According to nbcnews.com, a Florida man is currently being investigated for possible animal cruelty charges after he was shot in the wrist… by a puppy. It sounds unbelievable, but apparently it happened, and there are no charges pending against the puppy, and rightfully so. Jerry Allen Bradford set out to shoot seven shepherd mix puppies, because he was unable to find them homes. Apparently, turning the puppies over to the shelter was out of the question. There can be a fee associated with turning animals in to shelters, but Bradford’s actions are not likely to be excused. While Bradford held one of the puppies, the puppy squirmed and its paw hit the trigger. How is that for instant karma? Bradford had already used the revolver to shoot three of the puppies, which were found in a shallow grave after authorities arrived. The other four puppies were unharmed.
As a Jacksonville criminal defense lawyer, I immediately began to think about possible defenses in this case if the puppy were to be charged with the shooting. For Mr. Bradford, I’m pretty sure that animal cruelty charges will likely stick, but based on the language found in Florida statute 828.12, there may be arguments to be made in his defense also. However, the puppy has a better case.
Self defense allows a person to respond to force with an appropriate amount of similar force. In this case, deadly force is being used against the puppies. The law will look to the reasonableness of responding to Bradford with deadly force. The shooting in this case undoubtedly will be justified where the puppy has observed Bradford fatally shoot three of his puppy brothers. In this instance, the puppy was reasonably in fear for its life. Self defense law allows a person to come to the defense of others, just as much as it allows for one to protect himself or herself. The puppy from this story managed to save four lives, one of those lives was his own, making him a hero in the eyes of many. If you or a loved have been charged with a crime or are under investigation for any offense, including gun related offenses, the Law Office of David M. Goldman, PLLC can help. We have experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers and Jacksonville gun lawyers on staff ready to put their experience to work for you. Call us today at (904) 685-1200 for a free initial consultation.