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Old 11-27-2007, 12:15 PM
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Default Some good may come from Congo's ordeal

http://www.itchmo.com/proposed-bill-...3980#more-3980

Frankly, that law will just give dogs the same benefit of the doubt that humans get when they hurt someone: a look at their point of view and a right to have the case against them proven beyong a reasonable doubt. Considering the sentence for dogs found "guilty" is always death, it only seems fair to me that they get at least some protections when they come into conflict with the law. I hope it passes.
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:26 PM
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What I want to know is when are they going to declare Municipal Court Judge Annich "potentially dangerous" and subject him to muzzling and containment?

The laws regarding our animals ARE archaic and, I think, constitute cruel and unusual punishment . . . just look at the family's suffering when a dog is summarily and arbitrarily ordered to death by a bottom-rung, piddly municipal judge. This is the traffic court judge we're talking about . . . .
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Old 11-27-2007, 01:19 PM
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I have very mixed feelings about the proposed change.

From what I can see, dogs would be excused if they attacked/maimed/killed persons who were "entering property without the presence, permission, or direction of the owner”.

You do not have the right to shoot someone simply because they trespass, you must be threatened. Should you have the right to train your dog to attack /maim/kill anyone who trespasses?

Should any dog who feels threatened on his own property have the right to attack? Certainly many dogs feel threatened when there is no threat.

If a child wanders into your yard to pet the pretty doggie, will lawyers be able to use the "entering property without permission" defense?
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Old 11-27-2007, 04:48 PM
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I didn't read it that way, that people could have trained atack dgos on their property and that that would be ok. It was more like, it is one thing if your dog is out on the street and goes after someone or their dog, and quite another if the dog feels he should be protecting his or her turf. Until now the laws pretty much always put all the blame on the dog, even if the humans could have figured out not to approach a dog who is being protective.
Just my 2cents.
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Old 11-27-2007, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
If a child wanders into your yard to pet the pretty doggie, will lawyers be able to use the "entering property without permission" defense?
How about the "where the hell were the child's idiot parents and why weren't they doing their job?" defense . . . That's where the blame lies.
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:34 PM
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I suspect, if this were applied, you'd end up with something like the 'reasonable man' standard used in human self-defense/defense of others cases. The standard goes like this:

If a reasonable person, with the information available to them, would be in fear of death or serious bodily harm they can use deadly force to defend themselves. If doesn't matter if they actual were in danger of death or serious bodily harm, only that they reasonably believed it to be so. However, if you use deadly force and your belief was not reasonable (say the other person was shouting and calling you names, but had no weapon and wasn't strong enough to overpower you) even if you actually did believe that you were danger, you are guilty of homicide.

What should be applied is a 'reasonable dog' standard (and that's how I read this when I saw it). The reasonable dog standard would go like this (ignore that a dog can not technically be 'reasonable' under the law): If a well-socialized, good-tempered dog, acting on the information available to it, taking into consideration the average intelligence of dogs and their non-human nature, would believe that it or a human being is threatened with death or serious bodily harm, then the dog is justified in attacking. This means that kids sticking fingers through the fence, or even wandering into the yard would not count, but Congo would.

If you try to look at it as Congo would, he acted reasonably. There was human shouting . . . an intruder entered the yard. Congo and his mate and pups warned the intruder and called the human members of the pack to investigate (They barked). The intruder then threatened and tried to strike Congo, his mate, and his pups with a big, scary loud metal object. Then the alpha female (the wife) shouting (alarm call) comes into the yard. The intruder makes violent physical contact with her, and she makes a fear-pain-distress cry (she screams) and is thrown to the ground. You attack the intruder, who has, in no uncertain terms (by dog standards) show himself to be unfriendly and dangerous. The alpha male then comes out and orders you to stop, and like a good subordinate member of the pack you do, even though the alpha female has been attacked.

By those standards, Congo didn't just act like a reasonable dog, he acted like a VERY reasonable dog.
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Old 11-27-2007, 07:43 PM
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Since I've been asked to make shorter posts, I'm splitting this:


Such a rule, that you have to look at it through the dog's eyes and decide if it acted as a good-tempered, well-socialized dog would prevent the sort of tragic situations, like Congo's, where the dog is treated unfairly such as:

The dog defends itself, or another dog from an attack by a human
The dog defends itself or its owner from what it has every reason to believe is an attack
A human doing something really, really stupid (like breaking into your house when you aren't home without prior notice) is bitten. (in this case, the dog is reasonable to think that an unannouced and stealthy intruder in the den itself is up to no good)

It shouldn't cover little children petting the pretty puppy (but it might well cover a screaming child chasing a dog around a yard, especially a small dog) , because a well-socalized dog should be able to cope with that, even on its own territory. If that's not the case, either by accident or design,(the dog is not well tempered or well socialized or its a guard dog) then its the owner's responsibility to keep little children out. Or older children. Or anyone at all, depending on the dog.

On the other hand, if someone is actually breaking into your yard, and you've made it clear that they aren't welcome (tall fence) and you have a dog (BEWARE OF DOG) then in many states,(but not all) it's the trespassers' fault anyway and not the dog's. (I do think in those cases the dog should not be destroyed . . . its not like the victims didn't have some warning).

Take my yard for example. I don't have a beware of dog sign (I'm pretty sure Sarama would not bite an intruder unless provoked and I don't want to give that impression) but I do have a six foot privacy fence locked from the inside. It is climbable, but not by a small child . . . you'd have to be about ten to get over it.

By the time someone is ten, they should know better than to climb into other people's yards, especially if there is a high locked fence, especially if there is a dog in there, and extra specially if there is a beware of dog sign. But I think that's a separate legal issue . . . its called bring back assumption of risk and contributory negligence, and don't punish the owner (by killing their dog) for someone else's raving stupidity. (Not to mention the dog, who's owner did their best to protect them)

Actually, to the credit of ten year olds . . . a couple were playing behind my house and the ball went in my yard. They didn't even try to open the gate, or climb the fence . . . they walked around the hosue to the front, knocked on the door and politely asked for their ball back. Good kids!
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:05 PM
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Very good explanation, Lilavati. Not many people get through law school and can still communicate, lol!
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Old 11-27-2007, 08:15 PM
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does anyone have a link for the actual bill? i looked for it, but couldn't find it.
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Old 11-27-2007, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Renee750il View Post
Very good explanation, Lilavati. Not many people get through law school and can still communicate, lol!
Well, if you really want, I could say it in legalese, complete with blue booked citations . . . but I'll spare you.
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