View Full Version : Loose or Feral Dogs
I have seen several loose or wild feral dogs roaming around my neighborhood. I often walk with my wife and kids (both younger than two) and though I have yet to come across one while walking with my kids, I have seen and come across them in the morning walking down the streets in packs or alone and just yesterday saw a large dog loose in the open fields behind my house. What is the law with regards to defending yourself against loose or feral dogs? I'm not advocating exterminating them, as that is what animal control is for, but if I'm walking with my kids, I have no intentions on waiting for one to get too close.
I guess it really depends on where you are. Here in Harris County, Texas you can call Animal Control and after a little paperwork they will drop off a free animal trap for your use (two weeks). If you catch the critter/s, all it takes is a phone call and they'll come pick them up, leaving you the trap for the next critter.
If the owner is located, they'll have the option to pay the fine and pick up the animal or the County deals with it. No fuss, no muss!
Granted, it's not much fun being chased by a large dog on your morning walk. Been there, done that!
A 3 ounce can of Fox pepper spray in the pocket. It will turn a big mean ole dog into a whimpering pansy in a second. I would hose it down bigtime before I drew on it and fired. I would hate to be the guy in court trying to explain the deadly force thing against a dog. Now if that was the only thing I had and my kid was there and in danger. I'd deal with the law, and peta later. Your argument would be much better if you could say I tried the pepper spray , I didn't work, I didn't want to but I had to protect my family. I always pack both Which ever hand you shoot with, learn to shoot the pepper spray with the other hand. Might even be a good in a real life human BG situation. If you tried non lethal first it shows you didn't think to be John Wayne and just start plugging away . Although I really like John Wayne......
FL the requirement for deadly force is a reasonable person would be in fear of death or great bodily harm and you are in a place you are legally allowed to be and you also have no obligation to retreat. It is not limited to against humans. I would be more worried about getting my hits trying to shoot a dog in a busy neighborhood then any legal question about shooting the dog. You don't have to be a chew toy for a dog feral or not.
A large dog (capable of seriously hurting you) acting aggressive and threatening it sounds reasonable to me you would be in fear of death or serious bodily harm. Add in you have a child with you and IMO you would have no issues with your action.
In the end the burden would be on the state to prove to a jury (takes 100%) that you with a child facing a large aggressive dog were completely unreasonable in being in fear for the life of the child. I don't think there are many DAs that would even attempt it.
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.