Brooklyn, NY asked in Animal / Dog Law, Personal Injury and Employment Law for New York

Q: Do I have a right to defend myself, against a dog; If it attacks me in NY state?

I AM NOT, a violent person, and I DID NOT, hurt this dog! I was at work, and a customers dog was off the leash. A Big mastiff, type of dog! Im trying to work, and this dog is circling the shop, growling, and barking at me. I value my own life, and safety over this dogs! The day before, I asked this guy to please, put his dog on a leash, before I hurt it. As I seen the gestures made by this dog, and realized it looked threatening to me! The second day, I called my boss and explained, If this dog attacks me, I will act in self defense. Meaning, I will take whatever step necessary, to defend myself, even if that means I have to stab it, to stop it from being a threat; Because, its a BIG DOG! And, furthermore, I will sue him, and hold him liable. I probably could maybe have said this more nice, but, this is the second warning I gave him. Am I wrong, for being defensive? I was sent home, from work, because I was told by my employer, he didn’t want to “deal with bs”.

3 Lawyer Answers
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: You should avoid hurting an animal if possible. If you are attacked you can use force to stop the attack and to avoid further injury.

1 user found this answer helpful

Michael Bersani
Michael Bersani
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Auburn, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Yes you do! But just as when a human attacks or threatens you, it has to be a REASONABLE response. If the dog merely barks at you, you can't cut him to shreds for pure amusement. But reasonable measures, such as beating him back with a stick or something, absolutely.

Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik
PREMIUM
Answered
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: You certainly have the right to defend yourself if the dog attacks you or places you in imminent fear of bodily injury. Your employer is also required, under the law, to provide you with a safe workplace. This would arguably include prohibiting dogs with vicious propensities from being on the workplace.

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