Visitor Question

Neighbor claims my dog dragged his dog into my yard and killed it…

Submitted By: J (California)

My neighbor claims that his dog (Yorkshire terrier) dug a hole under our bordering fence, and one of my dogs (St Bernard, Golden Lab, and English Bulldog) pulled him under the fence and killed him. I found this out when my wife saw him taking pictures of the hole. There was no blood anywhere, no dog anywhere, and he filled in his side of the hole with dirt before I could get my camera.

Four days ago, his dog burrowed its way into my yard and forced its way into my house, growling and snipping at my children.

Three days ago, I found it in my yard growling/barking as it strutted in my direction (again in my yard).

I eventually made my way over to my neighbor’s house, and made several attempts to get them to come to the door. I went back into my yard, and the neighbor came out his side door in his back yard. I asked him to keep his dog out of my yard and house, and to keep an eye on his dog.

I told him I was concerned if his dog got into my yard again, it might not be good for his dog because my St Bernard was barking the whole time that his dog was in my yard.

He proceeded to tell me that I can expect to hear from the cops and his attorney. I am about to deploy and I may not be around when this takes place.

What do I do in this situation? Do I have any liability? I can’t confirm any of his story, but I want to protect myself and my family, especially if I’m not around. Thanks you.

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.


Dear J,

Relax. You can be sure the police won’t be getting involved in what is clearly civil matter. The police only deal with criminal matters. From the facts you present, there aren’t any criminal issues involved. At most, this would be a property damage claim. (In the eyes of the law, pets are considered personal property.)

Moreover, you can be equally confident an attorney won’t become involved in this matter. Unless your neighbor is prepared to spend one hundred or more dollars an hour for an attorney’s services, an attorney won’t likely become involved.

A valid case requires evidence. There doesn’t appear to be any evidence of your negligence that resulted in your neighbor’s damages. (Damages normally include personal injury or property damage, out-of-pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.) The only evidence you alluded to is your neighbor’s picture of the hole. That’s not enough to bring a valid claim against you.

You have done nothing wrong, and therefore have no need to be concerned about legalities. In the event your neighbor’s dog injures your dogs, then you may have a property damage claim against him. In the alternative, if your dogs injure his dogs, and there is clear evidence, your neighbor may have a property damage claim against you.

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.

Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call 888-972-0892.

We wish you the best with your claim,


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