June 26th, 2013 10:23 PM
Attacked by two dogs... Reflections and lessons learned
I haven't been around the forum for a few months, mostly due to my heavy work schedule. Last month, I was attacked by two dogs and drew my pistol defensively for the first time.
I was at work, and I was attacked by a neighbor's dogs. One was the clear aggressor and the other kind of doing the pack instinct thing. The more aggressive one bit my right hand, which prevented me from drawing immediately. I managed to grab my spade (I am a gardener/landscaper) and twist away from the dog's bite hold. I was wearing Atlas nitrile tough gloves, and those totally saved me from a season-ending and possibly career-ending injury. Once I had my hand free, I tried to draw, but I had limited use of my hand at that point, so I was in a circling stance with these two dogs, struggling to pull my Glock free of my IWB holster. But between my spade and my shouts, the dogs kept circling instead of lunging again. The neighbor finally came out and called off his dogs, though it took a lot to get the more aggressive one to leave. It was only a flesh wound but enough that animal control ordered me to go to the doctor to get antibiotics and a tetanus shot.
I did not shoot. Because the dog no longer had a grip on me, I did not feel the need to escalate the situation to something where I would have to answer to the owner, my customers (who are totally gun phobic and don't know I carry), the sheriff, and animal control. But a few thoughts occurred to me. I was calmer and clearer headed than I thought I would be in such a situation. When the adrenaline kicked in, i didnt just have a knee-jerk reaction or panic. 11 rounds did not seem like a lot of backup, considering two aggressive animals. I have a second magazine in my pack, but I do not carry it on my person while I'm working. I always carry with a round chambered. There is no way I would have been able to rack the slide and keep both dogs off of me with my shooting hand compromised. It was hard enough just to draw with an injured hand.
I keep thinking about the situation and what I might do differently because I still work at that place once a week, and the guy still has both dogs, both of whom still wander into the yard where I work. ( and yes, animal control was involved, and the dog was quarantined for 10 days). I think that if I were to face another attack, I would shoot without hesitation. I don't think that I should have to worry about being attacked by the same dog twice. But the situation is complicated. The owner is a former Vietnam War POW with severe PTSD issues. I do worry a little about retribution by him on the people I work for or their dog, particularly since they are not armed, and this location is in a very remote part of the county. Sheriff response time would be probably at least 45 minutes or more.
June 26th, 2013 10:33 PM
Glad it didn't end up worse than it did. Pepper spray might be a good non-lethal option.
Your number one Option for Personal Security is a lifelong commitment to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation. - Rule #23 in the USMC rules for gunfighting.
June 26th, 2013 10:34 PM
How is it that the guy's dogs are still running free? Was there no civil action imposed on the guy after his dogs attacked you, away from his property?
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June 26th, 2013 10:34 PM
+1 on the pepper spray. Works better on dogs than humans.
I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
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June 26th, 2013 10:43 PM
Ouch. Glad the hand is OK. I wonder if there is anyway to alert the guy that you are doing work in the area? A responsible dog owner will take steps to ensure the safety of others (and their dogs). Good luck!
June 26th, 2013 10:48 PM
I guess in this county dogs are not automatically put down if they attack a human. There is a leash law, however, and he is supposed to keep his dogs under control. But this place is so far away from civilization that anything goes, really. But as I mentioned, if I get attacked again, unprovoked, I will shoot this time. If it were in my neighborhood, I would have animal control on the guy for every tiny violation.
June 26th, 2013 10:48 PM
At some point in time you will have to shoot that dog.
He's bit you once and he wont forget it. As an LEO that has dealt with this situation more than once, I can assure you that if two mean dogs get you on the ground you'll have wished that you shot earlier.
You got lucky this time. Next time you might not be.
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June 26th, 2013 10:48 PM
Yes, I need to go get some pepper spray for sure
June 26th, 2013 10:51 PM
PTSD or not, he should be held accountable for the actions of his dogs.
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June 26th, 2013 10:53 PM
i`m kinda confused. so you were working in a clients yard(who is anti gun) and it`s the clients neighbor(who is a vet) whose dog attacked you ?
i was bit by a dog once, the dog was put down and i was paid 2000 dollars by the owners home insurgence. approx half for the med bill and half for pain and suffering.
i did not request the dog be put down, the hospital called the cops and i think it was the owners choice. i only asked for the med bill to be paid, the insurance company offered the money in exchange for me to wave the right to sue them. i wasn't going to anyways.
i knew the family, small town. they had adopted the dog form the pound, according to the dad the dog had bit the mother and a little girl just prior in two separate incidences. i was sort of upset that the kid brought the dog to a loud party knowing that it had the tendency to bite people.
i had just got my permit and had my 1911. to my surprise, i did not draw, i didn't even think about it. the dog was only on me for a second, and i was in a room full of people.
“Show me a young Conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains.” Winston Churchill
June 26th, 2013 11:23 PM
Slightly Off Topic Advice.
I learned this effective little trick years ago.
If a vicious attacking dog has a bite hold on a victim.
Quickly get behind the dog and grab both back legs.
Hold the back legs up off the ground high enough that you can quickly kick the dog hard in the ribs...repeat as often as necessary.
After the dog releases the bite just keep on holding those back legs up.
You might have to do a little bit of dancing if the dog then attempts to turn on you but, anatomically they really cannot do that very well with their back legs in the air.
Continue to hold those legs until help arrives.
If nobody is around to help you then just keep on kicking the dog HARD in the stomach and the rib cage.
Eventually it will go down due to an inability to catch breath and at that point you can just kill it fairly easily...if absolutely necessary and then begin render aid and comfort to the victim.
Some folk suggest grabbing the dog by the collar (if it is wearing one) and choking the dog off the victim by pulling up hard on the collar and twisting it but, that entails more risk to you as dog collars have been known to break and then you usually get bit.
Doing that also places you much closer to the "dangerous end" of the dog.
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June 26th, 2013 11:28 PM
They don't need to be put down, but they do need to be held and observed by animal control for about 10 days.
Originally Posted by protek
I'm a bit puzzled though. Most dogs are really pretty cowardly. A good hard smack with the spade across the snout
should have gotten you somewhere. They'll yelp and run off.
Glad the gloves helped. And glad you didn't have to shoot one.
If the Union is once severed, the line of separation will grow wider and wider, and the controversies which are now debated and settled in the halls of legislation will then be tried in fields of battle and determined by the sword.
June 26th, 2013 11:32 PM
I think, as you imply, that this/these dog(s) are still a danger to others. I love dogs and this vet may 'need' his dogs, but some constructive action should be taken to make sure he restrains those dogs.
Originally Posted by HotGuns
I cant say that is the responsibility of the OP tho...I think he should follow up with the county and say there may be legal consequences (lawsuit,etc for county or dog owner) if no additional action is taken.
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Freedom doesn't mean safe, it means free.
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June 26th, 2013 11:51 PM
Have you considered carrying a milkbone?
June 27th, 2013 12:54 AM
What breed of dogs were they?
It's a shame the dogs weren't shot. They will strike again and I just hope the next victim is not a child.
"Confidence is food for the wise man but liquor for the fool"
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