It Should Have Been a DGU: Killer Canine Edition

“A 63-year-old woman has died after an attack by four pit bull terriers as she was jogging in Los Angeles County, police in California say. The woman, who has not been identified, died from her wounds on the way to hospital on Thursday,” reports. We give cops plenty of trouble around here for their dog shooting propensity. Until Fido needs killing, that is. From “When the first deputy on scene saw one dog still attacking the woman, he tried to chase the dog away…The dog ran off into the desert, then turned around and attacked the deputy, the deputy fired a round at the dog and tried to kill the dog, and the dog took off into the desert.” All snark directed at police officers’ shooting decisions and marksmanship skills is temporarily suspended just because it’s Saturday. As a nearby resident said, “It’s really scary. I don’t know what to think. I really think I’m going to be getting a gun to protect myself.” Carry on.


  1. avatar Accur81 says:

    I sent this in to TTAG, by the way.

    Pitbulls aren’t always so nice and friendly. I would not hesitate to shoot one in a scenario such as this. Unfortunately, many of CA’s CCW laws are so terrible that very few people in LA County, amongst others, can legally carry a firearm for self defense.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      The USA Today article states: “investigating whether several pit bulls seized from a man suspected of growing marijuana”. Really?

      How can animals that were seized by “authorities” attack a jogger in a park?

      The reporter and editors are so stupid they don’t even know what the word seize means.

    2. avatar Rightontheleftcoast says:

      No CCW for the little people in San Diego County either, where these attacks, including some joggers mauled by pitbulls last year, have occured-

  2. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    I like pit bulls.

    That said, feral dogs can dangerous – and really capable feral dogs more so. I’ve seen a .38 bounce off a pit’s skull at 50 feet.

    1. avatar Human Being says:

      OooOOooh no. You don’t get to lay a story lead like that and walk off. Elaborate.

      1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

        I used to be an EMT. Still am, I guess – neither current nor practicing, though.

        You see some crazy sh¡t, especially in Southern Калифорния. A significant portion of the, er, non-Anglo population was into fighting dogs during that phase of my life – the mid eighties – and mauling calls were not uncommon.

        Back then, many officers still carried .38s, and once in Pacoima – the attacking dog had been chased away before our arrival – we were working on a teenage girl when she [the dog] came ’round again.

        A cop made a perfect head shot and the damned thing paused, shook its head and then continued us-ward.

        An empty cylinder later she was stopped, but by then several of us were on the verge of dropping some brown ballast.

        That was freaky.


      2. avatar William Burke says:


        As for the non-DGU… yeah, four pit bulls is no job for a knife, or even a machete.

        I vowed (with my daughter as witness) to get my VA CCP by fall.

        Sure, you definitely can open-carry in Virginia. I have a neighbor I’ve seen open-carry, but I think only going to and from gun shows. The thing is, go to a Kroger or Wally World, someone’s going to call the cops. Some people are smooth as silk with the Po-Po; it can be a bit rough at times with me.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          This is one that still bothers me as I am a lover of k9’s. In WV, in the woods I was accosted by a pack of strays. I was 16 at the time and had not yet been shot at. I had a .22 rifle and i had to make a fast choice. The biggest member of the pack had a shepard look to him and he was coming in at me. It was close enough that the angle of the shot took him at a down angle between his ears. He was almost at contact range and the 1 shot did it.

          At that time in WV the law allowed for the shooting of strays as they were a menace to livestock and animals such as deer. Except for TTAG I’ve never talked about this before. While I love dogs I love me more and faced with the same choice i wouldn’t hesitate. I would not enjoy it, but I’d do it.

        2. avatar Russ Bixby says:

          You’ve my unalloyed sympathy.

          Taking a life always takes a toll.

        3. avatar Milsurp Collector says:

          jwm, it’s stories like yours that remind me of why I want to live in a state where going hiking or camping armed is legal. I’m honestly much more fearful of being stalked by a four legged predator in the woods than a two legged predator on the local sidewalk.

          I once heard an, ahem, environmentally conscious individual tell me that to carry a gun on a hiking trip is to defile the sanctity of nature. I told him if he wanted to be a tasty snack that’s his choice. Some people can not get it through their heads that no matter how respectful we are towards wild animals and their habitats, some will still kill people in a heartbeat for no other reason than being hungry, pissed off, or threatened in ways that we can’t precept.

        4. avatar Gyufygy says:

          Nature is, at least partly, red in tooth and claw. Any so called “environmentalist” who thinks otherwise doesn’t understand how nature works and is projecting utopian bullshit.

        5. avatar Azman says:

          Why I love az. Either people are too ignorant to notice, or don’t really care.

        6. avatar Russ Bixby says:

          It’s not so much that they don’t realize that nature is brutal, but a misguided notion that when traipsing through bear country it’s somehow cheating to have at our disposal weapons other than tooth and nail.

          We also have brains, and if a big cat is permitted to sharpen its claws on a tree – not a part of the cat – then we can use external materials – iron and sulphur, to name a couple – to our advantage and still be playing fair.

          Anyway, fu<k fair; if bears had guns, they'd use 'em and so will I.

          It comes down to a basic misunderstanding on their part of the structure of the food chain.

          Now, to make up some fluke-held torpedo launchers and teach whales to use 'em…

  3. avatar ThomasR says:

    I had a similar situation happen to me a number of years ago; I was walking my dog and four pitbulls ran out of the dark and attacked my dog; so I pulled out my Glock 30 and charged into them and started to pull the trigger on the first dog that presented it self; Boom! they scatter before I finish the trigger travel and they never looked back, even to growl.

    Dogs are perceptive, even vicious ones.

    Now, after carrying a weapon for 13 years, it is incomprehensible why 95%, plus or minus, of people continue to be helpless and defenseless prey to what ever predator might be about, human or animal, even in shall issue states.

    1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

      “It’ll never happen to me…”

    2. avatar jwm says:

      It’s almost as if people refuse to accept that it’s still a dangerous world out there even though we no longer live in frontier times. Just off the top of my head I know of a couple that were killed by a pack of dogs in Georgia, where it’s easy to legally carry, and a female jogger in Canada was killed by a couple of coyotes. Through human predators into the mix and i could site examples for the restof the night from mostly memory.

      1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

        Before I came to eastern Kansas, I was seriously considering relocating to what is essentially a frontier town in the Rockies – Ward, in Boulder County.

        It’s a strange, uncivilized place, but it has its charm.

        The children go about in packs of no fewer than three, armed with truly nasty spears.

        It’s been quite some time since a bear took one.

      2. avatar Evan says:

        I’ve had MANY run ins with bears, literally wound up staring a mother in the eye with its three cubs feet away from me. Ive woken up with bears just outside my tent. But you can’t carry in NJ, so if I end up bear lunch I blame Lautenberg.

        1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

          If my headlights stop working, I blame Lautenberg; he’s a crawling, Lovecraftian abomination from the most Stygian pit of Gehenna.

  4. avatar Conrad says:

    Wouldn’t pepper/mace spray be a better option in such a situation?

    1. avatar JusBill says:

      No. The dog would laugh.

    2. avatar Accur81 says:

      On a pitbull raised by Mexicans in SoCal? You could feed a pitbull tacos with pepper spray. That may not sound PC, but pits are tough.

    3. avatar ExMonk says:

      My brother-in-law used to carry pepper spray when he walked his dog and had to use it once when an overly-aggressive dog charged them. You don’t get to pick the wind direction or the direction from which the attack comes, and he ended up with him and both dogs sprayed. Situational awareness kind of falls to pieces at that point. Fortunately, that was enough in this event to turn the aggressor around.

      If it’s all you’ve got (or all the powers that be will allow), pepper spray is better than nothing, but I’d prefer a firearm any day.

    1. avatar Alphapod says:

      They already have in some places, actually, although its usually only ‘assault dogs’.

  5. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    I was running a few years ago along the railroad tracks in my home town. I had a giant dog try to jump over the fence of a nearby house to come after me. It almost cleared the fence as I kept running. I immediately started to look for a weapon and there was nothing to use. It was a pretty crappy feeling knowing that if it cleared the fence I might have a big problem. It changed my mind about getting a CCW permit for being in situations like that.

  6. avatar Ralph says:

    I used to train attack dogs. Unarmed, I can defeat one easily. Easily. Four? Not a chance. I’d be lunch meat.

    1. avatar Gyufygy says:

      So you were a law professor as well as an attorney? Interest career, you’ve had.

  7. avatar Ed Rogers says:

    Unfortunately, running/jogging isn’t conducive to conceal-carry. I would if I could. One thing that wasn’t reported with this story, the owner of the dogs was allegedly growing marijuana.

    1. avatar Bob says:

      It was reported, and so what?

  8. avatar sagebrushracer says:

    Too bad this is in LA, you could not carry a gun even if you got one. Loaded, unloaded, open carry or concealed. They will continue to let citizens die rather then have the option to defend their lives.

    I also hate to say this as well, but even if she valued the 2nd amendment, the people she chose to live around and with did not, nor the right to defend your self. (mace, taser ect is all regulated in CA) Her community signed and approved her death warrant.

    1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

      Too true; lambs to the slaughter.

  9. avatar Soccerchainsaw says:

    As a nearby resident said, ”It’s really scary. I don’t know what to think. I really think I’m going to be getting a gun to protect myself.”

    Just wait ’till he sees how difficult that can be in Kalifornia….

    1. avatar Bob says:

      The “authorities” in CA will look them straight in the eye and say “We only allow ourselves to possess the means for self protection. No go away you peasant.”

  10. avatar Spunkmeister says:

    “I really think I’m going to be getting a gun to protect myself.”

    Sorry Honey, you don’t have sufficient “good cause”. Perhaps if you had woken from your liberal slumber sooner…

    1. avatar Russ Bixby says:

      That’s not very nice, and you can have no idea of her politics. That she even thinks in terms of a gun is a good start, anyway.

      Too bad she lives in L.A, though. Maybe she’ll come to Kansas; there’s a farmstead north of me for sale…

  11. avatar Highvoltage says:

    I love dogs…we have three, all rescues, all smaller breeds. We walk them several times a day, and I always carry. We live in a nice neighborhood, but people don’t take keeping their dogs leashed or in a fenced yard seriously. My wife refuses to carry a pistol, and used to walk the dogs by herself on her lunch break. Last year she was charged by a large mixed breed dog. It came from of the lake-front common lots we have for launching/docking boats(private lake). The dog was at a full sprint, and about thirty yards away when she screamed loud enough for the dogs owner to hear. He yelled and the dog turned back. When I got home from work she told me about it. She asked (politely) the owner to please leash his dog. He flatly refused. After I relaxed I walked over and knocked on their door. I introduced myself, and again explained that he should leash his dog if he was going to have it outside his yard. He told me no. I informed him that if his dog ever charged us, I would defend myself, my wife, and our dogs. I didn’t say I’d shoot his dog, nor did I even mention a firearm. The guy just said, “thanks for your concern, I guess you’ll have to do what you need to…” I couldn’t believe it.

    We have another neighbor who has a beautiful German Shepard Dog. I’ve spoken with him about the weakness of the invisible fence he uses. He explained that his dog is really nice(which she is), unless she sees a small dog, then her prey drive takes over and she wants to kill it. Our smallest dog weighs 7 pounds, and would be killed instantly if a big dog got ahold of her. So far we’ve been lucky, and the dog has stayed behind the invisible fence (but charges right to the edge aggressively). If we walk past that house and the dog is out, we stay to the far side of the street, and my wife knows to keep out dogs between myself and the GSD. The thought of having to shoot a dog almost makes me sick, especially when it’s the owner’s fault that their dog is not controlled.

    My dad was a police officer in Detroit for years…the only time he ever had to fire his weapon was when he was attacked by two dogs. (They’d received a call about dogs running loose(as did animal control) he and his partner arrived first. The dogs were on the complaintants porch. The people in the house were asked not to come outside, or disturb the dogs, as they seemed tired and were resting on the porch. Of course the people rattled the front door, and the dogs ran around to the back yard. My dad saw this as a good thing, as he could simply close the gates, and wait for animal control. That was a good idea until he realized that one half of the gate was missing. By then the dogs were at a full run, growling directly at him. He tried to make it back to his car, but couldn’t. So he turned and fired, twice. He wasn’t happy about it, and even today, over thirty years later gets upset talking about it. I agree that the police are often way too quick to shoot a dog, and even unjustified at times. But there are times when police officers, like the rest of us, have to defend themselves.

    Writing this post reminds me of this story from 2007.., The woman that was killed was the mother of my wife’s coworker at the time…it was horrible, and I can only imagined how different it might have been had she been armed when she took her walk(she used to walk and feed horses that were kept nearby).

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