Neighbour's dog attacked our dog and they don't seem to want to cover the vet's bill... Any thoughts/advice?

(19 Posts)
MonChoufleur123 Thu 07-Feb-19 09:22:17

Was walking home with our dog last weekend when spotted a dog coming out of the side road who I know our dog doesn't get on with (our dog can be reactive to other dogs when on the lead and they have growled at each other in the past). Crossed over to avoid them, they crossed too. Stopped and waited til they went past. They walked off up the road but their dog somehow wriggled out of its harness/ collar, ran back up the road and attacked our dog. He's walked in a muzzle and was on the lead so couldn't react. He's been left with three bite wounds on his leg. An emergency trip to the vet's has cost £200! I've been over to the owner's house and given them a copy of the vet's bill and (very politely) said given the circumstances we feel you should really pay it. They said 'leave it with us'... Then nothing since. How long do we leave it? Should we go back over this weekend? Contact a solicitor? Police?
Advice appreciated!

OP’s posts: |
Knowivedonewrong Thu 07-Feb-19 10:09:31

I would go and speak to them again and contact your local dog warden, regarding the dog.

adaline Thu 07-Feb-19 12:21:20

When did you last speak to them? I would give it until the weekend and go and ask again if you don't hear from them beforehand.

I'm sorry about your dog flowers

catndogslife Thu 07-Feb-19 12:28:20

Sorry to hear this.
Contact your local dog warden with their details and your account of what happened. They can be issued with a control order to ensure their dog is muzzled and kept under control.
Dog on dog attacks aren't a police matter (unless your dog is an assistance dog or guide dog). It would be a civil matter not criminal if that makes sense.
Is your dog insured?

IdaDown Thu 07-Feb-19 12:31:56

Send another copy of the bill with a covering letter giving them 7 days to pay. Include your bank details for a transfer.

Add if they don’t pay you’ll escalate to the small claims court.

It’s easy to do. Keep a record of the 2 times asked for payment. Get vet notes re treatment. That yours is walked with a muzzle, on lead etc...

Report attack to dog warden.

ColdCottage Thu 07-Feb-19 12:50:47

This is why people have pet insurance. As I understand it you are libel if your pet causes damage to others/property etc

Jaxhog Thu 07-Feb-19 12:54:58

I would go and speak to them again and contact your local dog warden, regarding the dog.

This. Their dog was out of control, so their fault. Give them 5 days to pay, or you take it to court.


Shambolical1 Thu 07-Feb-19 18:10:42

This is why people have pet insurance. As I understand it you are libel if your pet causes damage to others/property etc

With regard to public liability, pet insurance is very, very unlikely to pay out unless liability has been proven in court (and many will have wriggle-room exclusions regarding dogs which are or have been 'aggressive' or 'vicious').

I would imagine the owners of the attacking dog are finding this out now, if they didn't know before. The law regarding dog-on-dog incidents is very vague and woolly, some police forces will act and some won't. If the owners of the attacking dog won't pay out then civil action is more likely to work, or the OP could come to an agreement with the other owners to pay the excess and claim off their own pet insurance.

MonChoufleur123 Thu 07-Feb-19 18:59:03

Thanks all for your advice. We don't have insurance for our dog - I don't know if the neighbours do.
This is so awkward! I don't want to fall out with them but I just can't understand why they've not been over with a cheque or cash or anything - if it was our dog I'd be mortified and keen to maintain a good relationship - we only live in a small village.
I think I'll leave them another day's grace and if they've not been over by Saturday will go back again - a written note is a good idea, thank you. Will update on what happens!

OP’s posts: |
adaline Thu 07-Feb-19 18:59:46

* We don't have insurance for our dog - I don't know if the neighbours do.*

Why on earth isn't your dog insured?!

Perch Thu 07-Feb-19 19:02:55

You really need to have pet insurance! Very irresponsible imo.

JacquettaW Thu 07-Feb-19 19:06:53

@catndogslife I don't know whether that's true about it not being a police matter. My cousin's dog was attacked in the park, costing a lot of money at the vets. Police were contacted and it went to court, the owner of the other dog had to pay the vet bills.

Don't remember all the details but the dog had previous form for attacking other dogs

I may be wrong though

Raindancer411 Thu 07-Feb-19 19:09:44

Perch - It's not irresponsible to not have insurance. I asked an emergency vet what was best (putting money aside or an insurance) and she said both are much the same depending on limits etc. I have never had it but put money aside myself

JonestheMail Thu 07-Feb-19 19:17:41

Agree you can self-insure for your own vets bills (and I also do this) but it is a good idea to have third party liability insurance in case your dog bites another dog or causes an accident eg by running into the road or tripping someone up.

If you join Dogs Trust for £25 a year, which also has the benefit of giving funds to a dog charity, they insure all the dogs in your household with no need for any additional premium. Seems like a no brainer to me.

Boxlikeahare Thu 07-Feb-19 19:23:50

You really need to have pet insurance! Very irresponsible imo.

What rubbish, why do you consider it irresponsible?

Most household insurance policies cover legal liabilities to third parties subject to an exclusion along the lines of ...

We do not cover your liability arising out of any animal other than horses, cats or dogs which are not labelled as ‘specially controlled dogs’ under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 or any similar or successor legislation;

So if I have enough money to pay my vets bills and I don’t have an animal listed under the DDA why would not insuring be irresponsible exactly?

catndogslife Fri 08-Feb-19 10:27:04

Perhaps they are assuming that you have insurance that will cover the bill.
There are some differences in policy for this type of issue for different areas e.g. local by-laws / dog control notices. However your first port of call is the dog warden who will know what policies apply in your locality.

eastwestnorth Fri 08-Feb-19 10:47:17

Even if you had insurance, why should they expect you to pay?
My dog was bitten by another dog. By the time I got to the vet the owner had already phoned requesting all bills to be sent to her. That's what decent people do.

I'm another who doesn't have pet insurance, though I do have the Dogs Trust membership mentioned above. My dogs have all been from rehoming centres and are usually older. I keep enough money to have them treated as much as they need. Totally responsible.

MonChoufleur123 Fri 08-Feb-19 10:55:31

We also put money aside each month for doggo rather than paying for insurance so could afford the vet's bill but I'd like to get that back! The Dogs Trust thing sounds interesting though I'll look in to that.
I'm working from home today so the neighbours have one more day to come over and pay otherwise I'll be going back up the road to theirs with a letter requesting payment!

OP’s posts: |
ChrisPrattsFace Fri 08-Feb-19 11:11:00

I’m impressed your vets only cost £200. Bargain 😂

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