Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Dog problems

The other night I wrote the following:
"It's about 60 pounds of solid, mangy dog.

It runs from officers on-duty when they try to snare it.

It's a stray.

It's reportedly been chasing children.

It's growled at many adults, and made some charges at them.

Tonight it gave me a good little false charge as I walked through town while off-duty. Enough so that I drew on it and wondered if I could get all 6 .380 rounds into it if it came to that.

Enough is enough!

I got my .22 to put it down; I have kids that live here, too.

It ran off. I followed. When I got a good sight and a good backstop on it, I realized that we were in a heavily populated area. No good. Even a .22 can be an alert, with the supersonic crack. Also, .22's have a spotty history against medium big dogs.

I'm going to load some nice sedate 148g lead hollow-based wadcutters into some .35 Whelen cases over just enough medium-burning powder to push them up to about 950 fps. Out of my Springfield's 22 inch barrel, it should go "pop," but hit with more accuracy and power than a +P .38 Special.

I don't want to have to fire a second shot. I don't want to risk the dog suffering. And I don't want to put the neighborhood in an uproar.

I just want it gone."

I didn't post that. Frankly, I just didn't want to hear the backlash from people who would whine that it's "cruel" to put the dog down. So I just left it in draft.

Well, I didn't load up some "cat sneeze" loads, and I didn't go put the dog down. A day later, it almost bit an older officer in the back of the leg, and he almost had to shoot it, though.

Today, after dropping off one of my girls at school, I saw it running near the school. I called the on-duty officer and told him about it. 10 minutes after getting home, I heard a "BOOM" from the direction of my dog sighting. Might have been a 12 gauge, but I honestly defy anyone to tell the difference between a 12 ga. discharge and a car backfire, while they're sitting in their living room.

Maybe it's gone. I'll find out this evening.

Just need to find the right load.

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At Friday, September 14, 2007 11:54:00 AM, Blogger Dave said...

#4 buck shot is a great load for this king of thing. I have been culling racoons with this in a 12 ga. Sometimes you gotta do what needs done. The 12 ga. is a get-er-done tool. DMP

At Friday, September 14, 2007 12:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm as staunch a dog lover as you'll find, but I agree it needs to go. I'd prefer it were caught and euthanized, but that'd not a strong enough preference to justify risk to the people responsible for catching and handling.

From the human perspective, a feral dog or a dog that has gone over that way is every bit as dangerous as any medium-to-large predator with no terror of humans.

From the dog's perspective, it's in hell. It has no security, no packmates, and it's either frightened or aggressing most of the time, and neither state is pleasant or peaceful.

Put the poor thing out of everyone's misery.

At Friday, September 14, 2007 1:21:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the less pleasant part of The Contract.

They gave themselves over to us on the promise that we'd take care of them.

When it's this kind of care needed the best thing is to make it as quick and clean as possible.

At Friday, September 14, 2007 1:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yesterday in the lansing, michigan area, an 81 yr old man and a 56 yr old woman were attacked and killed by a pack of pit bulls. the dogs had owners. 'nuff said

At Friday, September 14, 2007 1:54:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

DMP: #4 buck is inferior to the load that I have in my shotgun now: a magnum Duplex BB and #2 steel shot load of birdshot. It's far better for short-range urban dog destruction, because it will NOT overpenetrate like the #4 buck lead shot will.

Still, a major problem is noise. Getting citizens riled up by gunfire is to be avoided.

I've had several opportunities to put it down where I had a good still shot at the back of its head, but I didn't like the backstop. I refuse to be reckless, or even to give the appearance of recklessness.

At Friday, September 14, 2007 2:20:00 PM, Blogger Jay G said...


If it's near a school, *and* has been "almost" attacking people, you need to weigh the unpleasantness of:

1. A gunshot putting the dog down humanely spooking the citizens


2. Having to put the dog down *after* it has bitten/attacked someone's child and the repercussions thereof.

Now, onto semantics: Exactly how powerful is a "cat's sneeze"? I'm guessing it's more powerful than a "mouse fart" but perhaps on a par with a "bunny fart"?

At Friday, September 14, 2007 2:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

#4 is the perfect load for this. It won't penetrate a double sheet of drywall and it will kill a man so it should do just fine on a dog. It's what I run in my house shotgun.

At Friday, September 14, 2007 3:39:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Tom. Please.

Put DOWN. The crackpipe.

#4 will go right through a double sheet wall.

Jay G.
The Word has been handed down: this dog will be put down. Period. AR. 870. Pistol. Whatever it takes.

Cat Sneeze rounds can be quite potent. For example, it's still common for cops to carry .357 Magnums with .38 +P loads in them, pushing a 158g JHP or LHP at about 900 to 950 fps. Why would it be any worse to push a wadcutter at the same speed, out of a rifle? The rifle barrel attenuates a surprising about of the blast and sound, and all of the flash of a cat sneeze round, making a loud "pop" instead of a KABOOM. Note that it's subsonic, and your accuracy is far greater than with a pistol.

Another option is to load a .45-70 case with a 230g .45 acp bullet to about 950fps. That puts it above +P+ velocity for a pistol, but makes for a quiet, effective rifle round capable of putting down 120lb deer with ease. A 60 lb dog is nothing for such a load, and if you use an expanding bullet, you KNOW it will expand.

At Friday, September 14, 2007 3:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Birdshot as a Defense Load
[QUOTE]I have had a lot of questions, summed up as follows: How effective is birdshot (#4, #6, #8, etc.) as a defense load?

We have done tests with various birdshot loads. Birdshot penetrated through two pieces of drywall (representing one wall) and was stopped in the paper on the front of the second wall.[/QUOTE]

I stand corrected. I had always heard that #4 birdshot would not penetrate a double sheet of drywall. However, the very interesting website you provided indicates it will but will not penetrate the third. I would say that this still makes it a valuable round for home defense or killing dogs when compared to other loads. Especially when you consider that on the dog the shot would be travelling from the outside of the building through exterior construction materials which arguably would be more resistant to penetration.

At Friday, September 14, 2007 6:36:00 PM, Blogger HollyB said...

Good news on puttin' the dog down. Let us know when it's actually done.
You know how much I like dogs, but this one is just beggin' to be put out of its' misery. It doesn't belong to a canine pack or a human pack. It was probably dumped by irresponsible owners who got bored with it, or were moving and didn't want the hassle of moving the dog, too.
I would hate to hear that this former pet had hurt a child or adult before someone is able to put it down.

At Friday, September 14, 2007 10:49:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Well, don't stand too corrected, Tom! :)

DMP mentioned #4 BUCKshot. When you then mentioned "#4 shot," I assumed that you, too were referring to #4 Buck.

#4 BIRD shot will not penetrate as much as the buck.

At Friday, September 14, 2007 11:40:00 PM, Blogger Dreaming Mage said...

Author who experimented with salvaged powder and bullets is lucky to be alive and uninjured.

Another "author" has an ugly scar on his forehead, and memories of an ER visit, from doing the same.

At Friday, September 14, 2007 11:46:00 PM, Blogger Dreaming Mage said...

Oh! And the second author considers this a more traumatic memory than the time he picked up 2 through-and throughs and 15 grams of shrapnel from a Soviet 105mm RPG.

At Saturday, September 15, 2007 8:05:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Better safe than sorry, Matt. Once my brothers and I "adopted" a stray neighborhood shepard. We even took it into the house begging our mom to let us keep it. He was a sweet gentle dog. Imagin our surprise when the deputy knocked on our door, just to let my mom know that the dog that her kids had been running with was found down and had tested positive for rabes. Not a fleck of foam had ever been seen.


At Sunday, September 16, 2007 6:18:00 PM, Blogger Jenna said...

One of the sadest days in my life was when my Da and I loaded up and went out for a neighbor's dear dog. "Jox" had been the neighborhood love bug. Kind, sweet tempered, gentle with kids until one day he got bit. The owners had been out of town and the sitter didn't bother getting it checked out. Jox got sick, got loose, then got crazy. No local dogcatcher, and by the time we were able to track him down he was too far gone. Rabies does ugly things to animals. He had aleady made a few attacks on kids, killed a neighbor's calf... his owner came to Da and aked him to do what needed done. He had me come so I would learn the full lesson of responsibility to animals.

Do it quick. Do it clean. Bury him decent and go home and hug whatever furry you can reach. Anyone who can't deal with it can kiss my Irish a#%.

Not terribly lady-like, but this just hits a little close tonight.


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