Legality question: Self Defense Pistol vs. Pit Bull

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by Blackjack, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    To start with, don't get me wrong here, I'm a dog lover!

    A recent incident with an abandoned pit bull in my backyard got me to thinking. As it turned out, he was friendly and I tended to him all night until the shelter showed up and his owners were cited, BUT... What if I had been on my nightly stroll to the corner station for smokes when I ran into him and he had not been friendly.

    I'm a big guy and fairly confident in my ability to win a fight with a dog, but this dog was not only an old fighter (old scars) but was huge! I'm certain that if we had tangled I would have been severely injured at the least.

    I always keep my little 38 double derringer in my pocket (have ccw permit). Would there be any legal repercussions from shooting an attacking dog? By Indiana law I can shoot a person to keep him from injuring me, what about a dog?

    Anybody know this? Surely there have been some cases.
  2. RightHand

    RightHand Been There, Done That RIP 4/15/21 Moderator Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    It may seem like a no-brainer that you can legally shoot an attacking dog but with some of the crazy laws on the books, you just never know. I'd probably shoot first and deal with the law later, same as if it were a human attacking me.
  3. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    I think the laws needs to be read now in your state.
    I will also say be very carefull shooting crazed pitbulls, make sure the shot counts, dont ask me how i know.
  4. gillman7

    gillman7 Monkey+++

    If you shoot, shoot to kill. In the event it does not die, tell everyone that you talk to about it, that you meant to kill the dog because you felt that you were in danger.

    My boss had a German Shepard jump into his backyard where his 5 year old daughter was, and he shot at it to scare it, ended up wounding it. When the police showed up, he told them the same thing, he only wanted to scare it or hurt it so it would not continue charging.

    He was charged with cruelty to animals, sued by the owner, and ended up costing him almost $10,000 in fines and lawyer fees. It took almost 6 months to resolve. His attorney and the police both told him afterword if he had just killed the dog, or claimed that he was trying to kill it, no charges would have been brought.

    If there is a doubt, drop it like a bad habit!
  5. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Here's the law:

    IC 35-41-3-2
    Use of force to protect person or property
    35-41-3-2 Sec. 2. (a) A person is justified in using reasonable force against another person to protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person:
    (1) is justified in using deadly force; and
    (2) does not have a duty to retreat;
    if the person reasonably believes that that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or the commission of a forcible felony. No person in this state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting the person or a third person by reasonable means necessary.
    (b) A person:
    (1) is justified in using reasonable force, including deadly force, against another person; and
    (2) does not have a duty to retreat;
    if the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person's unlawful entry of or attack on the person's dwelling, curtilage, or occupied motor vehicle.
    (c) With respect to property other than a dwelling, curtilage, or an occupied motor vehicle, a person is justified in using reasonable force against another person if the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to immediately prevent or terminate the other person's trespass on or criminal interference with property lawfully in the person's possession, lawfully in possession of a member of the person's immediate family, or belonging to a person whose property the person has authority to protect. However, a person:
    (1) is justified in using deadly force; and
    (2) does not have a duty to retreat;
    only if that force is justified under subsection (a).

    Don't know how to relate it to a dog attack though. Common sense says replace the word "person" with "dog", but since when has our judicial system had common sense?
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Generally, but not always, "person" is defined and understood to be human or derived from human (as in corporation.) You cannot make the suggested subsitution at will. Chances are (varying by jurisdiction) that animals (or subhuman MZBs) don't have the same protections as humans, thus whacking a "mad" dog is not likely a problem. But like the man said, shoot to kill and mean it. Don't even think of pulling a trigger with intent otherwise. (But you knew that---)
  7. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    Pitbulls are far more powerfull than one would think. This would be a "shoot to kill" first and ask questions later. The story has to always be that the dog was threatening your life. When you tried to walk away..backwards and facing the dog, he charged you and you were forced to kill it. End of discussion and no matter what, a short enough story than you can't f'it up when they ask you what happened for the 50th time.

    If the owner of the dog acts like they are going to sue you, then you sue them first. Make them spend $ off the get go.
  8. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Pits are very tough, and hard to kill. I would feel very nervous if I all I had was a two shot .38 and I was confronted with an angry pitbull. I would carry something with a little more firepower if you think there is a chance this could happen again. When motivated those dogs can rip you to shreds, I had one when I was a kid.
  9. jim

    jim Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Different state (Texas) and different laws, but back in 98' I was forced to shoot three Pitbull's in a stock pen killing livestock. 125 gr. Silvertips from a .38 snubbie killed three for three, though one did make it home to die in it's pen.

    My neighbor's idiot step-son was training the dogs for some type of aggression (guard dogs for dopers?) and I was afraid to let my son three out in the yard without one of us being armed. He either let the dogs run free at night or they always escaped and returned by morning. Property was damaged and garbage strewn all over. Never saw them until they got into the stock pens and started trying to kill my step-mother's pig.

    The deputy arrived took pictures and told the neighbor that his fleeing stepson had best report to her by 4PM or an arrest warrant would be filed.

    We threw the carcasses over the fence for them to deal with. Rest assured, they took it personal and always will.

  10. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    Jim, just out of curiosity...... where were the hits on the 3?

    I always hate stories like this, I don't generally believe in bad dogs, just bad owners that made 'em that way. But you have to eliminate the threat, it's just too bad the dog pays for the owners lack of responsibility. I'd rather shoot the owners.
  11. jim

    jim Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Chest shots all. One fell inside the pen, one fell outside the pen, and the last made it home and died there after about a 100 yard run.

    I actually like Pits, all dogs in fact, but killing stock gets them eliminated. The owner is an idiot, and even threatened me in Spanish in front of witnesses. Guess he thought we couldn't understand it.

  12. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    It is a shame that these things happen to dogs, though it does. It could be a teddy bear when it's young and then idiots train it to kill other dogs or let it attack livestock and there is no going back. If the owners want to sue someone who has to put their deranged dog down, then they should be sued more heavily and also face jail time as a side note of them being cruel to these animals. If a person has to put down a dog, then that person should be exempted from any criminal charges. In a situation where a dog is trying to hurt my livestock, family or self, it will be put down with no second thought.

    I once witnessed a Puppy rottie take a full grown billy goat and start swinging it around by the throat until it was dead. Pits, Rotties and some dobies are not nice as they are trained to be mean by some owners. And where does that leave the community? To deal with the monster they created. So, in my mind it is necessary to put down any vicious animal and if the animal is mean because of their owners, then the owners should face criminal charges beyond a mere fine.

    Should someone who has to put down the animal face charges? Not in the least. They are protecting themselves, others or livestock. That being said, if you happen across such an animal, I would suggest putting it down for good. Look at what happens if a burgular breaks his leg on your lawn. People do sue and sometimes do win cases that are built on nothing more than hot air and BS.

    That's just my thought on the matter. Keep in mind I'm not a lawyer though I know a crazy dog when I see one. Haha.
  13. Brook

    Brook Monkey+++

    shot the dog.. tell them... "it was started to attack so I shot it, I was afraid for my life"

    that ends any further action that can be taken.

    I have no problems shooting any dog in my yard.. problem is no dogs come in any more! I got dogs!

    when on a walk.. I take a dog... no one comes near me.. I do not have pit bulls.

  14. Brook

    Brook Monkey+++

    is this where I post dog recipes? I have several <grin> cat recipes too!

    * Exported from MasterCook

    Stewed Dog (wedding style)

    Recipe By : Joe Sweeney
    Serving Size : 30 Preparation Time :3:00
    Categories : Ethnic Lamb

    Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
    -------- ------------ --------------------------------
    3 kg dog meat -- * see note
    1 1/2 cups vinegar
    60 peppercorns -- crushed
    6 tablespoons salt
    12 cloves garlic -- crushed
    1/2 cup cooking oil
    6 cups onion -- sliced
    3 cups tomato sauce
    10 cups boiling water
    6 cups red pepper -- cut into strips
    6 pieces bay leaf
    1 teaspoon tabasco sauce
    1 1/2 cups liver spread -- ** see note
    1 whole fresh pineapple -- cut 1/2 inch thick

    1. First, kill a medium sized dog, then burn off the fur over a hot fire.
    2. Carefully remove the skin while still warm and set aside for later (may be
    used in other recpies)
    3. Cut meat into 1" cubes. Marinade meat in mixture of vinegar,
    peppercorn, salt and garlic for 2 hours.
    4. Fry meat in oil using a large wok over an open fire, then add onions and
    chopped pineapple and suate until tender.
    5. Pour in tomato sauce and boiling water, add green peper, bay leaf and
    6. Cover and simmer over warm coals until meat is tender. Blend in liver spread and cook for additional 5-7 minutes.

    * you can substiture lamb for dog. The taste is similar, but not as pungent.
    ** smooth liver pate will do as well.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Suggested Wine: San Miguel Beer
    Serving Ideas : Rice, naturally.

    NOTES : During my wedding reception, my brother- in-law suggested we add to the feast by having dog stew. Wanting to be part of the family, and having been subjected to all sorts of socials tests already, I agreed. The result was...well.. a lot better than I expected. In fact, it was great!

    It was only later I found out that dog should *not* be served at weddings, as it may make the bride and groom flight like dogs during the honeymoon. But what the heck. It didn't seem to have that effect... at least not until a few year later. :)

    For the faint of heart, you can always substitute lamb in place of next door's rover, but the meat will not be as sweet or as rich in flavor.
  15. Blackjack

    Blackjack Monkey+++

    hehe...... yep, you're gonna fit in just fine 'round here :)
  16. TailorMadeHell

    TailorMadeHell Lurking Shadow Creature

    I'm waiting on the recipe for Poodle Pie. [LMAO]
  17. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    On the laws it would vary some from state to state. I know here in MO that ANY animal that is in the act of or an immediate threat to harm any person, property or live stock can be killed legaly, with wild animals not otherwise legal to kill or not legal to kill at that time you then have to call the conservation department. Beyond that, here, if you are in imediate fear of death to yourself or another, rape or sevear bodily harm and can not reasonable retreate to saftey then you can use deadly force on a human so am prettttyyy SURE it would be no problem on an animal.

    All else aside though, I have to go with RHs acessment. If its an immediate threat to your healt or that of another then deal with the immediate as needed and worry about the lawyers when/if it becomes an issue and you are still around and healthy to do so.
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