My 15 year old daughter walked our Boston Terrier to the dog park. Our dog, Lucky, was in the park off his leash when a man walked in with his growling aggressive dog. When the man unleashed his dog it went straight for Lucky grabbing him by the neck, shacking our dog like he was a dishrag. After the fight my daughter called me and I drove over instantly (this all occurred in a small neighborhood).
When I arrived at the park the dog and his owner were nowhere to be found. The guy didn’t leave any information for my daughter, ask if she needed help or anything. My daughter and our bloody dog pet got into the car. As we were driving home we saw the guy walking, almost running down the sidewalk.
I pulled over and asked his name, which he gave me. We then drove Lucky to emergency care were he had 4 stitches. He was traumatized and was put on medication for 2 weeks. Do we have a case against this guy who let his aggressive dog attack our dog? How can we get compensation for the veterinary bills? Thanks.
Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.
You can attempt to locate the man and ask him to pay the veterinary bills. If that doesn’t work you can file a Small Claims lawsuit against him. Small Claims Courts were created to be accessible to non-lawyers and the process is quite simple.
To file a lawsuit in Small Claims Court simply contact the one closest to you. There is usually a nominal filing fee of less than $100 dollars. That fee, along with any judgment the court orders against the man will be reimbursed to you.
In the State of Colorado the Small Claims jurisdiction, or “maximum amount” a person can sue for is rather high at $7,500 dollars.
If you decide to sue the man you will need his name and address and copies of the veterinary bills. Photographs of the dog’s injuries would also be helpful.
In Small Claims Court you can sue for the veterinary bills, your out of pocket expenses for any prescription or over the counter medications for your dog, and possibly for any lost wages you incurred while taking your dog to the veterinarian.
Unfortunately, in Small Claims Court you can’t sue for any “pain and suffering” you or your daughter may have suffered. That part of a lawsuit is reserved only for injuries to human beings.
Learn more here: Dog-on-Dog Aggression
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney.
Best of luck with your claim,
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