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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I received a text message this morning from the next door neighbor of one of my rental properties. She was basically saying that a couple of homeless looking people were hanging around my place.
I went home and picked up my Dutch Shepherd and a pistol for just in case. I parked down the street and walked up. When I opened the door I let my dog go and he went straight to the room where the guy was. I guess he was trying to jump out of the window when my dog grabbed his leg. I held the guy while the police came and arrested him. His leg was bleeding and now I'm wondering if I will be sued. About 30 minutes ago animal control called me and asked for my dogs shot records. I'm getting nervous now. One of my buddies is saying that they are going to put my dog down. I'm thinking about taking him to the country until this is resolved.
 

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I don't know the laws of your area, so I can't help you there, but as far as asking about vaccinations, that is purely for human health concerns. The reason of the dog bite, the legality, circumstance don't make a difference; it's a about how to treat the human for a dog bite. One thing at a time.
Why not ask animal control.
 

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asking for shot records would be common procedure. Your dog biting an intruder inside your house on your property..... I would look for your state dog bite laws and be educated. Here in Colorado the dog would not be at fault for any damage in your situation. Be pro active and talk to the Animal control and the Law Enforcement.
 

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Yeah, ask Animal Control. Around here, as long as it's on your own property, it's all good (well, legally anyway---anyone can sue anyone else for any reason, but he wouldn't win). They might just need to know about his shots to see if they have to vaccinate their prisoner ;).
 

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So you sent your dog into a rental property that you own, not your home?

I would not use my dog as a weapon if I could possibly avoid it. You may be in a grey area. If the dog were mine, he would be off-property and in a safe place until I knew how things were going to be handled.
 

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You might want to consult with a lawyer...things like this tend to differ by the area they occur in. I'm in PA and I know that if someone were to shoot an intruder to their house, they can still be prosecuted ("can be"...you will likely get off the hook after a bit of a legal battle). Especially if the in intruder was in the process of running away or did not have a weapon in them. - this is per one of the local gun safety trainers. I would assume that my dog biting them would be a similar offense.
I had a guy follow me home a few years ago and threaten to kill me...the cops wouldn't even do a report because the guy didn't show me a weapon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes. It's a house that I own and use as a rental.

I just spoke with an attorney and here in Oklahoma if a person is trespassing I'm not liable. If I didn't have the shot records my dog would have to be quarantined for 7 days. All in all everything is going to work out. I'm so relieved.
 

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Sending your dog to attack a person can be considered assault with a deadly weapon. While it sounds like things are working out this time, I'd suggest not letting your dog handle a situation that you should be handling as the bipedal mammal with a large brain that is able to far more accurately assess the threat level posed by an individual on your property.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I didn't send Roscoe in to attack. He naturally checks out the environment as do most guard dogs. He must have seen the guy as a threat. The reason I brought him is because he will bay to give me a heads up. Am I upset at him no, he was doing what he's bred to do.
If my intentions were to have a person attacked I would have brought one of my 100+ lb Bandogge's.
My dog attacked a criminal I don't think I should feel bad or apologize for that
 

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I didn't send Roscoe in to attack. He naturally checks out the environment as do most guard dogs. He must have seen the guy as a threat. The reason I brought him is because he will bay to give me a heads up. Am I upset at him no, he was doing what he's bred to do.
If my intentions were to have a person attacked I would have brought one of my 100+ lb Bandogge's.
My dog attacked a criminal I don't think I should feel bad or apologize for that
I'm with you :) on this one..
 

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I didn't send Roscoe in to attack. He naturally checks out the environment as do most guard dogs. He must have seen the guy as a threat. The reason I brought him is because he will bay to give me a heads up. Am I upset at him no, he was doing what he's bred to do.
If my intentions were to have a person attacked I would have brought one of my 100+ lb Bandogge's.
My dog attacked a criminal I don't think I should feel bad or apologize for that
Sounds like you purposefully went home and got two things you'd consider weapons to me:

I went home and picked up my Dutch Shepherd and a pistol for just in case.
And you may not feel bad or apologize. I'm not saying you should. I'm saying that you're putting your dog at risk by allowing it to enter the home and attack an intruder.

Why not just call the police to check out the situation in the first place? Instead you put your dog and yourself at risk.

ETA: If you know that there is an intruder in your home and you enter, force a confrontation and injure/kill the intruder who was *presenting no actual physical threat to you until you entered the home*, you could be charged with and convicted of a crime. Your first response should always be to move away from the dangerous situation and call the police, not grab a gun and charge in. Had you shot and killed this man, you could be facing manslaughter chargers, or potentially even pre-meditated murder, because you knew there was a threat, grabbed the gun, entered the home, forced a confrontation and the confrontation ended up with a fatality.

I have a CPL myself, and therefore somewhat extensive knowledge of the laws concerning home intruders and the use of deadly force. Next time this happens, if there is a next time, call the police.

Edited again to add: And yes, you could be sued, depending on OK state laws, if this person feels like pressing charges.

Had you been in this home and the person had entered and been a direct threat, then no, you'd be totally fine in this situation. But you knew this person was potentially there and forewent the option of calling the police to clear the house for you. Because you initiated an unnecessary confrontation using deadly force (your dog) when the person was not a threat to you, they may have legal grounds for an assault lawsuit.

I find what that lawyer told you to be questionable. Whether someone's on your property or not, you're not allowed to just assault them. Otherwise we'd all be able to beat the crap out of anyone who set foot on our lawns without our permission. It doesn't work that way. Just like if someone breaks into your home and you confront them and they run away from you - you aren't allowed to shoot them in the back. You have to be in direct danger and have legitimate fear for your life in order to resort to using a deadly weapon. The only reason you were in danger in this situation was because you put yourself there (no offense, that's just the way the law would potentially see it).

The odds of you being sued are low, but it is possible.
 

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I received a text message this morning from the next door neighbor of one of my rental properties. She was basically saying that a couple of homeless looking people were hanging around my place.
I went home and picked up my Dutch Shepherd and a pistol for just in case. I parked down the street and walked up. When I opened the door I let my dog go and he went straight to the room where the guy was. I guess he was trying to jump out of the window when my dog grabbed his leg. .
I agree with Hireath about the questionable judgment of going home, getting weapons, and going into the rental (A vacant rental? Does anyone else currently have the right to enter that property?) after an unknown person.

But aside from that, what would concern me about the scenario as described is that your dog apparently attacked someone unprovoked. It was not someone entering into his home, it was not someone attacking him or his owner, nor had you identified the person as a threat and gave a bite command. When you entered the house and let the dog go, you had no first-hand knowledge of who was in that room.
 

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yes because when they released from jail in a few days, and come back they will be expecting you and your dog the next time..
Yeah, you know, you say some really shady things, but this one takes the cake. You're promoting vigilante or frontier justice instead of contacting law enforcement and allowing the police to do their job.

That is incredibly irresponsible and immature advice. And that thought process could lead to someone losing their life in an unnecessary confrontation. Which could lead to someone else spending their life behind bars.

Seriously. This is the most disgusting comment I've read on this forum in a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
None of my dogs are attack dogs. They are all guard dogs. You give commands to attack dogs. Guard dogs attack on their own when they see fit.
The only 2 who know if it was provoked or not was the guy and my dog.
I was always taught that you never try to run from a guard dog. The guy was trying to get out of the window when the dog had him.
It sounds as if you're saying my dog attacked out of fear or he's a people hater. Neither of which is true.
 

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I agree with Hireath about the questionable judgment of going home, getting weapons, and going into the rental (A vacant rental? Does anyone else currently have the right to enter that property?) after an unknown person.

But aside from that, what would concern me about the scenario as described is that your dog apparently attacked someone unprovoked. It was not someone entering into his home, it was not someone attacking him or his owner, nor had you identified the person as a threat and gave a bite command. When you entered the house and let the dog go, you had no first-hand knowledge of who was in that room.

Yes. This is exactly why this situation is concerning. And why the OP could be sued.
 

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None of my dogs are attack dogs. They are all guard dogs. You give commands to attack dogs. Guard dogs attack on their own when they see fit.
The only 2 who know if it was provoked or not was the guy and my dog.
I was always taught that you never try to run from a guard dog. The guy was trying to get out of the window when the dog had him.
It sounds as if you're saying my dog attacked out of fear or he's a people hater. Neither of which is true.
You make it sound as though a dog - without being under control of it's handler - attacking a person is okay as long as it's not out of fear. Even police dogs attack only under command of their handler, and to be quite honest, dogs that attack people without fear are FAR more dangerous and a much bigger liability than dogs that bite out of fear.
 

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there is nothing shady about it.. or anything I have ever said..... said next time they should call the cops because they would be ready for a dog and a gun the next time after they released on bond and do it again. The first time he only had a neighbor saying they saw homeless like people around his property. There is a huge difference in response to calling 911 and saying my neighbors said they saw people around my property... and calling 911 that you have an individual in your house and you holding them.. no doubt the police actually showed up for the latter one. Realistic....
 

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Mmmmm. . . .where I live, it's not unusual for the sheriff to take 45 minutes to get to you. They are very big counties and if he's on the other side of the county he just plain can't come any faster. It's up to you, and maybe you can call your neighbor for backup. So it makes me feel safer knowing that Suri will bite unprovoked. . .but I don't think she's a stable dog. She crazy :D. But it still makes me feel a little safer. I just have to be careful about wanted guests.

As for legalities, it depends on the state. In this state, it's pretty lax. Exact wording: "Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person while resisting any attempt to murder such person, or to commit any felony upon him or her, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person is." And burglary is a felony so even if they broke a window or took something small it would still be considered burglary. In practice, I know a lot of people are acquitted of wrongdoing when they shoot a trespasser inside their home (or, in one notable case, on the porch).

And state law basically says that if a dog bites someone who is on your property without permission, oops, their problem. Exact wording: "no dog may be declared vicious if an injury or damage is sustained to any person who was committing a willful trespass or other tort upon premises occupied by the owner or keeper of the dog, or who was teasing, tormenting, abusing or assaulting the dog or was committing or attempting to commit a crime." So your dog can bite a trespasser but you can't shoot him unless he's in the house :p.

Not that I think any of that is advisable. I think that one should let the police handle it whenever possible. It's just not always possible.

Also, with how many people the cops are shooting lately, maybe the trespasser would rather deal with the dog :D.
 
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