My dog was attacked - WWYD re other owner + vet bills?

(51 Posts)
MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 09-Mar-13 18:43:25

My poor, lovely dog got attacked today. He was on the lead, minding his own business when another dog ran up and went for him. It happened so fast.

The other owner had no control over his dog. As his dog was biting mine, he couldn't get hold of her; she kept running off and coming back for more. We both ended up on the ground as my dog, trying to get away from his had tangled us all up in the lead.

We managed to swap numbers and he said he'd pay vet's bills.

My dog has a large chunk out of his shoulder and has needed internal and external stitching. He has a large area of deep bruising where, if the worst case scenario happens, he'll need a skin graft. He's still at the vet; we might not be able to pick him up today. He'll need to return to the local vet on Monday and Friday and to the hospital in 10 days time, most of which we'll have to take time off work for and arrange childcare.

The first vet bill comes to £470. It will cost us more in checkups etc, never mind the potential skin graft. I called the other dog's owner with this figure. He is saying we should get the insurance to pay and he'll pay the excess which is about £150.

I want him to pay the full £470. I'm furious; our dog's a rescue, who had a hard life before he came to us and was just starting to be socialised with other dogs. This will set him back no end, as well as being horribly traumatic for him and us. I thank God the DCs weren't with me when it happened.

I'm feeling quite emotional and still teary about it all. Is this clouding my judgement? AIBU to expect him to pay?


Uppermid Sat 09-Mar-13 18:47:48

I would be contacting the police about his out of control dog as well as claiming the vets bills from him. And why should your premiums shoot up because his dog attacked yours. No, he needs to pay full amount

HDEE Sat 09-Mar-13 18:47:51

Yes, claim on the insurance.

newpup Sat 09-Mar-13 18:55:11

I am sorry. My lovely lab was attacked by a huge aggressive dog 2 years ago, the owner just stood and screamed and my dog was on the lead too. I still have nightmares. I am not sure where you stand legally but suspect you would have to take the owner to small claims court to force him to pay anything if he refuses. Have you reported him to the the local dog warden, you have his details. Our local warden visited the owner of the dog who attacked mine to talk to them about training the dog and made a written report in case of future instances. I know in the long term this is not particularly helpful but it made me feel that I had done something towards it not happening again. Hope you both feel better soon.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 09-Mar-13 18:56:44

We've just been paid - I'm going to pay it up front when we get him (hopefully tonight, probably tomorrow) so we have a little more time to think about our options. I'm worried about our premium, yes. I need to look into that, about whether or not it goes up if you claim for an attack. I don't think we have a leg to stand on, legally though.

I am extremely pissed off. I hope he's home tonight. That other dog's all comfy and fed with her owners at home and he's in a hospital cage through no fault of his own.

What would make you claim on the insurance HDEE ? I genuinely want to know, not being aggro.

newpup Sat 09-Mar-13 18:57:26

Also, forgot to add that the police will not be interested in a dog on dog attack.

getoffthecoffeetable Sat 09-Mar-13 18:57:26

The other bloke should claim on his insurance for the vet bill, it should cover if his dog attacks another one.
It's truly awful seeing your dog attacked. Ours was attacked a few years ago. Bloke said he'd pay vet bills but I didn't want anything from him.
I avoid other dogs now when out walking.
Hope that your dog is soon feeling better and will be back home with you x

TheChaoGoesMu Sat 09-Mar-13 18:58:18

Have you contacted the police?

i presume your insurance premiums will go up if you claim? If so I would want him to pay the lot.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 09-Mar-13 18:58:22

Thanks for getting back all of you. I should report it, shouldn't I.

getoffthecoffeetable Sat 09-Mar-13 18:59:01

You should still report the dog too - although the police weren't remotely interested when I reported.

HairyPotter Sat 09-Mar-13 18:59:25

Your poor dog sad I hope he feels better soon. It must have been terrifying to see that. I really hope the other owner has given you his correct number though. Sorry, I'm a cynic. It wouldn't surprise me if he had 'written it down incorrectly' I hope I'm wrong.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 09-Mar-13 18:59:36

He said he had 3rd party insurance. That must be the way forward then; make him pay then he can sort it out himself with his company.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 09-Mar-13 19:00:33

Yes Hairy he's done the right thing and stayed in touch. I went straight to the vet after it happened and he'd called twice already by the time I was home.

HairyPotter Sat 09-Mar-13 19:04:00

That's great Betsy. That's one thing in his favour I suppose. Speedy recovery to you wee soul.

We've had the same thing happen to us. My lurcher was mauled by a collie and it cost us £100s to get her put back together.
The owner of the collie just shrugged and said 'what can you do?' before walking off so we never had a chance of getting the money back.
The police said it was a civil matter and weren't interested.
I would tell the owner of the other dog that you want him to pay in full, but be prepared to just get the excess out of him.

MagratGarlik Sat 09-Mar-13 19:07:09

I just posted on the pointy thread, which seems to have disappeared. Is it just my computer?

barefootwalker Sat 09-Mar-13 19:11:48

That must have been a horrid experience for you. I'm glad the owner has been good and stayed in touch but I do agree that you should report the dog in case of future attacks. I hope your dog is home soon and isn't too affected by the whole experience in the future.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 09-Mar-13 19:25:19

I can see the pointy thread Magrat .

I've been really, really calm and personable with the other owner up until now and I'm glad he's stayed in touch. He was shaken too. I did get shirty with him during the last call though when he started suggesting we claim.

Thanks all. thanks

DeepRedBetty Sat 09-Mar-13 19:30:10

Betsey it may be that your insurers will claim from his. I think you should talk informally to yours.

mercibucket Sat 09-Mar-13 19:33:04

Poor doggie sad
Does the man mean you should claim on his insurance and then he will pay the excess? That is probably the best option. Ask for his insurance details and phone the company asap

mercibucket Sat 09-Mar-13 19:33:04

Poor doggie sad
Does the man mean you should claim on his insurance and then he will pay the excess? That is probably the best option. Ask for his insurance details and phone the company asap

I don't have anything useful to add but just wanted to add that I feel so sorry for your poor lovely rescue dog. And for you of course.

Shitty crappy owners.

I really hope he's ok.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 09-Mar-13 19:39:04

I think he means that we should claim on ours and then he will pay our excess. I don't want to claim on ours at all - I need his insurance details, don't I.

The vet hospital said that they can't deal with him directly at all - our two payment options to them are either to claim directly from our insurer or pay up front ourselves.

RedwingWinter Sat 09-Mar-13 20:19:15

MIssBetsey, I'm really sorry this happened to your dog. I hope he can come home tonight and gets well soon. I think the man should be claiming on his insurance for it, though I've never been in this situation so don't know how it works. Well done for staying calm and I'm glad he gave you his number. I agree with the others who say you should report it. I hope your dog is okay.

HDEE Sat 09-Mar-13 20:23:21

I'd claim off my own insurance and get the excess back off him, because quite honestly your bill could end up running close to £1000. It obviously wasn't your fault, but if this had happened to me (if my dog was the attacker) I wouldn't be able to afford to pay you that, even though its my fault. I'd have no choice but to tell you to take me to court, but even they can't get blood out of a stone.

LtEveDallas Sat 09-Mar-13 20:34:23

I wouldn't be able to afford to pay you that, even though its my fault

I hope you haven't got a dog in that case HDEE. If you cannot afford to fully insure your dog with third party and public liability cover then you shouldn't own a dog.

MissBetsey, I'm so sorry for your poor dog, I hope he's home soon and not too traumatised sad. The other owner should absolutely claim off his own insurance if he cannot afford to pay your bill out of his own pocket.

The dog needs to be reported, even though the police won't actually be that interested. If not the police then your local dog warden.

If I was you I would call my own insurance, tell them what has happened and get all the info you need to pass on to the other owner. Don't let him bluster or play you for sympathy. He is at fault (I fully blame the owner not the dog) and he should pay.

HDEE Sat 09-Mar-13 20:51:30

So what do you suggest I do with my dog who we could well afford when we bought him?

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 09-Mar-13 20:53:24

Our local dog warden is a total legend. He does his absolute best for the dogs unlucky enough to end up in the pound. We know him from walking the dog - he's out in all weathers with about 5 dogs (normally staffies and staffie x s) taking them for a good walk. I'm going to call him Monday and see what he can do for us.

We're going to pay up front tonight but then, if the other owner slips off the radar, we can still claim from our insurer.

Anyway, best go now and get the poor hound. He's getting some serious pampering tomorrow. Even chicken livers.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sat 09-Mar-13 20:54:28

And in the meantime, I'll call my insurer tomorrow so when I speak to his I've got my facts straight.

Thanks again Doghouse.


kitsmummy Sun 10-Mar-13 11:50:25

I'd speak to your insurers as I actually wouldn't expect your premiums to go up because of an attack claim (it would obviously be a different matter if it were an illness claim).

I would just claim on my own insurance and get the excess from him - it's a bit shit for you if your premiums do go up but hopefully they won't. It's the same when you have a car accident - I was driven in to, the other party accepted liability and we claimed on their insurance but my premiums will still go up for the next 5 years just because i've been involved in an accident.

It's crap but if he won't/can't claim on his insurance just claim on yours and tell yourself that it could have been worse - eg you may not have had insurance/he may have refused to give you his details/your dog may have died - it could have been worse.

Goldmandra Sun 10-Mar-13 14:43:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DeepRedBetty Sun 10-Mar-13 14:49:04

How is Poor Hound today?

twirlyagogo Sun 10-Mar-13 14:58:00

I hope your poor dog is much better today and back home with you.

I have to admit I have no insurance. My dog was attacked at the end of last year and I did wonder about it then as the owner of other dogs never made any offer to pay vet bills and I was a bit shock and thought about the fact that I would automatically have done so if the position had been reversed.

Anyway, I would really appreciate advice on where is best for insurance - there seem so many options. I'm only looking for 3rd party and public liability as the ones for vet's bills seems to exclude most things, but I really do think I should be covered 'just in case.' Thank you!

Floralnomad Sun 10-Mar-13 16:30:01

twirly I have a basic direct line policy and it only costs about £11 a month .

twirlyagogo Sun 10-Mar-13 16:50:04

Do you mind me asking you what that covers you for Floralnomad?

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 10-Mar-13 16:52:26

A similar incident happened in our street. A beautiful lhaso attavked by an out of control off the lead rottie opened by a man too frail to control him

He was taken to court and made to pay a bets bill of £1,800 plus fined nearly £300 by the court so its worth pursuing even if at first the council/police claim they can't do anything.

He should claim off his insurance if he has any, not yours.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 10-Mar-13 16:55:43

He was prosecuted under the dangerous dogs act and sn order was made about who was allowed to walk the dog and muzzling.

Picturesinthefirelight Sun 10-Mar-13 16:56:59

Bailiffs can usually find sone blood somewhere on the stone though done people do declare themselves bankrupt to Vpud paying court judgments.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 10-Mar-13 17:01:20

He's home now thanks Betty - we picked him up about 9 last night. He's been in in the warm all day, with a couple of very short walks. He's been miserable on the walks. We bumped into a family he's met before and been friendly with - the father went to stroke him and he flinched and jumped away as though he'd been hit.

It looks awful - stitched up about 3 inches and lots of bruising. 5 or 6 other puncture marks around his throat. It could have been much worse though, especially if it had gone through the jugular. He's by the fire watching Star Wars with the DSs. He seems to like the Ewoks. confused

Goldmandra how awful for you to have to go through all that, especially with your DD.

kitsmummy there are definitely elements of this I have to let go, you're right. I just feel vengeful at the moment, hence my OP. If this owner has to pay, he might think twice before letting his dog off the lead again. A dog that has gone, repeatedly, for another dog needs care taking over how it is exercised in public and I just feel that if he's had to part with £463 up front (even if he's reimbursed by his insurance). Ours was poorly socialised when we got him and we kept him on the lead and muzzled for a long time because we couldn't trust him. I don't trust this owner will take those precautions as his attitude has been 'well she's never done it before, I just can't believe she did it.' Sorry, that went a bit ranty. Didn't mean it to iykwim. And we might end up having to claim by our insurance if he disappears anyway.

twirly we're with PetPlan. We got a month of free insurance with them when we adopted him and they've always paid up (he ate a packet of Garibaldi biscuits last summer). They also have a relationship with our vet which makes things easy.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 10-Mar-13 17:02:24

That all sounds very unpleasant Pictures - how horrible. sad

QOD Sun 10-Mar-13 17:02:50

When you ring your ins co, withhold your number by dialling 1471 first, name your plan TYPE ie silver dogs plan blah blah.

Some insurance companies hold incidences against you even if you don't claim .....

Little realised fact that.

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 10-Mar-13 17:06:14

Thanks QOD - I had no idea!

Merrylegs Sun 10-Mar-13 17:08:48

My dog was pinned down and attacked when he was a puppy by an ex racing greyhound. Deep wounds in neck and the vet said he was lucky to have escaped alive.

The greyhound owner said 'oh sorry, I usually walk him with a muzzle but I forgot today.'

Anyway, we did it all through our insurance. The other owner paid our excess and our premiums didn't go up.

Hullygully Sun 10-Mar-13 17:10:30

The police will help. I went to them when mine was attacked and after I went back the second time (persistent) they visited the man. You can have him taken to court, but the only way to do that is to NOT sign the agreement form the poice produce which says it's all sorted. Choose to have him taken to court.

QOD Sun 10-Mar-13 17:10:30

No worries, just while you're deciding what to do, then if you do claim, obviously do tell them!!

Just say you want to ask a general question about such and such plan and you don't want to give your details

Merrylegs Sun 10-Mar-13 17:17:42

(In fact it has happened twice to my dog. Both completely unprovoked attacks.

We paid the vets bills through our insurance the second time too but this time the owner didn't pay up so we had to stump up for the excess also.

But again our premiums stayed the same. We weren't penalised at all.)

MissBetseyTrotwood Sun 10-Mar-13 20:13:47

Merrylegs - your poor dog. It's good to hear your premiums didn't go up. I'm going to call my company from work tomorrow morning - thought I'd leave it until Monday when I can be sure the whole staff's in iykwim.

Hullygully I'm glad the police took it seriously and eventually visited the owner. I don't think I have the appetite to take things to court at the moment but I am going to report it to the dog warden too.

Merrylegs Sun 10-Mar-13 21:25:27

(I meant to add I wasn't putting a downer on rescue greys - just explaining the circumstances. My boy is also a pointy and unfortunately when they get bitten they do suffer as their skin is so delicate. They really bleed! Hope your dog feeling brighter today, Betsy)

QuietTiger Mon 11-Mar-13 18:31:33

It would be worth explaining to your insurance what happened. At the very least, they may be able to chase him for the costs if they have to pay out.

Hangingoninthere Mon 11-Mar-13 18:44:42

No personal experience but have heard from others that the police are more likely to do something if you stress your emotional distress not just your dogs injuries as attack / fear of attack on a person comes under dangerous dogs act whereas attacking another dog doesn't.

MissBetseyTrotwood Mon 11-Mar-13 19:25:08

Ha ha Merrylegs - yes, my chap is one! Mine has his ishoos and that's why we've been so cautious with him when out and about. He doesn't actually think he's a dog, that's the main problem! And yes, their skin is very delicate so they tear easily. He's much brighter today. He even tried to get into the bin this morning so things are getting back to normal.

We have the other owner's insurance details now QuietTiger so if he doesn't end up paying and we have to claim, they can chase him through his company.

I'm just so glad my DCs weren't there Hangingon - they'd have been so distressed and the thought that they might have tried to get involved and ended up being bitten themselves makes me feel very uneasy.

Our insurance company were pretty non committal about the whole thing - they said they'd only consider the case if we were to claim and couldn't guarantee our premium wouldn't go up but that it 'seemed unlikely'. I made sure they had no details of our case. They were quite unwilling to speak hypothetically though. I also left a message on the dog warden's phone.

He's back to the vet tomorrow for a check up. Got a very affectionate and energetic greeting when I got in from a spectacularly crappy day at work so that was lovely. smile

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