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Thread: Question About Legal Use of Firearm:

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    Heard a story about a friend of a friend last night who was walking her little dog through her neighborhood when a larger, more aggressive, dog escaped his yard and attacked the small dog she was walking. The little dog was injured, but fortunately survived (after a hefty vet bill, which the police informed the aggressive dog's owners that they would be responsible for). This got me thinking...

    If someone is walking their dog and another dog aggressively attacks their pet, I don't believe the law allows them to shoot the aggressive dog in self defense of their own dog. As I understand the law, a dog is considered property and discharging a firearm in the protection of property is considered a no-no in most jurisdictions. Can anyone confirm this?

    Though I suppose that, as "the property owner", you have all the right in the world to intervene in the scuffle and if you, yourself, are in danger of being attacked then discharging your weapon in your own self defense is justifiable.

    Don't get me wrong... as I've said many times before, I am not looking for justifiable reasons to kill anything; including animals. But hearing this story got me thinking about what legal actions would be available to me if I ever found myself in a similar circumstance while carrying a firearm.

    This might go back to my questions from before about what happens if a large animal (like a deer) enters your property and attacks a pet. I believe it was mentioned to me that the law can vary by jurisdiction. I don't know if things change though once you enter the public domain.

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    Veritas wrote:
    Heard a story about a friend of a friend last night who was walking her little dog through her neighborhood when a larger, more aggressive, dog escaped his yard and attacked the small dog she was walking.* The little dog was injured, but fortunately survived (after a hefty vet bill, which the police informed the aggressive dog's owners that they would be responsible for).* This got me thinking...

    If someone is walking their dog and another dog aggressively attacks their pet, I don't believe the law allows them to shoot the aggressive dog in self defense of their own dog.* As I understand the law, a dog is considered property and discharging a firearm in the protection of property is considered a no-no in most jurisdictions.* Can anyone confirm this?

    Though I suppose that, as "the property owner", you have all the right in the world to intervene in the scuffle and if you, yourself, are in danger of being attacked then discharging your weapon in your own self defense is justifiable.

    Don't get me wrong... as I've said many times before, I am not looking for justifiable reasons to kill anything; including animals.* But hearing this story got me thinking about what legal actions would be available to me if I ever found myself in a similar circumstance while carrying a firearm.

    This might go back to my questions from before about what happens if a large animal (like a deer) enters your property and attacks a pet.* I believe it was mentioned to me that the law can vary by jurisdiction.* I don't know if things change though once you enter the public domain.
    You can't use lethal force against another HUMAN for "property" (a dog is considered property). I don't know if you can against another dog.

    I think it's similar to killing other "nuisance" animals, such as ones that harm your garden or other property.

    But there's always a chance you'll get hit with discharge in city limits, obviously depending on where it happens.

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    What about the forceable sexual penetration?



    I would tend to agree. Pets are property in Michigan so to shoot would be a no-no.

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    dougwg wrote:
    What about the forceable sexual penetration?

    *

    I would tend to agree.* Pets are property in Michigan so to shoot would be a no-no.
    So if a Deer started kicking in my patio sliding door window, I couldn't shoot it?

    Same thing, protecting my property.

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    What then is the difference between my German Shepherd and a police German Shepherd? Granted, mine doesn't wear a badge and would not be honored with a police funeral if KIA; but the lack of a badge or department funeral doesn't matter when it comes to defending the lives of people; so why should it matter with dogs?

    You shoot a police dog, you're probably going to be shot by his/her handler. You shoot my dog, and I have to suck it up and hope you're worth suing. A dangerous animal attacks a police dog, and it'll probably be shot by the handler. A dangerous animal attacks my dog, and I have to try to break it up bare handed, hoping not to get mauled in the process.

    I understand the situation here... "civilian" dogs are considered property whereas "government" dogs are considered members of the faction. Nonetheless, I believe it's abhorrent that a "property owner" would have to witness their family pet being mauled (nearly) to death without any physical means of intervening without a real threat of great physical injury to themselves in the process.

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    This topic was discussed to death on MGO. There are laws against shootingdogs. One exemption would be to protect human life. Another is you can kill dogs that are Ferrel and pursuing game animals. There may be others.

    I agree with the others shooting a dog to save your dog may be a violation of both the dog law and depending on where your were, a discharge law. And of course all the civil crap that may transpire because of it.
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    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    zigziggityzoo wrote:
    dougwg wrote:
    What about the forceable sexual penetration?



    I would tend to agree. Pets are property in Michigan so to shoot would be a no-no.
    So if a Deer started kicking in my patio sliding door window, I couldn't shoot it?

    Same thing, protecting my property.
    I believe you could make an argument here that a PERSON was in danger. A deer trying to enter your home could be dangerous, indeed, for anyone inside.

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    I suppose if you wanted to break up the two dogs and you got "attacked" it might be justified.

    Zig, just make sure the deer is in the house, hopefully near the stove, before you shoot it.
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    *The information contained above is not meant to be legal advice, but is solely intended as a starting point for further research. These are my opinions, if you have further questions it is advisable to seek out an attorney that is well versed in firearm law.

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    Venator wrote:
    This topic was discussed to death on MGO. There are laws against shootingdogs. One exemption would be to protect human life. Another is you can kill dogs that are Ferrel and pursuing game animals. There may be others.

    I agree with the others shooting a dog to save your dog may be a violation of both the dog law and depending on where your were, a discharge law. And of course all the civil crap that may transpire because of it.
    Okay so how about this:

    The owner of the victim dog tries to pull the aggressor off and is bit (or an attempt to bite is made). Okay to defend themselves now, right?

    Again, I'm not trying to find reasons to shoot anything... I just want to know what parameters I have to operate within if something like this ever happens to me or my dogs. My friend's friend is NOT the first story I've heard like this in recent history. Sadly, it's one I've heard several times in just as many years.

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    Venator wrote:
    I suppose if you wanted to break up the two dogs and you got "attacked" it might be justified.
    That's what i figured. Thanks.

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    Venator wrote:
    Zig, just make sure the deer is in the house, hopefully near the stove, before you shoot it.
    Hahaha, this made me LOL at high volume. Good thing I live alone or I would've gotten weird looks. :P
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    For the record, this is a situation I faced before. My family owned some property in the central part of the State (on the west coast) bordered by over 7.000 acres of private land that was home to bears, rattlesnakes, coyotes, etc. There was a little problem with coyotes crossing fence lines and making off with small animals... chickens, cats, and dogs. I caught a few of them going after my dog one night... he was injured pretty good; but a scoped rifle put an end to the attack and my dog survived.

    But out there, nobody called the police when someone fired a weapon. Most of us had our own private ranges and would shoot quite often.

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    Maybe just use a knife?
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    Michigander wrote:
    Maybe just use a knife?
    Carrying a knife, for most practical self defense uses, is illegal.

    Nevermind the fact that anytime you get that close to a dog fight, the chance of being severely bitten is astronomical. I've still got a scar on my arm from trying to break up a dog fight when I was 12 or 13. And these weren't outrageously violent dogs, either.

    I couldn't imagine bending over and sticking my face right into the middle of a dog match in which at least one dog is so violent that it escaped a yard to chase down the other. When dogs get frenzied like that, they will snap at anything that threatens them. And for a dog with the size and power of the one that attacked that little dog yesterday, it would require two hands to make any sort of feeble attempt to get him off. I'm positive that most dogs can turn their head and grab your face much quicker than any normal human can let go and reach for their gun.

    I suppose kicking them in the head or ribs might be a decent deterrent, and the second they turn to snap at your foot, you draw down. Defensive spray MIGHT work, too... though it's questionable.

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    On the subject of pets being property:

    I understand the law says this. I also understand that there is a huge dichotomy in many laws; and that some laws are straight-up unConstitutional.

    Here's an example of a dichotomy in the law, relevant to this discussion:

    A man can buy a car... he can kick the doors and never change the oil; to the point that the engine throws a rod through the block. Who's going to charge him with a crime? Afterall, it's his own property and what he does with it, so long as it doesn't endanger others, is his own business.

    But a man who buys a dog and routinely abuses it or refuses to properly care for it can be charged with a crime and sentenced to prison. Even though the law identifies his dog as "personal property", other parts of the law have clearly determined that a living, breathing, animal is more than just someone's object. It is a life and must be properly cared for as such by the stewards who accept the responsibility of fostering it.

    I know that even though inconsistencies can be pointed out that it doesn't necessarily matter in the eyes of the court as current laws stand. I just thought it was worth mentioning... it is my sincere desire that laws are enforced in uniform manners consistent with eachother and Constitutional freedoms. It irks me to see how something is legal in one context but illegal in another. That just tells me that the laws are inconsistent.

    Bringing the topic back to the subject of open carry: I find it curious that we can carry pistols and rifles, but not swords, machetes, or any other blades that serve any real tactical purpose. Last I checked, the Constitution refers to the bearing of "arms", not particularly of "firearms". Arms can be described as any weapon of war or self defense... which would include blades as well as firearms. I'm sure that most colonists had bayonettes fixed to the end of their muskets. Try that today, and you'll find yourself being charged with a felony.

    Again... inconsistencies in the law and the enforcement of the Constiution is something this nation needs to address.

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    I would think that it would be in the same vain as haveing to shoot someone. If you can reasonaly articulate why you felt either you or your dog was being threatend and the attacking animal had to be shoot better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. I've thought about it in my own case I have a Golden retrevier puppy (notoriously visious dogs always starting dog fights) if he was attacked by a pit bull, dobermans, or rottweilers (some of the nicest dogs ever to walk this earth) I'd shoot the the above meantioned as soon as i could justify it no questions asked. Beyond that I'm not really shure. If the owner was around like in the imediate area and could get right there probably not. If the dog came out of no were and no one was surperviseing the dog it'd probably get shot. But again that goes back to reasonable articualtion. If its a dog smaller than mine I probably could not justify the shooting. If its a German Sheapered (for sake of conversation) and there just fighting I'm not shure if its the same Sheapered and it has a death grip on my dogs trought yea its going to get shot.


    Thats my .02 not legal advise by any means but as you say dogs are a property and last i checked we still had the right to defend property.

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    Michigander wrote:
    Maybe just use a knife?
    Most of us aren't carrying a knife if were carrying a gun as you so often bring up. More's the pitty too. I'd like to carry both.

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    As far as I'm concerned, personally, if a dog attacks my dog while I'm walking it or likewise in a manner that is in serious threat of my dog's life, I'll probably kick at the thing, or do something similar to stop it. If that dog even so much as growls at me, as far as I'm concerned, it's made it's intentions known to me by already previously attacking my dog, and therefore I am now in fear of my own life.

    Likewise, something similar happened to me recently. I don't know how many of you live in Macomb county, but in the last 2 months, there have been 4-5 major pit bull attacks on Warren residents, and/or their animals. I was getting out of my jeep the other day going to Meijer, and didn't see that there was a pit bull in the car next to me. As soon as I got out, this dog had it's head and half it's body out the window barking and snapping at me immediately as I left my car, pinning me up against the side. Immediately, my natural reaction was to place my hand on my gun, but at once I realized that the thing was physically unable to bite me (as long as i was pinned against the car). Had that dog bit me, I'm not sure if I would have shot or not, considering that it was unable to attack me if I was pinned against the car, but it's a similar dilemma I've been facing.
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    malignity wrote:
    Likewise, something similar happened to me recently. I don't know how many of you live in Macomb county, but in the last 2 months, there have been 4-5 major pit bull attacks on Warren residents, and/or their animals.
    Just my opinion, but I hate it when people make it sound like pit bulls are a huge problem. Not saying that there aren't pit bulls out there that attack people and animals, but I have been around MANY pit bulls and have only had one problem with one. The rest were so sweet and friendly. If the dog is mean/vicious it usually means the dog was not raised properly.

    I have been attacked and biten twice in my life by dogs. Once was by a @#$%zu, and the other was a short haired pointer. I see where you are coming from with a dog hanging out the window damn near at your throat. I'd feel threatened too. Just keep in mind that ANY dog can be vicious. Granted the pit bull is a larger breed, but I don't think they are as big of a problem as most people make them out to be.

    I own 2 boxers (they are part of the bully breed so they look similar to pit bulls) and people will often ask "Are those pit bulls? (with a snotty tone)?", we usually respond with "No. They're Boxers, but what if they were pitbulls?"

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    i would say that you have the legal right to defend your "pet" dog by shooting an attacking dog based on the following...

    the michigan statute in regards to shooting dogs:

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(j5jqir45kglepv55qns24w2n))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-287-279

    an interesting article on whether dogs are considered livestock:

    http://www.mayitpleasethecourt.com/j...sp?blogid=1858

    here is the excerpt that is of note if you don't want to read the whole article:

    In fact, we get quite a lesson in the definition of livestock. The Court observes, "The term "livestock" stems from the Middle Ages, when it was used as a measure of wealth or to refer to property that could be moved, particularly to a market for trade. Online Etymology Dictionary, http://www.etymonline.com (last visited July 25, 2008). Later, the term began to be used in a more limited sense to describe cattle. Id. Today, the dictionary definition of 'livestock' is sweeping, capturing every type of domesticated animal. For example, Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines 'livestock' as 'animals kept or raised for use or pleasure; esp: farm animals kept for use and profit.' MERRIAMWEBSTER COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY 728 (11th ed. 2003). The Oxford English Dictionary is in accord and defines "livestock" as 'animals, esp. on a farm, regarded as an asset.' THE CONCISE OXFORD DICTIONARY OF CURRENT ENGLISH 797 (9th ed. 1995).5 Even Black's Law Dictionary defines 'livestock' broadly as 'domestic animals and fowls that (1) are kept for profit or pleasure, (2) can normally be confined within boundaries without seriously impairing their utility, and (3) do not normally intrude on others' land in such a way as to harm the land or growing crops.' BLACK'S LAW DICTIONARY 953 (8th ed. 2004); see also Levine v. Conner, 540 F. Supp. 2d 1113, 1116 (N.D. Cal. 2008) (analyzing the dictionary definitions of the word 'livestock' and observing that 'the scope of domestic animals used or raised on a farm can potentially extend to guinea pigs, cats, dogs, fish, ants, and bees.').
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    T Vance wrote:
    malignity wrote:
    Likewise, something similar happened to me recently. I don't know how many of you live in Macomb county, but in the last 2 months, there have been 4-5 major pit bull attacks on Warren residents, and/or their animals.
    Just my opinion, but I hate it when people make it sound like pit bulls are a huge problem. Not saying that there aren't pit bulls out there that attack people and animals, but I have been around MANY pit bulls and have only had one problem with one. The rest were so sweet and friendly. If the dog is mean/vicious it usually means the dog was not raised properly.

    I have been attacked and biten twice in my life by dogs. Once was by a @#$%zu, and the other was a short haired pointer. I see where you are coming from with a dog hanging out the window damn near at your throat. I'd feel threatened too. Just keep in mind that ANY dog can be vicious. Granted the pit bull is a larger breed, but I don't think they are as big of a problem as most people make them out to be.

    I own 2 boxers (they are part of the bully breed so they look similar to pit bulls) and people will often ask "Are those pit bulls? (with a snotty tone)?", we usually respond with "No. They're Boxers, but what if they were pitbulls?"
    The reason I mentioned it, is because according to the paper, statistically speaking, pit bull attacks doubled in the last 2 months in Warren. :P
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    We have problems with feral dogs/coyote around here from time to time. If a dog is attacking your dogs,other people or livestock, there quarry. If there attacking wild game they are Not able to be culled. With that said, if you shot a chihuahua for biting your Labrador, i don't think your chances if winning are very good. I do live in a much more rural area, that may or may not play a factor.


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    last year i shot and killed the neibors pitbull for attacking my then 6 year old daughter police came out and didnt say a thing about it

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    T Vance wrote:

    I have been attacked and biten twice in my life by dogs. Once was by a @#$%zu...
    LMAO...it edited a word for me that was intended to be a curse word. I think I spelled it wrong anyway. I meant to say shih tzu.

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    T Vance wrote:
    malignity wrote:
    Likewise, something similar happened to me recently. I don't know how many of you live in Macomb county, but in the last 2 months, there have been 4-5 major pit bull attacks on Warren residents, and/or their animals.
    Just my opinion, but I hate it when people make it sound like pit bulls are a huge problem. Not saying that there aren't pit bulls out there that attack people and animals, but I have been around MANY pit bulls and have only had one problem with one. The rest were so sweet and friendly. If the dog is mean/vicious it usually means the dog was not raised properly.

    I have been attacked and biten twice in my life by dogs. Once was by a @#$%zu, and the other was a short haired pointer. I see where you are coming from with a dog hanging out the window damn near at your throat. I'd feel threatened too. Just keep in mind that ANY dog can be vicious. Granted the pit bull is a larger breed, but I don't think they are as big of a problem as most people make them out to be.

    I own 2 boxers (they are part of the bully breed so they look similar to pit bulls) and people will often ask "Are those pit bulls? (with a snotty tone)?", we usually respond with "No. They're Boxers, but what if they were pitbulls?"
    To a certain degree I agree with this. I once worked with a vet, and asked her about it. She told me that Pit Bulls were not a "dangerous" breed per se, but it was more a factor of breeding (or inbreeding according to her) and the way people train them. She used the example of Golden Retrievers, who at a height in their popularity were being bread (inbreeding was going on) to the point that it was causing problems. She said that it isn't the breed itself that is viscous.

    However, go through the hood, and a large majority of the people there have either Rottweilers, or Pit Bulls. Most of them are trained well enough to not be a problem, but many of them are also trained to defend and protect. That can sometimes result in a dog being vicious. Pair that with the fact that for many years, people breed and raised them specifically to fight, and they get a bad reputation. Sad really, because it isn't anything the dog did, but what the owners did.

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