Legalities of protecting a dog

It is my understanding that you cannot shoot to protect your pet dog, but what about your service dog that is legally durable medical equipment rather than a pet?

I live in CA in case that makes a difference.


@Diane23 Welcome to our community, we are glad to have you with us. :slightly_smiling_face:

Sorry but, I’m sure that makes all the difference. A question better asked of your local PD or Prosecutor.


@Diane23 Welcome to the community, CA is getting down and dirty on gun control, and making it harder on law abiding citizens. You have a great question, depending on what county you’re in, if it makes any difference, check with the Sheriff’s Dept., and maybe your State Laws, or an attorney. Hopefully someone here in the community may have some answers. A service dog is a very special type, aside of a pet, that surely needs protection if a situation was to arise, sad to say.


Hello and welcome @Diane23
That is a heck of an opening post, adding CA to it made it a whopper.
@BeanCounter chime in unless you’re moving east. :grinning:


I don’t know what the law is in CA, but I’m pretty sure it would be illegal. Still, you might check with the local DA’s office or consult a criminal lawyer. Better yet, move out of state… :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:


Penalties for Interfering With the Use of a Service Dog - dogbitelaw.


Dogs are generally considered to be property and lethal force is not* legal in defense of property

*TX has some very specific exceptions to this

I am not a lawyer, but in CA lethal force in defense of a dog would not be legal.


Animals are considered property. In legal matters, shooting to protect them is akin to shooting to protect your car.


From The ADA:

“…Service animals are working animals, not pets…”.


Colorado law states animals as property.

As such, defense of property laws apply;

CO Code § 18-1-706 (2022)

A person is justified in using reasonable and appropriate physical force upon another person when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent what he reasonably believes to be an attempt by the other person to commit theft, criminal mischief, or criminal tampering involving property, but he may use deadly physical force under these circumstances only in defense of himself or another as described in section 18-1-704.

Better believe that I will defend my dog a HELL of a lot more viciously than I would say my tv or car!!!


Reading that text, (18-1-704 ) and Colorado’s castle doctrine “make my day” law….

If someone breaks into my home I can use lethal force to defend myself if I reasonably believe that above the trespass they intend to cause other criminal acts.

Attacking my dog would be an act of criminal mischief on top of the illicit trespass, and a clear indication of continued criminal intent.

At that point, my home or car would become a roach motel.




Welcome! I concur with most of what’s been said already. Also a resident of Commiefornia, I strongly believe woke DA’s would penalize you for defending your dog. To me, if someone has broken into my house, they are a threat to me and my family, which includes my dog no matter what ■■■■■■■■ say. Be careful how you phrase your reasoning.


@uscca. So why did I get censored in my post? All I said was l I b T a r d s.


Carful what you say!

They walk amongst us!!!


It probably wasn’t a moderator but another community member, we have our share of Tards here. :roll_eyes:


Ahhhh! How dare you say that “T” word!!!

I’m flagging you, and blocking all your posts so I don’t have to read the logic they might contain!!!


Maybe, I’m kinda still new here. Strange thing is that I saw the censorship immediately after I posted. I do think it was a moderator, whether that’s a human or an algorithm.


I agree with most of what others have said… Generally speaking dogs are property and you cannot use lethal force to protect property. I’m pretty sure you can’t use lethal-force to protect any other type of legally durable medical equipment, yes?

@Diane23 May I ask if there is a specific scenario you are worried about? Is it an attack by another dog? An “unhoused” thinking your dog is a walking steak? Someone stealing your dog? Someone mugging you while you have your service dog?

As a rule of thumb, I try to always have pepper spray as a defense against other dogs, and to use in the unlikely event I need to protect my dogs from some dumb human.



Yup exactly what I have been thinking reading this thread

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