Almost shot a dog today...

Almost shot a dog today...

This is a discussion on Almost shot a dog today... within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Let me preface by saying I love dogs. I have one of my own and have grown up around them. Sometimes though, circumstances dictate that ...

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Thread: Almost shot a dog today...

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Unhappy Almost shot a dog today...

    Let me preface by saying I love dogs. I have one of my own and have grown up around them. Sometimes though, circumstances dictate that you do what you have to.

    Well, I took my dog out in the yard to let her do her business this morning. All was well, albeit a bit chilly out. All of the sudden the dog starts going bonkers at something behind us. I turn around expecting to see a dog running down the road or something...nope. He's in the yard and growling at us...yes, reread that ...in MY YARD moving closer and GROWLING at me! There were some colorful metaphors uttered... I got my dog(a pitbull who promptly got between myself and the other dog and did some growling and barking of her own) under control and started moving towards the deck side of the house(side door) and the dog started moving in closer and I hadn't made it to the house yet. I drew down on him yelling and he seemed to stop in place(guess I yell good). He started moving in again and just as I was about to squeeze off a set of rounds I spot out the corner of my eye what appears to be the dogs owner (leash in hand) running down the road towards my house. He got ahold of his dog by the collar and apologized. Needless to say I had some choice words along the lines of keeping your own dog under control and out of other peoples yards lest it get shot. I also let him know that the next time I see that dog in my area off leash and/or in my yard it will be shot and/or animal control will be called (circumstances determining) as it's CLEARLY an aggressive, out of control dog.

    Now, given the above statements, some (as there always are here) are probably going to say a gun wasn't needed. Well, in some cases i MAY agree, but I've discovered in the last week and a half why I'm glad I carry. Let me explain...I had my appendix out last week...YAY! So I've discovered I can't exactly fight back on my own effectively at the moment. My pistol is my only option now(at least until I finish healing). Oh btw, surgery sucks when regular rx pain meds don't work on you as well as on others(darn genetics). I've also discovered I need to come up with some other carry options as carrying IWB after having your appendix out isn't much of an option as any extra pressure anywhere on the waistline isn't pleasant. I've been pocket carrying in a cheapy UncleMikes in my coat pocket while taking the dog out the last few days and it just doesn't feel like a reliable/viable option.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Maverickx50's Avatar
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    IMO

    Good people have good dogs. Ive had many and only one turned out unreliable. Got rid if her immediately. There is a place for aggressive dogs but not out in public. Except for the threat of illegal discharge of a weapon charge Id have shot it immediately.
    I carry to protect myself and my loved ones from the BG's. Not to solve societies problems. That said: if more carried the deterrent would only have a positive overall effect on those problems.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maverickx50 View Post
    Good people have good dogs. I’ve had many and only one turned out unreliable. Got rid if her immediately. There is a place for aggressive dogs but not out in public. Except for the threat of illegal discharge of a weapon charge I’d have shot it immediately.
    The threat of what was behind it is what made me hesitate. When first discovered the dog was to my NE. It was only 100yrds or so through a SMALL grove of trees to a house back up behind the dog. I didn't want to shoot towards the neighbors house, but at the same time had to deal with it so I started moving towards the side of my house in the hopes that he would either leave or move around to the side with me which he did and it gave me a clear sight picture past him to the SW.

    edit: It's amazing how fast your thought processes go when you're on the spot. At least that's how it feels now that I'm taking the time to hash it out and analyze my decisions post-incident.
    Last edited by packinnova; November 11th, 2007 at 11:28 AM. Reason: just hashing out
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Supertac45's Avatar
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    Most dogs are all bark. I have been bitten a few dozen times, mostly as a child that was teasing the dog, but most back off on an adult, or simply wants to play.
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  5. #5
    Member Array maximumrob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supertac45 View Post
    Most dogs are all bark. I have been bitten a few dozen times, mostly as a child that was teasing the dog, but most back off on an adult, or simply wants to play.
    Yep, I'm sure some dog-pro here might correct me, but my experience has always been that a barking dog is sounding a warning and hasn't already made up its mind to fight no matter what other signals accompany it.

    Most dogs I've seen that are immediately ready for a fight or to attack are those that approach quickly, with diligence, and maybe some growling...but usually somewhat quiet. This has been my experience with farm dogs, rescue dogs, my own pit bull mix, and other, loose pits.

    From what you described, the only reason I could guess that would require a shooting is because you wouldn't want to see your own pit get a hold of another dog. Leash laws are meant not only to protect people, but to protect the dog from other threats that may harm it, as well.

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Sounds like you did just fine. You had every justification, IMO, to defend yourself against the violence that dog was threatening. There's barking and agitation. There's growling and threat. And then there's a place where dogs go when they've lost control of themselves. At the borderline of this place, it's hard to tell exactly when (or whether) a dog will cross the edge. Every dog is different. Dogs that have developed a taste for threatening behavior don't exhibit the same signs as good little doggies having a bad day. Tough situation, but one with clearly justifiable actions if faced with violence.

    "Detached reflection is not demanded in the presence of an upraised knife."
    -- Chief Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, U.S. Supreme Court
    By the way, did you find out who the person was? Get a name, location? Get on the phone to police? Just wondering ... not judging.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
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  7. #7
    Member Array ttpete's Avatar
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    A couple of weeks ago, two people were killed in separate incidents in one day by the same pair of pit bulls. Michigan law permits the killing of any dog at large that is worrying or attacking humans or livestock. Michigan is also a first-bite state. You are legally responsible for your animal the FIRST time it bites anyone. Plaintiff doesn't have to show that the dog is regarded as vicious.

    In my city, if someone's dog is declared vicious by the court, the owner has to take out a $100,000 insurance policy on it and it must be kept indoors unless he builds a chain link dog run complete with fencing over the top, and the bottom of the fence buried 4 feet deep. It's also required to be locked 24/7. The city has to be notified if the animal is taken off the premises, and the collar and lead have to be tested for a specified tensile strength. Most people either get rid of the dog or sell their house and move. We don't have many dog problems because of this.
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    Opinions expressed here are based upon Michigan state law ONLY. Other state laws may differ. Know and observe your local laws.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supertac45 View Post
    Most dogs are all bark. I have been bitten a few dozen times, mostly as a child that was teasing the dog, but most back off on an adult, or simply wants to play.
    I grew up around large dogs(Huskies, Germ.Shepherds, Shepherd/wolf hybrid, Pitbull). This one didn't want to just play. It was in outright aggression mode. Teeth were out, growling, hair on the back raised. It wasn't in defensive mode. It was on someone elses (ie MINE) property on open ground and was not backng up or cornered. It was slightly crouched and actively pushing forward like it was hunting us. And he didn't calm down even after the owner got him by the collar. He had to drag it down the road. Not a clue what kind of dog it was. It was a med-large breed probably around 70-80lbs with short hair. Funny thing was I didn't recognize it or the owner. Don't know if they were just new or visiting or what. I'm familiar with at least seen most if not all of the other dogs on this road(a couple of shepherds, a saint bernard, a lab and a few other smallbreed lap-dogs).
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

  9. #9
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    Nice job. I would suggest calling it in to the animal control or PD since you had to draw your weapon. It creates a record if you should have to take defensive action w/ the same dog in the future too.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    Nobody's mentioned pepper spray yet. It won't always deter a dog, but it's a great escalation of force tool that leaves the dog alive.

    Better have the gun out when you use it in case it just makes him angrier, though.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Call animal control (they won't do anything about it), but make note of the date and time. Also, look up your county's code and see what it says about firearms discharge within city/town/incorporated limits.

    I did all of the above after my neighbors GSD tore a gash in my son's head (32 stitches)...and discovered:

    1) I am not within the county's incorporated limits for discharging a firearm
    2) I can shoot my neighbors dog (on my property) in defense of myself

    Next time I call animal control regarding my neighbors dog, it will to be to pick-up the carcass.

    Your neighbor has been warned--next time, don't hesitate.
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  12. #12
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ttpete View Post
    A couple of weeks ago, two people were killed in separate incidents in one day by the same pair of pit bulls. Michigan law permits the killing of any dog at large that is worrying or attacking humans or livestock. Michigan is also a first-bite state. You are legally responsible for your animal the FIRST time it bites anyone. Plaintiff doesn't have to show that the dog is regarded as vicious.

    In my city, if someone's dog is declared vicious by the court, the owner has to take out a $100,000 insurance policy on it and it must be kept indoors unless he builds a chain link dog run complete with fencing over the top, and the bottom of the fence buried 4 feet deep. It's also required to be locked 24/7. The city has to be notified if the animal is taken off the premises, and the collar and lead have to be tested for a specified tensile strength. Most people either get rid of the dog or sell their house and move. We don't have many dog problems because of this.
    That's an interesting one. Does it matter if your dog bites someone on YOUR property I wonder? My old norwegian elkhound bit an LEO in the hindquarters when we lived in Baltimore. Was rather funny at the time. It was one of those Bill Engvall "Here's your sign" moments. I was able to call her to break off before she did any major damage.
    We had a gated yard with CLEARLY posted signage that said beware of dog and listed the home phone number to call for help(with LARGE dog bolded underneath). Apparently he was going door to door that morning asking folks if they had seen a particular shady character around the neighboorhood. He didn't heed the sign and just walked right on through the gate and up to the porch.

    We had worked on the dog for a long time and she was VERY well trained. She listened to and followed every command one time and one time only. Part of that training entailed guarding everything within her domain (ie inside the fence). Anything we didn't show her was ok to come in was fair game for her to eat. We had a process for introducing trusted folks to her so she would let them in without us around. She knew anyone not properly introduced...she could have.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnowell View Post
    Nobody's mentioned pepper spray yet. It won't always deter a dog, but it's a great escalation of force tool that leaves the dog alive.

    Better have the gun out when you use it in case it just makes him angrier, though.
    Yeah, the only reason I don't like that idea though....if the dog doesn't belong there and appears to be ready to go on the attack or is already in progress...I don't care about saving the dog. It's going to get shot. I'd rather it not have a chance to come back and try again later.
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

    "Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
    -The Mist (2007)

  14. #14
    Member Array Wiggy's Avatar
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    I've been lucky, I've only thought about shooting two dogs in my life. The first was a mangy looking black dog that had foam comming from it's mouth. It was growling and looking pretty mean, but just then a little pug ran out from behind the big dog and started barking at me too. It was kind of funny looking, like the pug was the big dog's little buddy or something. I figured if the dog wasn't vicious enough to attack the little pug following him, he probably wasn't all that mean after all. I guess he had gotten into something in the trash that gave him the "foaming" look. After that I just walked away.

    The second was a dog that got into our rabbit pen. But after I opened the gate he bolted.
    Eat a moose... 50,000 wolves can't be wrong.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Spirit51's Avatar
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    I can't argue with what you did. If the dog had continued to be a threat to yourself or your dog...you would have had no other choice.
    BUT, if you can let police or animal control handle it...you are better off.
    A few years ago I lived in a rural area. Neighbor had a Huge mean animal he let run free. Fought with my large dogs several times and ended up killing a neighbor's "pocket" dog.
    The neighbor with the dead little dog, shot and killed the brute. I had no problem with that. But then the coward told the brute's master that I had done it. After that my four large dogs were shot or just vanished one by one. The last was a sweet clown of a blue tick heeler I had since a puppy. We moved after that...knowing that any pet I had would be killed the same. Police couldn't or wouldn't do anything. Dogs that are brutes usually have masters that are brutes.
    A woman must not depend on protection by men. A woman must learn to protect herself.
    Susan B. Anthony
    A armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one has to back it up with his life.
    Robert Heinlein

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