yo quiero kevlar vest.

Here’s a recent incident from Tennessee:

Man shoots neighbor’s Chihuahua.

Cliff Notes: Elderly woman lets her dog out of the house one day, and her cul-de-sac neighbor shoots it through the eye when it comes onto his property unleashed.

Killing dogs–there’s another subject that’s almost as polarizing as religion, as reading through the comment thread of that news article will show you.  One one side, you have the dog lovers, who suggest that the shooter is mentally unhinged, and that nothing ever justifies killing someone’s beloved pet.  On the other side, you have the curmudgeons who say that any free-roaming animal on their property is either dinner or trash can liner, depending on species.

Now, we own dogs here at Castle Frostbite, and sometimes they will escape the property and go roaming about.  If they ever chased someone, and got themselves kicked or shot for their aggression, the fault would lie with me for not containing my animals.

That said, I sometimes go walking on the same road, and I’ve had several dogs accost me–one day, I had to interrupt my run three times because I had three separate large dogs running after me, dashing off their owners’ properties and into the public road.  I had a gun with me, as I usually do when I leave the house, but I didn’t consider shooting those dogs despite their initial aggressive stance.  Maybe it’s because I’m a dog owner and know a little bit about dog psychology, and maybe it’s because I understand the amount of grief I’d cause a dog’s owner by killing his pet, but I wouldn’t actually pull the trigger on a dog unless it’s already chomping down on my leg, or attacking my kids.  Conversely, I have had strange dogs walking onto my property, and I didn’t instantly haul out the .303 and bust a cap in Rover’s ass because ZOMG ITZ MAI PROPRTEE!!!

This is another one of those subjects where one has to carefully weigh property rights, circumstances, and the overall situation before making an irreversible decision.  Was it his property?  Yes.  Did the six-pound Chihuahua present a threat to him or anyone else at the time, therefore necessitating instant destruction? No.  Was there a safer and less confrontational way to handle the situation?  Most likely.  She should have had the common courtesy to leash her dog and not let it crap on someone else’s lawn, and he should have had the courtesy and common sense to call his neighbor to task before going all Terminator on Rosie the Chihuahua.

Also bear in mind that this was a residential cul-de-sac, not a huge country property.  It’s much easier for an overexcited canine to cross the boundaries of the average suburban front yard than to cross from one thousand-acre farm over into Farmer Jim’s neighboring thousand-acre farm.  Property rights are the same in both examples, but I’d say the proximity and ease of accidental boundary violation should have a bearing on how fast the owner of that property is getting that rifle out of the closet.  (Also: shooting rat-sized dogs in a residential cul-de-sac with a firearm?  Not too awfully bright.)

What’s your take on the issue?  Who has the moral culpability for the demise of the canine in question?  Under what circumstances would you shoot a dog on your property?

42 thoughts on “yo quiero kevlar vest.

  1. jimbob86 says:

    Both parties are at fault. The dog was not presenting any threat to the property owner, other than maybe threatening to leave a less-than-lethal (Biological) Area Denial Munition. Shooting the dog was not a proportional response. If the dog did in fact leave a (B)ADM somewhere on the owner’s property, a proportional response might be to move the (B)ADM to someplace, such as the windshield wipers of the dog owners car, to send the message to keep the dog and his “issues” off his property…..

    The dog owner is also negligent, in that the dog is to stupid to stay out of trouble, so it is the owner’s responsibility to keep him out of trouble.

  2. Anthony L. says:

    My grand dad used to use a BB gun to “pepper” the said offending dogs who attempted to shit on his property. No harm to the dog, no more problems after a few such encounters.

  3. Jeff says:

    Hmm….I think that discretion on the property owner’s part would have been prudent. Not sure what the laws in Tenn, but here in Ohio you can only shoot a dog if:

    (A) Subject to divisions (A)(2) and (3) of section 955.261 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, threatens, harasses, 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, threatening, harassment, approaching, attempt, killing, or injury.”

    I am a dog owner also and as the owner of beagles never, ever let them off the leash. Sometimes they do get loose, it is inevitable. I would never want someone to shoot a dog just because it is loose and not being a threat to anyone.

    I can’t tell you the number of times I have had other dogs run up to mine off leash. Most of the time this is not an issue as most just want a quick sniff.

    My neighbor has a German Sheppard that has a domination issue with smaller dogs. I have reminded him on several occasions that when he is not there to supervise the dog, he becomes aggressive. After several instances of the dog false charging me while walking my smallest, the dog finally decided that he was going to eat me and the little one. He ran out of his yard and across the street and started attacking us. As I spun around and around putting the boots to this dog I was screaming for his owner to come and get control of the dog.

    Finally he came out of his house and was actually a little red-neck with me because in his words “They were only playing until you started screaming.” At which point I explained to him that I was screaming because your dog was attacking me. I also explained to him that I could have shot the dog as soon as it left his yard and started charging me, but decided not to do so because the problem was with the owner not the dog. As well as not wanting to have to explain to his kids that I had to shoot the dog because “Daddy is an asshole, and didn’t want to spend the time to train or keep an eye on the dog.”

    One of the neighbors at this point called the police, and when they showed up I had to notify them I was lawfully carrying a concealed handgun. After listening to both sides he backed me up and told the guy that he ought to thank me for not shooting the dog.

    If it was just me I would probably do everything I could before I resorted to shooting a dog, but if it was my wife or another person instead of the pup being attacked I would reluctantly shot the dog.

    He is lucky, we live in a semi-rural area, others take the “Shoot, shovel, and shut up” approach.

  4. Louise Townsend says:

    Here in Vermont we are not allowed to shoot a gun within 500 feet of a house, it is called the “safety zone”.
    So that being said, the guy who shot the poor little dog would be in deep doodoo and not dog doo either if that had happened in my lovely state.

    I don’t believe in excessive force unless the dog is dangerous and attacking.
    I believe the whole thing should have been dealt with in a logical and less threatening way by speaking with the dog owner.
    I think the shooter is an idiot.

  5. MauserGirl says:

    I’m not really sure where I stand on this issue.

    First off, I will say that it has been my general experience that people who own dogs like Chihuahuas and other tiny pocket breeds are among the worst dog owners on the face of the planet.

    These owners, more times than not, view their dogs as toys or dolls rather than dogs, and do not believe their dogs could ever do anything wrong. I have yet to see a Chihuahua that knew basic obedience commands such as sit, down, or come. Most I’ve encountered were obnoxious, barking, lunging little brats. Their owners generally think it’s “cute” because their dogs are so little.

    It’s been my experience that the owners of such dogs believe that local laws do not apply to them when it comes to things such as taking their dog into a store, keeping them leashed, or picking up their poop.

    Looking at the article, it seems like the Chihuahua in question and his owner were just like the ones I’ve encountered.

    “All of the dogs here run loose,” is the woman’s big excuse. That’s kinda like saying, “All the drug dealers in my neighborhood carry guns.” when caught with an illegal firearm. Just because others do it does not mean it’s right or that it does not break the law. (Heiskell, by the way, does have a leash law.)

    When this woman let her dog out to run rampant in the neighborhood (whether she was “watching” or not), she took the risk that something might happen to her dog. The dog could have been attacked by another dog (after all, “they all run off leash”) or hit by a car. The dog could just take off down the road and never be seen again.

    As it seems to be normal for her to just open her door and let her dog run outside, in an area where people live right next to each other, how many times has her dog pooped on someone else’s lawn? How many times has she not picked it up because she didn’t know where her dog pooped? How many times have neighbors asked her to leash her dog or not let it onto their lawns?

    Those are questions I would like to see answered before we make this a story about the awful neighbor shooting the sweet little dog.

    You can bet your house payment that, had this been a large dog – a German Shepherd, a Rottweiler, even a Labrador – everyone would be upset with the owner letting the dog run loose and do its business on other peoples’ lawns.

    I don’t agree with shooting a dog, although I would certainly consider shooting a dog that is posing an immediate threat to myself or my dogs, particularly a dog running loose on my property.

    However, I also don’t agree with irresponsible people who simply turn their dogs out and let them run all over the neighbors’ property to pee and poop, regardless of the dog’s size. Owners like that are exactly the reason why so many places do not allow dogs.

    What I really want to know is, when her dog wandered onto the neighbor’s property, why did she not call it back onto her own property?

  6. OrangeNeckInNY says:

    Don’t know what the whole story is between the two neighbors. Maybe he’d already taken the diplomatic approach about the chihuahua shitting on his lawn, only to have his demand fall on deaf ears, and resorted to shooting the dog in hot-blooded anger because his demand went unheeded.

    An airsoft rifle shooting plastic bbs at 300 fps, into the asscheek of offending chihuahua would have made the message clear. It would have stung like a mother, but it wouldn’t have penetrated. It may take a few times for the entire message to sink into its puny little brain that “shit here, butt stings,” but it should be effective. Oh, and do it from inside the house so neighbors can’t see you.

    Chihuahuas are nasty little f-ing dogs. Of all breeds of dogs that I don’t like, they would be the one I don’t like the most. And I love dogs. REAL dogs.

  7. williamthecoroner says:

    Guns are noisy. Cyanide laced meat is so much more quiet in a built up area.

  8. T.Stahl says:

    I’m having a similar problem with a certain cat of certain neighbours which shits under my old car parked under a carport.
    I have access to a .22lr rifle and also have a few rather silent .22longs but shooting the cat is out of the question. But the next time I move the car to let the engine run and wash it, I’m going to dump the cat-shit in my neighbour’s driveway…

    …then I’ll spread the thumbtacks.

  9. theflatwhite says:

    For repeat offenders, BBs are the caliber of choice when repelling borders against canis lupus familiaris. The dog will learn not to trespass, and no real damage either.

    Depending on location and caliber of dog, an upgrade to bird shot is effective as well.

    I can’t imagine using lethal force in this situation unless the animal was attacking livestock or was part of a stray pack.

  10. John Gall says:

    Not quite enough data. On the surface, the shooter is probably in trouble (firearm discharge inside corporate limits; reckless endangerment; cruelty to animals; etc). He could be too tightly strung to be a gun owner. Is he a vet?
    Was he attacked by the little yipyapper? I’ve known some pretty agressive examples of that breed. If the critter was yapping and biting at his ankles I would be willing to let him off – though drop-kicking it back home would seem to be punishment enough.

    If there’s a leash law, the woman could loose her civil action. I think it’s a bad idea to allow pets to run loose in urban areas in any circumstances, so I don’t have a lot of sympathy for her either.

    My attitude would be to return any and all poop piles (is that’s what tripped the guy’s overreaction?) to said dog owner’s property at a more noticeable spot than the lawn. It can’t be too much of a job to relocate yipyapper poop piles. If the critter was constantly outside, I can understand the guy being upset. The constant yipyapping would wind my string up to the twanging point too.

  11. mts says:

    Nah, give it a treat, packed with chocolate ex-lax. It would completely s**t her house up before it died. You’ll see her wall to wall carpeting rolled up curbside for the poor trash men to pickup on Garbage Day. Who fed it the tragic treat? Sumdood.

    What that guy did gives gun owners a bad name. Using the gun as a first resort, like “to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Why do the dirty work yourself like a lazy, uncreative dude, when you can contract it out to Sumdood?

    A person could also get a hold of it, take off the collar, and turn it into the pound in a distant town, if he had the time to devote to this. And if it’s tattooed or has RFID implanted, then into a bag and over the bridge into the river.

  12. Marko says:

    wtc,

    that poisoned meat idea is a bad one. You can’t control who or what gets a hold of that stuff in that particular setting.

    The return of the poop deposits is a fine idea, and I wouldn’t be beyond trying out the electric airsoft gun ballistics on a canine butt…but leaving poisoned meat around in a suburban neighborhood is asking for unintended consequences.

  13. Heath J says:

    Mauser Girl pretty much said what I would’ve, just more eloquently.

    We don’t have all of the history here. Given the stereotype Little Yappy Dog owner (the ones that take em’ in the store, hold them while driving, etc), It’s likely the guy was just pissed.

    That doesn’t make it right, but I’d imagine such a scenario.

    That being said, I tend to give loose dogs on my property LOTS of slack. I like dogs, have two of my own, and don’t figure shooting it for just being there is the right thing to do.

    Should they mess with my livestock, pets or family, all bets are off.

  14. Sevesteen says:

    Chihuahua? Over-response. I probably wouldn’t do much of anything if it was my yard, but I wouldn’t think a hose or airsoft was an overreaction. (I’ve used Airsoft to convince squirrels to quit dropping things in my dinner

    One of my dogs? (40 and 75lbs respectively) He would have the right to shoot. I doubt he would have actual cause, but if they get away from me, I’m still responsible. .

  15. LabRat says:

    Owner is an idiot. Shooter is an asshole.

    That pretty much covers it for me.

    Dogs getting out does happen even with responsible owners- we never let ours off-leash in an open area that isn’t a designated dog park, ever. We have a strong six foot fence and so do our in-laws’ when they dogsit for us. They got out a few weeks ago- the wind was blowing strong enough to blow the gate open. Thankfully they were both retrieved successfully, but I was terrified they’d be hit by a car… or shot by someone that saw a large running dog as a threat, or just had Ideas about how his property was his own little fiefdom.

    Would I shoot a dog? If it was posing a direct threat to me or mine, including mine own dogs, yeah. Would I try not to unless that threat was crystal clear? Yeah.

    MauserGirl- I actually do know a couple of trainers that own or owned chihuahuas. They always lament that people were SHOCKED to see that the little beasts could actually be taught sit, down, polite behavior…

  16. Shane says:

    A 100 lb rottweiler was on my front porch when my then-pregnant wife opened the door and it attempted to attack her. We were living on a rural 3 acre property with the next nearest house was almost 1/4 mile away. We later found the dog was living nearly 1/2 mile away on a different road. I grabbed the nearest rifle that had a loaded magazine available, a Ruger mini-14 and stepped off the porch to see if the dog had left the vicinity. Moving around to the front of the garage, I spotted it at the top of the driveway, about 40 feet away. It saw me and charged. I fired once from the hip, not sure if I struck anywhere near the dog. It dove into the brush nearby and I didn’t see it again. I was using surplus .223 FMJ and I later found I’d hit it in the chest, wounding but not killing the dog. I called the county sheriff to report the incident. They reminded of the signs posted in the county regarding that dogs harassing people and livestock can be killed on sight. The owners did call and were told they had no recourse and could actually be liable for my expenses.
    Through neighbors, I heard the dog owners were upset but nothing else ever came of it.
    TMI I was barefoot with only tighty whiteys at the time…

  17. Dominique says:

    I would have to agree with LabRat. Regarding the idiocy and assholery of the owner and shooter, respectively.

    If the owner is routinely letting a large and aggressive dog loose, I would consider shooting it. If it was gnawing on my leg, or looked like it was about it, I’d consider shooting it. But a Chihuahua? I’d pick the thing up by the scruff of the neck/the tail and return it to its owner, possibly with a colorful and intricately detailed description of my views on the event.

    One of my friend’s families has a Jack Russel that has a gift for digging under fences, and occasionally makes a break for it. While I’m not remotely fond of the dog (I’ve met more intelligent and better behaved algae), I still wouldn’t shoot it.

    On a less immediate level, someone who hauls off and shoots a toy dog that was being, if nothing else, criminally annoying, gives the rest of the gun community the reputation as . . . how to put this delicately . . . lunatic rednecks prone to shooting anything that draws they’re attention. He may have had the legal right to do so. He may have even been aggravated by the owner’s (possible) refusal to contain their animal. But he would have been better off shooing the thing away with a broom, or giving it a good kick.

  18. MarkHB says:

    Insufficient data to judge the case, here. But a dog is an animal, declared nonsentient by law. I don’t have the history or circumstances.

    Even a Little Yappy can cause physical harm to a fully grown human, though, and that’s not tolerable. If your Little Yappy is busily gnawing on someone else’s calf-muscle, then a Loud Pop is indicated. To be honest, if Little Yappy is charging with intent to gnaw, then I think ROE Baker (Under attack, and cleared to engage under such circumstances) are fine. Age of owner, irrelevant. Dog’s in-house behaviour, irrelevant. If the dog was charging – as the article seems to try desperately not to indicate whilst not refuting it- then firing on the dog is fine. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is, because teeth carry infections which don’t matter a damn to the skin, but can cost you a limb subdermally.

    “It’s not like it’s a pit-bull” you say. Well, gee. If you get shot by a .22 is that better than being shot by a .50 calibre Action Express? The answer is always the same – it depends where you get hit, and where you get hit is not up to you. I’ve been shot with .22 before, and it frakkin’ hurts. Leaves a nasty scar, too. But the same round to the right place would have ended my life – and it wasn’t up to me.

    As I say, I don’t have enough data. But if something or someone is charging you, it’s a bad time to be thinking “proportional response”.

  19. Shane says:

    When my situation occurred, I had two quick choices — the mini 14 or a .44 Redhawk with Glasers. I chose the mini 14 because I thought, AHA! Noisemaker — but effective if I needed it. As stated, perhaps not clearly, the dog survived with a vet’s care. Instead of the hip shot hitting the dog in the chest, I would have hit the center of mass with the .44 Glaser and that would have been that. BTW, several neighbors stopped letting their dogs run loose after that.

  20. Jen says:

    I have a rott, a mastiff mix, a pit and a pit mix. They are all well behaved dogs and never leave the fenced yard or house without being on a leash (the exception being the rott who will occasionally accompany me to the mailbox).

    I have a neighbor who lets their nasty little dog mutt roam, pissing on mailboxes and standing outside my patio window harassing my dogs.

    Guess who would be at fault if my dogs became agitated enough to break out?

    I have already called animal control to report the neighbors in case of just such an eventuality.

    Even so, shooting a dog would be reserved as a response to serious violence to me or my family. I have considered picking up a paintball gun and sending the little son of a bitch back home with a pink butt.

  21. OrangeNeckInNY says:

    Shane, you done do’ed a good thing. You made your neighbors more conscientious of letting their dogs roam “wild.” Yes, even domesticated dogs revert to their feral selves when left to their own devices.

    Jen, bad idea on the paintball to the butt. Leaves evidence that can be traced back to you, whereby you might end up being fined for animal cruelty.

  22. Rick T says:

    Well, I started reading the article thinking the shooter was absolutely wrong, but about 80% of the way down the comment string is a statement from “just_married”who claims to be a neighbor. The comment claims that he raises ducks in the back yard, has very young children *and* that he has talked to the dog owners in the area about the problems when their pets are allowed to run free.

    If the comment is accurate then things are *very* different than first reported.

    The fundamental question is if the dog had a history of attacking the kids or the birds. If so, I think he was within his rights to destroy an aggressive animal that had been released and was on his property, probably heading for the birds again.

    My guess is that the animal was too far away from him to capture or divert, so he stopped it with the tools available.

    The tragedy is that the animal died because of his owner’s stupidity.

    There is probably a lot more to this that the Knox News has reported.

  23. Thomas Jackson says:

    If someone is threatened by a six pound dog I can only say if that man who probably weighed in at about 200 lbs came over on my property I’d be infinitely more threatened and have to put him down immediately. With a shot through the eye.

    I hope this goes to jury trial and the varmin loses everything. He just sounds so reasonable and loveable.

  24. Robert says:

    Under what circumstances would you shoot a dog on your property?

    1. I will shoot any dog attacking myself, a family member, or family pet, but only if it is too large to punt.

    2. I will shoot any animal, dogs included, that by its behavior leads me to believe it has rabies.

    3. I will humanely kill a dog that has been hit by a car (our house fronts on a busy road) that in my opinion has received inoperable, fatal injuries.

    I think that covers all the scenarios I might encounter at home.

  25. Kristopher says:

    Agreed that shooting the bark-toy was dumb.

    But … if you repeatedly can’t keep your animal off of my property, don’t be surprised if it vanishes.

    My first choice is always to talk to the owner.

    If the owner is intractable, my second choice for dog control is pepper-spray … the stuff works on most dogs like a cross for a vampire. They will do anything they can to avoid you and yours after they get sprayed.

    If you have to kill, a live trap and a tub of water is safer than poison or shooting. Hard on the dog, for sure, but you can’t be discharging a firearm unsafely.

  26. T.Stahl says:

    To answer the original question, as to under which circumstances I would shoot a dog on my property:

    I would shoot or kill a dog using other means if it represents a clear and present danger to me or other people or when it is about to destroy valuable property. For all the laws connected to discharging a firearm outside a shooting range, shooting a dog is almost impossible in Germany. Using a pitchfork would be more realistic.
    I wouldn’t shoot a six-pound chihuahua (I don’t consider them to be ‘dogs’ anyway). I’m not afraid of getting my head bitten off by a chihuahua, but as Marko likes to tell us now and then, dogs will stick their mouth into anything. A chihuahua would be a job for Mr Meindl or Mr Lowa. “Chihuahua, meet Mr Boot.”

    Kristopher mentioned pepper-spray. Good idea, I had completely forgotten about that option.🙂

  27. fastbike says:

    As you’ve said: If it’s my property, the dog has to be threatening me and mine AND I either don’t know who owns the dog, the owner is not responsive and animal control won’t respond (I live in a neighborhood). I’m extremely unlikely to start shooting animals in my neighborhood (coyotes excluded).

    If I’m out somewhere, country etc. I’d go Alpha Dog and see if that works (dog owner myself). Dog coming agressively, and or pack, I defend myself.

  28. LittleRed1 says:

    Two moves ago, a family up the street (main east-west bypass in town, very busy) had a yappster that they let roam. It liked driving people off their sidewalk, especially children. I loaded a squirt pistol with vinegar and water for my next trip. It left me alone after that, and later encountered Karma in the form of a motor vehicle.
    That said, shooting the chihuahua without being attacked, not so good. Now, the two labs and the golden that charged me yesterday morning while I was walking in the middle of the street (0530 hr), I would have popped if I had been properly armed and they had come closer than five feet. I ended up in a slow, cautions retreat and they didn’t follow me, thanks be.

  29. aczarnowski says:

    I’m with Robert and LabRat. The owner is an idiot and the shooter is an asshole.

    A gun is not reasonable force against a sub 10 lb dog, especially within a housing group. The owner is also on the hook for lack of common f’n decency and, ultimately, at fault. Gun, car, or lightning strike, the demise of the dog was the owner’s fault for lack of supervision.

    As to when I’d shoot a dog, Robert nailed it. Attack of me and mine, threat of disease, or compassionate euthanasia means a bullet.

    If our golden, who is made of submissive love, got shot by somebody she better have had rabies or been hit by a car. I’d kick myself daily for letting her out of sight, but wouldn’t blame the shooter under those circumstances.

  30. Eric Hammer says:

    I would amend LabRat’s statement to “the owner is at fault, the shooter is an ass”. I think the property owner did have the right to shoot the dog, but it was pretty damned stupid given the costs of doing so compared to simply pepper spraying/punting/tagging the little bugger with a bb.
    Personally, I don’t mind the neighbors’s dogs running around on our property much, but if they started using our sliver of lawn for a general toilet, and the neighbors decided that it wasn’t their problem (they wouldn’t, being nice folks), I could see using unpleasant countermeasures on the invading canines.
    However, should I fail to put boot or bullet to a dog that scared my wife or attacked our cat, I had better ask the neighbors if they have a spare bed…

  31. steve says:

    Shooting any creature (unless hunting), should be a last resort. I am a CHL holder, always armed, and would not consider shooting an animal, any sooner than I would shoot a human. Only a threat of violence justifies a violent reaction. The dog owner shares fault, and her punishment is the loss of her pet. The shooter is also at fault, and should be charged with cruelty, and any weapons charges related to shooting within city limits without cause.

  32. Tam says:

    As a related observation, I have found that this is an issue with a sharp urban/rural divide.

    Folks living in the country can have an attitude that seems incredibly callous to city/suburban folk when it comes to stray animals on their property.

  33. Dave says:

    Pardon the language, but anyone that shoots a dog for no good reason is an ignorant cocksucker, and a major league asshole.
    In a residential area, with no threat to person or livestock, the simple fact that the dog wandered into someones yard isn’t a good reason.

  34. MarkHB says:

    Dave,

    The report didn’t, at my reading, adequately define “good reason” or “no good reason”. I agree with you in principle, and I agree with the general mien of “idiot owner, asshole shooter”, but there wasn’t enough data in the article to say whether or not the dog was actually being aggressive, and whether or not it was a repeat matter.

  35. Dave says:

    Like you, I am only working with the scant information in the article. Problem is, I can’t imagine a scenario where shooting a chihuahua would be necessary, unless it was rabid, or attacking someone.
    Even if it were acting in a threatening manner, I can’t imagine that the scenario couldn’t have been resolved with a swift kick instead.
    The first line of the article said that she didn’t know the neighbor. I’m guessing, but that would imply that the dog killing neighbors first action was reaching for his rifle, instead of talking to the owner of the dog first. We won’t know for sure until more is reported on the story, but that is the drift I am getting so far.

  36. hecate says:

    My criteria for using deadly force are the same, regardless of species. If I or mine are in danger of death or grievous injury, I’m dropping the hammer. If not, I have the whole rest of the Force Continuum to explore.

    I live out in the country, and if I shot everything that took a dump on my property, I’d be hip-deep in dead deer, raccoons, possums, coyotes, herons, feral cats, etc.

    I also train dogs and do retired racing Greyhound rescue and adoption. For many older people (and city idiots who put up McMansions in the middle of nowhere), the concept that you never let your dog run loose just doesn’t sink in. So nobody who wants to let a Greyhound off-leash in an unfenced area or uses Invisible Fence-type products gets a dog from me. Ever.

    Both were at fault, but where the dog owner was stupid, the dog killer was dangerous.

  37. Assrot says:

    Accidents happen. All pets get out once in a while. It’s the nature of the beast. I would not shoot someone else’s animal on my property unless it was attacking me and large enough to do great bodily harm.

    I mean really. What a punk this guy is. Shooting a Chihuahua. Come on. If he shot my tiny little dog I’d stomp the dog shit out of him and make him beg for his life. Scumbag.

    I hope he gets tried, convicted and sentenced to the maximum extent of the law.

    Joe

  38. MarkHB says:

    Again, Assrot, you can’t tell condition always from demeanour. If it’s charging, it’s assumed infected and psychotic. *shrugs* I don’t care if it’s a Chihuahua, or one of the 16-year-old wankers who mobbed me to the ground last august. It doesn’t matter how big it is if it’s being unrelentingly aggressive.

    Insufficient data in the story.

  39. MauserGirl says:

    I’m surprised by how many people said, “accidents happen – any dog gets out now and again.”

    Two issues with this.

    First, as little information as the article provides, it is quite specific about the fact that this dog did not slip out the door or otherwise get outside by accident. The owner said that she let the dog out of the house and then the dog wandered into the guy’s yard. She also said that “all the dogs run loose” and she “never lets the dog out without being there.”

    The owner herself is saying she opened the door and let the dog out. She watched the off-leash dog as the dog wandered over her neighbors’ property to relieve herself. And she does this all the time, as “all the dogs” in the neighborhood do.

    This is no little doggy slipping out the door. This is a neighbor letting her dog run all over the neighborhood to pee and poop wherever.

    Second – yes, all dogs have the potential to get out on accident, but that is no excuse for the dog roaming the neighborhood or doing its business on other people’s lawns.

    A solid “come”/”here” command is all that is needed from keeping a dog taking off down the road. If you can’t be bothered to teach that, you either need to contain the dogs before opening the door or shouldn’t have dogs.

  40. tallpine says:

    I’ve shot exactly one dog (not counting one of ours that had to be put down a long time ago) that was coming over and killing our cats. Not just chasing them out in the woods, but stalking and killing a kitten on our doorstep. Neighbor didn’t like it, but hey – this is Montana (he finally got sent to prison and sold his place – yippee!).

    I know lots of ranchers out here who shoot all stray dogs on sight, no questions asked. I don’t blame them but I won’t shoot unless the dog is being a problem. Last stray puppy that showed up (some asshole dumped her, apparently) got adopted into our household.

  41. ErnestThing says:

    I find the variation in this discussion interesting.

    Dog bites can be fatal, it’s usually rare, but I’m not going to play the lottery with the life of myself or my loved ones. A potentially fatal attack by an aggressive animal of any kind should be met with force.

    We can talk for days about the gray areas; how big the dog was, whether kids or pets were nearby, or how proportional the response was, but at the base of the issue is that fact that this dog was a potential threat, and intruding on property. “Dogs will be dogs” doesn’t exactly soothe as your infant lies in the ICU fighting infection.

    On the topic of property (in the form of pets), any animal attempting to destroy my property will be stopped in the most effective manner available.

    Of interest is the fact that in some states, the only level of response to a threat you are afforded is the final level. Similar to warning shots, anything short of “I feared for my life” response can be interpreted as unlawful activity. If I have a gun and a bat, and a man approaches to attack me, and I decided to use the bat, it could be argued that I was not in fear for my life, and simply wanted to take the opportunity to beat someone up. Similarly, use of a paintball gun when I had a gun nearby could mean I wasn’t in fear for my life, and therefore unlawfully discharged a gas-powered projectile launcher within city limits, and perpetrated animal cruelty (a felony in Ca.)

    In such cases, it makes legal sense to go straight to self-defense level force.

    It’s unfortunate that the laws are such that we have limited non-lethal options, but no one seems to be in any rush to stop civil and criminal lawsuits where people chose not to use lethal force. The gray area has been turned into a white area, leaving the only sensible action in the black.

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