Here at A1F Daily, we largely concentrate our Armed Citizen stories on Americans using firearms to save themselves from dangerous criminals. But two-legged “predators” aren’t the only dangers faced by law-abiding gun owners.
Here are five occasions from the past few years when armed Americans used their legally owned firearms to protect themselves from attacking dogs.
When a man heard his disabled neighbor cry out for help, he quickly responded. The neighbor had tried to break up a fight between two neighborhood dogs when they turned on him, attacking him and biting his arms and legs. As the man followed his neighbor’s cries for help, he carried his firearm. He first yelled at the dogs to divert their attention away from the neighbor being mauled. When the dogs started toward him, he shot and killed both animals. The neighbor who was attacked was taken to a local hospital, but his condition was reportedly not known. The man carrying his firearm was reportedly not harmed during the attack. (Contra Costa Times, Isleton, Calif., 6/5/14)
After a woman arrived home with her pet pit bull in Exeter Township, Pa., she was attacked by the dog as she tried to remove it from her car. The woman’s partner came to her aid, but was also attacked by the dog. One neighbor described the scene to a local news outlet by stating, “The dog would not let [him] go.” Other neighbors came to help the couple. When the dog failed to stop after one neighbor hit it with a metal bar, another neighbor shot the dog, ending the attack. The wounded couple was taken to a local hospital. (WFMZ, Allentown, Pa., 5/1/14)
Two children were outside on a public street in San Bernardino, Calif., when a pit bull attacked them. As the children tried to escape from the dog, the children’s aunt picked up a toy scooter and attempted to use it to fight the dog off. A neighbor noticed the attack, retrieved a gun, and shot and killed the dog. Following the incident, the aunt explained to a reporter that she was fearful for the children’s lives and said that the armed citizen is a hero. One of the children was taken to a local hospital for her injuries, but is now fine. (NBC, Los Angeles, Calif., 10/7/13)
Injuries sustained to Anthony Wilson’s face, torso, arms and legs were severe, but he was last reported to be in good condition after he was attacked by two dogs in his neighborhood. The dogs escaped from a yard early one afternoon and attacked 77-year-old Wilson. He tried to seek refuge under a pickup truck with little success. The dogs snapped at his legs and continued to bite and claw him, trying to drag him from the protection of the vehicle. After a neighbor heard Wilson’s cries for help and saw the dogs attacking, he retrieved a firearm and attempted to scare the dogs away. But when the dogs then turned their attention from Wilson to the neighbor, he fired, killing both animals. (The Times-Tribune, Dunmore, Pa., 7/3/13)
Police were called after a man shot a dog that had attacked his 11-year-old son. The dog belonged to a neighbor and had broken free of its leash before it bit the boy. The boy’s father retrieved a handgun and fired one shot when the dog lunged toward him. The wounded dog ran off, but was later located and taken to be euthanized. The boy was treated for his injuries and is expected to make a full recovery. (The Press-Enterprise, Riverside County, Calif., 4/8/12)