Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Whoever is shooting their gun near my house, you're scaring my dogs!

You know how all the dog lovers complain about people shooting off fireworks for days after Fourth of July?

How about gunfire, or something that sure sounds like it?

Today, I was in the shower when I heard a loud bang. It sounded like someone hammering into a block, I thought.  The dogs started barking like mad. Then I heard it again and again. Through my glass shower door I started to see Jasmine pacing. I know from reading about rescue dogs that pacing is a sign of anxiety. I finish my shower.

I hear the bangs again. That's not someone hammering next door.

Since I moved into this house, every once in a while, between 9 and 10 in the morning during the week, I hear a series of shots. To me, it sounds like someone firing off a gun. Whether it's someone with some Red Ryder BB Gun or someone with a .22 or someone with a shotgun I don't know.

Or maybe it's a nail gun. Like a super-powered nail gun. I dunno. Here's what I do know.

Lulu has, at least outwardly, recovered.

Jasmine, on the other hand, is no where to be found. The doors are all closed, the gate is still up on the other side of the house. No windows are open or broken. She's not in the living room, the kitchen, the dining room, not in her crate. So I decide to try a hunch. I get my camera, attach it to the monopole, lay on my bed and start taking pictures underneath.

I find her.

This dog has long, long legs. She was able to fold herself up and get herself under my bed, and on the other side where it's not too easy to get around.

And she would not come out.

I called the sheriff's office, but what are they supposed to do? I don't have proof it ever happened. No one is home. I think the noise is coming from the street behind me, but where?

And here's the thing -- if it is gunshots, in Florida, the cops may not even be able to do anything!

A law on the books since 1987 pretty much allows Floridians to shoot guns on their own property with few restrictions (Florida statute 790.15). A man in Big Pine Key, Florida discovered this last January and started target practice in his backyard.

And then, in 2011, lawmakers added teeth by prohibiting local lawmakers from restricting gun use on private property. Local leaders can be fined or even removed from office.

Now if you're on a 10 acre farm, fine, have at it. But if you're in a dense residential area, like a subdivision, NO! That should not be allowed. But apparently the lobbyist behind the NRA in Florida has pictures of all the lawmakers playing golf with Satan or something, because crazier and crazier pro-gun laws are being approved in this state.

By the way, that lobbyist, Marion Hammer, also represents the groups that killed a proposal to require shelters spay and neuter animals and provide state funding to make spaying and neutering cheaper for people -- you know, the local kennel clubs and the Sportsmen's Associations.

I get the Second Amendment, I do. I get why people own guns. I don't like it, but I get it, and it's your right. But at some point I have to be allowed the right to live a life without worrying if I'm going to get hit with a stray bullet in my backyard, and my dog shouldn't have to do this all the time.

Have your guns, but lets be safe about it, huh? Take that crap to a gun range and stop scaring me and my dogs!


  1. Near me they shoot round the clock, and since everyone near me is related, complaints apart from doing nothing to stop the shooting would only cause strife with the neighbors. It's sad because we want to get a rescue but I know this is not a good environment for most rescues.

    1. See, it bothers me that someone's right to do what they want on their property can affect what you can do. You should be able to have peace in your home.

  2. I have to agree with you! I'm all for gun rights, but some people abuse those rights. A neighborhood is NOT the place to be firing a gun. I'm pretty sure my smaller dog, Bentley, would be pretty upset by gunfire as well. Actually, I'D be pretty upset, even if I didn't have dogs!

    1. The first time I heard it I froze. It's infrequent. But it's so wrong.

  3. I'm lucky, because we live on a lot of land. People shoot around here (usually to scare a coyote away from their chickens) and it doesn't phase our dogs. It's not something I thought about - people seem to be responsible, stray bullets aren't flying across our property, no one has been hurt.

    But I live on a lot of land and the people around us have 3x or more land so we all have a nice buffer. In my little bubble or unreality, I would think that anyone who doesn't have a buffer would be more respectful - why do you need to shoot? It's dangerous and there are places to go where you can do it safely? The noise is annoying and jarring. And it's upsetting to animals and vets with PTSD. Why do you need to do it near your neighbors?

    I have no trouble with guns - how can I? I live with a cop and I have no trouble protecting my house and home - but I just wish that we were more respectful of one another.

    This post made me realize how lucky we truly are to live where we live. Even on the Fourth, all of our neighbors stopped fireworks around midnight.

    I'm sorry that you and you're dogs are dealing with this.

  4. I would think it would be a hazard to allow someone to shoot a gun in a residential area, those bullets travel!!

    Our state is so strict on gun control I don't think you could get away with that up here. There is on guy whose property borders the woods where we hike, (he owns ten acres) and he is allowed to hunt on that property because of the size, but I'm not sure if he can just shoot, like in target practice.

    1. Especially a dense residential area! We're not on top of each other but we are still pretty close.

  5. You have my sympathy. We live on 50 acres in a rural area. Let me tell you, gunshots are LOUD. Definitely loud enough to upset my dogs, especially Rudy. In addition, there's a military base not far away and they do practice flyovers. At some point in time, everyone in this area has the cracked windows to prove that those fliers need practice. And the noise? Upsets all the animals. You're not alone... but I know that misery doesn't really want company :-(

    1. My dad says they travel too. so it could be, like, another subdivision.

  6. I cannot believe this is legal and that you have to put up with it. Your poor dogs, as you said. How awful.

  7. The noise people generate is sometimes quite insane. Though, thankfully, it bothers me more than the dogs. Cookie heard gun shots only once but all she was was curious and wanted to go check it out. So I don't know whether I wouldn't prefer her being afraid ...


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