You can get other things for protection. You don't really need a gun. Things like pepper spray might actually be much more effective in a lot of scenarios.
That's a dumb thing to say. A .22 is much cheaper than a dog. A dog takes much more time and effort as well. I have a small dog. I don't want another dog. A gun is a much more effective tool for keeping raccoons and ground hogs under control. It's either shoot them in the trap or drop the trap in a barrel full of water. Shooting them is much more humane.