There was no other way for that character at that moment to deal with the situation. The "Superman would have thought of..." crits really consist of "the real
Superman would have..." and the fact is that there neither is a real Superman nor has he been consistently written in the comics for seventy-odd years in a way that would satisfy the folks criticizing this movie.
I felt mainly empathy for Clark at having to put down the mad dog, and a little gratitude that Lois was there to support him.
In any event, the Donner movie was a mediocre Hollywood attempt at an "epic" that's redeemed mainly by Reeve's performance - very shakily supported by a script that takes nothing seriously. Man Of Steel
is a far superior film in every respect.