In Part I, we saw the actions Clint took to defend his dog from being killed by the neighborhood stray. Now, in Part II you will learn if his actions followed the law. Watch Independent Program Attorney Justin McShane teach you the law, so you will know what to do if you find yourself in a similar situation.

Paul Ready: Welcome back to Part II of our feature on defending your pets. In Part I, our member Clint was forced to defend his dog against an attack by another bigger dog. Many of you have asked what the law says about how and when you can defend your four-legged friends. The answer will be different depending on the law in your state. That’s why we’ve asked the Independent Program Attorneys in your state to tell us more.
Justin McShaneUnder Pennsylvania law, a dog is just considered property, and because of that, the same traditional rules that we think of when it comes to self-defense don’t apply like they would for a human. But it’s important to note that if another dog is attacking your dog aggressively, you can shoot and kill that dog. That’s not cruelty to animals. When there’s an aggressive dog that’s attacking or about to attack then that is okay, in terms of any level of force that you want to use. If it’s also attacking a human being, again any level of force that you want to use. Just be careful when you use lethal deadly force to make sure your background is clear and there’s no other issues, no other problems. But when it comes to defending yourself against an aggressive dog, or your dog against another dog, lethal deadly force against an animal is allowed.
Paul: For more information on when you can use force in your state, please go to and register to attend one of our events in your area. If you missed Part I of Clint’s story, you can click the link on your screen to see it. And as always if you are not a member we would love for you to join us at

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