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Thread: Defensive shooting of animals

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    As I am relatively new here, was wondering on whatsituations allow for (or not)the shooting of an animal that's attacking you, or about to attack?

    Is this up to localities/cities/towns to determine? Any federal laws apply?

    Is there a similar level of threat (i.e. wih people) that has to be reached to justify shooting an animal? Thanks!

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    use the search phrase "domestic animals" whenresearching the Code of Virginia.

    stay safe.

    skidmark
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    Lie2me wrote:
    As I am relatively new here, was wondering on whatsituations allow for (or not)the shooting of an animal that's attacking you, or about to attack?

    Is this up to localities/cities/towns to determine? Any federal laws apply?

    Is there a similar level of threat (i.e. wih people) that has to be reached to justify shooting an animal? Thanks!
    Good seeing you Saturday!

    Skidmark gave you the tools for the legal side so I'll work on the real world. There are only a few reasons for shooting anything, human or otherwise.

    The first is to eat it. That's pretty obvious.

    The second is to keep it from eating you. That's obvious too.

    The third is to keep it from hurting you or your family. That gets a little gray.

    I disagree with some here that are afraid of large dogs lunging at them while on a leash. Dogs do that and as long as the owner keeps him in check, no harm other than jangled nerves.
    Dogs running loose...again it depends on the dog and the situation. I have a Great Dane. It rarely, like never, runs loose on others property, but wouldn't hurt a fly if he did. His size frightens people though. I can't think of a quicker way to go to Valhalla than to harm him for running loose.

    Rabid animals, I have to kill at least one a year. So far this summer it's been two coons and a skunk. I had to take the rabies shots back in the 70's when they were painful and I don't care to do it again.

    Sometimes you have to break a law to protect property. When I took the Master Gardner's classes, one thing came up while getting a lecture from a US Fish and Wildlife biologist. Woodpeckers. Sometimes they take a liking to houses and just won't go away. He said they were federally protected but if it was his house, he;d ignore that law.
    Just don't tell about it later.

    To put it in a nutshell, the law be damned. Use common sense and sound judgment. It really doesn't matter what the General Assembly says if one of your children is injured or killed....
    But you also need to think about why this animal has to be dispatched before you do it, leagally or otherwise.





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    Good question.....

    It all depends on size in my opinion.

    You better not go shooting a tiny yap dog you could kick like a foot ball. The worst they can do is nip at your heals.

    But a pit bull.... you will have little choice. They can crush a child's skull and break bones. All the dogs in between can be dangerous and maybe fall into a gray area.

    The most important thing to remember is that if it is a dog .... for many people it is a family member! You shoot and kill their dog and it was not justified in their eyes...it can cause you to be sued, assaulted, or even shot in return.





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    One of the main reasons that I OC on nightly walks with my GSD is other "four-legged" animals (not to be confused with the two-legged variety). Most of the folks in my area keep their "pets" leashed; but that doesn't mean that all do the responsible thing. I have a rather large GSD (80lbs) who is protective of the family (the wife moreso than me, although I am probably the "alpha"); and have had to grab other folks dogs who have run up on us while walking. There was only one that I would have engaged with bullet - and that dog was over 100lbs, but luckily I was able to secure the collar of both dogs before SHTF. Would agree a loose dog (off leash and no owner in sight) would mean a defensive posture by me - in this case, same rules apply within striking distance, aggressive position = using force to protect myself. Also, I'd have to assume that a dog's speed is faster than a BG so I'd give myself another yard or so to make determination (i.e. shave a yard OFF the distance before I'd engage; because "Cujo" is not going to understand the Weaver stance). If the mutt is selling taco's, like LEO stated a good kick will work just as well, just try not to mess up your shoes....

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    Regular Member SAvage410's Avatar
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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Good question.....

    It all depends on size in my opinion.

    You better not go shooting a tiny yap dog you could kick like a foot ball. The worst they can do is nip at your heals.

    But a pit bull.... you will have little choice. They can crush a child's skull and break bones. All the dogs in between can be dangerous and maybe fall into a gray area.

    The most important thing to remember is that if it is a dog .... for many people it is a family member! You shoot and kill their dog and it was not justified in their eyes...it can cause you to be sued, assaulted, or even shot in return.
    Might want to share your sentiments about "a tiny yap dog" with your fellow LEOs:

    http://www.kypost.com/content/wcposh...CUBVDkUzA.cspx


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    LEO 229 wrote:
    Good question.....

    It all depends on size in my opinion.

    You better not go shooting a tiny yap dog you could kick like a foot ball. The worst they can do is nip at your heals.

    ----I have to disagree here, I worked at Petsmart and one of our groomers got bit by a "yap dog." She ended up at Patient First with a bite all the way through her finger that required stitches and was exceptionally painful.---

    But a pit bull....** you will have little choice. They can crush a child's skull and break bones. All the dogs in between can be dangerous and maybe fall into a gray area.

    ---Okay and again, have to disagree, not all Pit Bulls are vicious. Punish the deed, not the breed. They are not the only strong dogs, any dog when it becomes aggressive can do severe damage.---

    *


    But were not discussing which type of animal attacks, just animal attacks. I personally feel it's going to be a judgement call. I've had my neighbors Jack Russel (that I did not know) come running towards me and my other dogs, and I knew from his body language that he wasn't coming to attack, he just wanted to play. You can't judge every dog running at you to be attacking. My travelling companions 89 lb German Shepherd looks impressive running towards you but she rarely even barks. So if anyone ever did hurt her for running at them (which she'd never do either) they would be seriously mistaken. My answer to your question is this: use your judgement. Be aware of what rabid behavior looks like, try to be aware of dogs and cats that are pets in your neighborhood and try to stay away from wild animals at all costs. Like PeterNap said, rabies shots hurt and are outrageously expensive (according to a recent RTD article, $2000-$3000.

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    OK, this is one of those... "I don't mean to be rude, but..." statments (because when you hear it, you KNOW the person is about to be rude); however, pets are bound by law to be under the control of the owners at all times when NOT on owner's property. Therefore, if a large dog runs up on me, no leash, I've got to make a split-second decision to engage or not to engage - and the dog probably not going to understand a "shooter's stance" as a defensive posture capable of causing some very severe damage.

    Shouldn't the responsibility to maintain control over pets be the same (or similar) to maintaining control over a weapon? At least IMHO VA law got this one "right.."

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    I think the answer is the same as any other defensive situations, do you feel you or someone else is about to suffer death or serious injuries unless you take action?

    Normally you can tell if a dog is hostile just by looking at its mouth, if it's growling and most importantly,showing itsteeth, and subsequently coming after you, you bet your ass it's bad news. Afterall, there is a reason negligent dog owners can be charged with assault with deadly weapons.

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    SAvage410 wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    Good question.....

    It all depends on size in my opinion.

    You better not go shooting a tiny yap dog you could kick like a foot ball. The worst they can do is nip at your heals.

    But a pit bull.... you will have little choice. They can crush a child's skull and break bones. All the dogs in between can be dangerous and maybe fall into a gray area.

    The most important thing to remember is that if it is a dog .... for many people it is a family member! You shoot and kill their dog and it was not justified in their eyes...it can cause you to be sued, assaulted, or even shot in return.
    Might want to share your sentiments about "a tiny yap dog" with your fellow LEOs:

    http://www.kypost.com/content/wcposh...CUBVDkUzA.cspx

    No thank you.. How about youinvite them here to talk to us. My opinion does not represent the entire population nor does it represent my profession.

    I have given you my own personal opinion on the matter and it is nothing more than something to consider in making a decision on your own.

    Please do not drag my profession into thisjust as your opinion on the matter has nothing to do with the people at your place of employment who may think otherwise.




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    LEO 229 wrote:
    SAvage410 wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    Good question.....

    It all depends on size in my opinion.

    You better not go shooting a tiny yap dog you could kick like a foot ball. The worst they can do is nip at your heals.

    But a pit bull.... you will have little choice. They can crush a child's skull and break bones. All the dogs in between can be dangerous and maybe fall into a gray area.

    The most important thing to remember is that if it is a dog .... for many people it is a family member! You shoot and kill their dog and it was not justified in their eyes...it can cause you to be sued, assaulted, or even shot in return.
    Might want to share your sentiments about "a tiny yap dog" with your fellow LEOs:

    http://www.kypost.com/content/wcposh...CUBVDkUzA.cspx

    No thank you.. How about youinvite them here to talk to us. My opinion does not represent the entire population nor does it represent my profession.

    I have given you my own personal opinion on the matter and it is nothing more than something to consider in making a decision on your own.

    Please do not drag my profession into thisjust as your opinion on the matter has nothing to do with the people at your place of employment who may think otherwise.


    That seems fair enough to me. In most of 229's posts you get 80% fact, 10% hype and 10 percent old fashioned jabs with a sharp stick. I didn't see any of the usual chain rattling in his reply here and he didn't give it from the "It's a jungle out here" viewpoint.

    Lie2me, this kind of discussion tends to roam far and wide. It might help if you could narrow it some and tell us what kind of animal you're asking about

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    ClumsyCandy wrote:
    But were not discussing which type of animal attacks, just animal attacks. I personally feel it's going to be a judgement call. I've had my neighbors Jack Russel (that I did not know) come running towards me and my other dogs, and I knew from his body language that he wasn't coming to attack, he just wanted to play. You can't judge every dog running at you to be attacking. My travelling companions 89 lb German Shepherd looks impressive running towards you but she rarely even barks. So if anyone ever did hurt her for running at them (which she'd never do either) they would be seriously mistaken. My answer to your question is this: use your judgement. Be aware of what rabid behavior looks like, try to be aware of dogs and cats that are pets in your neighborhood and try to stay away from wild animals at all costs. Like PeterNap said, rabies shots hurt and are outrageously expensive (according to a recent RTD article, $2000-$3000.
    We are talking about animals. I spoke about dogs because this it the MOST common attack. Very few people are attacked by squirrels, raccoons, skunks, deer, bear, and elk. In all my yearsof service... I have heard of so very few occasions of wild animals stalking a human. Those with rabies can charge you but they are normally very small and you can either outrun or out wit them.

    You have a better chance at contracting rabies from your own family pet coming in contact with an infectedanimal when you let them run free. Such as cats that are often permitted to legally roam.

    You can pull out that six shooter in the country setting and blast a rabidcritter. But in the more urban setting you have homes, cars, and pedestrians to consider.

    Shooting could could create more of a hazard than the possible attack itself. You could accidentally shoot past the animal or a ricochet off a hard surface could send a bullet in the direction of an innocent bystander.

    But as you indicated...it is a judgement call. You have to consider what the animal is going to do. There are times when it is rather obvious he means to attack you. Other times it could be he is just a playful dog.


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    LEO 229 wrote:
    ClumsyCandy wrote: We are talking about animals. I spoke about dogs because this it the MOST common attack. Very few people are attacked by squirrels, raccoons, skunks, deer, bear, and elk. In all my yearsof service... I have heard of so very few occasions of wild animals stalking a human. Those with rabies can charge you but they are normally very small and you can either outrun or out wit them.

    You have a better chance at contracting rabies from your own family pet coming in contact with an infectedanimal when you let them run free. Such as cats that are often permitted to legally roam.

    You can pull out that six shooter in the country setting and blast a rabidcritter. But in the more urban setting you have homes, cars, and pedestrians to consider.

    Shooting could could create more of a hazard than the possible attack itself. You could accidentally shoot past the animal or a ricochet off a hard surface could send a bullet in the direction of an innocent bystander.

    But as you indicated...it is a judgement call. You have to consider what the animal is going to do. There are times when it is rather obvious he means to attack you. Other times it could be he is just a playful dog.
    The reason I mentioned rabies is because of the OP's location. As always in these discussions, it's North Vs South. Everything North of Fredricksburg is a different world and has Urban issues ...period.

    Hanover, even though it's on the fast road to Hell, still has rural problems as well as Burb issues. Rabies is a problem in Mechanicsville. A tad further North in King William and King & Queen, add feral dogs to the mix.

    While one can easily out maneuver a rabid animal in the final stages, earlier in the disease, animals move as well as they did when healthy, and depending on the particular animal, are very aggressive.

    I do agree with 229 in that shooting can just make the situation worse and in urban or Burb settings, is downright dangerous. As always, I am a believer in less permanant solutions in many cases. Bear spray cures a lot of problems with all animals, human or otherwise.
    In many cases, Tasers are wonderful. They are sporting. You can shoot an aggressor (human) and the fun is over. You can tase the same person and let him get up, and have the joy of doing it over again. A handful of cartriges will keep you entertained all day

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    peter nap wrote:
    The reason I mentioned rabies is because of the OP's location. As always in these discussions, it's North Vs South. Everything North of Fredricksburg is a different world and has Urban issues ...period.

    Hanover, even though it's on the fast road to Hell, still has rural problems as well as Burb issues. Rabies is a problem in Mechanicsville. A tad further North in King William and King & Queen, add feral dogs to the mix.

    While one can easily out maneuver a rabid animal in the final stages, earlier in the disease, animals move as well as they did when healthy, and depending on the particular animal, are very aggressive.

    I do agree with 229 in that shooting can just make the situation worse and in urban or Burb settings, is downright dangerous. As always, I am a believer in less permanant solutions in many cases. Bear spray cures a lot of problems with all animals, human or otherwise.
    In many cases, Tasers are wonderful. They are sporting. You can shoot an aggressor (human) and the fun is over. You can tase the same person and let him get up, and have the joy of doing it over again. A handful of cartriges will keep you entertained all day
    Northern Virginia has its share of rabid animals too.

    Wild animals fear humans until they are rabid. In the advanced stated they look sick and you can tell there is something wrong with them. They zig zag and appear confused. Not hard to out wit them.

    I am far more scared of dogs thatwild animals.

    While your playing with tasers could be fun.. the cartridges are costly! $20 a pop.

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    peter nap wrote:
    The reason I mentioned rabies is because of the OP's location. As always in these discussions, it's North Vs South. Everything North of Fredricksburg is a different world and has Urban issues ...period.

    Hanover, even though it's on the fast road to Hell, still has rural problems as well as Burb issues. Rabies is a problem in Mechanicsville. A tad further North in King William and King & Queen, add feral dogs to the mix.

    While one can easily out maneuver a rabid animal in the final stages, earlier in the disease, animals move as well as they did when healthy, and depending on the particular animal, are very aggressive.

    I do agree with 229 in that shooting can just make the situation worse and in urban or Burb settings, is downright dangerous. As always, I am a believer in less permanant solutions in many cases. Bear spray cures a lot of problems with all animals, human or otherwise.
    In many cases, Tasers are wonderful. They are sporting. You can shoot an aggressor (human) and the fun is over. You can tase the same person and let him get up, and have the joy of doing it over again. A handful of cartriges will keep you entertained all day
    If wondered if a collapsable baton would be a good/bad idea to carry for defending against animals (like loose dogs) - (certainly not humans, that is a nightmare waiting to happen). While you'd have to allow the animal to get close to you, id feel you have much more precision fighting it off compared to shooting at a dog running at you in a subdivision.

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    Everyone's made some good points on here. Thanks. What made me think of this was last night I was at the local video store and a guy had a giant dog (don't know the type) on a leash letting it urinate. I was thinking to myself as I am trying to be aware of various scenarios, "what would I do if that dog got off it's leash and came at me aggressively?" From there, I generalized this to thinking about times where I do into Shenandoah and blue ridge for hiking, etc. and "what about a bear attack?" I know they'rerare he in va, but I was quite close to a grizzly in montana recently and that got quite anxious.

    I know about prevention, noise, and other ways of scaring them off, but what about when, like someone said, they're not coming at you for a friendly pat on the head?I certainly don't want to get trigger happy on a poodle.I think I'd tend to want to fight them off before shooting, but its a last resort option. Also, part of my question was based on local ordinaces re: discharging firearms, etc. and how that would come into play if you had to defend yourself against an animal.

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    Just remember that if you do shoot...

    You have to be able to justify thedeadly force. Not only to the police... but the dog owner and society. Edit.. (I mean in a sense that is was necessary and you did not over-react.)

    You do not want to be on the evening news for "rubbing out" a poodle. :shock:

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    I agree with the general "use good judgement and common sense" stance. A lot of it is risk/benefit analysis.I mean in case ofa mid sized dog running toward mein suburbs, I'd use pepper spray which I normally have on me. I not gonna try to hit a relatively small fast moving target when there are people and houses around, especially if I'm not 100% sure it's going to hurt me.

    If it did attack me and put pepper spray didn't do anything, I'd use the gun, but at that point the dog is not really moving much while chewing on my leg/arm and it's REALLY close, so missing it would be fairly hard. Also, justifying deadly force in this case would be easy. The bottom line is that I'd rather deal with rabies thanwith possible consequences of hitting an unintended innocent target.

    Now if a bear or another large wild animal charges me out in the woods and there is no one around, I'd draw right away and try to put as many rounds in it as I can before it gets close to me.

    I think that all makes sense. All general rules of SD apply.

    - Avoid confrontation at all means if safely possible.

    - Don't use deadly force unless absloutely necessary.

    - Be sure of your target and what's behind it.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    While your playing with tasers could be fun.. the cartridges are costly! $20 a pop.
    $ 50.00 for the XP'a to us mere citizens.

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    LEO 229 wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    While your playing with tasers could be fun.. the cartridges are costly! $20 a pop.
    $ 50.00 for the XP'a to us mere citizens.

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    I suggest if you have a problem with a neighbor/s dog/s running loose/or being aggressive and not properly under control report it, regardless of breed or temperament.

    All dogs are capable of in flicking injury (yes, even the little ones)some are capable of serious bodily injury/death.

    The only time I personally considered shooting dogs is when my childrenhave beeninvolved, but fortunately I was able to resolve it without gun fire (solid kicks work wonders/having a dog capable of breaking large bones on large dogs doesn't hurt either).

    If I had to shot a dog/s it would be my last option.




    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
    The easiest ex. but probably the most difficult to grasp for gun owners is that fool permission slip so many of you have, especially if you show it off with pride. You should recognize it as an embarrassment, an infringement, a travesty and an affront to a free person.


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    peter nap wrote:
    LEO 229 wrote:
    peter nap wrote:
    While your playing with tasers could be fun.. the cartridges are costly! $20 a pop.
    $ 50.00 for the XP'a to us mere citizens.
    Oh my! Departments get a sizable discount then, huh?

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    you could just go to danville va. apparently you can shoot whatever you want there. on duty cop recently shot a weenie dog with his 40 cal after "being attacked". funny, i didnt know cops werent issued boots that could handle those ferocious attacks from wild animals.

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    Do you have a story online we can read.If it is true... what a chump..

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    Danville police officer who killed dog is fired

    http://www.timesdispatch.com/rtd/new...223006/279385/

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