My dog was attacked by a known vicious dog...

by Linda
(Lakewood, CO)

My shih tzu was attacked by a husky/pit bull mix. The dog is known to be aggressive and has bitten before. My dog has $720 in bills, and we won't know if she is blind in one eye for another few days. Both dogs were leashed. The owner will not pay my vet bills and refuses to give me the insurance information to file a claim.

Please note that the owner REFUSES to provide the insurance information or file a claim. He is intimidating me and promising to make payments "as he can." He is a vicious dog owner, and from our communications, appears to know exactly what to say to me (which indicates that perhaps he has been through this before?).

I am feeling threatened by this man. He knows where I live and what car I drive - I know nothing about him. What are my options, if any? Police report was filed but they are unable to do anything. My insurance company will not pay for my dog's injuries. And now I feel intimidated and frightened in my own home. What can I do? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "My dog was attacked by a known vicious dog...":

Linda (Lakewood, CO):

The police will not become involved in the matter unless there is evidence of a direct threat of violence to you or in the unfortunate event you are assaulted. If you really are afraid of the man, you have the option of discontinuing communications with him. Of course, that would mean you are left on the hook for the $720 in vet bills.

If you want to continue pressing in an effort to have the vet bills reimbursed, and the dog owner persists in not cooperating, you have the option of filing a lawsuit against him in Small Claims Court.

Colorado Small Claims Courts have jurisdiction to hear lawsuits in amounts up to $7,500. These courts were created primarily for non-attorney parties to a lawsuit. The Courts have a relaxed atmosphere, so judges (referred to a "Magistrates") can hear both sides of a case without forcing the parties to comply with the strict rules of evidence attorneys in higher courts must follow.

The Magistrate Court designated to hear Small Claims Lawsuits for Lakewood is located in Jefferson County at this address:

Jefferson County Magistrate Court
100 Jefferson County Parkway
Golden, CO 80401

For more information about Colorado Small Claims Court's rules, regulations, forms, procedures, and more read this:

Colorado Small Claims Court Handbook

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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