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To expect the dog owner to pay for damage?

76 replies

amynnixmum · 12/03/2007 17:37

My neighbours dog attacked my cat today and has hurt him. He was off the lead and they could not control him I don't know how badly hurt my cat is yet as the vet wasn't sure if his pain was due to shock and bruising or if he has some internal damage. I have to keep an eye on him today and take him back again first thing tomorrow for a checkup and possibly further treatment.

I went to see my neighbour when I got back from the vets and they knew it had attacked a acat and that it was mine but they hadn't told me. I wonder if they would have owned up at all if I hadn't seen it happen. He seemed embarrassed and said his wife would come to see me but she hasn't yet.

Does anyone know whether there are any laws about financial responsibility in cases like this? And even if they are not obliged in any legal sense am I unreasonable to expect them to at least pay 1/2 the vets fees? Any advice would be appreciated as obviously I have to get him treated poor cat but could really do without the extra expense right now.

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amynnixmum · 14/03/2007 20:25

Well I plucked up the courage and went round today. Only useless husband was in and first thing he said was xxx;s not here. i said i know but she didn't come to see me and I thought you all might like to know that my cat seemed ok and also we need to talk about the vets fees. At which point he grunted. So I said I would be grateful if he could ask her to come round and sort this out with me. He said he would and shut the door.

And yet again nothing. I know she's been back for hours and TBH I'm getting really pissed off now. Can't believe they haven't even got the decency to come and ask me how the cat is, never mind offering to pay the vets bills. Think I might ask them to pay the lot now

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Iota · 14/03/2007 20:50

amynnixmum am for you. I hope you can make them pay up -they are obviously trying to avoid it.

And hope your cat is doing ok

fireflyfairy2 · 14/03/2007 21:11

If you know their number, call them!!

Say the same to her as you did to him. And if she seems reluctant to pay the vets bill.. mention legal fees of having to sort it out through a solicitor. Though, one would hope it wouldn't come to that!

JustUsTwo · 14/03/2007 21:14

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JustUsTwo · 14/03/2007 21:16

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NurseyJo · 14/03/2007 21:22

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Caligula · 14/03/2007 21:31

I would see a solicitor.

There's no need to have good relations with these people, is there?

Freckle · 14/03/2007 21:37

Get your vets bills. Take copies and send them to your neighbours with a letter requesting that they reimburse you within 7 days. Put in the letter that, if they don't do this, you will very reluctantly be forced to take legal action to recover your losses.

Have you reported the dog to the police? Would your other neighbour with the baby support a complaint? Might make the owners a bit more responsible.

Iota · 15/03/2007 20:08

any news?

re the cat and the neighbours

amynnixmum · 16/03/2007 08:52

Wow I've only been off for a day and loads of responses - thanks

Sadly still no word from the neighbours. I am so rubbish at this sort of stuff that i had a sleepless night last night and have been awake scince 5.30 dreading having to go over again today. DH says he'll go but i think its better that i do it otherwise it looks like I can't deal with it myself and am calling in the heavies.

I am going to go down to the CAB today just to check my legal standing but from what people have said on here and what I could find on line it does seem that they are liable. I will then go over there later today when she gets back from work. I haven't been able to do this so far as DH has been working late and i can't leave ds in the house unsupervised even for a couple of minutes.

Wish me luck

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JustUsTwo · 16/03/2007 18:37

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amynnixmum · 16/03/2007 19:07

CAB were really nice and advised me to try and sort it out between us which is what I'd like. They did confirm that the neighbours are liable though which is what I really needed to know. They advised that since my previous 2 attempts at contact have been unsuccessful that i should write a letter. I have written a letter which is not threatening or overly officious basically stating that they are responsible and liable and that i want them to come to me so we can sort this out as i would rather avoid going down the official legal route as this would necesitate reporting the incident to the police and the dog warden. I said if I had not heard from them by midday on tuesday that i would be forced to seek further legal advice on how to proceed.

Hopefully this will do the job. I'll keep you updated.

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JustUsTwo · 16/03/2007 19:50

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amynnixmum · 17/03/2007 16:38

Well i didn't post it intil this morning in the end but it worked - she has just been to see me. She was not at all happy though and seemed to feel I was out of order for writing the letter. I said I'd been round twice to ask for her to come and see me and she said she had tried but I hadn't been in. However when i asked her when she said at 2 on thursday and since both me and dh were in at the time I know she's lying so TBH I don't think she came round at all.

She had underlined bits of the letter - she said as far as she was concerned it was a scrap between her dog and my cat and seemed to think that since my cat had scratched her dogs nose that I should therefore be responsible for that. I said that I had seen it out of the window and that the dog had chased my cat and caught him and that it was not "just a scrap"

She was angry about the lines mentioning informing the police and dog warden. I said that this wasn't what i wanted to do but that if we couldn't sort this out between us it would be necessary.

Basically she feels she is not responsible and that i am trying to extort money out of her. I explained that legally I could claim the full amount and that I was only asking for her to meet me 1/2 way.

Then Gladstone came up the path and she insisted on looking him over and commented that there was no obvious damage accept to his claws and a small mark on his tail. I explained that he had been in a lot of pain and had suffered bad bruising and trauma as a result of the attack but I could tell she thought I was making a fuss about nothing.

In the end we agreed that after I see the vet next week I will give her a copy of the vets bill detailing ALL the work done. She reckons that she's going to take her dog to the vets too - not sure what she hopes to achieve by that

She didn't say whether they would pay anything towards it so who knows what will happen. She seemed to think I was making it up about her being liable so I said she should seek legal advice as I had.

Worst thing was she was 1/2 cut. She absolutely stunk of booze and her eyes were shot to pieces. I was shaking after she left but I was really calm at the time - I even invited her in for a cup of tea when she first arrived but she said no. and we discussed it on the doorstep.

Thanks for all the support

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amynnixmum · 17/03/2007 16:38

God that was a HUGE post - sorry

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fryalot · 17/03/2007 16:41

It sounds like she's going to try and get you to pay for some of her dog's vet bills. If she does try this on, remember what somebody else posted earlier that a dog can be trained, and a cat can't.

She sounds like a right piece of work, tbh. Good luck with this, I hope you get it sorted.

J20BABY · 17/03/2007 16:43

hope it all works out for you, i haven't read the whole thread but they are liable for all the costs, and possibly compensation, for petrol and time spent at vets..etc

Iota · 17/03/2007 16:46

I think I'd be reporting it to the police by now

amynnixmum · 17/03/2007 16:46

Thanks Squonk - thats what i think too but she won't get anywhere because its not the same situation. Nearly all dogs who don't live with a cat will chase cats - its in their nature. Not all dogs will attack cats though and this is the important difference between her dog biting my cat and my cat scratching him in defense. All cats will scratch and bite if cornered, terrified and attacked.

Hopefully she'll sober up, find out that I am right about the legal stuff and pay up whe i give her the bill

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amynnixmum · 17/03/2007 16:49

I'm tempted Iota but I'm going to see what happens when i give her the bill. If she still refuses to meet me 1/2 way then i'll be straight on the phone but i'd much rather not have to do that. TBH I think the shock of all this will make them take greater care to control him.

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hercules1 · 17/03/2007 16:49

My dogs have no experience of cats and I have no idea what they would do if they got close to one. But they dont get the change to. If they did ever do something I would assume total responsbibiltiy (insure for this too). Of course a cat will react in the way yours did and you are not responsible for that.

amynnixmum · 17/03/2007 16:51

My cats aren't insured unfortunately but I would definately insure a dog partly because this sort of thing can happen.

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hercules1 · 17/03/2007 16:52

I would always assume the dog was at fault anyway re a fight between a dog and cat.

helenhismadwife · 17/03/2007 16:53

is you cat ok now?

I hope your neighbours are decent enough to pay up, it would have been nice if they had the decency to come round and apologise as well

amynnixmum · 17/03/2007 16:56

Hi HHMW thats what pissed me off about the whole thing - the fact they didn't bother to come and see if he was ok. Not even a note through the door He is much better thankyou and was really pleased to finally be allowed out yesterday.

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