Defense of Pets

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by blitzgebeer, Mar 4, 2011.

  1. Hello,

    First of all I appreciate any feedback you can provide. I feel honored that I can ask a professional on an issue such an important question to myself. I am sure most on GT feel the same as myself! :faint:

    My question revolves around the defense of the not so official family members and the distance I should go in protecting them. I have attempted to find anything regarding the public opinion/law on what is legal as well as not insane but have not been able to find much or any information on the subject. I understand many on GT view them as either an unfortunate target in a self defense situation or a tool to be used in order to protect the other larger members of the family but there are a small few who feel a bit more attached to their furry companions and view them as close to children as (probably) possible.

    The situation I find myself in is I have a very small dog, a miniature chihuahua, but due to his small size yet tremendous personality I have unfortunately found myself in multiple situations where I have either had to defend him from being taken/stolen or keep an individual from harming him. I certainly do not want to shoot at every individual that gives him a 'look' but I would certainly love to know what my limits are in defending him as well as myself. I would have to imagine that brandishing is the most I would ever do to protect him, but I feel that it is probably illegal to point a gun at a person if they have kicked him when he was minding his own business (it has happened). I have to imagine that he is probably considered 'property' by my state (Tennessee) so I believe I would have a right to brandish to keep him from being stolen, however I cannot find anything that says 'yes this is legal, or considered legal by leo'. Thankfully Tennessee has recently relaxed their regulation on carrying in state parks (which is where about half of the incidents have occured) so I can view this logic applying to multiple situations. I also have pepper spray on me at all times, however I have no idea what the effect would be on the dog itself if he were close enough to be in contact (which he most likely would be) due to his very small size.

    Once again, any information is greatly appreciated as I just cannot find anything on this circumstance, but it is the biggest issue I currently have.. I worry I cannot even take him outside to use the bathroom anymore.
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  3. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote

    Blitz, I think you knew the bad news that was coming, but here it is anyway.

    You are correct in your assessment that the law tends to see an animal as property, and holds human life (including that of an animal-abusing bad guy) in higher regard than your pet. Brandishing the gun in a situation where you don't have legal grounds to use it if things go downhill will get you into more trouble than it will get you out of.

    You mention that your dog's personality has led to confrontations. Have you considered obedience training? If you had a human friend who got you into trouble repeatedly, you'd either stop hanging out with him or send him to anger management classes. Something similar might be in order with your pet. (A dog breeder friend of mine once commented, "If Chihuahuas were the size of Great Danes, they'd only let us see them in zoos.")

    Sorry to be the bearer of unwelcome tidings,

  4. I do not take it as unwelcome tidings at all! It is great to know the answer on where I stand legally in the situation and that is all that matters. Unfortunately the dog's personality is actually very well mannered and friendly. He isn't running up towards people and is in fact very timid. In fact, it is so friendly and 'happy' that it makes him a very attractive dog and many people have commented that he would make a great breeding dog which is why I believe I have had the issues in the past.

    What I believe I need to do is to contact my local leo and get a statement from them regarding my legal rights when protecting my animal (with time/name of officer) and put it to memory. Is there any security means other than handgun/taser/pepper spray that may be good in this situation? I worry any of those could actually end up doing more harm to the dog than the individual trying to steal him.
  5. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote

    Handgun might be useful for monster dog trying to devour yours, but as noted above, probably not the tool of choice for protection of your pet from humans.

    TASER and pepper spray, with training, can be useful against lower force level attacks by both dogs and humans. Check your local jurisdiction for laws regarding possession and carry of both.


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