Dog Days

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Dog Days

Postby Mary S » Thu Aug 30, 2001 6:30 pm

After a great class at the dojo last night I drove home, parked the car, grabbed the gear bag and started to walk to my house minding my own business and whistling.

I pass a 3 foot hedge on the way and as I was walking by two quite large dogs came ripping out of the hedge, barking ferociously and growling behind me. The first dog came right at me and stopped about 1 foot away growling. As soon as I heard the noise I turned quickly (THANK YOU SANCHIN!!!), kia'd very loudly and made ready to kick the living crapola out of the first dog (the most aggressive) and break the neck of the second dog if need be - I don't know if I would have accomplished my goal but I know I wouldn't have gone down without a fight. Image

The dogs took off and the owners were yelling to the dogs to come back. I stormed into the house fuming at what might have happened. A small child might not have survived such an incident and there are a few kids in our neighbourhood.

My question is this: To my mind, these dogs were unrestrained and a menace. Would I have been within my rights to hurt/kill them? I don't know if the law in the US differs from the law in Canada but I saw on Mass. news this morning where a person shot a dog in the face because he felt the dog to be a threat - this happened unfortunately in a park and he is being charged with discharging a weapon on federal property. The dog owner is being charged with not having his dog under control. How far does a situation have to go before you are within/outside your rights?

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Mary S
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Dog Days

Postby Alan K » Wed Sep 05, 2001 4:04 pm

To: Mary S

I saw the report that you mentioned in your post and it was in my local area and was widely reported in the Middlesex News for a few days.

You would think that you had the right to defend without controversy, but such is the law.

In the above case the shooter had anticipated that the dog would attack him or his wife. The owner said the dog was not viscious.

However LEO's under scrutiny will enforce applicable laws. The shooter claimed that he did not know of the firearms ban on federal property, but the old adage of ignorance of the law is no exuse prevailed.

In your case you had every right to defend yourself against the action of dogs where you could sense that the dogs were about to attack you.

I am happy to hear of your Sanchin awareness coming to your assistance. I am sure that this stays with us all the time, especially on the streets.

Animals are personal property but there are laws in Massachusetts and in most states with reference to animal cruelty.

In your case your kiai did the job and prevented your need to further defend.

With the attack by two animals you would have been justified in doing whatever was necessary to protect yourself even if you had to take one out and a strong dog is difficult to dispel.

A neighbor's Lab had attacked one of my dogs, which was then a five month old friendly German Shephard puppy.

I grabbed the collar of the dog but it continued to try to attack my dog rolled over on its back. I used a hammer fist to the side of its head and it jumped up after me. A front snap kick sent the dog away yipping but did no permanent damage, and my dog was not injured.

In Massachusetts you could file a complaint since most cities and towns have leash laws.

You did the right thing and I am elated in the happy ending of your situation.

Alan K
Alan K
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