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  1. #1
    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Dogs, this one almost got out of hand

    About 50% of my riding is in a rural, farming area with no leash laws and I've had my share of run ins with dogs. Most of the dogs I encounter in these areas of no leash laws are OK but there is that percentage that isn't OK. This post really isn't about the dogs in the rural part of my county. Actually my experiences with dogs in that area are worth a post on its own.

    Further south there are riding trails and a typical urban environment, complete with leash laws. A few hours ago I was on a road just a few hundred yards from "mile zero" of the local trail when out from a trash strewn yard with a trailer came three very large pit bulls on an intercept course. The were big enough that they weren't very fast and a fear fueled boost to 30 mph+ put them behind me. This is in an area where there are lots of bikers who aren't nearly as fast as I and I'm pretty sure it would end badly. I called the county animal control. One of their question was the exact address which, for some reason I failed to note. I met animal control, put my bike on the rack and led animal control (female officer) to the yard. The officer turned into the yard with the dogs still loose and I went a few hundred yards to turn around. When I got back, the animal control officer was cowering in the truck as this huge black guy was in the process of going NUTS! He came up to my window and told me that I was going to get hurt. The logical thing seemed to be to leave and call the cops. Turns out that the animal control officer already had called them to protect her.

    When the smoke cleared the guy was not in jail but it will cost him $500 and very probably the dogs since this isn't close to the first complaint on them. The sheriffs deputy suggested that I not ride by that location for at least a few months.

    I live in Florida and have a weapons license, sometimes I'm happy for that.

  2. #2
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    I did farm & ranch real estate brokerage in rural Colorado for over 30 years, and was also a reserve sheriff's deputy. I kept a ****** handy, for just such an occurance. Different states vary. In California, you almost need a license just to say the word, "***". Next door in Arizona, it's perfectly legal to go anywhere in public with a ****** strapped to your hip.

    I do know that in Colorado, the state constitution says you have the right to kill any animal that poses a real threat to people or livestock. Period. But then again, states vary.
    Who is John Galt?

  3. #3
    Century bound Phil85207's Avatar
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    My suggestion is to cary a can of Raid Wasp and Hornet spray in a water bottle cage. It sprays 15 feet and will stop just about any man or animal.
    Chief Executive In Charge Of Diddly Squat.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil85207 View Post
    My suggestion is to cary a can of Raid Wasp and Hornet spray in a water bottle cage. It sprays 15 feet and will stop just about any man or animal.

    It's illegal to use pesticides in ways different than specified in the instructions for use. And of course you're spraying a neurotoxin dissolved in some mix of petroleum distillates. It's actually an organophosphate neurotoxin that is very similar to the "nerve gas" used on humans. By just a small chemical quirk, only insects can't metabolize the stuff used in bug spray so it sends them into convulsions and prevents nerve transmission leading to death. The rest of us can metabolize (degrade) it before it does any damage.

    Now, a *** is intended to be used to shoot things using lead bullets, so that's OK.

  5. #5
    Climbing Above It All BikeWNC's Avatar
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    I don't understand why the dog owner wasn't arrested for assault of the Animal Control Officer?
    FS: Shimano DA 7900 brake calipers, DA 7900 Crankset 50/34 175mm and BB

  6. #6
    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Here in Florida a person has the right to shoot in a situation where a "reasonable person" would conclude that they were in immanent danger of great bodily harm. Only a fool would want to start shooting because because he is probably going to get an up close, personal and expensive introduction into the local legal system. In Florida, there is a concept called the castle doctrine that has been extended to the point that you are protected from both criminal and civil prosecution from the ramifications of justifiable personal defense in any location where you have a right to be. The keyword is "justifiable". In practical terms, in most southeastern US states where the castle doctrine is nearly universal, if someone breaks into your house in the middle of the night you can blow them away without legal fear; killing their dogs on the road in front of their house is a touch more problematic since the burden of proof shifts to you.

    In my rides in the areas of the county with no leash law over the past couple of years, I've found four truly vicious dogs that do go into the road to attack a passing biker. When I'm faced with such a dog and it looks like I may not be able to outrun it, I dismount and walk with the bike between me and the dog. On a couple of occasions I've shot dogs full in the face with mace and it just really pissed them off. Though I do have a Florida concealed carry license, I think a dog bite is preferable to the legal problems of killing a dog in the street with gunfire. I think I've found an in-between answer in a CO2 powered BB ******. It shoots BB's at 480 fps and would hurt like hell but it won't penetrate skin or kill anything much larger than a bird. I've used it once so far, a couple of weeks back when a large dog in a rural setting made me dismount and really wonder if it was going to come around the bike after me. One shot into the hindquarters and that dog was gone instantly. I didn't have the BB ****** with me today because I was in the southern "civilized" part of the county today and have never before had a problem there.

    Complaints to the local animal control have taught me that they will issue a citation to an owner but only after you have been chewed up. A riding acquaintance was blindsided in 2007 by a dog and wrecked, resulting in a broken hip, 3 months in a cast, a lost job and all the expenses since the owners had no insurance or assets.

    Last edited by TomD77; 03-26-11 at 08:29 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
    I don't understand why the dog owner wasn't arrested for assault of the Animal Control Officer?
    Me neither. Or why he wasn't arrested for verbal threats to me but it was the discretion of the dispatched deputy. But that's cool with me, I'll be perfectly happy by simply never interacting with him or his dogs again.

  8. #8
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    "This isn't close to the first complaint on them". It just amazes me how little animal control will do about pit bulls that have more than one complaint. It's like they aren't dangerous until someone has been really hurt by them. Fortunately for you, there is an AC Officer who is really motivated to follow up on this one. bk

  9. #9
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    a couple of days ago I went to a friends house to do some air conditioning repair. they had recently adopted a pair of Yorkies that they said were sweet little dogs. I was bitten twice in the first minute I arrived while the owners wife looked on telling me how sweet they usually are. If they had not been friends of mine one of those little dudes would have been stomped.
    Big or small dogs can be a menace and usually it is the owners attitude that makes up part of the problem.
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  10. #10
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    The BIG problem with shooting the dog, if it does come to that, is you do not know what the owner will then do. Will he get his *** and shoot you? After all you shot first, and he may contend you shot at him, so he will feel justified in shooting you. Very dangerous situation to be in.
    However, I think the OP did the correct thing, and now the nut dog owner is on the cops radar, and maybe they will do something before somebody really gets hurt.

  11. #11
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    Indiana has a “restraint statute.” Under this statute, dogs must be restrained at all times. If a dog injures someone when it is not restrained, the owner is subject to various criminal penalties, as well as civil liability.

    It seems most dog owners in the county roads that I frequent are unaware of this law or choose to ignore it. This did cost one dog it's life as it chased my wife and I on our tandem and didn't see the large truck approaching from the opposite direction.

  12. #12
    Junior Member Deltacornbread's Avatar
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    Have a pit bull mix on my regular route. Going, I can get by him before he realizes I am there. On the return trip he is waiting for me. Up until today I would let him start towards me then crank like crazy and out run him. Today I was battling a very stiff headwind on the return trip. That coupled with being tired from not sleeping good and the road in that area is a solid series of patches, I stopped the bike, got off and pushed the bike. And while he barked the entire time, he stayed in his yard. So it looks like I have found an answer to that dilema.
    I have a CCWP, but would hesitate to shoot a dog. For one thing, I like dogs and I know how attached people can be to their dogs. And you run a real risk of the dog owner shooting you. I know that around these parts, people that like to keep mean dogs are generally aggressive people. Pepper spray is probably the answer, although you will have to be careful and not spray yourself or a riding partner. I had a local police officer tell me that they did not like to use pepper spray because he said eventually you WILL get some on yourself.
    BTW, all the other dogs on my route like to run with me.
    Some people are like a slinky. Not really good for anything. But they still make you smile when you push them down the stairs!

  13. #13
    I need speed AzTallRider's Avatar
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    Just remember, it's not the breed at fault, but the owner/handler. It always is. Pit bulls owned by well mannered adults are well mannered dogs. Pit Bulls just happen to be owned by a lot of aggressive people, because they are seen as the "baddest dog in town". Blame the owner, not the dog.
    "If you're riding less than 18 MPH up a 2% grade please tell people Coggan is coaching you."

  14. #14
    Senior Member ro-monster's Avatar
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    Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever tried making friends with a dog they encounter frequently? Most dogs will learn very rapidly to associate a particular person with getting a treat.

    I've never been chased by a dog while riding my bike, but I do slow down to walking speed whenever I pass one, so as to avoid triggering the prey-chasing instinct.

  15. #15
    Directionally Challenged Lost again's Avatar
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    We were on a club ride with around 10 riders. A dog came out after us and though most of us could of out ran it the others towards the back really had no chance. One of the guys stopped and got in between the riders and the dog. We stopped and he let lose with the pepper spray and the wind was blowing towards us. We all ended up getting a dose of it, some more then others. I got a big dose. I teared up and couldn't breath and wondered what animal could ever stomach a full on assault of this stuff.

    I'm a firm believer in if the dog bites, he has to be put down. Don't make any difference the circumstances, outside of protecting when ordered to do so.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ro-monster View Post
    Just out of curiosity, has anyone ever tried making friends with a dog they encounter frequently? Most dogs will learn very rapidly to associate a particular person with getting a treat.
    Yes. I got tired of some chows coming out to bark at me, so I parked in a corner of their yard, got down on my haunches, and waited for them to come to me. They did. As they got closer, I carefully and slowly reached my hand out and scratched on of them on the head. About one second later, I had three dogs all over me, enjoying belly rubs and back scratching. They're my buddies now.

  17. #17
    Senior Member
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    My worst encounter was on a long straight road out on the high plains of Texas. As I pass an old house with no one home, out come THREE pit bulls. Two of them stopped when I hit them with the Halt spray. One of them didn't. Perhaps I missed him. But he was the slowest of the three.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    ... as this huge black guy was in the process . . .
    And this point is relevant how, exactly? Interesting story until that point.

  19. #19
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    And this point is relevant how, exactly? Interesting story until that point.
    Much like stories that begin with, "And this Indian walks into a bar..." Or, "And the redneck goes..."

    Additional description adds texture and validity to a story. Unless you figure the only ones allowed to recognize race are those of one particular race, while all others would automatically be racists.
    Who is John Galt?

  20. #20
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    And this point is relevant how, exactly? Interesting story until that point.
    Cleary it was part of the story. So what's your point?

    Why did the OP call the dogs pit bulls? Because they were. So what?

    Why did he say the yard was trash strewn? Because it was. So what?
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  21. #21
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
    It's illegal to use pesticides in ways different than specified in the instructions for use. And of course you're spraying a neurotoxin dissolved in some mix of petroleum distillates. It's actually an organophosphate neurotoxin that is very similar to the "nerve gas" used on humans. By just a small chemical quirk, only insects can't metabolize the stuff used in bug spray so it sends them into convulsions and prevents nerve transmission leading to death. The rest of us can metabolize (degrade) it before it does any damage.

    Now, a *** is intended to be used to shoot things using lead bullets, so that's OK.
    I've never quite understood the "It's illegal" argument. Should my life or the life of a loved one be in immediate danger, I don't really care too much about the legality of actions I might take to protect that life. I've always thought living to face the judge the next day is better than the other option.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member TomD77's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerlenbach View Post
    And this point is relevant how, exactly? Interesting story until that point.
    I was trying to set the scene, if I stripped away all of the adjectives it wouldn't be effective. That adjective was intended as descriptive, not pejorative; the fact that you took it as pejorative is indicative more of your thought processes than of mine.

  23. #23
    Senior Member xizangstan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    I was trying to set the scene, if I stripped away all of the adjectives it wouldn't be effective. That adjective was intended as descriptive, not pejorative; the fact that you took it as pejorative is indicative more of your thought processes than of mine.
    I agree with you. Thank you.
    Who is John Galt?

  24. #24
    Senior Member Kurt Erlenbach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomD77 View Post
    the fact that you took it as pejorative is indicative more of your thought processes than of mine.
    Maybe so, but I think not. Sorry for any offense. In my experience, when adding a racial description of a person in a story when the story isn't about race, then, yeah, it's about race.

  25. #25
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    A bumper sticker I saw last week - "Political Correctness is Always Having to Say You're Sorry".
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

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