I'll admit that the ADN headline is a little misleading. The dog didn't get shot for stealing hot dogs. The dog got shot because it came back, potentially aggressively. The ADN mentions that it was preggers, but it doens't mention that female black labs are 55-71 lbs. They are fairly large animals. Not everyone likes or is comfortable with dogs and a 70 lb animal can be intimidating.
It is worth noting that the defense of life and property provisions don't even allow you to shoot a grizzly rummaging through your meat cache on a hunting trip. You certainly couldn't shoot a dog in a crowded campground for running off with a frank as the ADN implies. However, you could shoot it if you were legitimately in fear of bodily injury.
However, I think there are a few things to think about here.
- Know your target and what is behind it. Campgrounds are full of families, kids, tents, and RVs. That is not a good place to employ a firearm unless you are in fear of grave bodily injury or death, because the consequences of employing the firearm (hitting a kid) might be worse than the consequences of being used as a chew toy. Especially a gun that probably suffers from excessive penetration against non-grizzly targets like a .50 cal revolver.
- Warning shots are often a bad idea. The man said he fired in the direction of the dog, not necessarily at it, but still hit it. This raises lots of problems with knowing your target. Stray bullets will come to rest somewhere. In my opinion, if you fire your defensive weapon you should almost always be shooting to stop or disable, not to warn. I can see some possible exceptions to scare off a curious animal in the deep woods, but I think you can accomplish that by shouting or with bear spray.
- Bear Spray is often a good idea. Some altercations allow for a less-than-lethal or non-lethal approach to be taken. In this situation, a squirt from the bear spray would almost certainly have caused that dog to tuck its tail between its legs and run with no danger of hurting a fellow camper.
I'm sure that Gwen will pick this one up so I'll just tag this with GASG.