A licensed concealed carry permit holder in Virginia was not charged after he shot a dog in self defense.
Animal services officials in Sterling, Virginia said that “two large-breed dogs had been walking off their leashes and were behaving aggressively towards a man who was walking in the park.”
Investigators found that a black lab had “circled and jumped up on the walker and that the dogs’ owner failed to secure them despite the walker’s repeated requests.” Those same officials said that he was “legally carrying a firearm when he discharged it in an act of self-defense, fatally shooting the dog.”
Susan R. Smith, who owned the black lab named Macie, was beside herself with grief but admitted that her dog was off leash in violation of county rules. In fact, there were two dogs off leash that were acting aggressively towards a couple walking in Algonkian Regional Park that day.
Smith said that the man yelled out clearly, “call your dog” and that “he said it once, maybe twice.” Smith also said that she wishes the man would have fired a warning shot, kicked the dog, or swung a stick at it.
Fear of a strange dog acting aggressively is one of the reasons some people gain a legal concealed carry permit in the first place. Since the authorities said that no charges would be filed in the case, and that the couple waited in their car for police and animal control to arrive, it seems like officials are satisfied that the shooting was justified.
A grieving Smith even said of pushing the issue, “(but) he was within his rights. It is not going to bring my dog back.”
Cover photo via Pets 4 Homes