I Defended My Loved One—My Pet Part 2 – Florida

In Part I, we saw the actions Clint took to defend his dog from being killed by the neighborhood stray. Now, in Part II you will learn if his actions followed the law. Watch Independent Program Attorney David Katz teach you the law, so you will know what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation.

Paul Ready: Welcome back to Part II of our feature on defending your pets. In Part I, our member Clint was forced to defend his dog against an attack by another bigger dog. Many of you have asked what the law says about how and when you can defend your four-legged friends. The answer will be different depending on the law in your state. That’s why we’ve asked the Independent Program Attorneys in your state to tell us more.

David Katz: Although Florida’s self-defense law allows you to use deadly force to protect another person, it does not extend to protecting your pets. Fortunately, Florida Statute 767.03 does allow a person to shoot a dog that has been, or is in the process of, killing their domestic animals, which includes dogs and cats. Reading the plain language of the statute, it appears that the attacking dog must have already killed a domestic animal, or be in the process of killing one of your pets. You must be careful here as it appears that the attacking dog must be causing such damage to your pet that it is about to die, or could die from the injuries, before you are allowed to shoot the attacking dog. Unfortunately, there is no case law outlining how much damage must happen to your pet before you reach this level. If it is determined that the attacking dog was not killing your pet, you could face animal cruelty charges for shooting the dog, which is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison

Paul: For more information on when you can use force in your state, please go to GunLawSeminar.com and register to attend one of our events in your area. If you missed Part I of Clint’s story, you can click the link on your screen to see it. And as always if you are not a member we would love for you to join us at uslawshield.com.

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