My Dog Was Attacked By Another Dog – What Are My Rights?

If you are a dog owner, you will agree that dogs are more than just pets; they are family! People watch as their dogs grow up to become an essential part of the household.

Having a dog also means that many responsibilities fall on the owner’s shoulder, such as feeding the dog, taking care of the hygiene, etc.

Dog Attacked Your Dog Your Rights Explained

However, the most important responsibility is the safety of the dog. Having your dog attacked by another dog is a dreadful experience that no dog owner should go through.

However, it is equally essential to be aware of all the legal steps you can take.

Dog Attacks Are NOT That Uncommon

Taking a pet dog out on walks is a necessary ritual that you cannot skip when you have a pet dog.

Going on a walk allows the dog to stretch its legs and provides an excellent opportunity for you two to bond.

Unfortunately, during those walks, your dog can sometimes attract the unwanted attention of an aggressive dog who may growl or bark at your dog.

In some extreme circumstances, this might lead to your dog being attacked by another dog unprovoked. In such cases, where another dog attacks your dog, it can be very challenging.

Whether your dog is injured or not, the incident can leave the dog with trauma and emotional damage. It is pertinent to know your legal rights in a situation like this.

What To Do If Another Dog Attacks Your Dog?

If another dog attacks your dog, a few things need to be done at once.

You want to handle the situation in the best possible way, and therefore, you must take immediate action.

  • As soon as another dog attacks your dog, the most important thing is to make sure your dog is safe.
  • Call animal control and the police to have an official record of the incident as it may help your case later on.
  • Doing so will also enable the concerned authorities to document your dog’s injuries and provide the required medical attention.
  • Note the attacking dog’s physical attributes and take the owner’s contact information. If possible, take a picture of the attacking dog as sometimes the owners refuse to accept ownership of the dog.

Your Rights As A Dog Owner

Having a pet dog attacked by another dog is a challenge in itself, and you are entitled to follow the due legal process.

As a dog owner, your rights may differ from state to state. You can also consult a dog bite lawyer who will brief you about the laws in your country/state.

 A lawyer will also guide you through the necessary steps you should take. However, here is a basic run-through of the rights you have if another dog attacks your dog.

Violation Of The City Laws

It is essential to be aware of the laws in your country or state. For example, dogs are not allowed outside without a leash in many countries and cities.

Dog owners are subsequently prohibited from taking their dogs in public without restraint.

If the attacking dog was unrestrained in public when it attacked, it proves a direct violation of the law.

In that case, the dog owner can be charged for negligent behavior where they allowed the dog to roam around unrestrained.

Some states’ laws also classify dogs as the owner’s personal property. It means that you can sue the dog owner under the theory of strict liability.

My Dog Was Attacked By Another Dog What Are My Rights

If The Dog Is Listed As A Dangerous Dog

If your dog is attacked by another dog who is listed as a ‘dangerous dog,’ then there are a few things that you can do.

  1. If the attacking dog is already listed as a dangerous dog, its owner may be held responsible for harboring a violent animal. In such cases, the owner can also be made liable for damages, etc.
  2. If the attacking dog is listed as dangerous, and your dog has to be put down due to the seriousness of the attack and its injuries, the owner may have to pay the original amount you paid for your dog.
  3. If the dog’s owner has violated the leash laws, the owner may be responsible for paying the veterinary costs.

If The Attacking Dog Has A Past History Of Aggression

In cases where another dog attacks your dog, it may have a history of aggressive behavior. An excellent step to take would be to find out about the dog’s history.

In such cases, the attacking dog can have an aggressive history even if it is not listed as ‘dangerous.’

It is also unlikely that the dog owner will admit to its aggression. It is why it is essential to collect evidence supporting your claim.

If you find out about the dog’s history of attacking other animals, you can build a case against the dog owner.

Not only that, but you can also pursue proceedings to list the attacking dog as a ‘dangerous dog.’ Such legal measures you can take under the local dog ordinances.

Collecting Evidence Against The Attacking Dog

A great way to collect evidence against the attacking dog is to interview the dog owners’ neighbors as they might help you out.

Another way to prove that the attacking dog is aggressive is with prior BARC or police reports regarding the dog.

If another dog attacks your dog, send a freedom of information request to the Police and BARC for a history of any previous attacks.

Ask the relevant authorities if any reports had been made against a dog at the dog owner’s address.

If you can unearth such a report, you can easily purchase it from the BARC or the police. Bringing the report to the court as evidence will strengthen your case against the dog owner.

Compensation From The Dog Owner

If your dog was attacked by another dog and got hurt, you can seek damages.

The dog owner has the right to seek compensation for the medical bills regarding the dog’s treatment after the attack.

Even if your dog was not injured, the entire experience could cause you and your dog emotional turmoil.

In any case, you have every right to sue for damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress.

You will need to show the court that the dog’s owner was irresponsible and intentionally or recklessly caused emotional distress.

Final Thoughts

In most cases, where another dog attacks dogs, they are not aware of their rights. It can put a financial and an emotional burden on the dog owners.

Being aware of the fundamental rights can help you recover from such an ordeal. Please don’t feel guilty to pursue legal actions as it is your right given to you by the state.