Dog Days

Editor’s Note: Combat Handguns pays $100 for each “It Happened…

Editor’s Note: Combat Handguns pays $100 for each “It Happened To Me!” letter that we print. Send yours to Combat Handguns, 1115 Broadway, New York, NY 10010. Attention: “It Happened To Me!” or e-mail to tactical-life@harris-pub.com

It was my custom to walk my dog two or three times a week, taking various routes along the streets in the neighborhood. On this evening, we were taking a route that we had taken many times before. We turned a corner off our street and were walking up a slight incline on the left side of the street. Out of my peripheral vision, I saw a white blur coming at us from an unfenced backyard about 30 yards in front of us and to our right. I have never seen anything move so fast. It was head down, ears back, silent, and on a flat out run. I knew it was a pit bull, because I had seen it several times before on our walks.

In an instant, I recognized that this was an attack and that no matter how things turned out they weren’t going to turn out good. The least that could happen was that my dog was going to get chewed up; the worse that could happen was that I could get chewed up, too. I had no choice, the only way I could stop the attack was to shoot the pit bull.

I have had a concealed permit for many years and always carry when walking my dog. I jerked my dog’s leash toward me with my left hand as I lifted my t-shirt with the same hand and drew my Kel-tec PF-9 with my right hand. It was loaded with 124-grain Federal Hydra-Shok hollow points. Pulling my dog’s leash, a standard 4-foot leash, up against my feet and shins caused the pit bull to miss its attack. It overran us about two feet, turned and, mouth open, came at my dog’s right haunch. I extended my right arm downward over my dog and fired until the pit bull stopped and rolled over.

I estimate that only about four seconds expired from my seeing the pit bull charge to its rolling over, the distance between the end of the barrel and the dog to be about 2.5 feet. I fired four times before the pit bull stopped its attack.

After I shot the pit bull, I put my pistol in my front right pocket, retrieved my cell phone from my left front pocket and dialed 911. My intent was to stay put and wait for the police. Three men came out of the backyard shouting and screaming, “What have you done? You shot my dog. Why did you shoot my dog? My dog wouldn’t hurt your dog.” As the men, younger and bigger than I am, approached, I retreated, facing them, back the way we had come. They continued to approach me and shout, “Where are you going motherf*****? We will find out where you live motherf*****. We will come kill you motherf*****.” When they spoke these words, I continued to retreat backwards and drew my pistol from my front pocket and held it at my side. I said in a calm voice, “I am retreating to the corner to wait for the police.” Even though I spoke in a calm voice, I was really worried that they would rush me, and that I did not have enough ammo to finish the fight (I wasn’t carrying a spare clip and still was dealing with my dog). I focused on arms and legs, not faces and voices. They stopped following me and I retreated to the corner to wait for the police.

My older son happened to drive by and stopped. I had him put the dog in his truck and take her home with a quick summary about what happened and to tell his mom about the event, and that I would probably end up at the police station.

Several people in the neighborhood must have called the police because at least four squad cars showed up. A police officer met me at the corner. I explained the events. I was frisked and detained there while other officers interviewed the pit bull owners and neighbors. After about 30 minutes, I was cuffed, placed in the cruiser and driven to the police station, where I was handcuffed to an iron bar in the cage in the booking room. I was not processed for about two hours. Eventually I was booked and read my rights. I requested a lawyer. In private, I calmly told my story to my lawyer and then calmly answered the detective’s questions.

I was released pending charges, which I was informed could include cruelty to animals, discharging a firearm in the city limits, endangering the welfare of others (some neighbors were working in their yards), felony forms of threatening behavior (they claimed I pointed my pistol at them and threatened them) and a host of other charges. My pistol and concealed carry permit were kept by the local police department.

I spent the week expecting at any moment to be arrested or called and told to turn myself in to authorities. On Friday of that week, the investigating detective informed me that no charges were being filed on any of the parties involved. While it was an experience that I never want to go through again, I am resolved to protect myself and loved ones no matter what the cost.

—KR, AR

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