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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    5

    Exclamation Charged With Animal Cruelty for Shooting an Aggressive Dog

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Washington.

    A 60 ish pound dog has been in my yard everyday for 4 months. I live in a rural area. This dog has chased my girlfriend out of our yard. It has also prevented my neighbor from getting to her mailbox. The dog was believed to be a stray.

    One morning I took my chihuahua puppy out to go potty. The dog came out of the woods running toward my dog. I scooped up my dog and put him inside the door that was 5 feet away. I keep a rifle at that door, so I reached in and grabbed it, and turned back towards the attacking dog. When I raised the rifle, the dog changed course, but kept coming. Even yelling at it did not deter it. I shot the dog in the chest it turned and ran into the woods. I called 911. The sheriff came and told me that the dog made it home and died on its porch.

    Now I am facing felony charges and a lawsuit, fr protecting my family. Any information to help is greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,813

    Default Re: Felny Animal Cruelty for Shooting a Dog to Protect My Dog, in My Yard

    How many times had your reported the stray/loose dog to animal control or the police over those 4 months?

    You say you shot the dog to protect your dog in the your thread title and your family at the conclusion of your post. None of them were in danger at the time you shot the dog. You could have easily retreated inside with your dog and called the authorities.

    What was the dog's demeanor/actions that led you to believe it was attacking versus playing or otherwise not being a threat?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    5

    Default Re: Felny Animal Cruelty for Shooting a Dog to Protect My Dog, in My Yard

    I didn't care that the dog was in my yard. So I never called them.

    The dog had its head down, tail down and hackles raised.

    My intent was not to have to shoot the dog. I only wanted to scare it away and not come back.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    6,702

    Default Re: Felny Animal Cruelty for Shooting a Dog to Protect My Dog, in My Yard

    So as of yet you have not been charged with anything?

    What you have been charged with or will be charged with could be felony or misdemeanor charges depending on the statute (RCW 16.52.205 vs RCW 9.08.070).

    Go find yourself a good attorney and keep your mouth closed.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Felny Animal Cruelty for Shooting a Dog to Protect My Dog, in My Yard

    Violation: Animal Cruelty 1st Degree

    Hearing for Felony 1st App tomorrow.

    I do have an attorney, she will be there tomorrow. I am just on a quest for information.

    I haven't spoken to anyone of this outside those involved, excluding the dog's owners. Or were you referring to during the court hearing?

    What are chances of being taken into custody tomorrow?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    7,813

    Default Re: Felny Animal Cruelty for Shooting a Dog to Protect My Dog, in My Yard

    Quote Quoting Lycof
    View Post
    My intent was not to have to shoot the dog. I only wanted to scare it away and not come back.
    If that was your intent, why did you shoot the dog? You could have fired into the ground and that likely would have run it off. You could also have retreated to safety and called the authorities when you saw it was not impressed with you picking up your rifle or yelling at it.

    Was it ever around other times when your dog was out?

    Had you reported the issue, the dog's owner may have been made aware of the issue and taken steps to secure it.

    Quote Quoting Lycof
    View Post
    What are chances of being taken into custody tomorrow?
    I would say minimal. You may have to post bond.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    5

    Default Re: Felny Animal Cruelty for Shooting a Dog to Protect My Dog, in My Yard

    I sent you a PM

    Thank you

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    7,813

    Default Re: Felny Animal Cruelty for Shooting a Dog to Protect My Dog, in My Yard

    Since you aren't picking up the hint, let me be more direct: Why did you not join your dog in safety and call the authorities to deal with it?

    Actually, don't answer that. Best thing to do is say nothing to anyone besides your attorney, including people on the internet,

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    5

    Default Re: Felny Animal Cruelty for Shooting a Dog to Protect My Dog, in My Yard

    Understood

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,712

    Default Re: Felny Animal Cruelty for Shooting a Dog to Protect My Dog, in My Yard

    The fact that you never reported this dog in over 4 months is a problem. The fact that you put your dog inside the house, picked up your gun, and went outside again to shoot the dog is a huge problem. That means you didn’t need to shoot the dog at all for your protection or your dog’s protection. You came back out to shoot it when it was not necessary. You have a lawyer, which is good. Given the facts as you’ve described them, you definitely need a good lawyer.

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