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neighbours dog has badly damaged our rabbit hutch.

(11 Posts)
Lindy2 Tue 11-Nov-14 21:29:16

I'm really not sure how to handle this. A dog from the road next to us has got into our garden and has tried to get to our 2 pet rabbits. Basically it has tried to chew its way in through the doors and then literally tried to eat through the wood side panel to get to them whilst the poor bunnies hid inside the enclosed sleeping section.
The rabbits seem OK. They have not been injured although I am worried about shock setting in. The hutch is a real mess though. It looks like someone has attacked it with a hatchet. The doors do still shut but it is a mess. It was 2 years old and in good condition before this. It all happened in the space of 10 minutes so he must have been going crazy trying to get to them.
It was too dark to see at first what had happened and my neighbour was struggling to get the dog out of the house. She could see the pieces of wood in his mouth though so knew what he had been doing and said to let her know if there were any problems when I had been able to check. I think we were both thinking dead rabbits which thankfully isn't the case.
They are coming round tomorrow to look at the damage. I think they think it will be repairable. We really don't think it can be fixed.
WWYD though. My feeling is that they owe us a new hutch. Rabbit hutches are expensive though. This hutch costs £179 as it is quite big. I feel awkward asking for someone to pay that but I also feel that if a dog is escaped and out of control the owner has to take responsibility. It could have been a lot worse really but I am frankly quite pissed off that this has happened.

AddToBasket Tue 11-Nov-14 21:32:59

OK, you need to separate out the issues.

1) Do you need a new rabbit hutch? How is the cost going to be worked out?
2) What can be done to stop this happening again?
3) How to make sure you keep on good terms with the neighbours?

GloriousGloria Tue 11-Nov-14 21:33:07

Would you accept them replacing it with a second hand one?

I understand your plight but at this time of year £179 is a lot of money.

Unless their insurance covers it of course

cathpip Tue 11-Nov-14 21:34:27

If this had been my dog I would be fully prepared to replace the hutch, and yes I'm aware of how expensive they are. Don't feel awkward, her dog escaped and was out of control and damaged your property end off. Hope your rabbits are ok.

AddToBasket Tue 11-Nov-14 21:47:05

I'm not sure that legally they have to replace the old one with a new one. In fact, I think that they won't. OP, what is the situation tonight? Are the rabbits in there?

Lindy2 Tue 11-Nov-14 21:59:37

The rabbits are still in there and it is still a useable hutch but not as strong as before and it is a mess of sharp splintered wood. I guess similar to someone putting a big dent in your car door. The door still works but is a mess and not like it was before.
It is a lot of money and if they could get a comparable hutch second hand I would settle for that but I'm not sure how likely that would be.
I want to keep it amicable obviously but basically if they don't replace it we will have to really. It is too damaged and would not hold up to another attack like that. Someone is going to end up out of pocket on this and we can't really afford it either.
The dog has escaped before but for into the garden next to us that time and had to be rescued from a big bramble patch.

AddToBasket Tue 11-Nov-14 22:05:38

Do you know if they have pet insurance? If so, they can claim on it but may need to pay the excess.

They should recompense you for damage but that won't be the whole cost of a new hutch unless it is unuseable. For example, if it is now no longer safe for small children to take care of their pets due to splinters.

Think carefully about what you want. Not just new hutch but also about dog control and about how you want this to play out with neighbours. Are they likely to live nearby for a while? If so, be careful not to blow your top!

Lindy2 Tue 11-Nov-14 22:34:52

I'll ask them about pet insurance. Our house insurance covers the garden but the excess would be more than a new hutch.
I'm hoping they look at it and come up with a solution themselves. I'm happy for them to even have a go at fixing it if they think they can.
In these roads people stay neighbours for decades so I'm not going to fall out with them. Hopefully they feel the same.
I'm just fed up that we now have this hassle and awkwardness. The rabbits seem fine though thankfully. I've been out and checked and they haven't keeled over from shock. I didn't realise how fond I actually am if them until now.

Lindy2 Wed 12-Nov-14 15:01:47

Quick update - my neighbour has been to look at the hutch. He was very nice and very apologetic and has already gone and ordered a new hutch from the pet shop. No issues at all.

Sunna Wed 12-Nov-14 15:06:00

Good news.

BOFster Wed 12-Nov-14 15:08:18

Thank goodness for sensible neighbours! Hope your pets are ok.

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