First off, I live in more or less inner-city Houston. It's a relatively nice neighborhood in the Heights, there are only a few non-English-speakers on my street, and none of the houses in the neighborhood are 'dark'. The neighbors directly across the street don't speak English, and always leave their front gate open. This wouldn't be THAT big of a deal, except that they have (well, had) a pit bull that looks to be around 180lbs that likes to run all over the neighborhood. I can't say whether or not he's friendly, as he's never approached me before today. I took off from work a little early, since it's been pretty slow today (what with it being the day after Christmas and all). As I'm pulling into my driveway, I notice that the neighbor's pit bull is, once again, running around the neighborhood. It sees my truck, and starts coming towards my house. I don't know why, but in the back of my mind I had a feeling that something bad was about to happen. I hop out of my truck, and head straight for my front door. I reach into my pocket, and realize 'fuck, my house keys are still in the truck'. I keep my truck key separate from the rest of my keys, because I hate carrying around a big chunk of keys in my pocket - I usually keep my big keyring in my backpack, or lock it in my glovebox, and just carry my truck key in my pocket. I head back to my truck, lean in, and out of the corner of my eye see the pit bull rounding the driver side rear of my truck. I grab my house keys, and at the same time slide my Smith & Wesson 9mm out of my console. I walk calmly back towards my front door (maybe 15 feet from my truck), and turn around as I get to the door. The dog is at the foot of my steps, approximately five feet away from me, snarling and growling and generally looking extremely unhappy. 'GET THE FUCK BACK!' I yell, and the dog lunges forward up the steps towards me. Without thinking, I raise the weapon and squeeze off one shot, aimed at the center of the dog's head. It yelps and falls back down the steps. Before it's done hitting the ground, my phone is out of my pocket dialing 911. "Yes, I have an emergency, I was just attacked by a very large pit bull on the porch of my own residence, and was forced to use a firearm to defend myself." I gave them my address, informed them that the firearm had been put back in a safe, secured location, and they told me that officers would be at my location shortly. I remained outside, and by now the neighbors had started walking out. One of them said that she'd seen the dog roaming around all day. My immediate next door neighbors (on my side of the street - the dog came from across the street) said that he'd heard me yell, and then heard the gunshot, and figured out what happened before he even came outside; he, too, had noticed the animal roaming around earlier today. The police arrived, and I stood in my driveway with both hands in the open where they could clearly see them. 'I am the complainant, I made the 911 call, and my weapon is unloaded and secured in a safe location away from my person.' The cops noticeably relaxed, and two of them came up and searched me. I then proceeded to explain exactly what happened, and they wrote all of it down. By this time a few more LEO's arrived, and began questioning the neighbors - all of whom told them exactly what happened. They heard me yell, and then shortly after they heard a single gunshot. They all acknowledged that the dog had been roaming around most of the day, and on multiple occasions prior. Upon questioning the owner of the dog, she informed the officers (in Spanish, because she didn't speak English) that 'The dog growls at people, but he just doesn't like white boys. He would never attack someone!' One of the officers remarked 'Well, he definitely won't be attacking anyone now.' The officer in charge walked over to me, informed me that I'd done nothing wrong and had nothing to worry about, and that they needed my weapon in order to record the serial number. I informed them that the weapon was in the center console of my vehicle, and that there is a loaded clip in it but there is not a round in the chamber. They opened my door, took out the weapon, ejected the clip, and wrote down the serial number. They then reinserted the clip and put the firearm back in my center console. Another of the officers informed me that they had just talked to the DA, and that no charges would be brought against me; additionally, the neighbor was being issued a citation for failing to control an animal. Personally, I thought this was a bit excessive; I mean, I just shot and killed their dog on the day after Christmas, in front of her and her kids...but on the other hand, if she had properly cared for the dog and kept him under control in the first place, none of this would have happened. The officer in charge told me again that I had absolutely nothing to worry about, that I was completely in the right, and that if the same scenario happened again that I should respond the exact same way. He wrote down the cause number for me, and told me that if I had any trouble at all that I was to contact them immediately, and for me to not hesitate to do anything that I deemed necessary to protect myself. I gotta say, in all of my run-ins with HPD, the officers were absolutely polite and courteous, and handled the situation surprisingly well - I fully expected them to be on edge, considering a firearm had been discharged in a residential neighborhood in inner Houston...but they were extremely professional. I did what I had to do; and while I feel bad for killing an animal, I'd much rather it be the victim than me. I am a bit nervous to see if they retaliate in any way (to my knowledge, the husband/dad isn't home yet - although I've never seen him up close or talked to ANY of that particular household in person); however should they attempt anything less than honorable to get back at me I guarantee that I won't hesitate to do everything in my legal power to ensure the safety of myself and my belongings. Part of me considered going to the animal shelter and paying the $150 adoption fee, and getting them another puppy; although I think at this point, I should just avoid any confrontation at all.