Legalities of killing a dog that is in your yard

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by pro2am, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    I have new neighbors. The new neighbors have 3 chained, and 1 unchained pit-bulls in their backyard. I have a three boys, my wife, and a German Shepherd dog.

    So, lets say that the pit-bull(s) do what pit-bulls do and somehow escape the chains and the fenced in yard and come onto my property.

    Am I justified in killing them if they are non-aggressive? Do I need to wait until they become aggressive before acting?...to avoid prosecution?

    I'm very leary because a few years ago a baby boy in the next neighborhood over was mauled by a pit-bull and eventually died from his wounds. The pit-bull was driven off by a neighbor who repeatably stabbed the dog with a kitchen knife.

    I realize that there are some people that love these dogs and swear they are great dogs...and then there is me...who thinks that all pit-bulls are the devils spawn and should be put down any way possible. Sorry if that's offensive for some, but that's how I feel.

    My wife and I were discussing why in the world someone would have 4 pit-bulls. There are limited answers, 1) they love pit bulls, 2) they breed pit bulls, 3) I have a meth lab in the making next door.

    Comments on my first questions?
     
  2. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    You and I both.


    Ever see that episode of South Park where Stan's uncle and friend go hunting and say "IT'S COMING RIGHT FOR US!!!"

    I'd say the same thing applies. Remember, when it is just you, a smoking gun, and a dead dog at your feet who is to know he didn't start to snarl and growl and keep advancing towards you.

    Legally? I have no clue.

    Morally/ethically? I will shoot any pit bull that gets near me and shows me its teeth.

    Sure, they are great dogs, so gentle, so loving blah blah blah. I have heard all of the BS that PB owners spew, and ya know what? I ain't buyin'.

    This is probably one of the very few subjects where I break from my very libertarian beliefs, but if I had it my way those animals would be exterminated.

    So I guess I can sum up my thoughts on pit bulls by saying: if it so much as farts in your direction give it a hot lead injection.
     

  3. GAGunOwner

    GAGunOwner Active Member

    I realize that there are some people that love these rifles/pistols/guns and swear they are great....then there is me...who thinks all pistols/assault weapons/guns are the devil's spawn and should be destroyed/banned any way possible.
    Sorry if that's offensive for some, but that's how I feel.

    My wife and I were discussing why in the world someone would have 4 guns/pistols/rifles. There are limited answers, 1) They love guns, 2) They deal in guns, 3) Are planning to rob or kill someone.
     
  4. GAGunOwner

    GAGunOwner Active Member

    The reason they have 4 pistbulls is because this is America and they can as long as they are responsible dog owners...the same reason you have guns.

    Seriously, if you are considering shooting a dog that is not violent and is not posing a threat to someone you have no business owning a gun. Just my $0.02. I guess I'm just not that ruthless.

    Walk over and tell him to chain up his dog, get a fence yourself, call animal control, etc.
     
  5. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    Guns don't get loose from their owners and randomly attack/kill/maim people on their own.

    :wink:

    My Glock never jumped free from its holster, got out of my apartment, found a lady walking her child, and defied all three safeties to fire a round at them.

    But, I have heard of a pit bull getting loose and mauling mother and child.
     
  6. Foul

    Foul Guest

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    Bullets are cheaper than coffins.
     
  7. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    And I fully support your right to voice your opinions about the evil rifles/pistols/guns/assault weapons, etc.

    The fact is, guns don't kill people, people do. They are an instrument.

    Dogs on the other hand are sometimes an instrument, and sometimes they think on their own when left to their own devices. The prey instinct is hard for dogs to overcome, especially when there is more than one dog present.

    Anyway, it's not about whether the pit-bull is dangerous to you or not. If the dog crosses the property line...well then, it (they) become my problem.
     
  8. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    You edited your post, so I'll respond to this new one.

    Yes, this is America and they should have them as long as they are responsible dog owners.

    However, we don't allow people to keep grizzly bears as pets in residential areas. Why? Because grizzly bears are vicious animals. PBs are not like other breeds of dogs.

    I've heard the argument that it is all about the owner, but I dismiss that argument. How many times have you heard of an abused golden retriever getting loose and chewing people up?

    The problem of aggressiveness lays squarely with the breed, and not just the owner.
     
  9. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    I have to disagree. It is in the use/misuse/abuse of the object that causes the problem. If you teach or encourage just about any dog to be territorial and defensive, it can maul a child. If you are a proper owner you will teach your dog how to socialize and get along with children, so that even if a kid runs up inside a fence the dog will only run up and lick the child.

    If you improperly take care of/handle/modify your firearm, it to too can kill someone without you wanting it to.

    It is still the responsibility of the owner to make sure these things don't happen to others. (think of the dogs as kids, if they are not properly educated on the things they should and should not do, they both will turn into little monsters)
     
  10. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    I'm not about to try and tell my neighbor that he can not have dogs in his yard. He has as much right as I do to have my German Shepherd. I already said that they were chained, and there is a fence. My question is, if the dogs get out and come onto my property, what can I get away with in terms of "restraining" the dog....and it is my preference to make that a permanent restraint.

    I understand that the comments posted here are NOT legal advice, and I certainly don't take it that way.

    We're all (hopefully) aware of potential dangers to ourselves and families, and to me this is a potential danger.
     
  11. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    Why not just ask your neighbor if you, your dog, and kids can socialize with his animals?
    That way if they do get loose or your kids go near them, you do not have to worry about it.
     
  12. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    I'm sure that I will talk to the neighbor about their dogs, however, I will never allow anyone in my family to socialize with them. I've been a dog owner all my life and there is one thing that I've learned is that dogs will not necessarily behave the same when the owner is there and when they are left alone. I agree with Rammstein on this particular breed, there is too much uncertainty. It's not necessarily the owner I don't trust...its the dog.
     
  13. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that entirely depends on the jurisdiction. If they are aggressive to you, your family, or your dog, then shoot! But if they are just in your yard, well, is it even legal to shoot in Acworth unless you are defending yourself? Can you target practice in your backyard?

    How do the cops feel about loose dogs? How do they feel about guns?

    I have seen people charged with cruelty to animals for this. There are also the firearms discharge ordinances.

    Hard to tell, because there are so many factors.

    My nonlegal answer is that I would hate to think someone would shoot my dog simply because it escaped from my yard once.
     
  14. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    MP, the voice of reason. It makes sense that if they are aggressive that I would shoot to protect the person in danger. You make good points about shooting in other circumstances. I live in a subdivision, shooting a gun in my back yard for no good reason would be a no-no. I have no idea what local LE thinks about loose dogs or guns. It's Cherokee County Sheriff for this area.

    My total disdain for the pitbull breed has put me in a rather unfriendly frame of mind now that I know 4 of them live next door. I'll go talk to the neighbor and keep a sharp eye out for loose dogs.
     
  15. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

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    Being a dog lover myself (I have 5), I would not fire upon a dog unless it attacked me. I personally don't like pit bulls, and luckily none of my neighbors have one. I would think that mace or pepper spray could be used to discourage a loose animal from spending too much time your yard.
     
  16. hall911guy

    hall911guy Guest

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    Agreed. I think that unless the dogs are aggressive towards you and your family and your dogs, I wouldn't shoot them. A nice pepper spray (Foxlabs 5.3) would be something I would consider. 8) 8)
     
  17. Mike from Philly

    Mike from Philly New Member

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    Here is a relevant section of the law:

     
  18. pro2am

    pro2am New Member

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    Mike, thanks for the Code, it's very helpful.

    Thanks for the discussion on this subject everyone.
     
  19. Rammstein

    Rammstein New Member

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    I agree.

    I love dogs, but to me a pit bull is not like other dogs.

    But like I've said, if he starts to show his teeth and shows aggression I would not hesitate to drop the little beast. Other dogs I will give the benefit of the doubt.
     
  20. Tinkerhell

    Tinkerhell Active Member

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    Normally I would not digress from the main topic here - what are the ramifications of shooting the dog & under what circumstances can I shoot a dog - but that's been pretty well answered and this is the off topic board so... Derail!

    1) What do you guys think of:
    Dobermans
    German Sheps
    Rottweillers
    Chows
    Shar Pei
    Akitas
    Mastiff
    wolf hybrids
    I'm guessing that you don't feel as strongly about some of the above as you do about Pits. Some of these dogs can be more dangerous than any pit.


    2) If my assumption is right about the above, then why do you feel so strongly about Pits? Do you konw someone that has been hurt by them? Have you been hurt/scared by them?

    I have to say that I agree 110% with Gunstar on this one.
    I believe how a dog acts is dependant upon how it was raised. Any dog from a chiahuahua right on up to the biggest 95% wolf hybrid you can find will act the way it has been raised to. If you neglect it, or train it to be agressive then it will be. If you nuture it and teach it to be social & non-agressive then that is how it will be. You guys are selling pits and your new neighbors short. With that said, I wouldn't assume that the dogs are not dangerous. You need to talk with the neighbors. Ask them if they are agressive/protective. Ask to meet the dogs & to socialize with them. If the neighbors advise that they are agressive & teritorial & protective let em know that you have kids & have a concern with that & that since the dogs are known to be agressive then you are going to be prejudiced against them if they should ever get out...
    I also know that I would be very upset if someone shot my dog (as I bet you would also). I don't happen to care for German Sheps too much. If you dog got out some how & ended up in my yard how would you feel if I popped a few ounces into him?

    My best advice is to simply try to overlook you prejudice to the breed. Just because a breed is popular with people that like like to have an agressive dog does not mean that most of that breed are agressive. Period.
    You have to treat every dog as an individual. If the dog aggressively comes at you, by all means shoot. But don't do it just because you don't like how big it is or how he looks or that it pisses in your flower beds.

    If we all did that those blood baths that the antis are always talking about would likely be coming true. There are a lot of people that I don't like the look of and that scare me that I would certainly shoot if that is what I made my judgements based on. :wink: