“Quawan Branch, 9, described the attack by Memphis Police on his 1-year-old Labrador, named Pepper,” wmctv.com reports. “‘The police officer, he just came up and started shooting at my dog,’ he said. Several children said they were running on a sidewalk, along with the dog, when out of nowhere the officer showed up and told the dog to stop. The children said the dog obeyed the officer’s order; however the officer still pulled out his gun and shot the dog. At that point, the dog supposedly took off and ran around the corner to the other side of a church . . .
Witnesses say the officer started chasing the dog and fired a second shot.
He should’ve asked, ‘What’s going on. Is this dog trying to attack?’ Ask questions before you just act out,” said [owner] Michelle Hunter.
The dog has been taken to an animal hospital where she will have to undergo surgery. Neither the child nor the officer were injured.
Feel free to unleash howls of righteous indignation. Meanwhile, what’s your plan for a genuine dog attack? ‘Cause if you think you’re going to shoot a dangerous dog . . .
You better be a cop. Or a woman with kids. And that dog better belong to a breed with a rep for tearing people’s faces off (e.g., a pit bull). Preferably rabid. In the act of attacking. And you better hope you’re somewhere without dwellings within a mile of your 10-40.
Otherwise, you could be charged with all manner of firearms-related crimes, any one of which could terminate your gun rights for time immemorial. But wait! There’s more!
In a dog-on-human attack that doesn’t involve you directly, you’re likely to be behind the curve. In other words, the dog will be in close proximity to its victim before you realize it’s time to do something. Even without considering legal blowback, shooting a dog connected to a human is an inherently risky business.
And what about dog vs. dog attacks? If you shoot a dog that’s trying to kill your dog you’re not going to get much sympathy from the police or their friend the prosecutor. And yet you don’t want to see your best friend get torn to pieces by a not-man’s-best-friend dog.
Above and beyond all that, do you really want to shoot a dog? I mean, if you don’t have to?
In most (but by no means all) dog-on-human or dog-on-dog situations pepper spray is the way. A big old spritz from a Kimber Pepper Blaster II or similar, unleashing a not-so-healthy-for-its-target hit of oleoresin capsaicinoid, will ensure that not every dog has its day. Yes, your dog will be just as miserable as her attacker, but she’ll live.
I carry pepper spray every time I take the Schnauzers for a perambulation And whenever I’m going on a walk, generally. It’s a bit of PITA, what with schlepping a gun, spare mag, backup gun, wallet, phone, keys, knife, flashlight and packet of Magnum condoms (JK). But I live in a dog-intensive neighborhood; I feel better having an anti-bowser plan A.
While we’re at it, I’m not so sure about carrying pepper spray for two-legged threats. I consider an aimed (but not fired) gun a perfectly adequate less-than-lethal response to an imminent, credible threat of death or bodily harm.
But when it comes to defending myself against a dog that’s threatening to take someone to pieces, or defending my bitches against bigger, badder dogs, it’s pepper spray all day. I wonder if the Memphis cop had any on his utility belt . . .