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I've seen it said many times before - "I would kill another dog in a second if it meant saving my own!"

How many here would do that? How many would likely need to do that? A lot depends on the situation (for example, if the other dog had a death grip on your dog's throat), and the size difference between the dogs.

I have a Pomeranian - if a rottweiler came up and got a hold of him before I could grab him, it seems like I would have to make that decision of whether or not to kill the other dog before someone with a larger dog would need to. Ozzy could be killed in seconds (if not faster) from a bite from a dog with enough size difference on him. Obviously, if a lhasa apso came up and they got into it, I'd assess the situation a bit differently than if it were an Akita.

With that being said - if you truly felt your dog's life was in imminent danger - would you kill the other dog if you couldn't get it off of/away from yours?

What may the legal repercussions be of killing the other dog if you DID make that decision? Animal cruelty? Could you claim self defense or not, since the other dog was attacking yours, which is technically 'property?' Could the other dog's owner get charged with anything?
Obviously laws are different in every state. Just curious what your guys' thoughts, opinions, and insights on this subject would be.
 

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That's a thought provoking set of questions!

I don't walk around armed, and so I can't imagine a scenario where I would have the proper means. There's no way I could kill a dog otherwise. I can't imagine myself having the strength to bludgeon a dog to death. The one time one of mine got attacked, he quickly got the upper hand, and then both of my girls backed him up. I ended up pulling the offending dog out of the fray to safety. I go to great lengths to make sure I never put them in that compromising situation again!

I guess the short answer is that if I had a Pom being attacked by a Rottie, and it appeared deadly, and I were armed, and knew I had a clear shot (which I cant imagine even being possible), then yes I would. Whatever the legal repercussions, they wouldn't be enough to deter me. I don't think it would be animal cruelty. Defense of property might be a mitigating factor.


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My brother killed a Rottweilers that was going after our horses, I would have killed it had he not been there. We didn't face charges since the dog was on our property.

If another dog came at my dog with intent to kill him then yes I would shoot it. My dogs life is valuable to my family. In my opinion if the owner of the other dog valued their dog then it wouldn't be allowed to run loose where it could harm mine.


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thinking about that right now... I don´t think i would have the courage to do it. But seeing my dog being attacked would be a different situation and yes i probably would kill the other dog if I had the resources and no other choice. Our dogs depend on us for protection and care, and I would not watch my dog suffer and not defend her.
 

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If it meant that my dog was going to be severely hurt or killed and I was armed, then yes. Whether it was a raccoon, a wild ox, or a dog, if my dogs were in serious danger of being killed it is my job to protect them.
 

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That's a thought provoking set of questions!

I don't walk around armed, and so I can't imagine a scenario where I would have the proper means. There's no way I could kill a dog otherwise. I can't imagine myself having the strength to bludgeon a dog to death. The one time one of mine got attacked, he quickly got the upper hand, and then both of my girls backed him up. I ended up pulling the offending dog out of the fray to safety. I go to great lengths to make sure I never put them in that compromising situation again!

I guess the short answer is that if I had a Pom being attacked by a Rottie, and it appeared deadly, and I were armed, and knew I had a clear shot (which I cant imagine even being possible), then yes I would. Whatever the legal repercussions, they wouldn't be enough to deter me. I don't think it would be animal cruelty. Defense of property might be a mitigating factor.
Heeyyy, this is word for word the answer I would have given! ;)

Seriously, though, it would be much more a question of "could" than "would." Sure I would do it, I just doubt that I'd be in a situation where I could. More than likely I'd just get myself mauled trying.

But that's okay, I would happily get myself mauled if it meant saving my dopey little mutt monsters.
 

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What may the legal repercussions be of killing the other dog if you DID make that decision? Animal cruelty? Could you claim self defense or not, since the other dog was attacking yours, which is technically 'property?' Could the other dog's owner get charged with anything?
As for this, in PA:

1. Yes, maybe. Depends on the circumstances.

2. Not if it was clear that the dog was only attacking your dog and not you. You can claim protection of property but not self-defense, if you yourself are clearly not in danger (although that might be fuzzy, depending on the exact facts of the hypothetical). However, defense of an owned animal can be sufficient to justify killing another animal.

3. Yes, maybe. Depends on the circumstances.
 

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I would hate to do it but I would if it meant saving my own, and I would be so upset for many days knowing that I had killed another animal ... But my dogs are my responsibility and they look for me to take care of them and watch over them so I would do what I must to protect them...
 

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In a heartbeat.
 

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I'm 44 and have had dogs for most of those years and have just never been in this situation. I will be perfectly happy if I can get through the next 44 without ever being in this situation.

I don't walk around armed.

If I had a pom, maybe I would have pepper spray or something else that would deter a large dog.

I guess if I had the means and a dog was killing my dog, I might use lethal force on the dog and would not consider repercussions (legal) until it was all over. Then I would probably write everything down while it was very fresh in my mind and consult an attorney.

But I don't really have to worry about it as I don't carry a gun.
 

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This reminds me of the people i see around here walking around with sticks or bats when they walk with their dogs. Can it be for protection? There is a man on my street that always walks his yorki that way o_O
 

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Yes without hesitation......
 

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A little less than two years ago there was an instance a few towns over where 4 newfoundlands got away from the children (!?) that were walking them and killed a lab mix. The lab's owner was said to have been 'throwing punches' and doing everything he could to try and save his pet from 4 very large attackers, and ended up in the hospital to have his own wounds taken care of. Whenever a story like this comes up, my husband always asserts that he would kill any dog that tried to seriously hurt Ruby, but as a 6'2" black belt, he could defend her much better than I (5'0" weakling) could ever hope to. However, I do have a noticeable inch long scar on my left hand that I got from pulling a pit bull off of my dog and getting gouged by the pit bull's canine. In retrospect, I'm very lucky to have gotten away with only that, but in the heat of the moment I didn't think, I just reacted. I get the feeling that is what the majority of us would do, just react and not really process the idea of consequences until later. That being said, I doubt I have the capability to kill any large dog in order to protect Ruby, but I know that I would put myself in harm's way to keep her safe.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I'll add that I always have a knife on me. I'm always walking by myself, and usually at night (especially in the summer months), and Ozzy isn't much of a deterrent to anyone who sees a 20 year old girl walking alone. My knife is primarily for my own protection, but I would use it against a dog if I had to.
 

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I didn't think about a knife. Have you trained with it? I think I would have to feel very confident in my knife skills to kill swiftly.


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Discussion Starter #19
I don't have training with it, as I intend on getting myself a gun when I turn 21. (And yes, I WILL be taking classes and training extensively with that weapon!)
 

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I don't have training with it, as I intend on getting myself a gun when I turn 21. (And yes, I WILL be taking classes and training extensively with that weapon!)
That's cool. Lessons and practice are key. I love target practice. With guns, I'm a shotgun and rifle kinda gal. Love skeet shooting. Never fired a handgun. My favorite is my compound bow, though... And I don't see that applying to this thread, haha ;)


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