Would you use your CCW to put a stranger's dying pet down?

Would you use your CCW to put a stranger's dying pet down?

This is a discussion on Would you use your CCW to put a stranger's dying pet down? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Interesting situation yesterday while driving across the state to a service call 2.5 hours away. I was out in the country and on the outskirts ...

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Thread: Would you use your CCW to put a stranger's dying pet down?

  1. #1
    Member Array Openroad's Avatar
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    Would you use your CCW to put a stranger's dying pet down?

    Interesting situation yesterday while driving across the state to a service call 2.5 hours away. I was out in the country and on the outskirts of a small unincorporated town of maybe 800 and had just seen the first house coming up. Two figures were standing in the road right by the white line at the shoulder. On the ground was a large animal, a lot of blood, and a front bumper cover and broken headlight pieces.

    I drove past slowly and it was two women sobbing and crying while staring at what turned out to be a dog, seemed like a full-grown black lab/mutt mix. In my rearview I saw the women just standing there, almost in the road with the dog partially in the road (this is 45 mph zone that everyone speeds in). I flipped a U and drove back then another U to park 15-20' behind ladies. I turned on my light bar and strobes to slow people down and my partner and I asked if we could help. Turns out the dog was victim of hit-&-run, driver didn't help or talk to owners. The dog was a big boy, 60-80lbs, still very alive, but moaning and bleeding from ears, nose, etc. after the impact. The 50ish owner and 20ish daughter were distraught and asked if we could please put the dog down, it had been several minutes and it wasn't passing yet and the twitching, whimpering, etc. was too much to bear. She actually asked if we had a gun in our truck (not sure why she thought to ask that) and could we please just help quickly.

    Said yes, would she please stand over by her house (100yds away) until it was done. Okay, so here's situation; dog is lying on dirt, off shoulder of state road and in front of her property. Got out the Bersa .380 and waited until no traffic on road in either direction for more than a mile, then put the dog to rest with 1 shot. Bersa on safe, back in holster. Technically this is in a small community, but no police force in town... just Sheriff patrols occasionally. Helped ladies get dog into bag to haul up to house... daughters no-good boyfriend had roared out of the yard as we got there, wouldn't help with the "nasty dog". Guys like that light my fuse, geez!

    So we didn't call or report anything, at the time it seemed fine as it was (I think) on the homeowners private property on the very edge of the little community, however I'm not sure what Michigan thinks about putting down animals after being hit by cars, also about discharging firearm in this manner. Anyone have any input on this? Would you have intervened in this situation or would you have kept your CCW in its holster?
    If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down & lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, & may posterity forget you were countrymen.


  2. #2
    Distinguished Member Array Siafu's Avatar
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    No. That's what cell phones are for. Call a cop and save yourself from any liability and legal headaches.

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    Senior Member Array Divebum47's Avatar
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    nope
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    VIP Member Array cdwolf's Avatar
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    I would have done the same thing.
    I have put down 2 deer that was hit and had an officer that was baby sitting a hit doe in the middle of a busy intersection ask me to use my weapon so he didn't have to fill out a report an discharging his duty weapon. He put her down, gave me my gun and I holstered it, then I helped him pull the deer out of the road.
    You helped the animal and owners.
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    I think you did the right thing. If you were to call the cops/sheriff, it would have or could have taken quite a while for them to get there. The dog (and its owners) suffering the whole time. You did the humane thing. The ONLY reason I can see to call the sheriff would be to ask about the laws pertaining to putting down a dying/suffering animal. My guess is if you ask them that question and tell them you are licensed/armed, they will tell you to do it so they don't have to come all the way out there to do what you can right now.

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  6. #6
    Member Array Openroad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siafu View Post
    No. That's what cell phones are for. Call a cop and save yourself from any liability and legal headaches.
    Yeah, that's what the safe, rational side of me thought... but I know this area of the state and Police response would have been 15-40 minutes. Leaving the dog suffering for that long is just cruel, and it would have been awful for the owners. It's one of those situations where you can always play it super safe, but if you can help someone who's hurting without getting yourself in trouble... I'll will lend a hand and step in.
    If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down & lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, & may posterity forget you were countrymen.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Siafu View Post
    No. That's what cell phones are for. Call a cop and save yourself from any liability and legal headaches.
    Agreed for the exact same reasons.
    Further discharging a firearm within X feet of a roadway is a crime in every state.
    I don't like it anymore than anyone else but the law is the law and people, well they are funny. :|

    I've been in this scenario before with a deer that jumped _on to_ my car as I was driving along a residential area. The impact was damn severe and it did a job to the front, side, and the roof rack on my car.
    End result was a full grown female with a broken back and rear legs paralysis.
    A very long story short a passer by helped me put it down via manual asphyxiation using a tie down as a garrote. Deer have incredibly long tongues I found out from that experience, and bashing it in the head with a big rock does nothing but piss it off. Oh, and they are crazy strong too. The guy who helped was driving a pickup so he took off with the body to eat though doing so is illegal which at the time I did not know.

    When the county sheriff arrived an _hour_ later to make a report the first thing he said to me was that he was glad he didn't have to discharge his weapon to terminate the deer as the paper work would be a bear. I suspect he delayed his response time for this reason.

    - Janq

    P.S. - I was then in rural Loudoun County, VA near the tiny town of Aldie.
    I had been returning from a business meeting at the Pentagon that day and had no 'weapons' of any sort on my person nor in my vehicle. And I was dressed in a business suit with tie. :(
    I'd started to run over it's neck with the tire of my car just seconds before the bystander came by and I noticed the tie down in his truck. In retrospect considering the work and mess it did to my suit I should have stuck with plan A and used the car.
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

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    I don't believe I would do that...call 911.
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  10. #10
    Member Array Openroad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    Agreed for the exact same reasons.
    Further discharging a firearm within X feet of a roadway is a crime in every state.
    I don't like it anymore than anyone else but the law is the law and people, well they are funny. :|

    - Janq
    Thanks for the advice Janq, and your experience with the deer. More often than not in my area it's a deer too, I wouldn't have felt the same if it hadn't been a pet/member of the family situation.

    Here's what I found that seems to be pertinent here:

    324.73103 Discharging firearm within right-of-way of public highway abutting certain property; consent; “public highway” defined.

    Sec. 73103. (1) A person shall not discharge a firearm within the right-of-way of a public highway adjoining or abutting any
    platted property, fenced, enclosed, or posted property, farm property, or a wooded area connected to farm property without the
    consent of the owner of the abutting property or his or her lessee or agent.

    (2) As used in this section, “public highway” means a road or highway under the jurisdiction of the state transportation de-
    partment, the road commission of a county, or of a local unit of government.



    So since I had consent from the owner of the property, it seems I was okay... however it's still a bit of a grey area.
    If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down & lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, & may posterity forget you were countrymen.

  11. #11
    Member Array oldogy's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience about 40 years ago except I was the one who hit the dog. Open country, no houses for miles, two lane road, dog crosses in front of me. I on alert but the dog decides he wants back across the road just as I get to him. I tried to stop, avoid the dog but failed. Dog is damaged very badly, no collar, lying there looking up at me with blood from the mouth and rear quarters mangled but very much alive.
    In my mind the only humane thing to do was euthanize the dog, very hard for me, as one who loves animals..
    Retrieved my revolver, told the poor thing I was sorry and did what was one of the hardest things I had done. Moved him well off the road.
    The end.
    oldogy, who left the scene crying that day
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array Tubby45's Avatar
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    I've put animals down before. Just the way it's done. Afterwards I call it in and give my name, address, etc and tell them what happened. They've never dispatched an officer to talk with me or check anything out.
    07/02 FFL/SOT since 2006

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    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    As a general rule, no.

    Under the circumstances you describe, yes.
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    VIP Member Array farronwolf's Avatar
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    Based on where you were and the circumstances, yep, would have done the same thing. Right in the middle of any larger town, nope would have called it in.
    Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
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  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Openroad,

    Being curious I went to the MI legislature site to verify your law detail as posted to be sure there wasn't some other layer as a got ya.
    Then next I knew to check the states wildlife/game laws because across the country many states have secondary laws under as much which do layer with greater specificity on top of more broad and general state laws.

    My source; DNR - Firearm & Bow Regulations

    In the specific case to MI though I did not find anything between either that would trip you up to the negative.
    The state has the consent of abutter language (which is rational and sensible) and as such acts a stay out of jail free pass. Surprising but pleasant one in this case.

    I'm not an attorney by trade but I do in my work review and interpret a lot of legalese for my clients who depend on as much.
    To my eyes and understanding it seems that in MI your actions were and are in the clear friend. :)

    Good on ya!

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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