Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

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Aggie_engr
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Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#1

Post by Aggie_engr » Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:31 pm

I searched the forum and could only find cases where police officers had immunity from civil suit in the event they shot and killed someone’s dog.

My question is this; does the statutory immunity from a civil suit if the use of deadly force is justified against another person, also apply in the event a civilian has to use deadly force to protect themselves against a dog?

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Re: Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#2

Post by Paladin » Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:53 pm

IIRC dogs are considered property and as such the dollar value of the lawsuit would be modest
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Aggie_engr
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Re: Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#3

Post by Aggie_engr » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:55 pm

Some people pay $5k to $10k for a purebred dog, not to mention everything else a lawyer could add on such as mental anguish, pain and suffering. I don’t happen to have that amount laying around hence why I’m concerned with a civil suit.


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Re: Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#4

Post by parabelum » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:02 pm

And that is the reason I like mace :mrgreen:
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Re: Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#5

Post by bbhack » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:45 pm

Aggie_engr wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 9:31 pm
I searched the forum and could only find cases where police officers had immunity from civil suit in the event they shot and killed someone’s dog.

My question is this; does the statutory immunity from a civil suit if the use of deadly force is justified against another person, also apply in the event a civilian has to use deadly force to protect themselves against a dog?
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Re: Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#6

Post by cirus » Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:48 pm

Keep a shovel handy if there are no witnesses.


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Re: Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#7

Post by Aggie_engr » Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:04 am

bbhack wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:45 pm
Police are civilians.
Not in the sense of American military compared to the average citizen. Please do not try to derail the topic here. Police are afforded certain protections that the average citizen is not, that is a well known difference but not the question at hand.

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Re: Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#8

Post by 03Lightningrocks » Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:55 am

Aggie_engr wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:55 pm
Some people pay $5k to $10k for a purebred dog, not to mention everything else a lawyer could add on such as mental anguish, pain and suffering. I don’t happen to have that amount laying around hence why I’m concerned with a civil suit.
I just learned how much pure breds are going for. My daughter is thinking about getting a dog to replace the one she had for 15 years that died four months ago.It was a pound puppy mix. I suggested a German shepard for the benefit of protection for when she and my grand daughter are at home. She laughed and told me she didn't have 4 grand for a dog. Thinking she was nuts I looked them up on web. I could not believe the prices people were asking. 4-10 grand for a darned dog. It is just loony! Your right! That could be one very high dollar law suite.


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Re: Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#9

Post by parabelum » Fri Aug 07, 2020 6:47 am

So I looked this up, and from what I can tell the qualified immunity has only been granted to LE. Maybe I’m off but I could find no case where a non-LE was given qualified immunity by judge after killing a dog.
I had few months ago a German Shepard come after me as I was on my morning walk. The owner got the dog pretty fast but not until he was about few feet away. I managed not to intervene with physical force by giving loud assertive commands and that kept him from coming any closer.
For what it’s worth, I have a full bred 10 month old Doberman, and the cost of the dog, with ear crop and advanced obedience training alone is north of $4K.
So yea, not the topic at hand but I recommend good bear mace. It is cheaper all around.
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Re: Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#10

Post by C-dub » Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:43 am

It's been a little while since I've talked about this around here.

I used to be in part of the dog world. I was a trainer/helper/decoy/chew toy and competitor in the sport of Schutzhund. The prices for puppies bred for this sport are in the range already mentioned depending on their pedigree and breed. Unless you plan on competing in this sport no one needs a puppy that costs this much. No one!

The older the dog is and the more training it has already had drives the price upwards of $50k+.

Where it gets really insane is for just the show dogs. At least for German Shepherd Dogs show dogs are often dogs that CANNOT do much or any real work like your Schutzhund/Police dogs can. The show dog world is where some ridiculous money is spent. $100k+ per dog just for looks and breeding prospects

Anyone that wants a decent-good dog can usually find a rescue organization that has already done health testing and as much temperament testing as they can. These dogs need homes and are much more reasonably priced. There are even breed specific rescues that need help.

Unless you are actually going to compete in the show or working arena having an AKC registered dog is highly overrated. Many people claim this dog or that puppy comes from championship lines and that is usually true, but often several generations back. Were the parents or grandparents champions? What level? Local, regional, national, international?
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Re: Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#11

Post by chasfm11 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:04 am

One of my dogs has been twice attacked by other dogs. My sisters dog was attacked in its own back yard. Based on what happened afterward, my and my sisters dealing with animal control and, my sister's case the court system, my OPINION (IANAL) is:

In Texas, the health and safety code "should" help you if your self defense is based on your own animal via 822:013
https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs ... HS.822.htm

I assume that if the attack is directed at a human, the same laws apply to self-defense as if the attacker were human.

That said, the legal systems in both Texas and Pennsylvania are heavily biased against self-defenders where dogs were the attackers. I get the burden of proof being on the accuser. But the problem, I believe is greater than that, especially if you shoot the attacking dog. One would think that, with the leash laws that most places have, a dog off leash which attacks and in both mine and my sister's cases nearly kills the animal that they are attacking would be a self-evident situation but it isn't even without shooting the attacking dog. In the case of the attack on my dog, I had to provide evidence of registration and vaccination both of which I had. The attacking dog's owner wasn't forced to do the same. The dog was unregistered and, as far as I could determine, not vaccinated. The owner didn't even get the fine for the dog being off leash. I was told that if I had shot the attacking dog, I would have been prosecuted.

I could have sued the owner of the attacking dog. My sister did that and recovered, at $50 a month, repayment for her $1,100 in vet expenses. The assistant district attorney in her area abandoned her on the "dangerous dog" charge against the attacking dog and it was lost on appeal. If you doubt how badly the courts are slanted, the owner of the attacking dog acted as her own attorney even on the appeal. My sister had multiple witnesses which detailed the aggressive actions of the attacking dog. IMHO, if you added in the factor of shooting the attacking dog, it seems unlikely you would prevail without spending a lot of money. For me, it is just another example of how our system of justice is upside down.
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Re: Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#12

Post by striker55 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:18 am

I took my neighbor to court to have their pitbull declared a dangerous dog. Two times the dog came at me in my front yard and I drew my weapon. Luckily the dog stopped coming at me, both times when deputies arrived they said I had the right to shoot the dog on my property. That would have been my last resort, the judge said the dog doesn't stop for a gun, doesn't know what a gun is. I had a picture my wife took of me with the gun and the dog in my yard. At the end of the day the dog was declared a dangerous dog.


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Re: Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#13

Post by Tex1961 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:23 am

I don't care what anyone says, I have the inane right to self protection.... I don't care if it's man or beast... If I think I am in grave danger I am going to defend myself....

Don't forget that most homeowners insurance and I would assume any LTC carry insurance would cover any lawsuits.
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Re: Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#14

Post by Deitz83 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:55 am

striker55 wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:18 am
I took my neighbor to court to have their pitbull declared a dangerous dog. Two times the dog came at me in my front yard and I drew my weapon. Luckily the dog stopped coming at me, both times when deputies arrived they said I had the right to shoot the dog on my property. That would have been my last resort, the judge said the dog doesn't stop for a gun, doesn't know what a gun is. I had a picture my wife took of me with the gun and the dog in my yard. At the end of the day the dog was declared a dangerous dog.
I was told by law enforcement that if I am on my own property or feel that my life is being threatened by a loose/stray dog. Stop the threat!


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Re: Shooting dog in self defense - Civil Immunity

#15

Post by Archery1 » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:11 am

Deitz83 wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:55 am
striker55 wrote:
Fri Aug 07, 2020 9:18 am
I took my neighbor to court to have their pitbull declared a dangerous dog. Two times the dog came at me in my front yard and I drew my weapon. Luckily the dog stopped coming at me, both times when deputies arrived they said I had the right to shoot the dog on my property. That would have been my last resort, the judge said the dog doesn't stop for a gun, doesn't know what a gun is. I had a picture my wife took of me with the gun and the dog in my yard. At the end of the day the dog was declared a dangerous dog.
I was told by law enforcement that if I am on my own property or feel that my life is being threatened by a loose/stray dog. Stop the threat!
That's usually the defining issue in a dispute involving a dog shooting. Most counties include protecting livestock as a justifiable reason for the discharge of guns and the killing of attacking animals. And, dogs are property, so even ownership can be disputed based on who is holding the animal at the time. Off your property, it's more about where you discharged your gun, was it necessary to protect life and limb, and someone else's property, the animal.

Not to derail, but the cost of animals, specifically dogs, is mentioned above already. Here's a story for future reference if dog-shopping. We are looking for a small dog, Frenchie (or like size), more or less. So, this new franchise opens locally, PetLand. Very nice place and very well kept animals of different breeds, where you are met with a sales-rep who seats you in a private booth with a puppy of your choice, explains everything about the puppy, then leaves you to bond with the puppy. Like a car dealership, the rep then disappears for a given amount of time.

Well, my seeing financing agreements on the clipboard in the booth got my curiosity about how badly this potential sale was going to end up. Well, after about an hour of this, all the while trying to get anyone to give me a PRICE instead of sales jibberish and easy pay options, we finally got down to what this store wanted in return. $12,000.00 for one French Bulldog puppy!!! :)

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