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Am I crazy? (defending pets)

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by moostapha, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. moostapha

    moostapha Loaded Pockets

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    Threads keep coming up on /r/ccw about the legality of defending yourself against an animal. It's a valid question. But, I always point out to be careful if it's a pet and get downvoted into oblivion....

    So...hypothetical situation....

    It's legal where you are to shoot someone in defense of property.

    There are no applicable leash laws.

    A stranger (non-LEO) meets you or comes to your house with no criminal intent (delivery guy, neighbor, etc.) and your energetic, people-loving dog goes to say "hi". The dog runs at them, intending to jump up and lick/sniff all over...the way dogs do. The person doesn't know this is normal, thinks the dog is attacking, and draws a legally-carried pistol intending to shoot the dog.

    In that situation (especially if the visitor has fired a shot), I would find it very hard not to shoot back, intending to stop the armed person who has threatened (or attacked) what is legally my property and what I consider my family. I might not think all that differently if the person in question is a LEO (remember that video where a cop repeatedly shot at dogs that were obviously playing).

    Now, I have taken and will continue to take steps to prevent this happening (baby gates, training, going outside to meet delivery guys, fireman please save our pets sign).

    I think the legal issues are beside the point.

    Am I crazy for honestly believing that I would use deadly force against a human to protect my dogs?
     
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  2. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    Why are you letting your dog charge strangers?
     
  3. vegassprky
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    vegassprky Loaded Circuits

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    I find that if you let a stranger into your home it's best to have put pet into another room for every ones safety. I don't think you'd come out too well if you shot a invited person and used the excuse of defending your pet, even if that was the case.
     
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  4. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    If your dog is acting aggressively (and running up to someone, I suggest, meets the criteria) and you shoot someone who is defending himself, are you defending the dog, or are you the second attacker? What I mean is, if two muggers corner an innocent in an alley, and the innocent shoots mugger #1, is it legally, morally, or even fair to say that mugger #2 is acting in a defensive capacity when he shoots the innocent?
    BTW, the legal issues are NEVER besides the point.
     
  5. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    Many people do consider their pets a member of their family, but the simple fact of the matter is that they are not family. Your family is human. The delivery man is more closely related to you than your dog. As painful as it would be if your dog were killed, can you imagine how you would feel if you killed a fellow human to protect your dog?

    It is immoral to kill a human who poses no other threat simply to protect an animal.

    Furthermore, even on your own property, you are morally responsible to protect other people from danger. Laws vary on this point by jurisdiction, but you had suggested that we leave legal issues aside. If a person overreacts and shoots a dog that doesn't pose a threat, perhaps he should be punished (and would be in most places) and I would believe he is not fit to carry a gun.
     
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  6. kertap75

    kertap75 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I love my dogs and cats, and both my dogs can be over affectionate. But to me people come first. In the scenario you described I wouldn't use deadly force to defend my dog. Myself, my wife, my daughter, or even a complete stranger, but not an animal. If I thought that the person was maliciously trying to harm my dog that would be a different story.
     
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  7. Buckeye Jake

    Buckeye Jake Loaded Pockets

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    Wow ! If they shot my dog just because they could I would make them wish they hadn't . We had a coptard shot a old lab up in in Toledo Oh . There is big lawsuit over it . The old lab lived by the way .

    Jake
     
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  8. SAKplumber
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    SAKplumber EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I think some people just walk around lookingg for a reason to use deadly force. If a dog charges at them, its all the reason they need.

    And as much money as people invest spend on their pets I don't think its farfethched to consider defending them.

    However, every situation is different, and will be seen differently by a jury.
     
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  9. moostapha

    moostapha Loaded Pockets

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    So, apparently I am the crazy one. Oh well. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing to prevent it from ever coming up.
     
  10. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    I'm sorry, while I'm both pro pet and pro 2A (including the Castle Doctrine), you need to have absolute control over you dog like you do your truck and your kids.
     
  11. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    A concept I'm all too familiar with.:p

    And to be fair, we have an Australian Shepard who's overriding instinct is to herd stuff, so if the mail main gives him a a face full of pepper spray, it isn't the mail man who is at fault. I'm at fault. I can't go over and pepper spray the mail carrier "in defense of my dog".
     
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  12. madlag
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    madlag Banned

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    Honestly if you used lethal force in that situation it would come down to how the case was presented both to police and or and jury. All someone has to "reasonably "believe is that you you believed you or your Family were in immediate danger. That's it. I can see where I see someone with a gun drawn in my direction at my home and I feel threatened and respond appropriately.

    Take the dog out of it bc you're not going to stop and say "hey, why would this gentlemen be pointing his hand cannon at me?"

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  13. madlag
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    madlag Banned

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    And I agree with everyone on controlling your dog. But that's a perfect, best case situation. Real life is you can't always do that.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  14. Frailer

    Frailer Loaded Pockets

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    I have no fear of dogs, but that's not true of everyone.

    I have a friend who's no coward, but he was mauled by a dog as a child, and he gets *very* nervous when a dog approaches him. It was very illuminating to learn this, and I was always very careful to keep my dog under control afterward.

    My view: if a person feels a dog is threatening to cause him grievous bodily harm, he is justified in using deadly force.

    Dogs are wonderful creatures, but they aren't people. Nor are they family--regardless of how fond you are of them.
     
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  15. ManVsLawn

    ManVsLawn EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I hit a dog with a line trimmer once. The dog backed off, and didn't like it.

    The owner wasn't happy, but I explained that if he wants me to come through and do work, he needs to leash his hound.

    Thing rushed the heck out of me - I'm not timid, by any means, but it looked 'aggressive'

    I'd have been pretty mad if the person shot me. I was there to do a job.

    Edit - the dog is lucky I didn't have my edger in hand. I'd have hit him with that and it would have been a lot worse than a few whips across the jowl.
     
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  16. Trespasser

    Trespasser Loaded Pockets

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    Cone, I have a border collie with the strong herding instinct but also not well socialized any recommendations? i know the two breeds are similar in temperament and ability to be trained. She is 9 months and a great dog but overly protective of the house, family, random trees and the occasional bush.
     
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  17. madlag
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    madlag Banned

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    Yep great perspective from the flip side of my statement. Important thing to realize that in this situation, someone loses dearly for no reason. Glad it's a hypothetical:)


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  18. RogerStenning

    RogerStenning EDC Junkie

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    My personal opinion, and note I'm a Brit, where firearms laws are utterly mental and the result of a myriad of knee-jerking PR mashups, is that you should have a sign, prominently displayed at all doors into the house, stating "BE AWARE: (insert type of pet) lives UNRESTRICTED WITHIN HERE; Enter at your own risk". I would have thought that this approach should cover you from all manner of liability and explanatory issues. Interested to see opinions on this.
     
  19. Chimay

    Chimay Loaded Pockets

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    If a stranger comes to my house and draws a gun they are probably going to be shot. A stranger on my property drawing a gun is up to no good and I would immediately consider them to be a threat. If they did manage to draw and shoot my dog I would assume they did that to aide them in committing whatever crime they were intending on committing and would be shot. Essentially I would think that they were intending to shoot me or someone else next. I further think that is a completely reasonable reaction in light of the only information you would have to go off of. Your property, stranger, drawing gun, potentially firing shots. Clearly a deadly threat.

    The whole situation is far fetched. I don't know anyone that would in sight of the dogs owner immediately escalate to shooting a dog that was not actively biting and causing serious damage to them. The last thing in my mind would be, they were trying to protect themselves from a dog. That's not the way to do it, they are asking to be shot.

    Edit I'll add that I put my dog outside or in another room before answering the door unless I know for sure it is someone my dog is very familiar with etc. so I would never end up in situation like the one described. I could see in rural areas without fences etc the situation being different. Dogs lose on the property and someone comes up the drive way etc. But in my situation, no way.
     
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  20. kertap75

    kertap75 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I am not a lawyer and have no first hand knowledge but I've been told that signs like that don't reduce your liability in any way. In fact they prove that you knew your animal was dangerous and if it bit someone that means you didn't take the proper steps to protect them.