Today some loose dogs killed a cat. Residential area with leash law.

When I arrived the cat was still alive. The owner arrived shortly later and got the dog to stop. Not my cat and not on my property.

Say the owner did not arrive. Could I have legally shot the dog? I was not armed but I do carry often and good with a fire arm.

Not sure I would even if it is legal. If they attacked my animals then for sure I shoot to kill.


In various states, you may shoot a dog attacking livestock or running at large (the latter possibly only in Indiana). In Ohio, ORC 955.28 allows shooting a dog that threatens (etc.) "livestock, poultry, other domestic animal, or other animal, that is the property of another person, except a cat or another dog". So in fact, dog against cat is specifically exempted. The Kentucky law allows shooting a dog that trespasses and attempt to harm livestock (not cats).

Texas has such a law, which says "A dog or coyote that is attacking, is about to attack, or has recently attacked livestock, domestic animals, or fowls may be killed", if they witness the event. This law is not limited to livestock and does not specifically exclude cats.

  • I will give it a day and give you the check if nothing more specific comes up. Thank you. – paparazzo Mar 24 '17 at 1:30
  • "is about to attack" is too open to interpretation in my opinion, I know too many people that widely misinterpret dog behaviour – HelloWorld Jul 5 '18 at 18:08
  • The usual way to dispose of that problem is to refer to what a "reasonable person" would conclude. The main divide is between "reasonable people who don't own a dog" versus "reasonable people who own a dog". Within the latter group, there is a divide between "reasonable people who own a husky" versus "others". – user6726 Jul 5 '18 at 20:26

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