Q: If I'm walking my dog on the street and someone's dog not on a leash charges us how am I able to defend myself?
I live in a nice neighborhood however, several times when walking my dog we've come across countless unrestrained dogs in my neighbors yards (not strays) they run up to us barking and almost if biting at us. Is it illegal for me to defend myself with some form of pepper spray/gun?
You don't provide enough details for a definitive answer. On your facts, the other dogs bark at you and your dog. As long as the other dogs stay on their property, there is nothing that you can do. Some dogs are extremely territorial. One of my dogs will bark at the "trespasser" if she sees someone walking a dog on the other side of the street, even when she is in the house. You would think she would rip you to shreds. In truth, if you held out your hand, she would lick it. I am not telling you to stick out your hand to the dogs were barking at you but on your facts, you have had multiple encounters with these dogs and none of those encounters resulted in injury to you or your dog. Nor did any of those encounters require you to "defend" yourself.
In the entire state of Indiana, it is illegal to have an unrestrained animal. Dogs cannot be off-leash unless they are on private property. If one or more of your neighbors' dogs is unleashed and it leaves the owner's property to bark at you/scare you, you can and should call the police and make a report. Doing that accomplishes two things. One, it gives the dog's owner an opportunity to restrain the dog and two, it places the dog's owner on notice.
There is no reason for you to feel unsafe walking your dog on public property. There is also no reason to resort to vigilantism as a first resort.
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