Bad encounter. Safe outcome

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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby UtahJarhead » Tue 28 May 2013 8:58 am

I can't find a statute relating to dogs excepting that which relates additionally to game animals.

http://www.le.utah.gov/code/TITLE18/htm ... 000300.htm

18-1-3. Dogs attacking domestic animals, service animals, hoofed protected wildlife, or domestic fowls.
Any person may injure or kill a dog while:
(1) the dog is attacking, chasing, or worrying:
(a) a domestic animal having a commercial value;
(b) a service animal, as defined in Section 62A-5b-102; or
(c) any species of hoofed protected wildlife;
(2) the dog is attacking domestic fowls; or
(3) the dog is being pursued for committing an act described in Subsection (1) or (2).

But if an animal is legally able to be killed for doing those acts, then doing the same to a dog attacking a person would definitely be allowed.
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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby punchking » Tue 28 May 2013 9:31 am

I am not defending the dog owner in anyway but there sure is not a love for pets here. For many people a pet becomes part of the family and would be defended as such. Sounds like this dog did nothing but scare someone. If it wanted to do damage I am sure the dog could have. It seems everyone thinks it is pretty acceptable to kill someones pet in this situation, which surprises me a little.
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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby gravedancer » Tue 28 May 2013 9:32 am

UtahJarhead wrote:I can't find a statute relating to dogs excepting that which relates additionally to game animals.

http://www.le.utah.gov/code/TITLE18/htm ... 000300.htm

18-1-3. Dogs attacking domestic animals, service animals, hoofed protected wildlife, or domestic fowls.
Any person may injure or kill a dog while:
(1) the dog is attacking, chasing, or worrying:
(a) a domestic animal having a commercial value;
(b) a service animal, as defined in Section 62A-5b-102; or
(c) any species of hoofed protected wildlife;
(2) the dog is attacking domestic fowls; or
(3) the dog is being pursued for committing an act described in Subsection (1) or (2).

But if an animal is legally able to be killed for doing those acts, then doing the same to a dog attacking a person would definitely be allowed.



Some cities have specific ordinances on the books concerning dog attacks (there was another thread a year or so ago where we discussed this at length after an off duty animal control officer shot a dog at the taylorsville dog park). However, I look at it this way....if I could legally shoot a human for grabbing my wifes leg and trying to assault her, I can sure as heck shoot an animal for doing the same thing.
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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby morcey2 » Tue 28 May 2013 9:40 am

punchking wrote:I am not defending the dog owner in anyway but there sure is not a love for pets here. For many people a pet becomes part of the family and would be defended as such. Sounds like this dog did nothing but scare someone. If it wanted to do damage I am sure the dog could have. It seems everyone thinks it is pretty acceptable to kill someones pet in this situation, which surprises me a little.


From my reading of the original post, the dog had bitten the OP's wife. That changes things significantly.
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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby gravedancer » Tue 28 May 2013 9:43 am

punchking wrote:I am not defending the dog owner in anyway but there sure is not a love for pets here. For many people a pet becomes part of the family and would be defended as such. Sounds like this dog did nothing but scare someone. If it wanted to do damage I am sure the dog could have. It seems everyone thinks it is pretty acceptable to kill someones pet in this situation, which surprises me a little.



Actually I am a dog owner, and my dog is a part of the family. In fact, hes legally a companion animal, and I know for certain that my wife and kids would be crushed if anything were to happen to him. But because I am a dog lover, I keep my dog on a leash as much for his safety as other peoples. I also know that legally, I cannot use deadly force to defend my dog, and anyone with a CFP should know that as well. Regardless of whether a dog owner feels their dog is a part of the family, treats them like a child, etc, legally, its a piece of meat with legs, and anyone who used deadly force (or even the threat of deadly force, as the guy in the OP did) in defense of their dog would be in deep legal trouble. The dog owner was actually in violation of the law in most cities by allowing his animal to "worry" someone. The fact that it didnt do damage (probably because she was wearing leather boots) is irrelevant. The OP would be compleletely legally justified in fearing that damage could be done and acting accordingly. In fact, in most areas in Utah... if the dog were to have been put down, and the dog owner called the cops, not only would the OP have been exhonerated, but the dog owner would most likely have gotten a ticket for allowing his dog to attack someone in the first place. So he would have a dead dog, PLUS a ticket for allowing it to take the action that got it killed.
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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby Zacharia » Tue 28 May 2013 9:55 am

UtahJarhead wrote:(1) the dog is attacking, chasing, or worrying:
(a) a domestic animal having a commercial value;

How do you interpret this? My neighbor has a great Dane and a pitbul that will run around the fence between our yards and attack my dog. I never have and I never will get after her for meeting them at our property line when they come ripping towards us but she has never left my yard or started it. It's happened 4 or 5 times now. Never real damage, they back off quickly when they realize she isn't an easy target. However they have drawn blood on my dog twice. I don't know what my dig has done to them.

Most recently about a week ago, my tolerance snapped. I walked over near the tussle, hand in my pocket ready for anything. Then I told her with absolute certainty, "you have 5 seconds to get your "effing" dogs out if my yard or I'm putting them down". She got them out of there and has actively avoided being in our front yards at the same time since.

Shes spayed, so commercially I can't breed her but as a purebred English Mastif a replacement wouldn't come cheap.

I figured I would go the route of explaining my fear that the (proven aggressive) dogs would turn on me or my son who is always with me if I ever had to defend my potential actions putting them down.
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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby Jonny Salsman » Tue 28 May 2013 9:57 am

JoeRandall wrote:No puncture or anything she had cowgirl boots on and it did not penetrate the leather.


I'm glad to hear that the wife is okay, also i give her a praise for discretely drawing to get your back and also handling the situation very well.
Good work to the both of you.

Also im pretty sure the use of deadly force is not authorized in the defense of an animal or pet(i could be mistaken), tho we can understand the owner feeling perhaps a little threatened personally it was still unwise for him to draw. That gesture tells me he was preparing to defend said animal with the use of deadly force (if JoeRandall shot the dog), or at least with a show of deadly force. Which i don't think is allowed for a pet, with all those animal rights vs property issue i could be wrong.

From how JoeRandall describes it, the elevation difference and staggered position of dog in comparison to the owner, i don't think the owner could have reasonably thought the gun was aimed at him (since he also was a gun owner, but perhaps he has poor vision). That, and the owner came across the situation where JoeRandall was already aimed at the dog, before the owner even arrived on scene. Under those circumstances coupled with Statements of controlling the dog, it would have been made clear that the dog was the target. So i'm under the impression the owner was preparing to shoot a human to save a dog, or at least intimidate a human with deadly force to save a dog. The lack of the owner apologizing for his animals behavior is also supportive to the concept that the owner may have seen the dog as innocent and the stranger JoeRandall as out of line. People love dogs, and sometimes treat them more like humans than dogs.

Boy, if only there were some sort of Leash regulation or law... that would have prevented the situation all together.
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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby punchking » Tue 28 May 2013 10:27 am

I was not suggesting that the dog owner would have been justified in defending his dog with deadly force but having a conversation with a person with a firearm pointed as his dog seems reasonable, the way the dog owner drew his weapon as well was not the thing to do.

I am aware that I am not legally allowed to defend a dog with deadly force against another animal much less a human.

I do fault the dog owner for not keeping his/her apparently aggressive dog on a leash.

It still seems like shooting the dog would have been premature as some have suggested they would have done.

Had it been me in this situation, I would have not drawn my firearm. Had the dog inflicted a serious injury or even broken the skin maybe it would have been different. I would have talked to the dog owner for sure, maybe even offered to buy him/her a leash. Had the dog owner reacted in the way it was portrayed I would have called the police. It will probably not be the last time this dog does something like this since the owner does not seem to take any responsibility.
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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby jfwright1955 » Tue 28 May 2013 10:42 am

Boy, this is a tough one. I've run this scenario through my mind multiples times. Given the escalating situation you did the right thing, especially where this had the potential to go very bad very quickly.

I'm sure I'm safe in saying no alcohol was involved on your behalf but you never know if that's true of the other person. Given that's an unknown factor, but a possibility, de-escalation was the right decision. Maybe another reason to have informed the cops so they could sort that out, which probably should've been the case anyway given the combined set of circumstances.

As far as leashing a dog on national forest property I would assume the following would apply(?):

Can I take my dog in the National Forest?
All dogs must be on a leash in all campgrounds, picnic areas, and trailheads at all times. Pets are not allowed in swimming areas. No dogs are allowed in Little and Big Cottonwood Canyon, City Creek Canyon, Emigration Canyon, Parley's Canyon (north & east of Mountain Dell Reservoir), Little and Big Willow Creek and South Fork of Dry Creek because it is part of critical watershed for Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County.
(http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/uwcnf/hom ... rdb5351056)

Thank you for sharing your story with us. If for no other purpose I think it's safe to say it's allowed many of us to run this scenario through our own minds and to lock that nugget of information away so as to draw from in the event we ever are faced with the same scenario.
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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby UtahJarhead » Tue 28 May 2013 11:10 am

punchking wrote:I am aware that I am not legally allowed to defend a dog with deadly force against another animal much less a human.

This is not correct. Deadly force itself is not in the uniform code. The language used is "Force likely to cause death or serious bodily injury". You can only use that force against a person. An animal is property, so it doesn't have the right to life (for lack of a better term) that people have, legally. This means that you are simply damaging or destroying the dog, worst case scenario. As previously stated, any domesticated animal with commercial value that is being worried by a dog is protected and you are legally able to kill the animal. When a dog attacks a person, the dog should be put down regardless. This dog attacked her. It bit with presumably no provocation.
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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby B Cart » Tue 28 May 2013 3:11 pm

Did the OP ever mention what kind of dog it was? I read through the posts, but maybe I just missed it.

In my mind, the size and type of dog makes all the difference in how the situation is handled. If it is a small-medium sized dog, a swift kick to the dogs ribs or face can very easily stop the threat and send the dog running. Some on here might not agree with that, and say just shoot the dog no matter what the size, but I think drawing your gun and pulling the trigger should only be done when there are NO other options. When I was on my mission, I kicked more than one extremely angry charging dog (most medium sized) with great effect.

That being said, I would also be very willing to use force (even deadly force) to prevent serious bodily harm or injury to myself or loved ones if the need arose. If it was a big dog, or a breed of dog like a Pitbull that has a long track record of doing much damage when attacking, then I agree that the minute it came back to attack for the second time, I would have put a bullet in it's head.

At any rate, I think the OP handled the situation well (evidenced by the fact that everyone went home safe), and my only other advice would be to try and get the people's name somehow and report the dog attack and the guy who pulled his gun.
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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby owtlaw » Tue 28 May 2013 6:47 pm

Wow! not a good scenario. I will say this. you exercised great restraint on the individual who unholstered his gun on you. It would seem that he escalated the situation by brandishing his weapon. Not sure I would have let that fly. Either way good job on your part.
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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby gravedancer » Tue 28 May 2013 6:55 pm

B Cart wrote:Did the OP ever mention what kind of dog it was? I read through the posts, but maybe I just missed it.

In my mind, the size and type of dog makes all the difference in how the situation is handled. If it is a small-medium sized dog, a swift kick to the dogs ribs or face can very easily stop the threat and send the dog running. Some on here might not agree with that, and say just shoot the dog no matter what the size, but I think drawing your gun and pulling the trigger should only be done when there are NO other options. When I was on my mission, I kicked more than one extremely angry charging dog (most medium sized) with great effect.

That being said, I would also be very willing to use force (even deadly force) to prevent serious bodily harm or injury to myself or loved ones if the need arose. If it was a big dog, or a breed of dog like a Pitbull that has a long track record of doing much damage when attacking, then I agree that the minute it came back to attack for the second time, I would have put a bullet in it's head.

At any rate, I think the OP handled the situation well (evidenced by the fact that everyone went home safe), and my only other advice would be to try and get the people's name somehow and report the dog attack and the guy who pulled his gun.



The size of the dog can factor in, especially if you have to justify shooting it to the police. "Yes officer, I seriously feared for my wifes life when she was jumped by that aggressive chihuaua" just doesnt sound convincing, even if you can say it with a straight face. However "yes officer, the pitbull was large and aggressive and had already attacked my wife once without provocation, so when it charged again I had to put it down" at least wont have people openly scoffing at you.
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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby JoeRandall » Tue 28 May 2013 7:07 pm

I did not mention the breed of the dog because I do not believe breeds are the issue its the owners. But since it was asked it was a boxer.

I love dogs. I've had one all my life currently have a blue heeler. I do not like leashes there for I train my dog. My dog does not leave my side. I have fished many times up mirror lake highway with my pooch. She is a part of my family. I wish she was with me this trip to intercept the other dog.

All that being said. If my dog flipped and bit someone and chased them down I would hope the victim would shoot my dog. If they were not able to I would if I could not control her.

The issue I had was not about the dog being on a leash wether legal or not. It was the fact that given the circumstance. He thought he was a bad mother and could do whatever he wanted and would not control his dog. That's all I wanted. I did not want to shoot someone's dog in front of them unless I had to. Hence why the dog is still alive. Now if I wouldn't have known they where back there or any where around the dog would have not been standing after the second charge. I gave the guy a chance to make it right. He refused.


Sorry if my posts are hard to read stupid auto correct.


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Re: Bad encounter. Safe outcome

Postby owtlaw » Tue 28 May 2013 7:22 pm

Brandishing a firearm would make me fear for my life.
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