‘Can I shoot a dog in my yard in Florida?’ is a question that people ask on the Internet. There is a good defense for killing a dog in Florida. It is set out quite clearly in the 2017 Florida statutes, Chapter 767, Damage by Dogs; Dangerous Dogs.
At 767.03 – ‘Good defense for killing dog’ it states that (the words I will use are mine to suit the title to the article) if a cat owner defends her cat by shooting a dog which has entered her yard and is attacking and killing her cat, she can shoot the dog quite legally without any breach of the law or liability. Also, she would have no civil liability for damages from the dog owner. Note: for ‘cat’ you can substitute ‘livestock’ or ‘domestic animal’. There is no definition for ‘domestic animal’ therefor it is not confined to livestock so must include pets. Also where it takes place is irrelevant.
There is a recent case in an online newspaper from Grassy Key, Florida about a man who shot a neighbor’s Border Collie to death because the dog was killing his cat in his yard.
In fact two dogs attacked his cat in his yard. He tried to stop them and failed. He grabbed his gun from his car and shot one of the dogs three times. After shooting the dog twice he just carried on and continued to attack his cat. He then shot the dog in the head which killed him.
The second dog ran off. The dog’s owner turned up and so did the police. No arrests were made and the police won’t pursue any charges because in their assessment no criminal offense had been committed, so said the Asst District Attorney Jon Byrne.