Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

The Armed Citizen® | Dog Attacks, Part 3

The Armed Citizen® | Dog Attacks, Part 3

While most people don’t take dog bites too seriously, about 800,000 Americans a year require medical attention due to dog attacks. Considering the speed with which these attacks occur—and the fact that a majority of these victims are children or senior citizens—a gun in the hands of a victim or a good Samaritan can truly save lives.

A 74-year-old Dalton, Minn., man shot a large dog that was charging him, putting an end to the attack. According to a report in the Fergus Falls Daily Journal, the man was bicycling down the street when a large snarling dog broke its leash and rushed toward him. The man was afraid and believed the dog intended to hurt him, so he drew a handgun and shot the dog. The animal backed off, but charged a second time, when the man’s shouting caused it to retreat again. A sheriff’s spokesman told the newspaper that the man who was attacked had a concealed-carry permit. The dog has not been located since the incident. (The Daily Journal, Fergus Falls, Minn., 07/05/2017)

Lucky, a pit-bull mix, must have been feeling just that way when she escaped her home around 8:30 p.m. Unluckily for Lucky, she charged a neighborhood jogger, who happened to be a concealed-carry permit holder—and who had his firearm. Authorities in Deltona, Fla., say the man felt threatened when the dog charged him as he jogged past, so he drew his gun and fired at the dog, fatally striking it. The owner of the dog, Nancy Harmon, is outraged and wants the jogger “held accountable.” Harmon told WKMG News 6, “All my neighbors that have dogs. I want to tell them, be very careful because if your poor dog happens to get out and run outside, this man's going to come and shoot it down.” However, police say no charges will be filed because the man was threatened and he has a license to carry his firearm. (WKMG, Orlando, Fla., 05/18/2017)

A maintenance worker, mowing the backyard of a home in Northwest Jacksonville, Fla., saw danger coming. A dog from a neighboring yard had jumped the fence and was charging straight at him. WJXT-Channel 4 reports the worker, David Hardy, had never experienced trouble with dogs before, but was recently warned. “The owner just told me to start watching out for those dogs,” he said. Fortunately, Hardy was carrying a gun. “When he charged at me, he was looking like he was going to attack, so I had to pull out my gun and shoot him. I didn't want to shoot.” Originally Hardy thought he had missed, as the dog jumped back over the fence, but the canine later died. The dog’s owner told Hardy he should have fought off the animal, but Hardy disagreed. “Now, that's stupid. I'm not going to try to fight off a pit bull when he's trying to attack me.” (WJXT, Jacksonville, Fla., 04/18/2017)

A woman was waiting for a bus when three large dogs approached and began lunging at her aggressively. She swung her backpack at them, but they continued their onslaught That's when Patrick Jones saw what was occurring and stopped his truck. He yelled at the dogs and positioned himself in front of the victim. The woman said the dogs “just wouldn't give up. They kept coming at us ...” Jones, a concealed-carry permit holder, pushed the woman behind him and drew his pistol. When the most aggressive dog lunged at him, he shot and killed it. “He's a life saver,” the woman said of Jones. Lynden Police Chief Jack Foster agreed, saying, “I think he did the lady a big favor to stop and help.” (Lynden Tribune, Lynden, Wash., 04/04/2007)

A pit bull had mauled a 3-year-old boy and was biting the youngster's mother when a passing motorist stopped to see what was going on. Corey Kelley said that at first he thought Shonda Busby was playing with the dog in the family's rural yard in Chatom, Ala. He turned his truck around for another look and saw blood. "The closer I got to her, I could see the blood and bite marks on her arms. I pulled up and said, Are you alive?' She said, 'Yes, get this dog off me. He's biting me; he's killing me.'" Kelley quickly drove home, called 911 and grabbed his .22-caliber rifle. Unaware that Busby was shielding her 3-year-old, her rescuer said he drove as close as he could, about eight feet away. From his truck, he aimed at the dog and told Busby to lie as still as she could. "Shoot!" she told him. Kelly's mortal shot hit the animal between the eyes. When Busby sat up, Kelley saw the little boy; his scalp was torn and there were bite marks all over his body. Following the tragedy, the child was treated at Children's Hospital and was in fair condition. His mother required surgery. Kelley said he did not feel like a hero. "I'd do it again in a heartbeat," he said. "I'm just an old country boy. Helping people is just something I like doing." (The Birmingham News, Birmingham, Ala., 03/05/2005)

Kim Fedje shot and killed two dogs that had viciously attacked a herd of 13 llamas in her care before turning and charging her. Fedje was out on her morning rounds feeding the animals. As she approached the llamas, she noticed they were huddled together in a defensive stance. That’s when she saw two dogs circling the herd. When she called out to the llamas, the dogs turned in her direction. "I could hear them growling from 40 yards away," Fedje recalled. "They were making a beeline for me. I thought I was dead." Fedje reacted by firing her rifle at the attacking dogs. The first dog fell after two or three shots, the second dog continued toward her until she had emptied her gun. Fedje called her fiancé who went back out with her to examine the animals. All 13 llamas had suffered dog bites. The dogs belonged to a neighbor who had taken them out for a walk the night before. Both animals had run off into a cornfield and did not return. (The Forum, Fargo, N.D., 10/30/2003)

Teresa Castellano and her 6-year-old daughter, Alysa, were visiting Alysa's friend, Kaitlyn, at her home when terror erupted inside. The girls were watching TV and began laughing loudly at something they had seen. The abrupt laughter apparently startled the dogs in the house, which began growling and barking. Sensing the two dogs were not playing around, Castellano tried to get the girls to be quiet, but the dogs attacked them, biting Kaitlyn and Alysa. Castellano was able to distract the dogs, which allowed the girls time to run to safety at a neighbor's house, but by then Castellano herself was being attacked. Two neighbors armed with handguns fired on the dogs to get them to release the woman. One of the armed men was bitten in the leg during the struggle. One dog was killed, and the other two retreated back into the house. Authorities found one dog wounded and the other lying on the floor inside. They were taken to a local animal shelter and later euthanized. Castellano and her daughter each required 100 stitches to close their wounds, and Kaitlyn needed 20 stitches. (The Tampa Tribune, Tampa, Fla., 02/01/2003)

When his wife heard screams and saw two dogs mauling a 14-year-old boy outside their South Kitsap, Wash., home, William Chambers grabbed his handgun and rushed to the scene. Forced to shoot both animals to halt the attack, Chambers turned to watch one wounded dog run off. But the other dog recovered and renewed its attack on the child, and Chambers killed it. Authorities credited Chambers with saving the boy's life. (The Sun, Bremerton, Wash., 06/30/86)