Dog Attacked – legalities regarding vet bills? Are there any?

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  • Dog Attacked – legalities regarding vet bills? Are there any?
  • deadlydarcy
    Member

    This is going to go on a bit, so if you get bored easily, shut the thread now. πŸ™‚

    So, Molly was subject to a fairly bad biting by some kind of terrier cross…bit bigger than her. πŸ™

    You’ll only be getting my side of the story, so you’ll have to take my word for it. The other dog, a bitch, was being walked into the park by someone I recognise (she runs keep fit classes in the park) but didn’t realise owned a dog, as we were coming to the point where she always has her lead re-attached. She was chatting to the owner of a flat coated retriever (our witness), Oreo, who we know well (thankfully). While we were sorting her lead out, and mrs deadly was chatting with the Oreo’s owner, this other terrier stood over Molly…the body language wasn’t looking good, and just as I was calling her to have her lead on, the bigger dog caught her just above the shoulder – we had a hell of a scrum to get her off – not helped by her owner picking the two of them up – I’d have just given it the hardest boot I could have – but maybe it’s best in the long run that I didn’t get a chance.

    Anyway, after around ten seconds of trying to pull them apart, we finally managed and saw that Molly had a pretty deep and big (for a small dog…maybe 3 – 4 inches long, opening out to an inch in the middle, lots of under-the-skin flesh on show 😑 ) gash where the other dog had hold of her. We took the owner’s number (I know her PT website so she can’t very well disappear) and raced up the road to the nearest vet, where they told us it was too serious a cut to be managed there (it’s an “outpost” of a well known chain in S Bristol) and sent us to the main branch.

    After a consult there, I contacted one of our best mates who actually is Molly’s vet and asked him if he thought it would be ok to bring her there. The other vet said she’d be fine to travel. She was in a bit of shock at this stage and the wound wasn’t bleeding too much. There was talk of an overnight stay as the wound will have to be cleaned, possibly drained and stitched under GA. 😐

    She’s had painkillers and an hour or so ago, our vet rang us to say Matt (our buddy) would be sorting her out this afternoon. Hopefully, she’ll be fine and possibly home tonight.

    So I texted the other owner:

    “Hi ****, this is Ciaran, the owner of Molly who was bitten by your dog this morning. We took her to Highcroft to be checked over but we decided to take her to our vet which is Fernlea in Hanham as our best friend is her vet there, it was safe for her to travel and they are much cheaper than Highcroft. She has quite a bad wound to her shoulder which will need to be treated and stitched under GA. She was in shock and has been given painkillers. Our friend Matt will be operating on her. She should be home this evening but may well have to stay overnight depending on how bad the wound is when she is clipped back and they can have a better look. She was quite shaken up but seemed ok overall. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we know more.”

    To which I had the reply:

    (bearing in mind she’s Czech, so her English isn’t fantastic)

    “Thank you for your update. I am sorry for happen today and I was shaken myself as my dog has never done this before. I sorry for any inconvenience this caused you. *****” (name redacted)

    Any suggestions for next step?

    All i can safely say about the incident are:

    Molly in no way approached her dog and tried to get away when it stood over her.
    No injuries were inflicted on the other dog.
    I heard her saying to Oreo’s owner (who was hanging onto the dog up on its back legs, straining to get in for a bit more), “She’s so unpredictable!” (I’m trying not to draw conclusions vis a vis “She’s never done this before” in her text…)

    Is another dog owner legally required to cover your vet bills or are you just dependent on goodwill?

    I was thinking my next update text will finish with, “…I will ask Fernlea to email a copy of the bill to you…” I don’t want to be hostile about it. She was obviously very upset that it had happened, but hey, she wasn’t the one carting her dog off to the vet with a ripped open shoulder.

    might be covered on her home insurance? third party liability maybe, only guessing. yes she should pay

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    I think it’s goodwill only, so tread carefully. Public place, neither dog on a lead, scrap ensues, your dog comes off worse. You would have trouble proving that your dog was completely passive during the episode if she decides to describe the incident on those terms.

    Hopefully the other owner is a decent sort who will make a contribution at the very least.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Is she fit?

    Milkie
    Member

    Vet fees for your dog being attacked should be covered by your insurance. One of the many reasons to have insurance. I would phone your local dog warden to report it and make sure the dog hasn’t done something like this before.

    LHS
    Member

    There is no law for dog on dog attack. Just goodwill only.

    cynic-al
    Member

    Your witness is a retriever? πŸ˜€

    Seriously, no idea what the law is, seems reasonable that the owner has a duty of care – there must be one to people.

    I’d be upfront that you expect her to cough up and see what happens.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Public place, neither dog on a lead, scrap ensues, your dog comes off worse. You would have trouble proving that your dog was completely passive during the episode if she decides to describe the incident on those terms.

    Exactly my thoughts. I know what happened because I saw it. However, when it comes down to it, she could easily say that Molly turned and tried to bite her dog first. There’s very little that I could say to disprove it.

    Premier Icon cinnamon_girl
    Subscriber

    Oh no, poor Molly. πŸ™ Not wishing to be harsh but don’t think it was a good idea to mention that you have a vet as a friend.

    I have heard of this happening before, a friend’s dog was attacked and she did give the bill to other owner and saying she did not want to report it. Think this other dog was known for attacking.

    If it was me, I would make it clear that you’re not happy and what is she going to about the bill as well as the behaviour of her dog.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Vet fees for your dog being attacked should be covered by your insurance.

    We have insurance. Yes, it’s covered but I’ll be trying to recover it from her first before claiming.

    Your witness is a retriever?

    Indeed. I thought I hadn’t worded that very well. πŸ™‚

    jon1973
    Member

    Is she fit?

    You need to check for a shiny coat and wet nose if you want to find that out.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Not wishing to be harsh but don’t think it was a good idea to mention that you have a vet as a friend.

    Aye, true. I suppose I was trying to let her know that I wasn’t going to try and fleece her. The first surgery we took her to are known as being very expensive in the area, which is why we use our friend’s. His isn’t as fancy-dan and paying for the flash new hospital recently added.

    johndoh
    Member

    Happened to my business partner’s dog recently – he had to cover all the costs himself (dog so badly attacked that she almost didn’t see it through the night and it was two weeks before they got her through the worst).

    The other owner refused to accept any part of blame (although it was a much bigger dog and it was his dog doing the attacking). The police didn’t want to know – said they get several calls like that every day.

    Jamie
    Member

    #pray4molly

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    #pray4jamie

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    With respect, I doubt it’d be as cut and dried as “your dog bit my dog, here’s the bill.” Both animals were off leash and, well, animals. What legal redress you’d have I don’t know, but I’d expect it’s not much.

    OTOH of course, next time it could be a baby robin’s face. The ones you see in headlines after mauling the family’s newborn always have the owners going “well, he’s never done it before…” If nothing else, I’d hope that in future the owner thinks twice about letting a bitey dog roam free in public places.

    julesf7
    Member

    Very sorry to hear this, really hope that Molly is OK and does not get frightened off other, nice, dogs as a result.

    This is not a dissimilar situation from the one in which my wife and I are in with our spaniel, albeit that no harm has yet come to our dog. On one of her runs there is a cross cross (the first a state of mind, the second meaning cross-breed) who runs aggressively at our dog and has received a boot for its pains.

    Speaking to the police, and subsequently to the control officer, they will do little for dog on dog aggression. The only point at which they start to act is if you claim that you are fearful for your own safety, and would then back that up. They would then be duty-bound to follow up and contact the dog owner.

    Up to you if you feel that this is a legitimate way to respond….

    core
    Member

    Dog off lead is not a good starting point, think you’re on very shaky ground trying to get anything off the other dog owner, however nice it would be or ‘morally right’ it seems.

    Hope she recovers well.

    allthepies
    Member

    deadlydarcy wrote:

    “Hi ****, this is Ciaran, the owner of Molly who was bitten by your dog this morning. We took her to Highcroft to be checked over but we decided to take her to our vet which is Fernlea in Hanham as our best friend is her vet there, it was safe for her to travel and they are much cheaper than Highcroft. She has quite a bad wound to her shoulder which will need to be treated and stitched under GA. She was in shock and has been given painkillers. Our friend Matt will be operating on her. She should be home this evening but may well have to stay overnight depending on how bad the wound is when she is clipped back and they can have a better look. She was quite shaken up but seemed ok overall. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we know more.”

    That’s a big SMS, they should bring back the 160 char limit or whatever it was.

    cynic-al
    Member

    allthepies – Member
    That’s a big SMS, they should bring back the 160 char limit or whatever it was.

    I blame tariffs with heaps of free texts, this could easily hv bn dn in 160.

    Jamie
    Member

    I blame tariffs with heaps of free texts, this could easily hv bn dn in 160.

    Prob snt wiv imssage or wotzap.

    allthepies
    Member

    Hi ****, DIS iz Ciaran, d onr of Molly hu wz bitten by yor K9 DIS morn. We t%k her 2 Highcroft 2 b checked Ovr bt we decided 2 tAk her 2 our vet whch iz Fernlea n Hanham az our best frNd iz her vet there, it wz sAf 4 her 2 travL & dey R much cheaper thN Highcroft. She hz quite a bad wound 2 her sholdR whch wiL nEd 2 b treated & stitched undR GA. She wz n shock & hz Bin given painkillers. Our frNd Matt wiL b opr8n on her. She shud b om DIS evNg bt mA weL hav 2 stA overnight depeNdN on how bad d wound iz wen she iz clipped bak & dey cn hav a BetA L%k. She wz quite shaken ^ bt seemed k overall. We’ll kEp U updated az s%n az we knO mo.

    Still waaaay too long.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    “HI DIS CIAREN UR DOG BIET MY DOG U PAY NOW KKTHXBI”

    Easy money, you’re just not trying.

    Premier Icon geoffj
    Subscriber

    Sorry to hear about this dd hope Molly heals quickly!
    Nowt much to add other I’d let the insurance sort it out, including handing over all the details to them and let them consider trying to recoup the cash from her themselves.

    If both dogs are off lead the police wont care. If she is insured you may get some money. I would loose your insurance company on her and see what happens. Mine were very keen for a name and address when my dog got bitten but seeing as how it was just a play accident I didnt tell them owt.

    Mrs Toast
    Member

    Oh no, poor Molly! D:

    I think as they were both off a lead, and she did make an effort to recall her dog, you’ll only be relying on her goodwill. I think people with dog-aggressive dogs can only be forced to act if there are repeated attacks, or if they make no effort/can’t stop their dog (as it’d be classed as being dangerously out of control).

    Every time Benny’s been attacked (always with the other dog running free with Benny on the lead as we were going down the road) I’ve reported it to the dog warden. The one guy was utterly mortified and apologetic and not had any trouble with his dog since, the other obviously didn’t pay much attention as the same dog attacked Benny six months later…).

    Premier Icon Del
    Subscriber

    should have thought the other owner liable, but i’d just let the insurer handle it. dogs are property. one person’s property damaged yours

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    Why have insurance then pay the bill yourself then have the hassle of getting cash from a 3rd party?

    If you want to avoid premium increases next year bear in mind that the injury may have to be reported anyway at renewal so might still affect future premiums.

    Premier Icon rickmeister
    Subscriber

    Sorry to hear this DD and hope it all works out ok. Re ref to the vet being a friend and any confusion that may cause, you have another opinion from the vet you originally saw who will I am sure be impartial..

    As I said, hope Molly gets well quickly..

    andyl
    Member

    DD if you are ever in a situation were you are stuck for seeing a vet give me a shout as the OH is one.

    project
    Member

    In the last few months there have been quite a few dog on dog attacks on the wirral,along with some muppet leaving poisoined food for peoples pets on the wirral way.

    Animals really do have a tough life, hope Molly makes a good recovery.

    Jamie
    Member

    along with some muppet leaving poisoined food for peoples pets on the wirral way.

    dafuq 😯

    soobalias
    Member

    not only is the txt way too long and goes to incredible unrequired depth – really wgaf if you know the vet, you are just making it sound dodgy…..

    but…

    to open with…

    Hi ****,

    bit harsh mate, not surprised she is on the defensive.

    grum
    Member

    You take molgrips round on a lead with you and he got bitten? 😯

    Get well soon molly.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    If her pet is insured then it will (probably) cover 3rd party stuff. Check your policy for this clause and then ask them. What the bill btw? – not wanting to start a vet fees deabte but it’s likely to be mostly excess?

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    not only is the txt way too long and goes to incredible unrequired depth – really wgaf if you know the vet, you are just making it sound dodgy…..

    I thought it only fair to give her a full appraisal of the situation. She seemed pretty upset after the whole incident herself. I know of her through friends that take her classes and she is supposedly a nice person. If it’s a bit too much detail, then fair enough, but I’d rather that than not enough.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    What the bill btw?

    Just short of Β£390. That’s after the 15% discount that we always get from our friend. Can’t recall our excess off hand, but yes, you’re most likely correct, a good chunk of that will be excess.

    Premier Icon bruk
    Subscriber

    I get this quite regularly. Our standard policy is that as the owner you are responsible for the bill. I dont get involved in deciding who was at fault. Many times the owner of the aggressor dog denies any responsibility and as stated before the Police are not interested in dog on dog aggression.

    Best scenario is to look for your Excess from your insurance to be covered by the other owner.

    However depending on your insurance cover you may have legal cover (if not look at your home insurance) and they may be willing to try and pursue the other dog owner for costs.

    Every now and again you meet a genuine person who will just pay your bill no questions asked.

    deadlydarcy
    Member

    Our standard policy is that as the owner you are responsible for the bill.

    Nothing wrong with that. Which is why I paid up when I picked her up this evening. I’ll be emailing the other owner a copy of the bill and hope she does the decent thing I suppose.

    If it had been a injury from playing, or something that escalated from messing around, I’d honestly just take it as one of those things that happens as a pet owner. If she did something similar to anybody else’s dog, I’d pay up, no questions asked.

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