Can I shoot a dog in my yard in Florida? Yes, if it is killing your cat.

‘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.

Can I shoot a dog in my yard in Florida? Yes, if it is killing your cat.

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

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.

Recent case

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.

8 thoughts on “Can I shoot a dog in my yard in Florida? Yes, if it is killing your cat.”

  1. What a sad, tragic reality. Ultimately, the blame usually lies with the negligent owners. But it is true that a dog can maul you to death, and the cat cannot. I love both.

    • You are an idiot. You are wrong. If you shot a cat because it was peeing on your car you’d commit a crime if it was someone’s pet and how can you tell the difference between pet cats and feral cats at a distance? Plus you are a nasty individual. The sheriff is almost certainly wrong. The police get the law wrong sometimes maybe often. Killing a pet cat would definitely be a crime on more than one level. Also I look better and better to hundreds of millions of people who care about cat welfare and who hate twits like you.

      • Some people never give up do they. So by this dimwits thinking you could shoot the neighbors dog if you caught it taking a dump on your porch.
        It may be repulsive but it isn’t menacing you.
        I truly dislike people who twist the laws that give us a right to defend ourselves to suit their own agenda.
        The police are often ignorant of AC laws and ordinances. BTW I have never had a cat pee on my car but have had words with people in parking lots at stores using my car tires as their dogs personal toilet.
        I don’t like dogs so I don’t have one. I don’t abuse dogs I leave that to their owners.
        What I really hate are negligent pet owners and cretins like “Darsen” who look for any excuse to vent their hate for cats, dogs or just the world in general.

  2. Poor Pirate… I remember that incident. It was two pit bulls; that’s how they operate (team up) and like what they did to Pirate, literally rip to pieces cats and other dogs. They do it to livestock too, they just have to take their time… even worse. They do this around the world. They aren’t trained to, they just do it, it’s inherent in their DNA. So the bs about it being the owner’s fault is just that, bs.

    As for Florida, they’ve had a huge share of dog violence there so yeah, they let you shoot them. Good. Oh and the tenacity of pit bulls is obvious in this Florida incident too, being that it continued to kill with two bullets in him. Shooting them in the head sometimes won’t work either because bullets have been known to ricochet off…

    • Oops let me make a correction. The incident I was referring to happened a couple years ago. This one was as written, a border collie. Wow I didn’t know they could be that wild.

  3. There is nothing worse than free roaming dogs. Nothing. In neighborhoods, on trails, at a beach and just about any public venue nowadays. For every person who rants about loose cats killing birds dogs have killed more birds, small animals, other pets and killed or maimed or caused injury to livestock along with the endless wildlife they will terrorize. We should feel safe on our own property.
    While many people including myself think the only place a pet belongs is in the owners home, yard or under their direct control via lead or carrier you just don’t hear about loose cats attacking and mauling humans to death.
    So no Micheal I haven’t really strayed from the original article. We do indeed have a right and in some cases a duty to dispose of dangerous dogs that the owners fail to control. The dogs that ripped a living cat in half in front of me , feet from me were later confirmed to be out killing other animals and livestock. It was only a matter of time before they turned to humans. The last one was killed by the neighbor as it tried to kill his dog on his property.
    Many states have laws regarding your right to defend yourself and your property.
    This is a subject that has come to courts on a few occasions namely Santa Fe County that wanted to make it illegal to shoot a dog on your property no matter what it was doing. Thankfully state law overrides that kind of thinking especially in rural areas.
    This is why every dog/cat should be micro-chipped and registered via the local AC be it high dollar purebreds or that litter of pups you dog had because you were too stupid to spay or neuter your pets. The burden of transferring ownership would fall to the current owner thus making it more likely a traceable chain of ownership should the animal be lost or cause damage.
    It is no joke here that people go for walks with big sticks, bats and golf clubs.


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