General Question

buster's avatar

Is it abusive or illegal to shoot or poison a dog that has bit someone and is still aggressive and threatening toward people?

Asked by buster (10222points) March 30th, 2008

dogs, bites

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

23 Answers

brownlemur's avatar

I’m pretty sure cruelty to animals in any circumstance is still cruelty to animals. If a person bites me and I poison or shoot that person, is it still murder?

If an overly aggressive dog gets to the point that it can no longer be near people and needs to be euthanized, take it to a vet so it can be done humanely.

srmorgan's avatar

Is this your dog or a neighbor’s dog?
If it is NOT your dog, your only option is to call the local animal control bureau in your town or county or state. Should you harm or attempt to harm someone else’s dog, you are going to get into trouble.

If this is your dog, the Brownlemur is spot on and you should discuss this with your vet.


buster's avatar

shooting a dog and shooting a person are not the same. where i live there is no leash laws and a lot of irresponsible dog owners. suppose your neighbors dog comes into your yard and bites your daughter or kills your jack russell. if you see it in your yard again you wouldn’t take action?

buster's avatar

i know for a fact if you have livestock and a dog, fox, coyote,wolf harms them the rancher has the right to shoot them if they are on his property.

sndfreQ's avatar

In the United States, it is either a misdimeanor or a felony, depending on the state and jurisdiction; here is some information found based on some cursory research:

Humane Society (US):

FAQ regarding animal cruelty

an individual’s assessment of animal cruelty penalties by state-note: not verified

information regarding advice for parents re: children and animal cruelty

While it may not address every situation, these links certainly point to a fact that cruelty to animals, regardless of motive, is unlawful.

The issue may also vary from municipality to municipality, or for urban versus rural areas. So it is difficult to measure this on simply an interpretation of law.

As for judging as abusive, that would depend on your own beliefs and cultural norms regarding harming animals. My own personal belief is that the willful harming of animals, regardless of context, is wrong.

As a parent, if my child was harmed or mauled by a neighbor’s dog, I would be hard-pressed not to return the harm to the dog; however, I would have a right to defend my family if I felt that there was imminent danger. Since I’m not a legal expert, I would consider seeking legal council if that situation ever came to pass.

srmorgan's avatar

I live in a city in North Carolina and can only speak for what I know about local custom and statutes. If I lived 15 miles north of here, I would be in a different county, a rural county and the accepted norms might include the right to eliminate any animals that showed up on my property. In a rural area, it would not surprise me to hear that, but even so, it might not be strictly legal.

I understand where you are coming from, but taking out a neighbor’s dog is probably going to p(** off the owner and you are inviting more trouble for yourself by taking this into your own hands.

buster's avatar

by the way i love dogs. i have five of them. a chihuahua, golden retriever, labrador retriever, blue heeler, rat terrier, and three cats.

PupnTaco's avatar

Yes. Let the cops handle it.

amandaafoote's avatar

No dog should be shot or poisoned, that’s cruelty and personally if you think of doing that you should be shot for it. If any animal has to be put down it should be HUMANELY euthanized.

Perchik's avatar

One of my neighbors keeps a BB gun for such situations. After you shoot a dog in the ass once or twice with a bb gun, he isn’t gonna come poking around your yard anytime soon. I dunno about the legality of it, but it works, and it doesn’t kill the dog.

brownlemur's avatar

@perchik – That is an arrestable offense. Your neighbor sounds really classy.

Perchik's avatar

@brownlemur, in his defense, there are leash laws here. If your dog’s not on a leash, that’s your own fault.

Emilyy's avatar

What about extermination of rats or other rodents? If buster is asking if you can poison a dog because the dog i doing harm to humans, and that’s illegal, then why is it legal to poison rats or mice just for getting into your pantry? I’m an animal lover and I’m sort of opposed to any sort of killing (I use those “humane” mouse traps whenever possible), but how do we as a society decide which animals it is acceptable to kill?

amandaafoote's avatar

@emilynathon- I agree with you, it shouldn’t be legal to kill any animal, i feel horrible when people will kill innocent animals for just trying to have a home or protect themselves.

scamp's avatar

@Perchik My ex husband used to ward off strays with a bb gun too. It was a freak accident, but he killed one of our own dogs with it. so that’s not a good idea at all.

In the county of Florida where I lived, it was legal to shoot and kill a dog that was harassing livestock, but a criminal offense to poison a dog under any circumstances. As far as being aggressive towards a person, it is legal to shoot a dog while it was attacking someone, but not just because it might attack. so like the others said here, I think it’s best to call your local law enforcement and let them handle it.

I want to add that just because something may be legal, it isn’t necessarily moral. I would never shoot any animal unless my life or that of a loved one depended on it.

bulbatron9's avatar

First, I must say I love all animals.disclaimer However, if any animal threatens the well-being of my family, that animal will be no more. Yes, if you have an aggressive dog that can wait to be euthanized professionally by a vet, then that would be the proper method. It is a totally different story if you look outside and see an animal (dog) mauling your child. You can bet that I will be doing everything in my power to exterminate this “untrained” animal (dog). The poison is a premeditated action, and I don’t condone that.

@brownlemur If a human attacks you, you have every right to defend yourself at that time. Humans and dogs are nowhere close to the same, and a human’s life is 1,000 times more precious than any dog. Humans train dogs to be what they are.

pattyb's avatar

There was a court case a few years back where an AKita attacked and severly maimed a two or three year old boy. The father of the boy became so enraged he went back to the owner of the dogs house the next day and beat the dog to death with an aluminum baseball bat. If memory serves me, he was arrested, had a trail by jury and convicted of animal cruelty. I belive he had to go to jail. If you google some keywords I am sure the case will come up, it was featured on a 60 min. Type of show. As a father of a small child, I can understand his rage, but most likely the dog would of been euthanized in a humane way anyway.

amandaafoote's avatar

@pattyb -Why didn’t the father prevent his 2–3 year old son from going near the akita?

susanc's avatar

Seems like having a dog put down because it has a record of harm to humans is an available option in most places. Doing it yourself? Why? unless, of course, the dog
was in mid-attack. Even then you probably don’t have to kill it to get it to stop.

Given the legalities, why do the deed yourself? The owner is very likely to want to reciprocate – kill your chickens, get a worse dog, etc. That’s one reason why we have
cops and animal-control services – to put a buffer between enraged individuals.

gooch's avatar

I love animals and have a dog which I love. At no time do I think of him as equal to a human. I would put my own dog down in a humane manner. He would also be jeopardizing my families well being in the sense of the financial liability.

imadogperson's avatar

Hey Amanda, why didn’t the owners of the akita prevent their dog from going near the 2–3 year old boy?

gooch's avatar

Yes but you can call animal control and they will handle your problem for you.

tennwalkermom's avatar

A neighbor shot and killed our llewellian setter when he got loose from my husband. He was scared, lost, maybe hurt and was looking for something familiar. He was under their water truck and wouldn’t let them near the truck. So they took a gun and shot him. I am going after them legally and need some help finding out how to go about it. Please, anything would be appreciated. My husband is devastated.

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