I rather expect that if it is a justified shooting (that is to say you were in fear of your life) one wouldn't even get charged with improper discharge of a firearm. Of course that depends on where you live, and how "self-defense" friendly your legal system is.
Originally Posted by Kahnkem
I will add that I am not a lawyer and these are only MY opinions and carry no weight of law.
There used to be a saying that "every dog gets one bite." I grew up hearing that in reference to letter-carrier attacks, but I was told, many years ago, that saying no longer holds water. While I would regret shooting a dog, I am not going allow myself to become his bone to chew on at his leisure.
I would never want to shoot a dog. I love dogs too much. But I would. I have only been bitten by one 'big' dog- it was my uncle's, and it didn't get me so much a grazed me as it got my pant leg. She did get a good kick out of it.
If a strange dog were to charge me, and show no signs of being cowed, I would shoot. I am a dog person, and I would willingly put myself in danger to protect my dogs. But one attacking me is painting the bulls-eye on himself.
Even IF (emphasis on "IF") the legal system finds it justified, the dog's owner can still take you to court. Guy in our small town is facing that right now........
I am pretty comfortable with dogs, I'm pretty sure I would know the difference between a barker and a biter. Most dogs WILL back down, and some times a little pepper spray encourages them to do so, quickly.
I would really hate to have to shoot a dog, especially in our subdivision...that does not make for friendly neighbors. Now if I had a good size dog heading 'full tilt' at me with no sign of backing down...I guess I'd deal with that threat.
The aftermath of a dog shooting depends entirely where you are located.
There are no blanket answers that cover it all, because all places have different laws.
Where I live, not only is it common to shoot an aggressive dog, but it is perfectly legal. As a result of that, aggresive dogs that chase cattle,horses,chickens or even people dont last long.
With that being said, and having been involved in two deaths related to large,aggresive dogs and several severe injuries that take years to recover from, I would not hesitate to shoot.
If my alpha command voice doesn't work, and I deem it necessary, I would put the dog down, as much as I love the species. I might shoot cats on sight. (Just kidding all you cat lovers)
My brother in law was attacked by a large shepherd while he was mowing his lawn. In defense he lifted the lawn mower as the dog lunged into it. Problem solved.
I don't know about MN laws, but FL law says you can use deadly force against a threat to life or great bodily harm. The law makes no distinction as to what presents the threat--human, dog, or otherwise.
I was bit by very large dog on the left wrist which tried to take me down, but the heavy wide watch band saved me from sever damage.
I used my right fist and beat the dog about the eyes and nose until he let go.
It is a very scary thing to be bit and nearly tackled by a 100lb plus mean dog.
This is one of the reasons I got my CHL and carry all the time, also got a good lock blade folder and leaned to use it fast.
Give the situation called for it I would shoot the dog to the floor or ground and then make sure and fill no remorse.
All that said I do love dogs, just not large attacking dogs.
So you've got a specific dog in mind?
Originally Posted by Kahnkem
I fail to understand the logic of allowing oneself to be harmed by an aggressive animal because of its small size. If it just scratches you and gets away you might be going through some very painful rabies shots. An attacking animal isn't worth that kind of pain to me.
Originally Posted by Saber
A good pepper spray would fit the bill, IMO.
Honestly, I would be more concerned about the owner, after the fact. I wouldn't think twice about shooting a large dog that was trying to bite me. What bothers me is if the owner is nearby and how they would react. I would hate to be attacked by a crazed (former) dog owner. Or if the owner makes false claims to the police.
That's when things would turn ugly.
As an EMS professional I encounter a lot of dogs, and I mean a lot. I also deal with them on their own turf (on their home property) and also during times when their owners are often times having a time of crisis. So the dogs inner senses are naturally on edge as well since they can sense the turmoil/anxiety going on around them, and will naturally play off of that. Especially at 2 am.
So far, I've never had a big issue with excited dogs. Of course, we also get the owners to secure their dogs as quickly as possible, especially if they are large breeds and aggressive.
Also, so far, I've never had an incident where I felt I needed to shoot one. However, I wouldn't hesitate if it came to that.
I also carry pepper spray for non-lethal encounters which dogs, for the most part respond well. To date, I've always been able to get aggressive dogs to back down and back away by immediately squaring off to them and yelling for them to "stop" and "go home" in a loud and guttural, snarling demon voice. Something they are not accustomed to and causes them to take pause. I've had to repeat it two or three times, but to date, it hasn't failed.
Now as a medic, I have seen a fair amount of dog bites, as well as a few dog maulings which has caused some serious bodily harm. In a couple cases, significant permanent disfigurement and permanent nerve damage to hands and arms. Now that is justification for use of lethal force to repel or stop an attack.
Without getting into any specific breeds of dog, there are a few breeds who have a tendency to be either more aggressive than others as well as do more damage than others when they attack. It also would not be a rare event that the first attack made by an aggressive dog end up being a fatal attack. Which are all things that should give one pause and proper consideration.
So with that in mind, I would not hesitate to use lethal force on a dog if I felt it was necessary. It's just that I have yet to feel a need to do so and that's with a great many dog encounters over the years.
In all my life, I've only been nipped by one dog. I was a kid about 12 years old and when a German Shepard dog started to run and bark at me, I though I could out run it. It chased me and jumped up on my and nipped at me once on the hip area. I screamed and it jumped down and quit. I was wearing jeans and I don't think it even broke the skin. It may have, but nothing serious or bloody. I would also hesitate to call it an attack. To me, it was merely wanting to play, and thought I was playing by running from it.
So for me, my SOP is to immediately square off and face the dog, yell loudly in my demon voice to "Stop" and "Go Home!" My next move would be to hose it down with about half a can of pepper spray. If that failed to stop it, or if it already had a hold of me, it would be a toss up as to whether I knifed it to death or shot it.
I really wouldn't worry about civil or legal repercussions. As long as it was a sizable dog capable of inflicting serious damage. I wouldn't be knifing or shooting a Chihuahua, or Teacup Poodle. In most areas, even in my small rural town of 3000 there is a leash law. If the dog is off it's leash and in violation of any leash laws, the dog owner can kiss goodby any hopes of winning a civil suit for killing their dog. After speaking with the Sheriff, he informed me, at the very most, I could get a $50 fine for discharging a firearm inside the city limits which would not jeopardize my ccw permit. And he seriously doubted they would give me a ticket for that if a large dog was attacking me.
I'll stay out of this one, other than to say most dogs can be handled without lethal force if you know dogs, and what not to do. Also , pepper spray and/or dog treats.
Most dogs are not nearly as smsart as you think. Loudly yelling 'BAD DOG' will get most to wonder how they offended.