Charlotte, NC asked in Animal / Dog Law for North Carolina

Q: Is it legal for someone to kill a muzzled dog?

My dog got loose one day and ran at my neighbor barking. He didn't touch the guy and I got him under control quickly. My neighbor said next time it happens he will kill my dog. I now muzzle my dog any time we go outside. If he gets loose again can the neighbor legally hurt/kill him if he is muzzled and never actually touches him?

Edit: the "neighbor" in question is a homeless man that lives in a tent behind our other neighbors house. He was walking up our shared driveway when this happened and the lead the dog was attached to broke. My dog is always on a leash or lead when he is outside. This man also has a habit of walking through our yard after being told not to. We have been informed that he has some sort of mental deficiency, but aren't sure what his issues are exactly.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Ben Corcoran
Ben Corcoran
  • Yadkinville, NC
  • Licensed in North Carolina

A: Your local municipal law will likely govern what your responsibilities are regarding your animal. But frequently after a certain time animals must be kept on a leash and if the dog is on your neighbors property he may be able to shoot it claiming self defense. This claim will be hurt by the fact that your dog was muzzled but it still may hold up.

I suggest that you contact a local lawyer to tell you exactly what the local laws are and to keep your dog on a leash at all times for its protection.

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