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Thread: Confrontation With a Dog

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    So yesterday, I was walking my dog, a 50lb lab/german shepard mix, when I encountered two hostile unleashed dogs. They at charged me and my dog, growling, barking and showing their teeth. I yelled "NO" at them then I moved my dog behind me while I attempted to kick at the dogs. Made contact with one on his head, and they both backed off a little.

    At this time the owner responded from his back yard yelling at his dogs to get back in the yard. All of this happened in a suburban neighborhood in Portage MI, and I'd hate to think how things had gone if the owner hadnt responded as quickly as he did.

    Now I own a Taurus 24/7 45, and have a holster on order with the plan of OCing while walking the dog. In this case, if I had needed to further defend myself, does anyone know how the law would have applied?

    Thanks in advance, I would hate to shoot someones dog, but this is far from the first such confrontation I have had to deal with while walking my dog in my own neighborhood, and I REALLY don't want to end up seriously injured from a dog attack, or lose my dog to one.

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    booyah wrote:
    So yesterday, I was walking my dog, a 50lb lab/german shepard mix, when I encountered two hostile unleashed dogs. They at charged me and my dog, growling, barking and showing their teeth. I yelled "NO" at them then I moved my dog behind me while I attempted to kick at the dogs. Made contact with one on his head, and they both backed off a little.

    At this time the owner responded from his back yard yelling at his dogs to get back in the yard. All of this happened in a suburban neighborhood in Portage MI, and I'd hate to think how things had gone if the owner hadnt responded as quickly as he did.

    Now I own a Taurus 24/7 45, and have a holster on order with the plan of OCing while walking the dog. In this case, if I had needed to further defend myself, does anyone know how the law would have applied?

    Thanks in advance, I would hate to shoot someones dog, but this is far from the first such confrontation I have had to deal with while walking my dog in my own neighborhood, and I REALLY don't want to end up seriously injured from a dog attack, or lose my dog to one.
    I hate it when I'm wrong. Or at least partially wrong. Case where you can shoot a dog and a case where you can't.

    287.279 Killing of dog pursuing, worrying, or wounding livestock or poultry, or attacking person; damages for trespass; effect of license tag.



    Sec. 19.

    Any person including a law enforcement officer may kill any dog which he sees in the act of pursuing, worrying, or wounding any livestock or poultry or attacking persons, and there shall be no liability on such person in damages or otherwise, for such killing. Any dog that enters any field or enclosure which is owned by or leased by a person producing livestock or poultry, outside of a city, unaccompanied by his owner or his owner's agent, shall constitute a trespass, and the owner shall be liable in damages. Except as provided in this section, it shall be unlawful for any person, other than a law enforcement officer, to kill or injure or attempt to kill or injure any dog which bears a license tag for the current year.




    An Amazon best seller "MY PARENTS OPEN CARRY" http://www.myparentsopencarry.com/

    *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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    the other dogs did not want you, they wanted your dog,

    you my have been able to shoot the other dogs to protect your self,not your dog.

    the owner of the dogs that came at you and your dog was lucky his dogs did not harm you or your dog do to the fact that he would have been liable for all damages to you and your dog, because his was lose.

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    So a dog is neither property or non-property?

    My property: I can shoot it, damage it, destroy it, or throw it out. I can not defend it using deadly force

    Non-Property (Life): I can not shoot it, damage it, destroy it, or throw it out. I can defend it using deadly force.

    Dog: I can NOT shoot it, damage it. I can destroy it (euthanize it). I can not defend it using deadly force.


    I guess it begs the question - what is a dog in the eyes of the law?

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    khicks wrote:
    the other dogs did not want you, they wanted your dog,

    you my have been able to shoot the other dogs to protect your self,not your dog.

    the owner of the dogs that came at you and your dog was lucky his dogs did not harm you or your dog do to the fact that he would have been liable for all damages to you and your dog, because his was lose.
    In this situation, I was between the hostile dogs and my dog. I intentionally placed myself there as I feel I am better able to defend myself and my dog than my dog is. She walks in a Halti collar effectively acting as a muzzle when it pulls against the leash.

    So in this case since the other dogs would have had to go through me to get to her, I was defending myself.

    I understand the dogs owner would be held liable, but liability does little for prevention, and less for protection. This is not the first run in with these dogs, and these are not the only dogs that are aggressive and not properly restrained in my neighborhood.

    I forgot to mention that in this case, the dogs crossed the road to get to me and my dog. I had seen them further up the block and crossed over to the far side well in advance of getting near them to help prevent territorial issues.


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    A larger handgun can make for an excellent pistol whipping device. Unfortunately your little Taurus is a little lacking in size.
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book- http://libertyisforeveryone.com/open-carry-resources/

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    Venator wrote:
    Shooting a dog in Michigan is against the law. However you can use deadly force to protect yourself. Depending on the circumstances you may or may not be charged with a crime.

    My opinion is if the dog is biting you and you shot it you would be okay. If the dog was just barking and snapping at you and you shot it would you not be alright.


    Also if you do shoot a dog in self-defense you could be sued in a civil trial by the owner. That's always fun.
    So basically if its actively biting me I am ok to defend myself? I hope you can understand why thats not really something I want to wait for

    "Yes officer, I drew my weapon, but I didnt discharge it until after the dog had clamped onto my nuts"

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    Michigander wrote:
    A larger handgun can make for an excellent pistol whipping device. Unfortunately your little Taurus is a little lacking in size.
    I wanted a medium sized automatic in a large caliber for range fun, home defense, and the option of concealing after I get my CPL. Besides, I'm not really the 8" barrel 454 kinda guy. A nice 4" 45ACP does all I think I could want at this point.

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    I've got nothing against the gun, and as a matter of fact I'd get one if I primarily CC'd. I was just trying to point out that pistol whipping is often a good strategy for dogs that don't quite need to be killed.

    The really disgusting thing is how preemption covers firearms, but not other weapons. I figure there might come a point where I get attacked, and have to kill a person or animal I might have been able to fend off with a baton. If God forbid that ever were to happen, as far as I'm concerned the blood would be on the hands of the politicians.

    Anyway, about the threshold for defending yourself, I've never heard of a law that says you have to have been already bitten. If your safety is in danger, you can shoot. Simple as that. When the police come, just like if you had to shoot to stop a 2 legged threat, I would tell them "I was attacked, I'm the victim. That's all I have to say without my lawyer". If it goes to court, it will be your word against a dead dogs.
    Answer every question about open carry in Michigan you ever had with one convenient and free book- http://libertyisforeveryone.com/open-carry-resources/

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    Also, just for thought..

    If someone pulls a gun or a knife on me - I am justified in using deadly force. Being truly in fear for my immediate survival grants me that right.

    I see absolutely NO reason why this same logic couldn't be used in a dog attack. With the human/gun - I did not have to wait until they shot me once or stabbed me once before using deadly force. A dog 'acting' like he is going to maul you, if such dog has the ABILITY to maul you, presents the same situation as a human pointing a gun or a knife at you and showing intent to use it.

    The law really does leave it up to perception. If you perceive a threat which could and intends to cause you grave bodily harm, death, or sexual penetration - then you have the justifiable right to employ up to deadly force to stop said threat. I think the biting vs. snarling debate is a poor one.

    Ben

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    Michigander wrote:
    I've got nothing against the gun, and as a matter of fact I'd get one if I primarily CC'd. I was just trying to point out that pistol whipping is often a good strategy for dogs that don't quite need to be killed.
    Sorry Michigander, I apparently forgot the smiley face I meant to put in there I took no offense to your post.

    Didnt take any offense, but I see your point. I'm somewhat oldschool when it comes to firearms. Dont point it at anything you dont intend to destroy and all that. The idea of pistol whipping, while it may provide a better alternative is somewhat alien to me from that point of view.


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    I came across a similar situation, where I was nearly attacked by a pitbull, and I've decided that in order to save my life, I will definitely shoot the dog. If the owner takes me to civil court because I shot his dog, you bet your ass I'm counter suing because his dog attacked me, and I'm quite certain that he'll be paying for all damages and medical expenses. In the area I live, there's no doubt who the courts would side with.
    All opinions posted on opencarry.org are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of opencarry.org or Michigan Open Carry Inc.

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    Thanks everyone for your opinions so far. Any lawyers in the crowd?

    Its one of those things, if it were two adult humans, there is no question that it would be an acceptable situation to defend oneself, but being animals the laws can be different.

    Was I in fear of my life? I don't know. Was I in fear of serious injury? Definitely

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    PilotPTK wrote:
    So a dog is neither property or non-property?

    My property: I can shoot it, damage it, destroy it, or throw it out. I can not defend it using deadly force

    Non-Property (Life): I can not shoot it, damage it, destroy it, or throw it out. I can defend it using deadly force.

    Dog: I can NOT shoot it, damage it. I can destroy it (euthanize it). I can not defend it using deadly force.


    I guess it begs the question - what is a dog in the eyes of the law?
    According to the Legal Beagle, dogs are 'property', and more specific, considered 'livestock'. lol.

    All opinions posted on opencarry.org are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of opencarry.org or Michigan Open Carry Inc.

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    livestock? really...

    Chinese food anyone?

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    Dogs are not considered livestock in Michigan, nor are they considered “fur-bearing” animals. The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled on this, so it’s case law. See People of the State of Michigan v Jody Scott Bugaiski.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve researched this extensively, spoken to attorneys, animal control officers and LEOs as I was continuously having a problem with a neighbor’s German Shepherd every time I walked my dog on the public road.

    You cannot lawfully shoot a dog that is attacking your dog. You can lawfully shoot a dog that is attacking you. Make sure you are not on the dog’s owner’s property when it attacks, or else you’ll be in deep doo-doo if you shoot it. Don’t wait until it bites you, but don’t shoot it only because it’s growling at you.

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    This is where common sense and the law butt heads. I think in almost every jurisdiction (perhaps even state law), a dog needs to be on a leash, or contained to a property using something like an invisible fence. There's probably exceptions if there are "dog parks" in this state by Detroit, and of course, for hunting.

    Now, if someone is lawfully carrying a gun, while lawfully (i.e. leashed) walking their dog, and a dog not lawfully contained/restrained attacks the leashed dog, the owner (aka law abiding citizen) can not defend his properly restrained dog from the attack of the non restrained dog. And then, IF the unrestrained dog were shot, the owner of the lawfully restrained dog would face a potential criminal charge or civil lawsuit?
    Sounds about right for lawmakers.
    Rand Paul 2016

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    When I was much younger I delivered newspapers. I used to have altercations with dogs all the time. I started carrying a big knife (I now know that was illegal). I had a rule.. I wouldn't do anything to any dog that attacked me unless I actually had bite marks on my arm. And I probably still wouldn't have done anything unless it broke the skin.

    I guess it also depends on the dog too. If its a little 2.5 pound dog that I could step on and break every bone in its body, I would probably do so.

    Now if it was a boxer, a dog that I've heard's jaw can produce 60k pounds per square inch of force and crack bones, then I think I would consider not allowing it to even bite me. Plus, unfortunately, boxers have a pretty negative general opinion anyways and you'd probably win a jury trial.

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    Venator wrote:
    booyah wrote:
    So yesterday, I was walking my dog, a 50lb lab/german shepard mix, when I encountered two hostile unleashed dogs. They at charged me and my dog, growling, barking and showing their teeth. I yelled "NO" at them then I moved my dog behind me while I attempted to kick at the dogs. Made contact with one on his head, and they both backed off a little.

    At this time the owner responded from his back yard yelling at his dogs to get back in the yard. All of this happened in a suburban neighborhood in Portage MI, and I'd hate to think how things had gone if the owner hadnt responded as quickly as he did.

    Now I own a Taurus 24/7 45, and have a holster on order with the plan of OCing while walking the dog. In this case, if I had needed to further defend myself, does anyone know how the law would have applied?

    Thanks in advance, I would hate to shoot someones dog, but this is far from the first such confrontation I have had to deal with while walking my dog in my own neighborhood, and I REALLY don't want to end up seriously injured from a dog attack, or lose my dog to one.

    Shooting a dog in Michigan is against the law. However you can use deadly force to protect yourself. Depending on the circumstances you may or may not be charged with a crime.

    My opinion is if the dog is biting you and you shot it you would be okay. If the dog was just barking and snapping at you and you shot it would you not be alright.


    Also if you do shoot a dog in self-defense you could be sued in a civil trial by the owner. That's always fun.
    Not to upset dog lovers [my wife andI have three]. You may put down a unleashed vicious dog on your own property or if on public road , side walk,etc.If repetitive neighbour dispute Make LE do their JOB before unhostering ! Law is very clear on defending oneself !

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    MissRoadWarrior wrote:
    Dogs are not considered livestock in Michigan, nor are they considered “fur-bearing” animals. The Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled on this, so it’s case law. See People of the State of Michigan v Jody Scott Bugaiski.

    I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve researched this extensively, spoken to attorneys, animal control officers and LEOs as I was continuously having a problem with a neighbor’s German Shepherd every time I walked my dog on the public road.

    You cannot lawfully shoot a dog that is attacking your dog. You can lawfully shoot a dog that is attacking you. Make sure you are not on the dog’s owner’s property when it attacks, or else you’ll be in deep doo-doo if you shoot it. Don’t wait until it bites you, but don’t shoot it only because it’s growling at you.
    Whoops! Sorry for the misinformation. I'm a member of MGO, and frequent the Legal Beagle, and I thought that's where I read it. Turns out I read it here, and apparently not thoroughly enough. I think I may zip over there though and see what Jim Simmons has to say about it though, while we're at it! That way we can have the 'official' word from a lawyer
    All opinions posted on opencarry.org are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of opencarry.org or Michigan Open Carry Inc.

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    Google ‘People of the State of Michigan v Jody Scott Bugaisk' and read what three lawyers (appellate court judges, actually) had to say.

    Synopsis:

    Guy shot his neighbor’s dog.

    The trial court dismissed the charges agreeing with the defendant’s claim that he was protecting his “fur-bearing livestock” (his dogs).

    The prosecutor appealed.

    The Court of Appeals disagreed with the lower court ruling and mandated that the charges be reinstated and the defendant retried.

    I can’t find the cite now, but Mr. Bugaisk was retried and found guilty.

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    Michigan has a leash law. I now that that can be unsettling to some, but this is a good reason why we have a leash law. If those dogs are running around loose of the leash, then the authorities should be called. I love dogs, but the fact is that they are still animals who are primarily driven by instinct, and if the owner cannot maintain control of them, then they need to be leashed. I realize that there are plenty of people whose dogs are no problem off the leash, but these don't seem to be of that sort.

    Look up Harold Fish, AZ, and see how good of an idea it is to use a gun against dogs.

    Lets see:
    You shoot dog in self defense (because this time it really is attacking you), and the owner can either sue you, or (as in the case of Mr. Fish) attack you and you then find yourself charged with manslaughter. “And if the defendant found these dogs so dangerous on previous walks, why did he not call the authorities to enforce the Michigan leash law instead of using his firearm, and therefore taking the law into his own hands your honor?”

    This is a subject that you should not (nor do you) need to deal with. There are laws in place for this sort of thing. If you choose to disregard that law, and deal with it yourself, it could be bad juju.

  24. #24
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    Basicly if the three SSS cannot be invoked then don't shoot the dog!

    Shoot, Shovel, and Shutup!!!

    On a front lawn not likely ... running deer... ... Your dog is missing That is really a shame... If I see it I'll let ya know!!
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    IMO, i wouldbuy Pepper Spray and carry that while walking your dog. There are alot of good reasons to carry pepper spray, and this is one of them, since you can't use deadly force to protect your dog.
    " My hat don't hang on the same nail too long, My ears can't stand to hear the same old song, I don't leave the highway long enough to bog down in the mud, i've got ramblin feaver in my blood " ..... Merle Haggard

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