Defending your dog

Defending your dog

This is a discussion on Defending your dog within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I recently witnessed a man beating a small dog that did not belong to him. That got me thinking. If you're carrying and you see ...

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Thread: Defending your dog

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    New Member Array stamford68's Avatar
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    Defending your dog

    I recently witnessed a man beating a small dog that did not belong to him. That got me thinking. If you're carrying and you see a person maliciously and for no good reason beating your dog, and he or she won't stop or listen to your entreaties to stop, are you within your rights to draw on the person?

    Another scenario, I know a woman who witnessed her dog being stolen out of her car. She was an old woman and couldn't do anything to stop the punks who smashed out her car window and stole her dog. (Believe it or not this happens, crack heads will steal anything!) Again I ask, can you use or threaten force to save your dog?

    Curious....


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    Ex Member Array Pete's Avatar
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    Are you personally threatened when you see someone hitting their dog?

    You are not.

    There is no reason to draw in this case.

    Also, if you intervene and the situation escalates to him threatening you then you could still be in the wrong for escalating the scenario. Remember you have to defend your actions in court.

    Call 911 if appropriate, but do not treat your permit as a vigilante card...

    As regards protecting your property from theft, for example preventing dog theft, check your local laws. Some places permit deadly force to protect property, some don't.

    Know the law.

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    I'll just reiterate what Pete has said ...... to make sure you see the picture and implications.

    I don't wish to see any animal brutalized but I sure am not gonna be able to justify drawing - no way, at least not until I might be under serious threat, and that would be best avoided by keeping out of the situation.
    Chris - P95
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    Quote Originally Posted by stamford68 View Post
    I recently witnessed a man beating a small dog that did not belong to him. That got me thinking. If you're carrying and you see a person maliciously and for no good reason beating your dog, and he or she won't stop or listen to your entreaties to stop, are you within your rights to draw on the person?
    Very iffy here. I can't see drawing as the initial step.

    If it's my dog, though, I will use reasonable force to stop some idiot from hurting them. There will be harsh words, hurt feelings, and perhaps some pummeling involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by stamford68 View Post
    Another scenario, I know a woman who witnessed her dog being stolen out of her car. She was an old woman and couldn't do anything to stop the punks who smashed out her car window and stole her dog. (Believe it or not this happens, crack heads will steal anything!) Again I ask, can you use or threaten force to save your dog?

    Curious....
    If it were an occupied vehicle, Florida rules allow the use of deadly force to repel someone who forcibly and unlawfully enters a vehicle you are in.

    An unoccupied vehicle, not so much.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stamford68 View Post
    I recently witnessed a man beating a small dog that did not belong to him.
    The question is: human over property (dog). You would also need to justify harming a human to stop a beating of a dog, not knowing the cause of the confrontation, not knowing the rationale for the beating, not knowing the relationship of the person to the dog.

    If I had a dog attack me, I'd be perfectly within my rights to defend against that dog, even to the point of beating it or using lethal force.

    If a dog attack someone I was with (either family or friend), I'd likewise be fully within rights to defend against the dog to the degree needed to halt the attack.

    If, however, I witness someone else beating a dog, didn't know if he/she had been attacked, didn't know if he/she owned or knew the dog, and then I jumped up to exercise lethal force (or the threat of lethal force) to stop the beating ... See where this is going? You'd have to justify your actions to a Grand Jury or a jury of your peers". In short, you'd better be damned sure you're right, and you'd better be right. Else, you're going to be sent away for shooting a human over a dog.

    That said, what if it were my own dog? Technically, the dog isn't legally a family member, in spite of any feelings I might have to the contrary. Legally speaking, it's a piece of property, living though it is. I'd surely want to stop any such attack. But if I didn't know what started the confrontation, how could I know that my dog didn't merely attack as in the above scenarios where I, myself, would feel justified to defend against such a dog? Would the other person have any less right to defend against a dog (even my dog) that attacked him/her? Thus, would I actually be justified in stopping that person via lethal force or threat of lethal force?

    Modern "civilized" society being what it is (in the USA, in 2007), it would be highly doubtful I could make a jury see the wisdom or need of using lethal force on someone to stop a beating on a dog ... even if my own dog. Surely, any attack on my own dog is bad. Justified to use lethal force to stop a beating on my dog? Well, it would depend on motivations for why the dog was confronting the person, wouldn't it? See how iffy this is?

    So, no, since I wouldn't think it justified even in this situation, despite my longing to have the beating stop, I couldn't see it being justifiable in any circumstance.
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    Senior Member Array dunndw's Avatar
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    If I see someone beating my dog.....that's a whupping. I wouldn't draw on 'em...but while they were trying to get the best of the dog....they'd catch a foot from behind to the front if ya know what I mean.
    Picture that Steven Segal movie where he found the puppy the fella tossed out of the station wagon and you'll know what I'm talking about.

    If it was someone else's dog...then LOUD commands to stop and I'd be a good witness.
    "If I was an extremist, our founding fathers would all be extremists," he said. "Without them, we wouldn't have our independence. We'd be a disarmed British system of feudal subjectivity."

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    "Gee, Officer, he was kicking the dog and must have slipped and hit his head, maybe a couple of times."
    "If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan

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    Ron
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    I hate these scenarios because the answer is not what I want it to be. I think that in most states you can not draw to protect your dog from being beaten, which, as a dog lover, just thinking about it breaks my heart, although, as was already stated, a break in in an occupied vehicle is different, at least in Florida.

    Ron
    Last edited by Ron; July 7th, 2007 at 09:19 PM.
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    As much as I hate to say it, a dog is property and in 99.9% of the country, you cannot protect property with lethal force.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Unfortuately, as others have mentioned, you cannot use deady force to protect your canine family member. However, you can be a good witness.

    A few years ago in San Jose, a man's car was tapped by an elderly woman's car on a crowded freeway. The scumbag got out of his car to confront the woman and she opened her window to apologize. The scumbag reached in the car, grabbed her little dog, and tossed it into oncoming traffic. The dog was run over and died.

    The low life was arrested and sentenced to three years in jail. He served over two years. The punishment wasn't nearly enough.

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    Senior Member Array Arkie's Avatar
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    I remember that scene about that little dog in San Jose. It was all over the news.

    Oh about this,,, honest officer I thought he was being attacked by that dog so I came over with a shovel and I missed.

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    Check your local ordinances.

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    Senior Member Array czman2006's Avatar
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    You would rather try to steal King Kong's last banana than mess with my dog! He's family! Consequences be damned, if somebody is trying to kill my dog, he just became a target.
    "Let not your heart be troubled." John 14:1

    USN Retired Vietnam/Desert Shield/Desert Storm

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    In a lot of jurisdictions, animal cruelty is a felony. No doubt about it, it should be a felony. People can and do go to jail for it.

    However, in the eyes of the law, you dog, pet, any domestic animal is considered personal property. You can not go to court and win damages for emotional distress, pain and suffering if your dog was brutally beaten to death because the dog is considered personal property, although you can win and recoup any medical expenses the animal may have received from the party injuring or killing the dog.

    So, as far as using a weapon to try and deter someone from beating an dog, pet or whatever, whether it's your dog or someone elses. You will usually be considered as threatening use of "lethal force" in defense of personal property. In most cases would or could get you charged with anything from felonious assault, assault with a deadly weapon, armed criminal action or just brandishing a deadly weapon depending on how the LEO and the local prosecutor wishes to proceed with that.

    Very few jurisdictions allow use of deadly force in cases of protecting personal property and probably in those narrowly defined cases, it wouldn't be justified in the case of defending a pet. Those cases are more for some sort of "substantial high value personal property" where loss of such property would endanger your life or livelihood. (say a jewelry dealer carrying a quarter million dollars worth of jewels or something like that). And even then, I would venture to say, in most jurisdictions, lethal force isn't justified unless it is a direct robbery situation where your life is also immediately at risk.

    If you pull your weapon in order to let the person know you want them to stop beating the dog, and he turns on you... You will be the one who is considered to be the one who escalated the situation to a higher level.

    Even if you do not draw your gun, but instead start yelling at the guy to stop and he tells you to mind your own business, and you continue to engage into an argument to the point where the guy attacks you. You better leave your gun holstered if he is not armed with a weapon, even if he starts a fist fight with you. Again, you will be considered to be the one who escalated it into a killing situation. You knew you had a deadly weapon and started a fight against an unarmed man and ended up shooting him.

    You see where I'm going with this? I'm not saying that in the end, you might end up being justified... but you are placing yourself into a very sticky and possibly a situation that will financially ruin you trying to defend your actions. And in the end, still may lose out and get sent to prison.

    Now some people are perfectly willing to go to prison, lose their life savings and leave their wife and children to fend for them selves while they spend some time in prison for shooting someone over a dog. That's cool... To each their own, I say! I just won't do that to MY family.

    JMHO... YMMV... I am not an attorney, just conveying how I see things based on what I have learned along the way.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  15. #15
    Member Array jackofspades's Avatar
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    For fun, I did a quick search on Colorado's statutes:

    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado Statute
    18-1-706. Use of physical force in defense of property.
    Statute text

    A person is justified in using reasonable and appropriate physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent what he reasonably believes to be an attempt by the other person to commit theft, criminal mischief, or criminal tampering involving property, but he may use deadly physical force under these circumstances only in defense of himself or another as described in section 18-1-704.
    So.. no deadly force for 'property' (but you can, apparently beat the heck out of 'em without getting in trouble).. 18-1-704 is the part that covers deadly force defending yourself or another person..

    Of course, if you're in Boulder.. I think the city passed a law basically declaring a pet to be equal to a human...so.. you might be able to get away with it up there

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