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Dog Bite Liability

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Milosevic | 20:21 Fri 31st Oct 2014 | Law
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Hi, my dog was attacked in the park today resulting in an emergency trip to the vets and a near £300 bill for me. Neither my dog or the other one were on leads. There was a bit of a scuffle between the dogs initially before my dog chased and snarled at the other dog. I apologised to the owner and he said '' no, no it wasn't your dogs fault, Archie (his dog), needs another dog to tell him off as he's a pest'' We thought no more of it and continued our walk. On putting my dogs lead on about an hour later, we noticed blood on his back leg, closer inspection revealed a very deep wound down to the muscle. We went straight to the vets. My question is can I expect the owner of the other dog to contribute to the vets bill? Also can I claim on my pet insurance? The vet nurse says I'd have to claim using third party liability off my insurance but having read the small print it doesn't seem to apply in my case. Any help appreciated, thanks!


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do you even know how to contact the other owner ?
Ummm she can intimidate if she want's to but she cannot bite
All hypothetical anyway.
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The law has been updated very recently:

Milo as your dog has been bitten and IF the other dog hasn't, then I don't see why you can't ask for some contribution from the attacking dog's owner.
Muzzling is a hard decision. It means your dog can't protect itself and could be killed by an out of control aggressive dog. No harm in asking.
Jordy she was peeing on my stanchion, but only gave her a which suck not a bite, no marks left lol
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Jordy...this isn't CB!!
Ladybirder I have had to break up a dog fight but a loud voice and a kick to the offending dog sorted it. But my dog is always in my eyeline she will stop at command and wait for me. She knows who the pack leader is

Most Public Parks have, somewhere near the Entrance, a Notice Board giving details of what can or cannot be done in that Park (Local Bylaws). The majority that I've looked at usually include; 'Dogs must be kept on a Lead at all times, and must not be allowed to cause a nuisance to other users' (or similar wording). And yes, I am aware that it is usually ignored.
If your insurance company checked, remember they don't like paying out, there is a possibility your policy could be void, and if the dispute became
heated, there is a small chance you could be charged with breaking those Bylaws.
I think in Formula One motor racing this would be described as a "racing incident".

You are in danger of having your judgement clouded by trying to apply the rules of liability that apply to humans to the two dogs. Of course if you were peeing up against the tree and another person came and assaulted you for no good reason you would certainly have a case. The law does not work like that with dogs. Dogs are not aware that it is unacceptable to assault another dog. You would have to prove negligence on the part of the other dog-owner and if the incident occured in an area where dogs are permitted to run loose there is little chance of that. If the loose dogs were not permitted in the area you would still be on dodgy ground because your dog was also loose.

The government guidelines which ladybirder helpfully provided show that a dog must be dangerously out of control before an offence is committed. I doubt that the circumstances you describe would lead a court to that conclusion.

Best to pay your vet's bill and move on.

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