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Thread: Pet protection

  1. #1
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    I have two outside dogs, a siberian husky and a husky/pitt mix. Lobo, the siberian husky, he's just a big ole puppy dog who wouldn't harm anybody. However, Cisco, the husky/pitt mix is one vicious dog and he gaurds my front door 24/7. I love both of my dogs very much. There are a variety of circumstances in which something might come up but here's my question. Under what, if any, circumstances, would it be legally justified to protect my dogs with lethal force? Please give specific scenarios.

    My uncle said that its pretty much illegal to protect him with lethal force unless the perp was posed in a position that would indicate that I would be next. Is he right? What does 'posed in a position that would indicate that I would be next' mean? What would you do if your beloved pet was being attacked/shot at?

    thanks everyone

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    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    Animals are pretty much just property in the eyes of the law so lethal force in their defense is not authorized, at least against people. Other attacking animals may be engaged in some circumstances, but in urban areas that is still a risky proposition. However in that situation I think pepper spray or a Taser may be justified. I think everyone should think long and hard about whether or not a dog, or car is worth your freedom if you are in the wrong.

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    A couple dogs got loose today and were out playing with my dogs. They seemed friendly and ran off as soon as I walked outside. That got me thinking, what if they were UNfriendly and started attacking my dogs on my property. My neighbor has some pretty vicious looking pitt bulls and I was just wondering what I should do if I one day find them attacking my dogs or worse yet, me. I don't have pepper spray or a tazer so I can't use something I don't have. I plan to get some pepper spray as soon as I get some extra cash but that maybe be a little while. Just looking for some suggestions or links to laws or whatever you've got. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    You know a paintball gun might come in handy in that kind of situation. At least you can use it from farther away than pepperspray.

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    When the dogs attacked you, you were forced to defend yourself.

  6. #6
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
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    § 3.1-796.116. Dogs killing, injuring or chasing livestock or poultry.
    It shall be the duty of any animal control officer or other officer who may find a dog in the act of killing or injuring livestock or poultry to kill such dog forthwith whether such dog bears a tag or not. Any person finding a dog committing any of the depredations mentioned in this section shall have the right to kill such dog on sight as shall any owner of livestock or his agent finding a dog chasing livestock on land utilized by the livestock when the circumstances show that such chasing is harmful to the livestock*. Any court shall have the power to order the animal control officer or other officer to kill any dog known to be a confirmed livestock or poultry killer, and any dog killing poultry for the third time shall be considered a confirmed poultry killer. The court, through its contempt powers, may compel the owner, custodian, or harborer of the dog to produce the dog.
    *Dogs are companion animals and not livestock for this section. So you could protect your horse, chickens, cattle, or rabbits etc. by this law.
    § 3.1-796.122. Cruelty to animals; penalty.
    H. Any person who (i) tortures, willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain not connected with bona fide scientific or medical experimentation or cruelly and unnecessarily beats, maims or mutilates any dog or cat that is a companion animal whether belonging to him or another and (ii) as a direct result causes the death of such dog or cat that is a companion animal, or the euthanasia of such animal on the recommendation of a licensed veterinarian upon determination that such euthanasia was necessary due to the condition of the animal, shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. If a dog or cat is attacked on its owner's property by a dog so as to cause injury or death, the owner of the injured dog or cat may use all reasonable and necessary force against the dog at the time of the attack to protect his dog or cat. Such owner may be presumed to have taken necessary and appropriate action to defend his dog or cat and shall therefore be presumed not to have violated this subsection. The provisions of this subsection shall not overrule § 3.1-796.93:1 or § 3.1-796.116.
    This section of code would allow you to protect your dog or cat on your property.
    18.2-280. Willfully discharging firearms in public places.
    D. This section shall not apply to any law-enforcement officer in the performance of his official duties nor to any other person whose said willful act is otherwise justifiable or excusable at law in the protection of his life or property, or is otherwise specifically authorized by law.
    This section covers you if you are in an area that regulates discharge of firearms.

    I wasn't sure before but it seems to me if your dog is being attacked on your property, you can shoot the attacking dog.




  7. #7
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    longwatch wrote:
    § 3.1-796.116. Dogs killing, injuring or chasing livestock or poultry.
    It shall be the duty of any animal control officer or other officer who may find a dog in the act of killing or injuring livestock or poultry to kill such dog forthwith whether such dog bears a tag or not. Any person finding a dog committing any of the depredations mentioned in this section shall have the right to kill such dog on sight as shall any owner of livestock or his agent finding a dog chasing livestock on land utilized by the livestock when the circumstances show that such chasing is harmful to the livestock*. Any court shall have the power to order the animal control officer or other officer to kill any dog known to be a confirmed livestock or poultry killer, and any dog killing poultry for the third time shall be considered a confirmed poultry killer. The court, through its contempt powers, may compel the owner, custodian, or harborer of the dog to produce the dog.
    *Dogs are companion animals and not livestock for this section. So you could protect your horse, chickens, cattle, or rabbits etc. by this law.
    § 3.1-796.122. Cruelty to animals; penalty.
    H. Any person who (i) tortures, willfully inflicts inhumane injury or pain not connected with bona fide scientific or medical experimentation or cruelly and unnecessarily beats, maims or mutilates any dog or cat that is a companion animal whether belonging to him or another and (ii) as a direct result causes the death of such dog or cat that is a companion animal, or the euthanasia of such animal on the recommendation of a licensed veterinarian upon determination that such euthanasia was necessary due to the condition of the animal, shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony. If a dog or cat is attacked on its owner's property by a dog so as to cause injury or death, the owner of the injured dog or cat may use all reasonable and necessary force against the dog at the time of the attack to protect his dog or cat. Such owner may be presumed to have taken necessary and appropriate action to defend his dog or cat and shall therefore be presumed not to have violated this subsection. The provisions of this subsection shall not overrule § 3.1-796.93:1 or § 3.1-796.116.
    This section of code would allow you to protect your dog or cat on your property.
    18.2-280. Willfully discharging firearms in public places.
    D. This section shall not apply to any law-enforcement officer in the performance of his official duties nor to any other person whose said willful act is otherwise justifiable or excusable at law in the protection of his life or property, or is otherwise specifically authorized by law.
    This section covers you if you are in an area that regulates discharge of firearms.

    I wasn't sure before but it seems to me if your dog is being attacked on your property, you can shoot the attacking dog.


    It looks like it would be legal, as long as your can articulate that your action is "reasonable and necessary"

  8. #8
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    Thanks, that's exactly what I was looking for. Basically I'm not gonna shoot unless A) the dog attacks me or B) the dog is attacking my dog and has him by the throat or something. If an attacking dog is on my property and has my dog pinned on the ground biting his throat, I figured that would be enough enough reason to shoot but I was just wanting to make sure it was legal. I don't want to kill anyone's dog but if it's between my dog dying and some other dog dying, I'd rather it be the other dog. Thanks again.

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    Do you know how to break up a dog fight?

    The gist of it is that one grabs the hind legs and pulls them apart.

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    I've seen some pretty vicious dog fights in my day and I wouldn't want to get in the middle of any of them. Depending on the situation, like if they're just growling an awful lot and not much biting involved, then yes I'd try to break them up by pulling at it's hind legs. My only fear is that the attacking dog will reach around and bite the crap out of me. If that happens, I'm shooting the darn dog and that's what I'm trying to avoid.

  11. #11
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    If nearby, spray them with a water hose.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

  12. #12
    Regular Member zoom6zoom's Avatar
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    If a dog or cat is attacked on its owner's property by a dog so as to cause injury or death
    What if your dog is being attacked by a cat? UNFAIR!

  13. #13
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    zoom6zoom wrote:
    If a dog or cat is attacked on its owner's property by a dog so as to cause injury or death
    What if your dog is being attacked by a cat? UNFAIR!
    Lobo, the siberian husky, HATES cats! He would routinely kill any cat dumb enough to get close enough for him to reach when he was at my ex wifes moms house. I would expect that Cisco, the pitt husky mix would be a little nicer since he used to be an inside dog along with my cat.
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