My dog potentially broke a puppy's leg in the park today...

(33 Posts)
LostInTheTriangle Tue 29-Apr-14 21:30:31

I have a bouncy yellow Lab who is 2 years old and very friendly. She plays with a number of dogs in our local park, both older and younger, without problems.

However, this morning during her walk, we met a 16 week Husky cross puppy who fell awkwardly when they were playing. Both dogs were off-lead. The Husky immediately cried and continued crying (it was awful) as his owner left the park to take him to the vets.

The owner acknowledged in the presence of other walkers that it had been an accident, but was understandably upset and cross with me. She asked for my number and called earlier this afternoon to tell me that the leg is either fractured or broken and that she would be in touch.

I feel sick for the poor puppy and the inconvenience and stress this has caused the owner.

Does anyone have experience of this happening/ what is normal re: paying her vet's bill in this instance? Our third party liability insurance has a £250 excess. What if she is uninsured? Do I pay the total bill? If she's insured should I pay her excess without admitting liability? My insurance company advised me to not admit liability and see what she says moving forward.

I am so stressed about this. Advice or experiences would be appreciated. It was an accident and my dog did not act at all aggressively. What would you do in my place?

Thanks for reading x

VetNurse Tue 29-Apr-14 21:45:27

I don't see how this is your fault. Her dog was off lead and she allowed it to play with your dog. If your dog had attacked her dog then maybe but it was an accident. It's a risk she took and is a good example of why insurance is important.

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 29-Apr-14 21:46:43

The dogs were playing.

You did nothing wrong.

I would ignore her and tell her to do one.

Ephedra Tue 29-Apr-14 21:47:35

I don't see how it was your fault either.

I would contact your insurance company, they will be able to tell you where you stand I think.

LostInTheTriangle Tue 29-Apr-14 22:05:45

Thanks for your opinions. Interesting. Fanjo your post made me laugh for the first time today. I assumed I would be liable and think there's a large element of feeling guilty/bad for her puppy, but will stop panicking and see what she says. She told the lady who was also there (we walked home together) with that she is a first time dog owner. I really hope she is insured.

SpicyPear Tue 29-Apr-14 22:18:32

I don't think you are morally or legally responsibly. Just an unfortunate accident during play. Hopefully the other owner will realise that once the emotion of the situation has died down

FanjoForTheMammaries Tue 29-Apr-14 22:28:39

It is a shame for puppy. But just one of these things.

BrianTheMole Tue 29-Apr-14 22:32:20

I don't think you are liable as they were playing and both off lead. Had hers been on the lead it would be different. Can't you pass it over to the insurance companies to deal with, like you would with a car if someone is contesting its your fault? (I don't know how pet insurance works)

LynetteScavo Tue 29-Apr-14 22:32:36

It was an accident. The puppy owner allowed the puppy off the lead to play, so is 100% accountable IMO.

Needadvice5 Tue 29-Apr-14 22:38:15

I can understand that you're upset and feel guilty but definitely shouldn't pay anything!

The dogs were off their leads and it was an accident!

You really are not liable to pay for it!

hellymelly Tue 29-Apr-14 22:38:35

My puppy injured her knee playing with a larger bulldog puppy a couple of months ago. Both of them were on their leads, they were playing and the bulldog squashed my pup, who then emerged limping badly. She ended up needing a knee scan that cost £700. Luckily we are insured. In all honesty it would never have occurred to me that the other owner was at fault. Both pups were playing, sadly she got hurt but it was just an accident. I don't see how this is your fault. There was no aggression, the dogs were having fun, there is nothing to blame you for.

Gileswithachainsaw Tue 29-Apr-14 22:39:29

Your dog sounds lovely smile

I don't see how it's your fault. Puppy easily could have fallen whilst chasing a cat or a ball or playing with his owner.

Not your fault she didn't call back her puppy. Dogs play with dogs of different sizes all the time, it was jus an accident.

Plus puppies heal really quick I'm sure he will be playing again very very soon so please don't worry.

This isn't your fault at all and you shouldn't be liable for anything. If you've even give the woman a hint that you'll pay she's bound to jump all over it.

Dogs play, dogs get hurt. That's the way it is. There is no-one at fault here and the puppy's owner will just have to accept that

if she isn't insured, that is her fault not yours.

CQ Tue 29-Apr-14 22:42:44

Some people just always need to find someone to blame. And to foot the bill.

It was just an accident. Of course as a dog owner yourself you feel bad about it, but neither you nor your dog has done anything wrong.

Hopefully when she has calmed down she will see she's being irrational.

Do nothing, as your insurers have advised.

gilliangoof Tue 29-Apr-14 22:45:31

I don't know why she would phone you and tell you that she would be in touch. It does not sound like your fault at all. It's a pity you can't really ask her what she is keeping you informed for.

spiderlight Tue 29-Apr-14 22:48:01

Accidents happen! If your dog had attacked or bounced at an on-lead puppy it might be a different matter, but if they were both offlead and playing happily, I really don't see that you are liable in any way at all.

I hope the pup's OK and that the owner takes him out and does lots of positive socialising as soon as he's able.

laser4 Wed 30-Apr-14 07:24:04

That happened to me. I was the owner of a 4 month old collie who broke her shoulder. No way would i have blamed the other owner or sought money from them. Its life. It happens. Same as when kids play. Accidents happen. Hopefully the other owner was just traumatised and acted without thinking.

OnaPromise Wed 30-Apr-14 07:39:48

Absolutely agree with everyone else. There is no way this is your fault in the scenario as you have described it. I've a puppy of the same age and it wouldn't even have occurred to me that this was anything other than one of those things.

JKramer Wed 30-Apr-14 07:50:40

What if both were playing off lead. The play got aggressive and your dog was then badly attacked? Would you still hold the same view?

JKramer Wed 30-Apr-14 07:55:25

Or if your dog was playing in a group of other dogs and one of them turned? This happened to a previous dog of mine. When I asked for the other owner for the contribution towards the excess I was told where to go!!!!

basildonbond Wed 30-Apr-14 07:56:37

An injury caused by an attack, whether on or off lead, is completely different to one caused by boisterous play

My puppy hurt his foot during an energetic play session with some slightly older pups and it didn't occur to me to think their owners might be liable. However when he got attacked by a spaniel - both off-lead, not playing - the other dog's owner offered to pay for any vet's bills (thankfully not needed) - very different circumstances

MitchellMummy Wed 30-Apr-14 08:01:54

Agree that it was an accident. Guess she was standing watching the play session with you ... not asking for you to put your dog on a lead? Think it's down to the other owner to pay for her own dog's vet care.

Bloodyteenagers Wed 30-Apr-14 08:02:00

It was an accident. When accidents happen no-one is at fault. There is no point in comparing it to an attack. Two entirely different things.

Inkspellme Wed 30-Apr-14 08:06:56

when one of my dogs was a pup a neighbours dog attacked her and she had to have her leg amputated after pins did not work.

The neighbour paid the bill. came to just under a thousand euro. However, my pup was in the garden supervised. neighbours dog rushed in and grabbed the pup by the leg and swung her. It was an entirely different scenario than yours. You were both in a public place and you both chose to have your dogs off lead. I think insurance company would say its just an accident and you're not liable. I would ring them and see their reaction. Your dog did not attack the pup.

If the other person is claiming on their own insurance I would not be keen to pay excess. They have the insurance to pay vets fees if their dog is sick or has an accident. Thats what has happened.

Booboostoo Wed 30-Apr-14 10:47:06

Details matter. This was an accident between two dogs playing so not your fault. Had your dog attached a puppy on a lead, or broken into someone's garden to attack their dog you would have been at fault, but what you describe is an unfortunate accident.

The other owner sounds like a numpty purely for getting a Husky for a first time dog!

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