Deadly force for Animal abuse?


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kd7nqb
June 16, 2007, 05:59 AM
I was having a conversation with a man in Portland who teaches CHL classes and I asked him what Oregon law said about using deadly force to protect the lives of Animals. He mentioned that in Oregon pets are considered property and this you cant use deadly force for the sole reason of protecting property.

My question do other jurisdictions address this more directly? Are animals ever NOT property?

How does this apply to service animals (guide dogs/ wheelchair dogs)?

Are Police K-9 Units or Horses different?

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jpk1md
June 16, 2007, 08:26 AM
Most states legally consider Police Animals to be part of the force and would be treated as such. YMMV depending on your state.

stevek
June 16, 2007, 09:20 AM
I guess I'll be the first to say it...if I caught anyone abusing one of my dogs, all bets are off. They are members of my family, and will be treated as such.

mec
June 16, 2007, 09:28 AM
Years ago, I was told that a Colorado law made it legal to shoot dogs that were harassing wildlife "... may be shot by any person at any place and at any time.. (sic)."

Glockman17366
June 16, 2007, 09:30 AM
In Pennsylvania, animals are property...no use of deadly force would be authorized.
However, the abuser could be charged with animal cruelty.

But, I'm with SteveK...I'd protect my dog.

robert garner
June 16, 2007, 09:31 AM
PETA 's animal=human was crazy! A good horsewhipping should suffice,please lets not allow all problems to look like nails,'cause I've got a hammer!
robert

wacki
June 16, 2007, 11:15 AM
Ugh I'm afraid to look up indiana laws on this one. If some psycho held a knife to my dogs neck it would be very difficult for me not to shoot him even if my dog was considered "property" by the state. Heh, guess I'd be spending time in jail then.

mister_wilburn
June 16, 2007, 11:35 AM
As far as K-9 units go, I dont know the exact details. but I do know this, you will be dealt with swiftly and efficently if you attempt to harm a K-9. When it comes to other animals, I saw a dog get shot for getting to close to a K-9 overseas. Its a gov't property issue, and that is not the same as personal property. How does the law up there work for rabid animals or ones that threaten you or your family??

Kentak
June 16, 2007, 11:51 AM
Use of deadly force laws are quite clear virtually across the board--to protect the life and limb of oneself and others (humans) in circumstances of imminent threat to such. As emotionally attached as one might be to their animals, using deadly force to protect them, absent a threat to you, would incur serious criminal liability. I wouldn't want to have to count on a sympathetic jury of pet owners to nullify the law. Killing a police animal may incur additional charges, but wouldn't be homicide, of course.

You may *choose* to use deadly force to protect your animal, but your life will change forever. And, not in a good way.

K

TallPine
June 16, 2007, 12:12 PM
Are Police K-9 Units different?

Some dogs are more equal than others :rolleyes:


Don't mess with my "kids" :(

jnojr
June 16, 2007, 02:00 PM
I have to assume anyone who threatens harm to my dog is mentally ill and an immediate threat to my life as well. I can only relax that assumption once the threat has been neutralized one way or the other. Hopefully, it can be neutralized with the perpetrator in handcuffs, but if he forces me to use deadly force, that's on him.

cracked butt
June 16, 2007, 02:05 PM
No no no no no no no!
It may be a pet, but its a fricken animal for petes sake.
You might be emotionally attached to the animal, but who's to say that the guy down the street isn't emotionally attached to the ants that crawl on his sidewalk?


I thought that people around here are smarter than to believe in the child=rat=cockroach idealism?

ArmedBear
June 16, 2007, 02:11 PM
Ugh I'm afraid to look up indiana laws on this one. If some psycho held a knife to my dogs neck it would be very difficult for me not to shoot him even if my dog was considered "property" by the state. Heh, guess I'd be spending time in jail then.

Dog or no dog, he was a guy brandishing a deadly weapon. That's a threat to your life. No reason for the dog to enter into the equasion. Self-defense is self-defense.

I thought that people around here are smarter than to believe in the child=rat=cockroach idealism?

I would say that "child=rat=cockroach" applies to far too many children around here.:evil: Actually, it applies to the parents; the children don't choose the parents.

The fact of the matter is that many dogs will give their lives to protect their human families. This is not just emotional attachment to ants or somesuch. If a police dog is considered an officer, than there are situations in which a dog is part of the family.

Now animal cruelty should be punished in kind. Chain the perp to a tree outside for a few months, beat him with a 2x4, don't feed him, whatever.

But if a dog is on one's property and someone trespasses on that property with a deadly weapon, and kills or intends to kill the dog, I'd say he's a deadly threat to the people on the property as well.

Like a lot of things, there are several dimensions to this.

Biker
June 16, 2007, 02:12 PM
Do Not. Mess. Wit my Dawg. To do so jeapordizes your health and general well being.
Not a threat, just a prophesy.

Biker

Elza
June 16, 2007, 02:25 PM
Interesting thought. In Texas you have the right to protect property with deadly force. Since animals are considered to be property would it apply to them as well? I hope that I never have to find out the hard way! My German shepherd would lay down her life for me at any time. I’ve seen her in action so I know exactly where I speak. She defiantly comes under the heading of family. I have to say that I would do anything needed to protect her.

Kentak
June 16, 2007, 02:27 PM
Hopefully, it can be neutralized with the perpetrator in handcuffs, but if he forces me to use deadly force, that's on him.

No, it's not on him. The law places it squarely on you to justify the use of deadly force, and that, virtually universally, requires a threat to human life and limb. Generally, to be a threat, the perp must have the intent, means, and opportunity to cause you imminent harm. In addition, in many locations, you cannot use deadly force if you have the opportunity to safely withdraw from the threat. Rushing into a situation to save your dog with deadly force would not be covered.

However, I would think you would be justified to be armed, confront the perp to save your dog, and use non-deadly force means to do so. If the perp then threatens you, let's say with a weapon or overwhelming physical superiority, well then, that may be a different matter.

Understand, I'm not defending anyone who would kill someone's dog who was not attacking them, but wouldn't want to see you put in prison for unlawful use of deadly force. Don't assume the law is going to be sympathetic to homicide just because you love your dog.

K

Lone_Gunman
June 16, 2007, 02:36 PM
If I was on the jury of someone who murdered another person over an animal, I would give them the death penalty.

To equate animals with humans is something PETA does, and they are crazy, but apparently don't have a monopoly on it.

pcf
June 16, 2007, 02:49 PM
In Texas you have the right to protect property with deadly force.

I'm not a lawyer, but the closest you're probably going to get to justifying the use of deadly force to protect the lives of animals is criminal mischief during the nighttime. What gets indicted by a grand jury is a different matter.

From the penal code:

§ 9.41. PROTECTION OF ONE'S OWN PROPERTY. (a) A person in
lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is
justified in using force against another when and to the degree the
actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to
prevent or terminate the other's trespass on the land or unlawful
interference with the property.
(b) A person unlawfully dispossessed of land or tangible,
movable property by another is justified in using force against the
other when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force
is immediately necessary to reenter the land or recover the
property if the actor uses the force immediately or in fresh pursuit
after the dispossession and:
(1) the actor reasonably believes the other had no
claim of right when he dispossessed the actor; or
(2) the other accomplished the dispossession by using
force, threat, or fraud against the actor.


§ 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is
justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or
tangible, movable property:
(1) if he would be justified in using force against the
other under Section 9.41; and
(2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the
deadly force is immediately necessary:
(A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of
arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the
nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
(B) to prevent the other who is fleeing
immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated
robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the
property; and
(3) he reasonably believes that:
(A) the land or property cannot be protected or
recovered by any other means; or
(B) the use of force other than deadly force to
protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or
another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Jack T.
June 16, 2007, 02:49 PM
If I was on the jury of someone who murdered another person over an animal, I would give them the death penalty.

I was gonna say I would totally agree. . .except. . .

Dogs, cats, typically just pets. Get another one, in six (6) months you'll love it as much as the previous one. Yeah yeah yeah, somebody is gonna throw a fit about that.

However. . .if the animal, or animals, in question were some sort of livestock on which the owner depended for their livelihood. . .I would have to take a really hard look at the circumstances.

.cheese.
June 16, 2007, 02:49 PM
Lone_Gunman - I think you've been watching too much TV. :neener:

In this case I doubt it would be brought as 1st degree murder. More likely second or third degree.

If emotions are factored in and it is considered temporary insanity, the charge would be that of manslaughter more than likely.

I'd be hard pressed to think capital punishment would be even considered.

springmom
June 16, 2007, 02:51 PM
In Texas, as Elza pointed out, property can indeed be defended with deadly force. Now, that hardly means that somebody who walks by and kicks my dog should, or could, be shot. But if a person is on your property and, say, killing all the goats in your goat pen for fun; or shooting your cattle or horses, or even injuring your dogs, it is a defense to prosecution in Texas that they are destroying your property.

If you see someone abusing their OWN animal, or a stray, better call the police and be a good witness.

Edit: PCF posted the statutes while I was typing, LOL. Thanks for clarifying the Texas law.

Springmom

ArmedBear
June 16, 2007, 02:55 PM
"Murdering somene over an animal" to me would mean something like: person A found out that person B shot his dog. A went to B's house, knocked on the door (or snuck in) and shot him in cold blood.

Using deadly force when someone is brandishing a deadly weapon at your dog and you is simply not the same thing.

The OP was talking about a CHL class, so I'm thinking that nobody was talking about murder. They were talking about the threshold for legal use of deadly force. And it can be a fine line, since many dogs accompany people, and a legitimate threat to the dog might or might not be a threat to both dog and human.

Jack T.
June 16, 2007, 02:56 PM
But if a person is on your property and, say, killing all the goats in your goat pen for fun; or shooting your cattle or horses, or even injuring your dogs, it is a defense to prosecution in Texas that they are destroying your property.

Yes, that is exactly what I was referring to. . .thnx mom.

steveracer
June 16, 2007, 03:00 PM
It's sad and embarrassing that I would not do the same for him.
I would let pretty much anybody kill the family cat with not more than a stern talking-to, but my dog, well, he's family.

cloudcroft
June 16, 2007, 04:08 PM
................

Cosmoline
June 16, 2007, 04:11 PM
The general rule is that animals are property. However, there are certainly circumstances where an attack on an animal could reasonably be considered part and parcel of imminent deadly force against you and your family. For example, an armed man breaks into your house and runs into your dog on the stairway up. He shoots the dog, and you shoot him. You're not shooting him to protect the dog, but because he's an armed man in your house showing clear intention to bring deadly force to bear against your family in the near future. He's willing to kill the dog just as he was willing to break into the house. Or if you're walking your leashed dog and a would be mugger shoots your animal. Or if someone comes onto your property and starts killing any dog in his way en route to your dwelling. There are lots of examples.

Not to be too blunt about it, but a dog's purpose in such circumstances is to give you an early warning. By getting shot he's doing his job. You then need to do yours. Get the rifle out and get to a position of C&C.

Another note--if you actually find yourself in such a situation where you shoot someone who just shot your dog, PLEASE be careful what you say to people. It may be that in your heart of hearts you shot him because you were angered that he just killed your dog. But that's why the good lord invented lawyers and the right to counsel. Keep your fricking trap SHUT and wait till you have counsel to pour your guts out.

Elza
June 16, 2007, 04:18 PM
steveracer: It's sad and embarrassing that I would not do the same for him.I wouldn’t say sad or that you should embarrassed. Everyone is different. If everyone was as much of an animal freak as I the world would be a strang(er) place to live. Different views, ideas, and beliefs are what makes life interesting. Without differences, we wouldn’t have THR to play on all day.:D

Elza
June 16, 2007, 04:19 PM
cloudcroft: After all, Americans think more of their pets than they do of people, especially unborn babies (abortion).Hello!!! Countdown to thread lock.

Elza
June 16, 2007, 04:23 PM
Cosmoline: Not to be too blunt about it, but a dog's purpose in such circumstances is to give you an early warning. By getting shot he's doing his job. You then need to do yours. Get the rifle out and get to a position of C&C.Sad but true, my friend. I would hate to lose my shepherd but I would hate it far worse if the loss were a family member.

brerrabbit
June 16, 2007, 04:24 PM
My dog sticks very close to the house. He is loud and aggressive to anyone he does not know coming to my house. Considering that I live about 6 miles from paved road and 45 minutes from a LEO response, I must figure that anyone screwing with my dog is intent on causing me problems in the very near future.

OTH regular strays with no identification, just shoot them.

.45&TKD
June 16, 2007, 04:25 PM
I've always thought that if your dog is your first line of defence and your dog is killed, it would be reasonable to assume that you would be next, and reasonable for you to take action. But the law is another thing.

stevek
June 16, 2007, 04:40 PM
It's not a matter of dog = human. If someone enters my house or attacks my dog while leashed on a walk, I have every reason to believe they are intent on causing the human members of my family, or myself serious harm as our dogs are house dogs and we have a fenced in yard. I would try to protect my dog against physical attack, though a 100 lb. German Shepherd is a pretty formidable animal in it's own right. If that means the assailant starts to attack me I would be absolutely justified in using whatever means were at my disposal. I'm not talking about some idiot that takes a swing/kick at my dog, he'd just get a smack upside the head and a caution, but someone that is trying to maim/kill him deserves what he gets...my wife feels the same way.

TimboKhan
June 16, 2007, 04:49 PM
Keep your fricking trap SHUT and wait till you have counsel to pour your guts out.

And people say you can't get good advice on the internet. For as much as it is popular to bash lawyers, people seem to forget that the law can work for you just as well as it can work against you.

Kentak
June 16, 2007, 05:07 PM
Some of us have lost sight of the original post, which was about the legality of using deadly force in defense of an animal. If you limit it to that, the law is clear--not justified.

Now, all kinds of "what ifs" have been added to try to make it into a justifiable homicide, like an armed guy breaking into your home and shooting your dog. Fine, but you've changed the thrust of the original post. Just have the sense god gave a goose to never say you used deadly force to defend your animal. *That* dog won't hunt.

K

TallPine
June 16, 2007, 05:18 PM
To equate animals with humans is something PETA does, and they are crazy, but apparently don't have a monopoly on it.


Yeah, my animals are nicer than most people ;)

So I wouldn't want to insult my animals by equating them to people :p

glockman19
June 16, 2007, 06:02 PM
My pets are family members and anyone harming my pets would be shot or beaten.

Zoogster
June 16, 2007, 06:12 PM
The law is that they are property.
Also keep in mind many people will feel thier beloved "sparky" was the best dog in the world and was not really going to hurt someone else. Yet if "sparky" is out of control, or running up to people in what you as the owner might not consider agressive believing you know your pet better, but others take as threatening: barking/growling etc while pursuing" and the dog is shot and you take action you will be in the wrong even if you are sure in your heart the judgement call of the person taking action against an animal they do not know was incorrect.

Others do not know your animal, do not know its past or intent.

However the law is also biased in its interpretation of animals. A police k-9 injured may end up with someone charged with serious felonies. Yet the same police will routinely kill gaurd dogs while serving a warrant simply to remove it from the equation, not because it did anything at all. Of course it is wrong, yet logical since they will often be entering a dwelling, proceeding to do what will appear to be attacking the owners putting them into handcuffs etc, so a guard dog would be a threat if doing its job, and they simply remove it at the start. The only other solution would be to have the owner handle it, which they cannot if they are taking him into custody, or having an extra detachment put into harms way attempting to subdue the dog while executing the warrant, which they will not do. So at the start of such warrants, dogs are usualy killed. So even if the warrant turned up nothing, or the people were not charged or found guilty of anything, the use of unprovoked lethal force agianst thier animals was justified.

There is ancient laws still on the books some places involving cattle/horse theft that would permit it. Since a horse was often a man's transportation back then, it goes to show they felt lethal force was justified for what today would be auto theft, which is not justified anymore. If stealing it permited such force, and was even punishable by execution if caught, then I would surmise that force in response to injury or the killing of the animal followed the spirit of the law in such instances. But those are ancient laws no longer enforced or upheld, just mentioned for arguments sake.

Basicly defending anything besides yourself or another human being with lethal force is not justified unless you live in a state where defense of property is justified in some circumstances like Texas.

If your pet runs at someone barking or growling even if it has no idea what it would do next and you have witnessed it do the same thing many times knowing it is not going to hurt the person, and the person harms the dog in fear of thier safety and you retaliate you will be the one legaly in the wrong.

Now as others have said if someone is in the process of commiting another crime and kills or injures your animal showing they are inclined to use deadly force, then depending on the situation you responding with such force may be appropriate. But the jury will decide that.

If your animal got loose or is on someone else's private property, then there will be almost no justification. If it is on your own property, it still may or may not be justified depending on what else the person was doing and what people determine was the intent of the person. If it is within your home and the person broke into your home then it shows an obvious imminent threat to others and is justified. But someone coming into your home with a weapon would be inclined to justify it if necessary anyways, so once again it has little to do with the pet. The underlying theme here is that it would be justified when the act demonstrates you and others are in imminent danger, not the pet. So it would still only be appropriate when defending yourself or others.

As with other property if someone destroys or steals property your legal recourse is civil court, not lethal force. A pet is no different under the law. You can sue them for the value of the animal, and if they were in the wrong they can be charged criminaly as well, but that is the extent of your legal recourse in most public situations.

Lone_Gunman
June 16, 2007, 06:14 PM
I guess my comments earlier need clarification.

If someone breaks into your home and shoots your dog, I think its fine to shoot the person. But then, if someone breaks into your home and you shoot them, thats Ok even if they didnt shoot your dog. If a criminal breaks into your home, he is a threat to you, and the dog is immaterial.

If someone shoots your dog while he is on a leash and you are walking him, then I agree shooting the person is fine. Again, its not so much because he shot the dog as I think you can assume the dog shooter will probably harm you too.

If someone drives by your house and shoots your dog in your own yard, you should call the police. This is assuming of course there was not personal risk to you. The dog shooter needs to be arrested, but not executed.

If your dog runs up barking and acting aggressively to someone on the street, and gets shot by the person, then I don't think you should shoot that person. The shooter is defending himself, and posing no threat to you. Keep your dog on your own property and this won't happen.

If you dog is someone elses property, and the property owner shoots him, then I don't think you have any grounds to complain. Keep your dog home and he won't get shot.

I think you will get in big trouble though if you shoot someone in the heat of the moment, while you are emotionally distraught, because your dog was shot by someone who did not pose a direct threat to you.

Lupinus
June 16, 2007, 06:27 PM
In most states you would be up the creak without a paddle, in several there would be a hole in the boat, and in a few there would be no life jacket.

That said would I shoot someone to protect a pet? Doubtful, my pets life really isn't worth mine being spent in prision. Do I think I should be able to? Very much so. But I don't hold most human life up on this high pedistal society seems to the last hundred or two years.

cracked butt
June 16, 2007, 07:08 PM
[QUOTE][A police k-9 injured may end up with someone charged with serious felonies. Yet the same police will routinely kill gaurd dogs while serving a warrant simply to remove it from the equation, not because it did anything at all./QUOTE]

Hell they'll shoot lapdogs if they happen to be in the yard if the police stop over to do nothing more than a welfare check.I'm not fond of proections on police dogs either.

arctictom
June 16, 2007, 07:38 PM
+1 Cosmoline,

Think carefully beforehand when you might engage in deadly force, and what your say to justify your actions.

Professor K
June 17, 2007, 02:37 AM
Well, I'm not sure, I've heard LOTS of bad stories of animal abuse. Now, I'm not PETA man, and I dont even like vegetarianism, but I believe animals are a bit more valuable property than say...electronics, it all comes down to your value of over your stuff.

However, I have heard of some of the **** burglers do to people's pets, on sites like Totse and the like, and it's not good. I'm not talking "oh, shoot the gaurd dog" or poisoning the cats with anti-freeze, but just plain horrible stuff. I've heard of people stuffing explosives in cats anuses, and blowing them up, or the worst one, putting them alive in the microwave (usually of the owner's house) and cooking it alive until blood and stuff starts seeping out, and it pretty much explodes. I wouldnt have any sympathy at all for someone that did that, especially to my pets. Sorry if I sound like a PETA superhero, but I dont think animal abuse like that should be tolerated, especially with the fact that many serial killers start off by doing nasty things to pet animals.

skinnyguy
June 17, 2007, 02:47 AM
"Your Honor, the perpetrator was in process of harming my pet, and I had every reason to think he was going to come after me next, so I shot that bas.... perpetrator."

that's my story and I'm sticking to it

Dgindlesperger
June 17, 2007, 02:59 AM
All I can really say is my dog is a member of my family, so if someone tries to hurt her, I would interveen with the force needed to stop it. Even if said force is deadly, but nice to know the law as i live in Portland

Art Eatman
June 17, 2007, 08:55 AM
Killing a person because they're kicking a dog is a good way to learn more than you wanted about the Graybar Hotel.

Art

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