Can You Legally Kill A Dog In Massachusetts?
I recently saw some horrific pictures of a local woman who was attacked by her dog. For whatever the reason, sometimes this happens and it's terrible. Experts say that dogs rarely bite or or attack for "no" reason.
Dogs bite because they are fearful, have become anxious, startled or threatened. Anticipation of punishment as well as redirected aggression are all cited as reasons why a dog my attack their owner or someone else.
Can You Legally Kill a Dog in Massachusetts (Self Defense)?
Yes. Unfortunately, sometimes it's necessary. There are strict rules, however.
Any person may kill a dog which suddenly assaults him while he is peaceably standing, walking or riding outside the enclosure of its owner or keeper; and any person may kill a dog found out of the enclosure of its owner or keeper and not under his immediate care in the act of worrying, wounding or killing persons, live stock or fowls, and if any person shall kill or attempt to kill a dog so found, and in the act of worrying, wounding or killing persons, live stock or fowls, he shall not be held liable for cruelty to the dog unless it shall be shown that he intended to be cruel to the dog, or that he acted with a wanton and reckless disregard for the suffering of the dog. -mass.gov
Dogs can sometimes attack mentally unwell owners.
What to do if you get attacked by a dog
- Cover face, chest, and throat
- Resist urge to scream or run
- Protect vital areas
Dogs can kill you and at the very least draw blood. I was bit twice in the calf one time jogging and I ended up bleeding. Luckily the dog took off before it could do any more harm to me and young baby.