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Was my advice good? Woman vs 6 Pitbulls

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Skywarp, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. Skywarp

    Skywarp member

    So today this woman comes into the store and asks what it takes to buy a handgun in California. I tell her all the rules and she just seems in a hurry so I ask her why she needs a gun so she goes on to explain...

    She lives on the outskirts of town where it's still semi rural. The neighbors behind here were raising 7 pitbulls. They have been beating down the fence so a large part of the fence has been temporarily rebuild using a flimsy chain link so now she can see into the back yard quite well. There were 7 dogs. Tuesday one of the dogs got into her backyard and was chased by three other dogs. The first dog was mauled and killed by the other three. The other three dogs prowled her backyard prompting her to call the police. The police responded " Call animal control" she called AC but it was after hours and they would be out the next day. She called the neighbor and told him to get his dogs. He did and at her request left the dead one in its place. She has pictures of the dogs in her yard during the mauling, after wards as well.

    The next day AC comes to investigate takes the dead dog out and goes to the neighbors house. Magically there is only 3 dogs. None of which are in the pictures she has and the guy denies everything. She calls the police, again no help. Animal control comes out again to see if the dogs are back but the guy isnt home .She asks what she should do and he says "Get a way of defending yourself from the dogs if worse comes to worse, a gun our something"

    So she shows me the pictures. They are Pits and they are big ones. She wants a handgun butI tell her its too hard to hit a fast moving target. She says shes a good shot but I sugest a shotgun instead. I show her the 870 but it's too long, as is the 11-87 and nova tactical also for giggles I show her a Benelli M4, too big and too expensive. Finally I show her a Mossberg 500 tactical with collapsable stock. Fits her right and explain how to use it and explain to her that it will kill anythign she points it at. Dog or person so she has to be really really careful.

    Its 50 yards from her back porch to the fence, the fence she says is a heavy wood fence. The dogs are over 100lbs so I sugest 4 shot, 2 shot or at most 4 buck. Something in a heavy magnum for up close shooting out of a cylinder bore. Above all i advised if not not needed she should hole up , avoid shooting the dogs and call the police and animal control and avoid shooting at the dogs unless absolutely necesary.If she does have to defend herself there is no grazing or wounding. The shot will kill anything, that gets in its way or severly wound it. There is no middle ground.I guess she's also worried her smalldogs will end up like the dead pitbull and is afraid her teenage 16 and 18 year old sons could be attacked.

    Anything else I should have added? Was I wrong?

    I hate that people have raised dogs like this.
  2. strambo

    strambo Well-Known Member

    Sounds good, but #4 or even #1 buck seems like the best ammo choice. Might not get enough penetration with the others. Dogs are awfully tough. Recoil from a 3" magnum in a Moss. 500 will be pretty bad. They are fairly light guns. She needs good form and 2 3/4" shells should be plenty of power.
  3. rkh

    rkh member

    I would agree with your suggestion if the lady was tasked with clearing rooms filled with pitbulls, but otherwise I think that your patron would have been better served with a CCW handgun or perhaps a tomahawk.

    It strikes me as doubtful that the lady will carry her shotgun with her each time she leaves the house, completely negating its usefulness.

    The gun isn't useful if she isn't carrying it, isn't necessary if she's in the house, and is likely to be counterproductive if someone other than she is being mauled.

    Mossberg makes a great shotgun, though. I hope she gets some (recreational) use out of it.
  4. sacp81170a

    sacp81170a Well-Known Member


    If circumstances are as you described, she has a much bigger problem than just the pit bulls. The *neighbor* sounds like the biggest problem of all, and if someone is willing to lie and cover up like she says he did, I'd suspect criminal activity outside telling fibs to officials. She needs to get a lawyer's advice, in a big hurry! If she has kids and other dogs that she cares about, taking care of an attack before it can get started is the prudent thing to do. Having a means of defense in case of attack is good, making sure you can't be attacked is better.
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    She needs to talk to the neighbor and insist he build a containment for the dogs or get rid of the dogs. She doesn't want any trouble and if he doesn't he'll do what needs to be done to control his animals. She needs to go on record as having done so.

    Shotgun's the best choice for effectiveness, but those dogs are tough to put down and she should consider 00.
  6. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    00 buck managed recoil rounds.

    Up close, 4 shot and larger are all in the same category. However, she needs to get that additional 10 or 15 yards if she's dealing with multiple aggressive dogs. The larger shot will also give better penetration for larger animals that need to be stopped.

    I was in this situation last summer, but it was only one dog and an overgrown mutt. Charged my wife several times and the neighbor was warned. I called Animal Control, made a police report and made it clear to all three parties (ac, pd and :fire: next door) that the dog would be shot on the next aggressive encounter. I shot it less than 10 feet from my back door. My wife was trying to get back into the house as the dog came after her. She had our son in her arms. Can you believe PD actually cited me for discharging a firearm? :cuss:
  7. griz

    griz Well-Known Member

    It does sound as if she has neighbor problems rather than problems with poor gun choices. But your advice is good, unless you set her up with #4 shot. At anything much past contact distance, #4 shot is no death ray on a big animal such as a dog. At something like 20 yards I would not even expect it to stop the dog, much less kill it. Use buckshot.

    And your advice to avoid shooting them if at all possible is good. The nieghbor sounds like someone who may press charges if it appeared that she "went hunting" for the pooches.
  8. dfaugh

    dfaugh Well-Known Member

    In general, yes, I would say you gave good advice.

    First, avoid them if at all possible---and remember that "pit bulls" (I quote that, because they have become the "assault rifles" of dogs, so who knows what they tuly are--everything is a pit bull nowadays--and I'd bet she's doubling the true weight of these dogs---I had a HUGE German Shepherd, his head was above the level of my belt, and he only weighed 125--My current male GSD is really oversized, too, and he goes 111) are VERY DOG AGGRESSIVE (having been bred for dog fighting), but often not PEOPLE AGGRESSIVE. So, obviously, she and her family should be very wary, just don't get completely paranoid, and blow away any dog that does find its way not her yard. (to save aggravation and legal issues).

    Besides the dogs, the gun you picked is a good all around HD gun, so even with the dogs not a part of the picture, not a bad thing to have.

    But I wouldn't use smaller tha #1 buckshot, and would probably suggest 00 as being better. I can cite you acouple of real-life examples where police shot dogs (one was a case of 2 pit bulls, the other a Rottweiler) multiple times with handguns (at close range) and the dogs kept on coming. Both were finally "subdued" by a load of 00 buck at point blank range.

    If Animal Control is anything like it is aroud here, the SHOULD be all over this guy, based on her testimony and evidence. They'll catch up to him eventually, when he least expects it.
  9. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Well-Known Member

    What about a youth cut shotgun? Shorter, lighter and easier to manuver.

    The coyote hunters around here use #4 buckshot.
  10. ilbob

    ilbob Well-Known Member

    I agree with the poster that suggested she has a neighbor problem rather than a dog problem.

    She needs to deal with it from that end, before shooting the damn things.

    I don't care if the dog is dog aggressive or people aggressive, it is aggressive, and needs to be kept under tight control. Irresponsible dog owners that keep these kinds of dogs and do not keep them under close control use weasel phrases like that to excuse their own culpability.

    I don't personally care much if you keep a pack of hyenas in your back yard as long as they don't get out and don't bark all night.
  11. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Well-Known Member

    Sounds like my experiences in Kings County, CA. Animal Control had known for over a year the neighbor fed aggressive strays. One time one of her dogs bit a man riding a bicycle. Nothing was ever done other than warnings given to the neighbor.

    I ended up shooting a couple of her dogs for chasing livestock.

  12. Abby

    Abby Well-Known Member

    I think you gave good advice. The worst part about her situation (aside from having a neighbor who probably just needs to be smacked with a bat), is that this is a PACK of dogs.

    Unfortunately, I think that's why the shotgun is the best choice. If you have a pack of dogs after you, you can go through rounds in a hurry. Worst case scenario, an empty shotgun makes an effective club.

    Most of our "scenarios" don't take that into account. Limited experience, multiple attackers who are known to continue to be very aggressive even if in pain...as an old friend of mine in the service once said, "at a certain point, everything can be a blunt object."
  13. 30Cal

    30Cal Well-Known Member

    You don't want to tangle with that many dogs. Two people, maybe, but only if you're backed up against a wall.
  14. springmom

    springmom Well-Known Member

    Of couse there were only 3 pits left when AC came. Three of them ate the other three for dinner, sounds like :what: :fire:

    You're not her counselor, you were just there to sell her a gun within the laws of CA. So all the stuff about what she should do, now that she's no longer in your store to talk to, is probably sort of too late. But of course, it's correct.

    When I read your story, I wondered if she'd ever shot a shotgun before. If she puts a 12 ga Mossberg to her shoulder with pitbulls coming at her and that's the first time she's ever shot, that wouldn't be great. The recoil is going to eat her lunch, unless that tactical stock is awfully good with recoil control. At which point, she has to reaquire the rest of the targets (unless they've stopped to snack on their fallen littermates, ick) and unless she knows this gun and has practiced with it, she won't be quick enough at that.

    Sort of like giving a first time handgunner a .44mag to shoot.....:eek:

    I hope she comes in and lets you know how it all plays out and if so, let us know.

  15. justatexasboy

    justatexasboy Well-Known Member

    Im curious. Was the dog that got mauled smaller that the others and less cared for? Was it a very new addition?

    It is typical to build confidence in a fighting dog by allowing it to beat up or kill smaller dogs. Sounds like this guy is trianing fighters, which explains why he so quickly hid the other (more prized) dogs. Dog Fighters will steal a smaller dog and release it in a pack, allowing the other dogs to attack it. It is very likley that the owner of the dogs was watching this happen and the bait dog happened to get away through the fence.

    If they are fighters they are likely pretty hard dogs with overbuilt confidences and very high tolerances to pain. Even fatal injuries will only slow the dogs down untill they bleed out completely. These dogs dont gallop, they charge with thier heads one or two inches off the ground, its bred into them, they are very tough targets to hit when charging.

    A pump shotgun can only be fired so many times in short order. Dogs can cover incredible amounts of space in very short periods of time. My advice would be avoidance. A shotgun might seem like the best choice but even loaded with 00 it will only stop one dog at full charge.

    I once saw two police officers empty thier 9mm (13 rounds each) into a rabid chow. They had 40 feet of distance to work with. The dog collapsed within two feet of the first officer. I thought for sure the 1st officer was going to get bitten.
  16. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Dog Pack

    I have to agree that if faced with a half-dozen dogs that are of a single purpose, you'll probably lose that fight unless you're as fast as Rob Leatham, and you have a doublestack 9X23...and even then it would be too close to call. Dogs have the Wolf's instinct to circle and attack from the rear while your attention is focused on the "Point Man."

    But...And speaking as someone who once faced a feral pack alone, with a revolver, and from reports that I've had from others in similar circumstances...
    As a rule, when a pack is acting on instinct, if one is shot and starts screaming, the others will jump on him and rip him to shreds. In my one experience, my shot passed through the big pack leader lengthwise (A 220-grain hard cast SWC fired in a S&W M-58) and struck one of the followers in the shoulder, sending him into a whirling, screaming, bleeding mass. In the two seconds that it took for the others to regain their bearings from the sound of the gun, they turned their attention to their stricken friend, and literally ate him alive...and were so focused that they took no notice of my hasty retreat. The pack leader hit the ground kicking, and never made a sound. Nearly 50 yards away...coming out of the woods and to my truck, I could still hear the yelping and snarling. Very ugly scenario, I imagine.

    Your friend is in an untenable situation. Push the issue with the authorities, and possibly incur the wrath of the neighbor. Let it lay, and maybe be treated to the same that the unfortunate dog in the pack as described. Just recently, a 26 year-old mother was attacked by two free-roaming Pits..in her own yard. She lost an arm from the elbow down...a big chunk of the muscle in her back...and has had to undergo intensive physical therapy as a result.
    The dog owner lost the dogs of course...and at last report...they were still undecided as to whether they should be put down. He was fined
    100 dollars and court costs for letting his dogs run loose in the city limits.

    A Google search on a Pitbull attack in Lexington, NC may bring up the details.
  17. halvey

    halvey Well-Known Member

    Someone I used to know had a problem with agressive dogs in her semi rural area. Sheriff wouldn't ever come out, so I told her the same - "next time they are on my property, I am shooting them." Then all of a sudden the sheriff comes out and gets the neighbor to comply with the leash laws. It'll work sometimes.
  18. BSlacker

    BSlacker Well-Known Member

    She has a neighbor problem not an immediate dog issue.
    Most of the folks as you describe the neighbor are on probation or parole. If you find yourself or others in a situation with a dirtbag neighbor I advise calling the local PD and talking to a Watch Commander. The cadet on the non 911 line can't help, just has stock answers. Doesn't sound like the AC are much help, maybe no laws to use. Good police know that this type of thing escalates. Watch Commanders are there for just such a unusual issue.
    Give the name and address of the dude to the Watch Commander suggest he may be on probation. If that doesn't get action then pay a lawyer to write a letter to the Chief of your local agency and copy the jerk and the city attorney. Cities don't like it when they get sued for lack of action after a notice. Letters cost less than firearms and are safer to use. Getting a firearm is ok, because one needs to cover more than one issue, but please advise people to try this first or together with a firearm. You would not want to be her other neighbor and some buck shot comes through your house after an errant shot. Unlike her local AC folks I don't advise getting a firearm first.
    One thing she is doing correct is pictures, they may not help everytime but keep doing it. :)
  19. crawfish

    crawfish Well-Known Member

    Generally good advice. If you have the opportunity please suggest she see a lawyer about this. BTY as for #4 shot. The weapon of choice of PHs in Africa to go in after a wounded Leopard is a 12ga loaded with #4s. Have personal experience with #4s and dogs using a 20ga. I'm here dogs aren't guess that counts for something.
  20. Skywarp

    Skywarp member

    From the pictures she showed me the dead pit looked to be the same size as the others.

    It was a pit bull for sure. My neighbors in OK had several Pits and they were fundogs to play with and licking machines. Loved 'em.

    She has fired shotguns before and the youth cut did feel as right to her as the Mossberg.

    The neighbor claims the portion of the fence that was broken and she is going to look into bracing the fence to keep them out. She said she expects the fence to be done in 2012 going at the rate he does things. I haveno idea. From the pictures the back yard reminds me of a junkyard. Clutter strewn about.

    I also agree its more of a problem witht the neighbor.

    As far as shotsize... my first though was 4buck. Penetration while maintaining a higher pellet count considering the dog could be closing at closer than 50 yards. I refered her to one of the older guys for adivce as well because I was supposed to relieve one of the guys in the range.

    Thanks for the advice guys she'll be back in 9 days now. I told her to not let AC forget about the situation.

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