In Palm Coast, Florida, 69-year-old James Armes was walking his puppy when two German Shepherds approached in a reportedly aggressive manner. The man turned to go home, but when the dogs started coming after him, he pulled his .380 pistol.
Armes shot one of the dogs as it lunged for his left calf. The dog collapsed as the other ran off. Mr. Armes, who was licensed and carrying legally, went home and called 9-1-1.
The dog’s owner, 40-year-old Michelle Wisher, told police that the dog had gotten loose from her backyard (it’s illegal in the area for dogs to run loose without a leash). Neighbors also informed the police that the dogs had been loose and aggressive multiple times in the past.
For these reasons among others, the shooting was determined to be justified self-defense.
“This is an unfortunate tragic neighborhood situation. While we never want to hear about the killing of a pet, pet owners must be responsible and watch over their animals,” said Sheriff Rick Staly.
He’s exactly right. Although sad, this situation could have been a lot sadder if the dog, fully capable of inflicting serious or even deadly injuries, had continued its attack. Especially if the second dog joined in.
This is a kind of defensive gun use that anti-gunners tend to gloss over. Although they can save your life during a home invasion, dogs can be far from harmless, and can be both unpredictable and extremely powerful when they become aggressive. Although these self-defense shootings don’t always make the news, it’s fairly common for a gun to tip the scales between life and death during a dog attack.
Have you ever encountered a serious four-legged threat? How did it play out?