 AM
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I am not a CCW carrier but I do carry a knife and pepper spray (in our poop-bag pouch) which would be our first go to. But if that didn't work I would use my knife and put the attacking dog down. It would be ugly but I wouldn't let my dogs get killed either. It seems to me it would be justified and as others have said who's not to say the attacking dog wasn't about to turn on my wife or me.

BTW, here are my dogs...

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Old 03-21-2013, 9:29 AM
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Yea I was put in this scenario a couple years back. Walking my lab around the block some crazy boxer jumped over a fence and started attacking my dog so all gave it a sturdy kick to the chest and it stopped and thought about going again so I kicked it again in the butt and it yelped and just walked off....I don't think a gun is necessary to protect from a dog...neither is a knife, unless you kick like a girl or the dog is like an adult bull mastiff or something lol after all its a dog and generally speaking your bigger and smarter...act like it
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Old 03-21-2013, 9:42 AM
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The dog was charging you, your dog intervened and got killed, he was coming at you once again and you had to protect yourself.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:53 PM
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let's not forget the other dog is property as well. However, any dog that looks lke it is going to attack my dog, and could reasonably hurt my dog, is getting shanked.
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Old 03-21-2013, 1:14 PM
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Its a dog. Kill it and worry about the slap on the wrist later. :-)
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Old 03-21-2013, 1:43 PM
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I haven't read the whole case yet, but instead of an opinions from a random person on the internet here is a link to an appellate court case from a random guy on the internet dealing with this issue.
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Old 03-21-2013, 2:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBR_rider View Post
I haven't read the whole case yet, but instead of an opinions from a random person on the internet here is a link to an appellate court case from a random guy on the internet dealing with this issue.
I didn't read the entire case, but the circumstances are considerably different then what I posed. In her case she was only being followed by two smaller dogs barking and following her. At no time did they attack her or her dog. That in itself is a significant difference. Her case is about the illegal discharge of a firearm.
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Old 03-21-2013, 2:53 PM
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It's hard to just give a definitive answer but if a dog starts attacking my dog it's going to get a size 12 extra wide shoe to it's head. If it attacks me it's going to get stabbed. I love dogs and don't want to see one hurt but ***** happens. I would think that you could be justified shooting the dog either way because it could just as easily attack you. I wouldn't say you are protecting your property, I would say that you feared the dog was going to attack you.
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Old 03-21-2013, 5:14 PM
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Im not LEO, but is it not unreasonable to assume a random dog attacking your dog on a leash wont turn on you? If that is a reasonable fear, than you have the right to self-defense, rather than protecting property?
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