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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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helenhismadwife · 17/03/2007 16:59

I think I might be tempted to ring the police anyway to be honest especially given her attitude. it will likely take them a few days to get round to calling you or coming to see you to get a report from experience so that gives her time to respond and you have a fallback if you like.

helenhismadwife · 17/03/2007 17:00

good to hear he is better, it must have been terrifying and really upsetting to see

amynnixmum · 17/03/2007 17:02

I might give the police a ring and just ask their advice. Explain that I'd rather not make it official unless i have to. At least then if I do decide to go the official legal route they will already have a record of it. I'll talk to dh later and see what he thinks.

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hellobello · 17/03/2007 17:19

There's a useful website called Doglaw. If you google Trevor Cooper you will find it. The laws regarding dogs are ferocious and you have to be very very careful if you are a dog owner. I expect your neighbour is feeling very threatened that her dog could be destroyed, but even so, that is no excuse for bad behaviour. Our dogs usually get attacked by cats; not the other way round! If the dog was off the lead and out of control, it was behaving illegally and hopefully you can claim off the woman's insurance.

helenhismadwife · 17/03/2007 17:26

thats what I meant there is some sort of record of the complaint there, it would be great if your neighbour with the baby would make a complaint as well

amynnixmum · 17/03/2007 17:30

I don't think she wants to do that but i spoke to her yesterday and she says if it comes to it she will make a statement about the dog going for her cats and coming into their garden and house.

Thansks for the website hellobello. I'll have a look at that.

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helenhismadwife · 17/03/2007 19:57

thats good because it backs up what you are saying and shows the lack of control the owner has over the dog

helenhismadwife · 20/03/2007 09:22

how are you getting on with things? and is the cat fully recovered

amynnixmum · 20/03/2007 12:37

Hi Helen

The cat seems fine now. His claws are still a mess but he doesn't seem to be in any pain. I'll take him to the vet on thursday when he has finished his anit-biotics. Not seen my neighbour since thankfully - hopefully she'll pay up and that'll be it.

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lucyellensmum · 20/03/2007 15:18

this makes me so angry, IMO i think that a dog license is the only way forward to stop idiots like your neighbour owning dogs. You don't say what breed or type of dog this is. Not that i am anti breed at all, i have just lost my beloved rottie who we rescued from battersea dogs home three years ago. Big powerful dogs are a potential time bomb in the wrong hands and it does not sound like your neighbour is able to even keep her dog on her property let alone control it, i would definately report this incident to the police,it might only be a matter of time before it attacks again and this time it could be someone's child.

helenhismadwife · 20/03/2007 16:01

I hope she pays up without any problem let us know how you get on.

amynnixmum · 21/03/2007 18:45

Its a little terrier type lucyellensmum. Don't think its a pure breed but I'm sure its got a lot of Jack russell in it. Not as dangerous as a big dog certainly but more than capable of causing serious harm to a child and of killing a cat. I think they should bring back Dog Liscences as well.

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lucyellensmum · 22/03/2007 12:42

hi there, little terrier types are often the worse, believe me (ex vet nurse). A visit from the RSCPCA or the police may be enough for these people to keep their dog under control, for its own safety and everyone elses.

amynnixmum · 22/03/2007 15:15

TBH I think that this incident will be enough - at least i hope so. If I see him out again without being properly controlled i will definitely report it.

My poor cats claws haven't healed yet so he is having to take another course of anti-biotics. We won't know for a couple of months whether they'll grow back properly or if he'll need surgery

The vet was really helpful though and wrote a note on the treament history to say his injuries were consistant with being dragged or struggling to get away. They then printed a copy off and also a copy of the bill so I put them through my neighbour's door. Lets see how long it takes them to contact me this time.

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dustystar · 28/03/2007 16:58

Well she's obviously decided not to pay up Not heard anything from her and just seen her on her doorstep chatting to a freind and it was SOOO obvious that she started talking about me when she saw me and her and her friend both kept looking over and staring.

I feel really pissed off with the whole thing now - i tried to do the right thing but it looks like she isn't going to even meet me 1/2 way so sod her. I am going to report the incident now and every time I see the dog out and not under proper control i will be reporting it

dustystar · 28/03/2007 16:59

I am anynnixmum by the way

Radley · 30/03/2007 11:07

You do right reporting it, you have given her more than enough chance to pay up.

Let us know how it goes.

expatinscotland · 30/03/2007 11:11

You're a better neighbour than I am.

FIL's dog was attacked by an Akita in an upscale park and of course the owner didn't want to pay up and poor FIL felt bad.

Well, I don't! What about next time? What if it's a child their out of control dog gets?

So I reported their ghetto dog to the cops and spoke to a solicitor friend of mine, who sent the owner a nice little letter.

Then he paid up.


helenhismadwife · 30/03/2007 19:59

what a complete arse, I would report to the police and the RSPCA they are both quite hot on dogs now. I would also see if you can get a solicitors letter written or make a claim through the small claims court I am sure there is somewhere online you can do this I will have a look for you
for you and your poor cat

dustystar · 30/03/2007 20:04

Thanks for your support

I am going to report it but i am so stressed out with an assignment at the moment that I haven't done it yet. DH doesn't want to bother persuing the matter through the courts as he says he would rather wave goodbye to the money than see me get even more stressed. I'm bloody tempted to go for it anyway but he's right we have far more important things to worry about.

I checked with the police and they don't deal with it as it was an attack on another animal. I need to report it to my local authority. I will do this but apparently they will probably need me to right some sort of statement so I am leaving it until I have got this bloddy assignment done.

dustystar · 30/03/2007 20:05

write some sort of statement This assignment is rotting my brain.

helenhismadwife · 30/03/2007 20:08

dh has used it and its £30 ish to use worth checking out think they get a ccj if they ignore it, hope that helps

dustystar · 30/03/2007 20:08

Thanks Helen - i'll show that to dh.

helenhismadwife · 31/03/2007 11:00

hope you get something sorted out.

bunsen · 31/03/2007 11:33

I think that pet insurance should be made a legal requirement, its only a few quid a month and we have enough bloody stupid rules in this country, why not a sensible one?
Pet insurance for dogs, maybe cats, I don't know, but definitely not for goldfish
Seriously, I hope your cat makes a full recovery and you get it sorted amicably, neighbours who needs em?

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