What do I do next after shooting a dog in self defense?

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SorrelTop

Bearcat
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
2
This is just a hypothetical situation.

But If I'm out walking and get attacked by a dog intending to bite me. I don't plan on hesitating on shooting it.

Then what should I do? Call the police and tell them what?

What would you do in this situation?

Thanks for the help.
 

blammer

Single-Sixer
Joined
Oct 6, 2007
Messages
265
Location
Nebraska
Call the police/sheriff. Be prepared for a PO'd owner. I've been attacked and bitten, shot the dog but I would prefer not to if possible. Pepper spray is a possible alternative.
Question: Is there a dog pepper spray? I thought normal 'people' pepper spray did not work on dogs. Is that true? I'd hate to have someone carry it only to find it did not work on dogs.

My boy has some kind of dog-deterrent sound-generator (looks like a garage door opener) he's successfully used to ward off approaching dogs. Not a guarantee, but he says it mostly works.

By the way, keep in mind that in most cities, there is probably an ordinance against shooting firearms in the city, so you may have to deal with that. But it beats getting bit by an animal and maybe having to do precautionary rabies shots.
 

Pps1980

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 2, 2017
Messages
246
Depends on the state. In Georgia there is no restriction on shooting an animal, wild or domestic, that is attacking a human. The law appears to trump no discharges with X, Y, Z ordinances from local jurisdictions. No obligation written in the law to notify anyone.
 

Paul B

Buckeye
Joined
Dec 4, 1999
Messages
1,725
Location
Tucson, AZ
Before my knees went out I used to walk around the block. Several people have pit bulls or pit bull mixed dogs and some are definitely unfriendly. Wouldn't be so bad but they do get out of their yards fairly frequently. Only had one incident and the owner was present. He wasn't too happy when I told him to call off his dog or lose it. I was more than prepared to shoot the dog if it attacked me. He called the dog back and I thanked him. I've seen what a big pit bull can do to another dog. My next door neighbor had a very friendly with people pit bull. But if another animal including dogs was seen by him he'd go crazy. One day, I was talking with my neighbor when two beautifully matched pit bulls came walking down the street and not bothering anyone. Neighbor's pit hit that iron gate and knocked it completely off the hinges and took those two pits one. Before we could break up the fight one pit was badly ripped up and the other may have had a broken leg and many bite wounds.
The neighbor's pit came to a bad end. He hid him out at his sister's house and someone tried to kill it by bashing its head in. The dog had to be put down.
The only dog I came close to having to kill was a bull mastiff at the vets. My youngest daughter was pulling the night shift and it got out of its cage and my daughter was up on top of the filing cabinets with the huge dog trying to climb up after her. The vet clinic is only about 2.5 miles from the house and my daughter call me for help. Somehow we get the dog subdued without injury to us or the dog but I did have a very well used and trusted 1911A1 on my hip. I'm not ashamed to admit that big mutt scared me half to death.
Paul B.
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2006
Messages
9,534
Location
Woodbury, Tn
This is just a hypothetical situation.

But If I'm out walking and get attacked by a dog intending to bite me. I don't plan on hesitating on shooting it.

Then what should I do? Call the police and tell them what?

What would you do in this situation?

Thanks for the help.
Are you in the city or a rural area? Do you know whose dog it is? In my rural area if my neighbor’s dog acts like that and I shoot him, I will tell my neighbor. If in town probably shoot it, then notify police.
gramps
 

kmoore

Buckeye
Joined
Mar 29, 2017
Messages
1,323
Location
Idaho
Almost always defending yourself from human or animal is legal. How you do it may or may not be legal. If you want to appear to be a criminal, then run and hide the gun and yourself. If you want to do it right, phone the SO or PD. They will advise what to do. This type of call is not routine but does happen. Hell, I even shot an attacking dog while walking through the neighborhood on the street, a friend shot one attacking him while jogging on the street through his area. He got sued in civil court; the verdict was justified. I did not get sued. Both were in Portland and both times police were called and investigated.
Two other cases I know about, the dog owner shot and killed the dog shooter. He went to prison. The other, the dog owner shot at and missed the dog shooter. The dog owner than got into a shootout with the SO when they went to investigate. No humans got shot, but that dog owner also went to prison.
Moral of the story, be damn sure you are legal and justified than expect the dog owner will not be happy and might be violent towards you.
 

BearBiologist

Blackhawk
Joined
Dec 4, 2021
Messages
647
Question: Is there a dog pepper spray? I thought normal 'people' pepper spray did not work on dogs. Is that true? I'd hate to have someone carry it only to find it did not work on dogs.

My boy has some kind of dog-deterrent sound-generator (looks like a garage door opener) he's successfully used to ward off approaching dogs. Not a guarantee, but he says it mostly works.

By the way, keep in mind that in most cities, there is probably an ordinance against shooting firearms in the city, so you may have to deal with that. But it beats getting bit by an animal and maybe having to do precautionary rabies shots.
Yes! Or, use bear spray.
 

Redington Slim

Single-Sixer
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Messages
426
Location
Douglas, AZ, USA
This is just a hypothetical situation.

But If I'm out walking and get attacked by a dog intending to bite me. I don't plan on hesitating on shooting it.

Then what should I do? Call the police and tell them what?

What would you do in this situation?

Thanks for the help.
Happened to me once about 20 years ago. Luckily I was carrying a gun, otherwise my poor old dog would have been killed. I had my two dogs in the back of my pickup. My old dog was an Australian shepherd about 12 years old. The other was a blue heeler pup I had just gotten. I was driving into my grandmother's property. A HUGE pit bull mix belonging to my grandmother's neighbor was outside the yard, saw my dogs in the truck, and followed my truck until i stopped in my grandmother's driveway. As soon as I stopped, he jumped up and grabbed my old dog by the head and pulled him out of the truck bed down to the ground. I jumped out, the pit bull had my old dog by the head and wouldn't let go. I grabbed my "club" steering wheel lock and proceeded to hit this pit bull as hard as I could all over his body. The "club" was a solid hardened steel rod, about 24 inches long. The pit bull would NOT let go. My blows didn't seem to faze him at all. So then I pulled the .38 special snubby I had with me and put 2 or 3 rounds (don't remember exactly), point blank through his chest. Finally he let go of my dog and tried to run off, ran about 25 feet, then dropped like a sack of cement. I saw the neighbor was outside probably heard the shots and came out. I put my dog in my truck and left. Called the sheriff's dept as I was leaving. They told me to leave immediately to avoid any confrontation with the neighbor and the deputy would come to my home later. I went home, and the deputy showed up about 45 minutes later. He had already been to the scene of the shooting. He told me the neighbor was very angry and was threatening to sue me. The deputy informed the neighbor that if he made any effort to sue me, the Sheriff's department would charge the neighbor with failure to contain a vicious animal, which is a criminal offense. The neighbor wisely backed off. The deputy asked to look at my dog's injuries, and I also showed him the "club" that I used to beat on the beast. He also asked to see my little .38. After this the deputy informed me that I was totally justified in my actions, and the matter was closed. I wasn't out walking my dogs, was going to visit my grandma, and all this happened in her driveway. I was caught totally by surprise. Thank GOD I was armed. My poor old dog was never the same after this incident, became scared of everything. He passed a couple of years later. I am always armed when walking my dogs anywhere.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
1,889
Location
Ragnarok Farm, Iowa
When I'm out with my dogs, I carry to protect them. They are usually more than enough to protect me.

Unfortunately, there is a certain element of society that enjoys raising vicious dogs for intimidation, and even dog fighting. These miscreants sometimes see a big dog walking on a leash, and see a "training" opportunity for their dog. They will purposely let their dogs go out to kill or maim your dog.

Because of this, I NEVER take my dog to public parks or dog parks. Ever.

I had an incident on the Clackamas River when I lived in Oregon just like this. Fortunately I was armed, pulled my gun, and yelled for the Mexicans (likely gang bangers) to call their dog off NOW!!!
They caught my drift immediately, and called their dog back. But it could have easily gone the other way.
If I had not "displayed" my weapon, they would have laughed as their dog attacked my dog, and maybe me too!

If I had to shoot someone else's dog, I would call the sheriff, then leave the area. Best to let the sheriff explain.
I know if someone shot one of mine and I didn't know it was provoked, things could escalate quickly. They might be next.
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
22,106
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
Ok, first off, a lot depends upon all the potential laws in your state & local jurisdiction.

As noted above,, there are some non-lethal deterrents that could be used,, such as bear spray. DO NOT USE WASP & HORNET SPRAY! It can cause serious injury to a dog,, and you could be sued for animal cruelty.
And the old "Three S's" can be used against you. Often,, there are unseen or hidden cameras in places you could be seen on, and they will be used against you.
Honesty is the best policy.
If the local & state laws allow for self defense,, by all means KNOW THE LAW.
And just like being involved in a shooting where people get shot,, often,, it's best to have a lawyer answer for you.

I got charged with "Cruelty to Animals" here in NC about 40 years ago. Local neighbors failed to keep their dogs on their property. After repeated calls to Animal Control, and no action by them, (they admitted to that in court) my mother which was the complainant, told me to "Burn their butts & shoot them" when on our property. I lived there on the property. I caught (6) different dogs on our property,, and using a milder, less than lethal special load,, I popped (5) of them easily, and they all were fine. Number six,, I happened to accidentally use a second round that was a potentially lethal round. Result, serious wounding of that dog.
I got arrested, and charged.
In court, a lot of serious facts got brought out about the owners, their actions, and such. That, and good testimony by (2) different LEO agencies. But the saving grace,, was a NC law that stated; "The owner of a dog is responsible for the dogs actions when the dog is not on their property." By allowing the dogs to roam free, failure to control them, and citing a public nuisance & health issues, (feces on our property,) I was acquitted.

I now own a small business. I'm a State Certified Animal Damage Control Agent.

I also go to a lot of different places. I meet all kinds of dogs. One thing I carry is a simple stun gun. It has the metal contact probes,, and it crackles electricity between the posts & makes the right kind of sound that will most often STOP a charging dog. And if it doesn't stop one,, and it makes it to me,, I will "tazer" it with the stun gun. Non-lethal, and very effective. So far,, I've never had to actually hit a dog with the contact probes.

But the best policy is to be honest,, and be prepared for potential legal issues,, even if you are on the right side of the law.
 

dweis

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
310
Location
Garnett Valley, PA 19060
My personal experience ended up with my left arm chewed up and a dead pit bull. I was walking down the street I lived on. Suddenly a pit bull came out of a driveway and was getting really aggressive. I had never seen the dog in the neighborhood. Not sure what stirred it to attack but it went for my left forearm, and it got a good bite and would not release.

I did what I had been instructed to do in the Corps back in the sixties. Frees and keep the attacked limb still. Trying to pull away will only increase the ferocity of the attack. Look the dog in the eyes. The dog is expecting you to pull away and avoid eye contact. The dog gets confused. It released the bit a bit. I’m punched it in,the nose with my right hand. It released. Then it came back for round 2. I watched the blood running down my arm. That was enough. I drew my 9mm and shot it in the head.

I called the police. The owner of the dog turned out to be a man visiting a neighbor of mine. He was irate that I had shot his dog. The police came and took a report asking me if I wanted to go to an emergency room. Is refused and said I would drive myself to one. I always carry clean bandanas. They make have first aid uses. I wrapped my arm. The police called animal control to have the deceased doe tested for rabbis and to haul it away.

It did not have rabbis, but I got a $630 emergency treatment bill. Medicare paid it. The dog’s owner sued me in small claims court. I countersued for physical damages. The judges fined the dog owner for failing to control the dog. He awarded my $1000min damages. I never saw a penny of it. Getting a judgement does not mean you can collect it.

I think the fact that I called the police was a factor to my benefit. The judge deemed to think that was a sign that I was the innocent party.
 

Goldstar225

Single-Sixer
Joined
Dec 11, 2011
Messages
312
Location
Central Arkansas
Question: Is there a dog pepper spray? I thought normal 'people' pepper spray did not work on dogs. Is that true? I'd hate to have someone carry it only to find it did not work on dogs.

Yes, pepper spray (OC) will work on dogs (most of the time). My agency issued the foam type so it wasn't practical for charging dogs but did work for those standing and growling if you got it in their eyes. My preference is the type that projects an aerosol fog.
 
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