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Shooting a Dog on your property?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Black92LX, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. Black92LX

    Black92LX Well-Known Member

    ****Hypothetical Situation Brought About By Actual Events****

    Lets say that you get a new neighbor. Prior to them moving in fully they inform all the neigbors they have a German Shepherd that bites. They put up a chain link fence but does nothing to keep the dog in the yard. It is always escaping. Well lets say i am working in the yard or the garden and i see the dog (that i have already been informed BITES) approaching me. I have no where to go or i try to get away and it charges at me. And i shoot it in fear of a 100+lb German Shepherd tearing me a new one. Would there be any legal recourse if this were to occur?
  2. Erich

    Erich Well-Known Member

    Tell us what the jury says. :)

    Seriously, what are you asking: "Would there be any legal recourse?" Do you mean, "Will the government try to prosecute me for shooting a dog near houses that are inhabited with people?"

  3. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Well-Known Member

    IANAL. If the dog bites you, you have a cause of action against your neighbor for personal injury, pain and suffering. If you shoot the dog, the neighbor has a cause of action against you for destroying their property and emotional/psychological damage inflicted. Either way, a court would have to sort it out.

    If it were me, I would get to know the neighbors and the dog. I would want the dog to recognize me as a non hostile alpha. MANY dogs will turn around and go home when you yell "GO HOME" at them. Dogs seem to understand this command.

    A reasonable person would look for a way around either being bitten or shooting the dog.

    That's just my opinion, others may vary.
  4. mete

    mete Well-Known Member

    A lot of variables ,jurisdiction etc. If the dog attacks you, you have every right to shoot it. However find the laws first . Is a dog required to be on a leash etc. Then when you see violations document with camera, call police. Before that of course you should have a calm discussion with your neighbor about keeping the dog inside the fence since it's always a good idea to be on good terms with your neighbor !!
  5. SLCDave

    SLCDave Well-Known Member

    Well, as with everything, it depends.

    If you're working with a rake or another long handled tool, you might be on a better legal footing if you used that to keep the dog back. If the dog is acting aggressively, and you fear for your well-being, do what you have to do.

    I have a couple of dogs across the street that are left to run loose. I've almost run them over a couple of times. The owners and I aren't on great terms because I don't like to listen to their music inside my house at all hours of the night, and have made that known to them more than once. Anyway, the dogs bother me, and when going to the community mailbox a couple doors down, they will occasionally follow me, but not in a nice tail wagging way. It's becoming an issue.
  6. skidmark

    skidmark Well-Known Member

    First question to be answered is: what is the city ordinance about discharging firearms in a residential area? Next, what was the legality of your having access to said firearm, and having access to said firearm in public? Was you carry (concealed or otherwise) in full compliance with State & City laws?
    Now prove the new neighbors told you the animal has a history of biting. Just for fun, ask if State/local Animal Control has already cited them and issued written instructions about controling Rin Tin Tin. Did they comply with those instructions?
    Who saw the dog loose and on your property? Can they vouch for your inability to retreat?
    Who saw you shoot the dog? Where were they in relation to the line of fire and in relation to your line of sight?
    :eek: Why are you posing this question on a public forum, when it will come back to bite you worse than any dog will, if you in fact shoot the neighbor's dog? "People" will say you were fishing for support of your premeditated plan to shoot the beast regardless of circumstances or provocation.
    In short, while you may evade criminal law problems if the events go down, you probably will not steer clear of civil law complications from the dog's owner, the mommy across the street, or your kids' playgroup partners.

    While it may be fun to soar with the eagles, no weasel has ever been sucked into a jet intake. ((c), TM/SM 19xx - 20xx)
  7. 2nd Amendment

    2nd Amendment member

    Seems the real question is whether you ARE in city limits. If not then the neighbor should have kept his dog penned. I've dropped three this year. The only guy that whined received the corpse of one of the chickens his mutt had killed and I asked him if he wanted a bill for the other six...that was the end of that.
  8. Gunpacker

    Gunpacker Well-Known Member

    Well, hypothetically-

    If you were on your own property, in most places you would be allowed to carry. Not sure about your state, but in FL, you are allowed to use deadly force "when you are in fear for your life or to prevent great bodily harm to yourself or another." I once saw a Rottweiler belonging to the new next door neighbor charging across my yard at me as I left my house. I was carrying and I stepped behind my car and prepared. Just as the dog reached my car, the neighbor quietly called the dog's name and he stopped just short of death. I was really p.o.ed at the guy, and told him so, and what just about happened. We later became good friends, and the dog left with daughter.
    Yes I would have shot him, to protect myself from death, or great bodily harm. I was scared as hell, and don't mind saying so. It would not have been my fault, but the fault of the owner.
    Cops shoot dogs all the time to protect themselves. We have the same rights when threatened. Police are bound by the law on deadly force the same as anyone else.
  9. Tory

    Tory member

    Use your internet access to check your state's statutes,

    instead of trolling for free legal advice from anonymous sources on non-legal forums. Free legal advice is generally overpriced.

    My state, although virulently anti-gun, still has a statue expressly authorizing the killing of a dog not on its owner's land, not under its owners control, attacking domestic animals or humans. My town also has a leash law.

    There are, of course, statutes about shooting w/i 500' of a residence, etc. However, the specific trumps the general, and a statute expressly authorizing the use of deadly force to protect one's own life or property against a rampaging dog would seem to easily trump a more general statute against letting neighborhoods become free-fire zones.

    If I see on dog on my land attacking my cat and can get to my gun before the dog gets to my cat, there will likely be one less canine nuisance in my neighborhood. And I'll take that to a jury. :fire:
  10. Black92LX

    Black92LX Well-Known Member

    folks this 100% hypothetical i have neighbors who are getting ready to move in and forewarned us about the dog. that is all the rest was just something that i conjured up in my mind. i have no plans of shooting the dog nor has it ever been in my yard or agressive towards me. it is completely a what if scenerio much like a zombie SHTF thread just on a more reasonable level.

    not looking for legal advice just different i deas as to what could happen, like many that have been posted.
  11. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    FWIW...I've had a similar situation. Now, everybody wants to get along....well, everybody OUGHT to want to get along, and that's the problem

    when the jerk says "I have a dog and it bites", what he's saying is "I want this dog and I know it could maime you or your family or friends, but I don't really care". His desire for the dog trumps your safety in his mind. He needs an attitude adjustment.

    I'd make it real clear up front what happens to the dog on my property. I currently have a neighbor across the road that has a dog that runs across my yard once in a while. He's not a threat, so it's no big deal. Any vicious dog on my property is one dead mutt. Don't rant, rave, or threaten. Be calm and clear, but specific.

    I love dogs, and I'd do most anything to help my neighbors, but getting bit by a dog isn't part of the program.
  12. joab

    joab Well-Known Member

    Or he could just be acting as a good responsible dog owner and neighbor.
    " I have a dog that bites, so don't try coming over unannounced"
    "I have a dog that bites so don't try reaching over the fence to pet him"
    " I have a dog that bites so make sure your kids don't try coming over to play with it"
    I have a dog that bites just thought I tell you so that if for some reason he should get out of the fence you won't try to grab him by the neck and escort him home"

    Not all warnings are threats Not all owners of defensive dogs are ignorant and self centered.
  13. CannibalCrowley

    CannibalCrowley Well-Known Member

    Ohio has an "absolute liability" law concerning dogs; so yes as long as the law hasn't been changed. From the horses mouth:

    ORC Ann. 955.28 (Anderson 2002) ​
    § 955.28 Dog may be killed for certain acts; owner liable for damages.

    (A) Subject to divisions (A)(2) and (3) of section 955.261 [955.26.1] of the Revised Code, a dog that is chasing or approaching in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack, that attempts to bite or otherwise endanger, or that kills or injures a person or a dog that chases, injures, or kills livestock, poultry, other domestic animal, or other animal, that is the property of another person, except a cat or another dog, can be killed at the time of that chasing, approaching, attempt, killing, or injury. If, in attempting to kill such a dog, a person wounds it, he is not liable to prosecution under the penal laws which punish cruelty to animals.

    (B) The owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog is liable in damages for any injury, death, or loss to person or property that is caused by the dog, unless the injury, death, or loss was caused to the person or property of an individual who, at the time, was committing or attempting to commit a trespass or other criminal offense on the property of the owner, keeper, or harborer, or was committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense against any person, or was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog on the owner's, keeper's, or harborer's property.
  14. QuickDraw

    QuickDraw Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Dec 30, 2004
  15. redneck2

    redneck2 Well-Known Member

    Read the original...the dog is on my property, I have nowhere to go....

    now, if you're ignorant enough to reach across the fence to pet an unknown, potentially dangerous dog and get bit, it's your problem

    if there's a "Beware of Dog" sign and you go in anyway, it's your choice

    so...read the original again...the dog's on MY property, threatening me or my family..

    long ago Robert Frost said "good fences make good neighbors"...wise words
  16. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    In my yard, it'd be a dead dog P.D.Q. If you've ever seen scars from dog bites, you'll know why.
  17. joab

    joab Well-Known Member

    I was obviously replying to your post.Especially this part which I highlighted. Maybe you should reread my post and your's
    The issue of the dog on YOUR property has been covered by others.

    Maybe you should reread the original and his second post where he clearly states that this is all hypothetical. So far all the guy has done is tell him that he has a dog that bites.
  18. WYO

    WYO Well-Known Member

    I find that refreshing. If I had a dollar for every person who tells me that their hunched, snarling dog with ears pinned back wouldn't hurt a fly, I'd be wealthy and retired. If someone is honest enough to tell you their dog bites, do what you have to do.
  19. joab

    joab Well-Known Member

    I have only been bitten once by a dog that I was told was a biter, only because I thought they were talking about the other dog.

    I've been bitten more than a few times by those non-biting wouldn't hurt a fly dogs.

    I've seen those scars Standing Wolf mentioned. They're on my right butt cheek.
  20. beerslurpy

    beerslurpy member

    Crowley, that is an excellent law and I enjoyed reading it.

    So basically:
    -you can shoot dogs that are attacking your family and livestock, but you cant if they are just fighting/chasing your dog/cat
    -the owner of the dog cannot bring suit against the dog killer/wounder
    -dog owners are liable for whatever bad stuff their dogs do, unless the bad stuff is done to a burglar

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