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Old 01-17-2012, 09:09 PM
11 posts, read 39,208 times
Reputation: 16


Tonight our little dachshund, Colonel Mustard, was mauled in our own fenced yard by the neighbors pit-mix. I have no idea what the laws regarding liability are and would appreciate your insight. We live in Cary. My wife heard a commotion outside and asked me to check it out. I went outside around 6pm (it was dark) and saw a dog running around the outside of our perimeter fence. The rear flood lights were on so I could not make out the breed/size very well. I walk down into the back yard and see a pitbull mix looking at me from the other side of the fence. I was unaware that our small dachshund (approximately 17 pounds) followed me outside. I'd like to make it clear that we our standing in our yard, which is completely fenced with approximately 4 foot chain link.

Initial evaluation indicates puncture wounds throughout, possible broken tail vertebrae, and possible perforated rectum. Initial estimate for treatment is $2,000 to $3,000. We had to put down $2,000 in the spot. He will receive an evaluation from the surgeons tomorrow. The bill could go as high at $4,000 to $6,000.

We contacted the Cary Police and they were incredibly insincere. The officer I spoke with said no laws were broken because both dogs were off leash. Remember, my dog and I were standing in my fenced in yard. She said I must file a report with animal control during business hours tomorrow.

I'm at a loss for how to proceed. We would certainly expect the dog's owner to pay 100% of the cost for treatment. What recourse do we have? I went over to their house after leaving the vet and spoke with the owner's father, who suggested she should pay the cost of treatment. She then came over to our house about an hour later to apologize. I suggested she should pay the medical bill and she said "she would pay as much as she could". Is there any way to recoup the total cost of medical treatment? We just bought this house and are not swimming in cash at the moment.

-----------------------------Short Story-------------------------------
Neighbor's unleashed, unaccompanied dog jumps our fence and mauls our dog in our yard. Initial medical cot is $2,000 to $3,000. Could be upwards of $6,000. How do we get compensated?

Last edited by Green Irish Eyes; 01-17-2012 at 09:14 PM.. Reason: Edited for content / deleted potentially inflammatory comments

Old 01-17-2012, 09:17 PM
Location: Midtown Raleigh
1,074 posts, read 2,821,378 times
Reputation: 945
She needs to file a claim on her homeowner's insurance.

File a report with animal control like they said. Your dog doesn't have to be on a leash in a fenced yard. Let's hope the officer just didn't understand that your dog was in your fenced yard? That's just crazy.

I hope Colonel Mustard gets well soon. Cute little guy!
Old 01-17-2012, 09:33 PM
136 posts, read 363,090 times
Reputation: 241
First, call animal control and report the incident. You should get a vicious dog report filed so it's on record. Then call the Cary police and ask to speak to a a sgt. of some such, someone more knowledgeable than the patrol officer that you spoke to. I think you'll want a police report, if one hasn't already been created.

From there it becomes a civil matter between you and the attacking dog's owner. They are liable for the damages caused but its up to you to take action to recover those costs. If you accept a fractional payment as all they can afford then that's the end of it. You could also consider filing in small claims court. The max claim is $5,000.
Old 01-17-2012, 09:55 PM
Location: Durham, NC
152 posts, read 371,655 times
Reputation: 190
Definitely call animal control which is much more knowledgable then the police on these issues. Your animal was secure so the liability is on the other animal and it's owner. You should be able to obtain damages from that owner to pay the vet bills although you may have to go to the trouble of going to court. Animal Control can advise you on how to proceed. That dog should also be given a warning by Animal Control and determined to be a "vicious dog". That means should it attack again, there will much more punitive damages for them. I'm very sorry for you and your dog and I hope he/she recovers.
Old 01-18-2012, 12:22 AM
809 posts, read 1,860,862 times
Reputation: 1497
Good information given by posters. I'd like to add, find out who is their home owners Insurance company and see if they have liability coverage that includes the dog. Meaning did they claim they had a dog upon applying for coverage or soon after they obtained the dog.

Where I live, I MUST have that coverage AND more importantly there are several breeds my insurance company will NOT cover.

I believe, you've an excellent civil case and the CPD absolutely misinformed you. Your dog was confined.

If you choose to work with the owner of the dog PLEASE make sure you get a notarized promissory note stating the exact arrangement you have made in regard to reimbursements for medical expenses.

Best to you and your furbaby.
Old 01-18-2012, 05:04 AM
277 posts, read 575,232 times
Reputation: 354
I was attacked by two of my neighbor's dogs in North Raleigh and nothing happened to her. Granted there wasn't enough damage to me for me to have to be hospitalized so maybe that makes a difference? The dogs tore my clothes more than anything. When I called animal control, the officer said he would go talk to her and give her tips on how to better control her animals. She had 3 dogs on leashes and two of them were able to pull out of her hand and get to me. I was standing almost right up against my own house and they came into my yard and both bit me before running off. Now I have to carry a can of mace with me when I go outside in my own yard in case they come at me again. The HOA told me they would tell the homeowner, she just rents, but that it would be up to him to evict her or not. There are kids in this neighborhood that play outside along the houses. I am constantly worried that one of them will get attacked. I'm so frustrated that because I wasn't physically injured that the police/animal control/HOA did nothing.
Old 01-18-2012, 05:29 AM
447 posts, read 1,322,419 times
Reputation: 384
Call the police department back and ask to speak to the officer's supervisor. I have found that is the quickest way to get calls back. And definitely call animal control!
Old 01-18-2012, 05:47 AM
Location: Lake Gaston, NC
1,405 posts, read 1,996,108 times
Reputation: 2665

I will be very interested in how this all turns out for you and your dog. Hope you will keep the post updated as things progress. Really sorry and hope it all works out for you and your best friend there.
Old 01-18-2012, 06:09 AM
843 posts, read 1,793,976 times
Reputation: 1185
I got attacked by a dog a few years ago. I was working on a house and the next door neighbor was in the yard with her kids. The dog just ran right through the electric fence and bit me 4 times on arm, leg and my back. The ER called Animal Control. The dog HAD bit someone before and the dog was quarinteened for a period and then put down. I felt terrible about it... but if you cant control your dog....
I hope this works out. Nothing worse than stress with neighbors. Make sure to report to animal control.
Old 01-18-2012, 06:13 AM
Location: Sneads Ferry, NC
11,090 posts, read 18,613,184 times
Reputation: 4991
I have suspected that a pit-bull can jump a 4-foot fence, but now there's a confirmed report that it can happen. While I am terribly sorry about the dachshund, I mention this as a warning to anyone who lives next door to an aggressive dog.
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