Neighbor's big dog killed my poodle in our backyard...
by A (USA)
Last weekend I was out of town but my family was home. The neighbor from across the street and his girlfriend were giving their dogs baths. One of the kids had a hold of the girlfriend's dog. The dog broke loose and came chasing my poodle into our back yard. They came chasing after their dog.
Their dog got a hold of my poodle and within minutes my little doggy was dead. It is heartbreaking! Are they responsible to pay what it will cost when I decide to get another poodle? Can I file a case or report their dog? What can I do? Thank you.
Disclaimer: Information provided in our response is NOT formal legal advice. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Under no circumstances should the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site be relied upon when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Our response does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Always get a formal case review from a licensed attorney in your area.
ANSWER for "Neighbor's big dog killed my poodle in our backyard...":
Yes, from the fact you present it appears your neighbors are liable for the attack and death of your dog. There are several ways your can handle the matter:
1) You can ask the neighbors to file a claim under their homeowners insurance. To do so will not require you to prove they were negligent (for payouts under a certain amount). You can file a claim under your own homeowners policy.
Unfortunately, homeowners insurance does not pay for emotional distress or pain and suffering. At most, you might be able to recover an amount necessary to replace a dog of similar breed, age and health to your dog.
2) You can sue the neighbors in court. If you do, you would be permitted to sue for the replacement costs of your dog, expenses for court filing fees and costs of court, lost wages, and emotional distress. The problem you will have is proving the type of emotional distress you suffered.
The courts are quite hesitant to award compensation for emotional distress to people other than the actual victim, and especially for the loss of a dog. As much as we like to think of our pets as family members, in the eyes of the law they are considered property.
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.
The accuracy of information provided on this site is not guaranteed. It is generic information for informal purposes only. It is NOT formal legal advice. Your use of this site does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Before relying on any information found in this site you should consult with a licensed attorney in your state. If you are currently represented by an attorney, you should strictly abide by his/her counsel.