Man Shoots, Kills Pup: Is It Canine Stand-Your-Ground?

Another reason Ohio doesn’t need a new stand-your-ground law: our canine friends are also in danger from self-defense laws that give humans the right to shoot and claim they “felt threatened”.

In the small town of Pemberville, Ohio, a 64-year-old Vietnam veteran, Christopher Zimmerman (last name sound familiar?), shot and killed an adorable 8-month-old mixed labrador-collie named “Puppy”, happily running to meet its owners – children, who witnessed their beloved pet being gunned down in a driveway that separates their home from the shooter’s. Both homes sit directly across the street from an elementary school.

Zimmerman claimed he felt threatened and reportedly had previously filed a police report stating the pup had “raised its hackles” at him “like it was going to attack”.  At that time Zimmerman stated he would “shoot the damn thing” if it came near him again.

The Sentiniel-Tribune reports that this time, Zimmerman reportedly yelled “Get the hell away,” to one of the children trying to catch Puppy, before opening fire from 5 feet away. The police report states that, based on the placement of the bullet wound, “the dog could not have been running towards (Zimmerman) as he had stated”. He was charged with pointing and discharging firearms, injuring animals, and inducing panic.

The children’s’ mom, Misty Smith wrote on her blog, “How do you comfort a sobbing child who can’t understand why anyone would rob her of the puppy she has begged and prayed for, for years?” She later writes that Zimmerman is a veteran, “whose wife has to tell him over and over, ‘the war is over’. He needs help before someone is hurt worse. There has to be something that can be done”.

If Ohio has gun kooks like this on the loose, then enhancing self-defense laws in the state will only make things worse. Can you imagine a Zimmerman case in Ohio?

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