Neighbor dog injured - Page 1

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Voodoo Chile

by Voodoo Chile on 21 June 2019 - 03:06

Recently my 1.5 year old male wandered into my neighbors yard. The neighbors 7 year old dog chased him back into my yard.  Neither animal bit the other.  No harm no foul.

However, supposedly in the process of chasing my dog, my neighbor says her dog tore her ACL and now requires $2400 worth of surgery to fix it.

She says since my dog was illegally on her property it was my dog that caused her dog to tear its ACL and therefore I should pay for it. To me this seems ridiculous. I told her since my dog didn't really do anything to her dog I would not pay. She says she is going to sue me now.

What do you all think? Is there anyone on this forum where the above scenario occurred and lost a court battle over it?

Please let me know. Thanks.


by kitkat3478 on 21 June 2019 - 05:06

Not sure where you are at, but I do not believe you will be held liable for that injury. First off, how they going to prove your dog caused the injury, secondly, it is under the dangerous dog statutes that strict liability attatches. For that to happen, it is necessary for your dog to bite the person or companion animal, and then you are required to pay medical bills, and, if their dog was after your dog, your dog may have been justified in biting , if it chose to do so.
You may get a dog running at large ticket, off leash , but that has no bearing on the liability factor.
I dealing with similar, but different scenario, here in NY, but the legal concept is the same, liability for trespassing dog.
My neighbor claim my dogs, puppies I should say, killed her chicken. They seen dog, 5 months old chasing chickens, they chased her home, only to claim when they came back outside, dog was back eating chicken behind barn. I have my dogs in my driveway on surveillance video same time they claim this happened. We live in boondocks with fox, coyotes, bobcats, bears, fishers , weasels, and the list goes on.
So they trying to get dangerous dog put on my pup. I standing on natural instinct, prey driveI , sees bird running dog is going to chase it, be it shepherd or beagle, thats what dogs do. I know dog did not go over next door to kill a chicken. I been to court 2x already. Neighbor is right next door and what makes it worse, neighbor is also my sister, and she always been afraid of my dogs, she afraid of her own shadow.
( I think it's more she been holding on to some childhood resentments of things I may have done to her as kids. She could have just as easily picked up phone to call me , instead she chose police and dog catcher)


by Hundmutter on 21 June 2019 - 07:06

Just on the medical side, I think it very unlikely that any dog would tear a cruciate simply running at a trespassing dog - unless you live on the side of a very steep mountain or something - unless that ACL was about to tear anyway. Have you asked your Vet to comment ?  Maybe they would be a witness for you if it gets to Court. Evidence that this dog has torn an ACL in the past might help ?

Cruciates can tear at any time and age, irrespective of obvious cause, so it IS just about possible, but I feel your neighbour will have great difficulty proving it.  OTOH some judiciary have trouble seeing fact from fiction and do not understand 'dog matters', so tread carefully. Good luck.

If this were to happen to me, I think I might offer to go halves on her vet. bill, just to ensure peaceful relations for the future - but I'd certainly resist paying it all !


by DuganVomEichenluft on 21 June 2019 - 14:06

As said above, proving that the injury was CAUSED by your dog will be near impossible to prove. So, legally, you should be good to go. They're going to pay more trying to sue you than it's worth. My bet is, they're trying to scare you into paying it. But once they actually try, they'll realize it's not worth it. Offering to pay half, yes may keep things peaceful, but on the other hand, they may interpret it as guilt and then sue you for the rest. Me personally, I wouldn't. But that me.
On the other hand, how would you feel if the rolls were reversed? If you knew your dog was 100% healthy and had no knee issues prior then this happened. Yes, it's a fluke. One that could happen at any time but when you know that the lose dog caused it at that moment....IDK, it's a slippery slope.
Also, she says that her dog tore the ACL. There are many other tears that can happen in the knee that can heal with time.
Good luck and keep us posted,


by kitkat3478 on 24 June 2019 - 02:06

Very good point Dugan, from the neighbors point of view. If you know that is when the injury happened, that would leave a very bad taste in my mouth, and leave me deep seated hostility toward the neighbor, lol..but it really would.
Yup, it's a slippery slope...I offered to pay for the chicken, even tho really there is no proof my dog actually killed the chicken. I can t say 100 percent my dog didn t do it,...but I can say 100 percent my dog not dangerous, and that's what the court gonna deceide. I
I will demand a line up and bring all my dogs in and let's see who going to pick which one out of the line up!


by Mindhunt on 25 June 2019 - 15:06

As for CCL or ACL tears, it is possible the neighbor dog has an underlying health issue that makes the ligament easier to tear (speaking from personal experience).

I do believe it would be wise to look at your city/county/municipality/state statutes pertaining to dogs.  For instance, my county ordinance defines "At Large" as "...any companion animal on the owner's premises, not under control of the owner of custodian (this includes owner or custodian not within visual range of their companion animal or inside while their companion animal is outside); or any companion animal off the premises of the owner or custodian and not under the control of owner or custodian."  In my county, the owner or custodian of the at large companion animal is held liable for any damage or injury caused by their at large companion animal, so you would definitely be responsible for any vet bills incurred by your dog while it was loose.  Definitely look at your city/county/municipality/state laws and regulations regarding dogs.


by DuganVomEichenluft on 25 June 2019 - 16:06


Though I do agree, the "at large" dog may not have caused the tear. What if said dog had pre-existing ACL issues? Why would the "at large" dog's owner be fully responsible? Vet records would need to be subpoenaed to prove. So, if the dog was just at the vet and had a clean bill of health, I would suspect the "at large" dog's owner would be fully responsible. Now, had the dog been to the vet for ACL/knee issues, then that would be up to the Judge as to how responsible the dog's owner would be.
Hopefully Voodoo Chile will update us as I'm curious as to the turn out.


by Hundmutter on 25 June 2019 - 21:06

Me also. Mindhunt may well have a great point about the 'at large' responsibility, and it does seem that, if that applies,the OP could be found at fault for allowing their dog to trespass in the first place; but that does rather depend on that particular legislative point being in force. So much legal stuff seems to vary from county to county and State to State that one can never assume.
It still seems likely that although the OP may be guilty of letting the dog roam onto the neighbour's property, there could still be an assessment of the degree of fault as to the injury supposedly caused. And yes, there often is a predetermining underlying condition which leads to ACL tears - it is frequently that the dog is overweight, for instance. Not the responsibility of any marauding dog getting through the fence !


by Mindhunt on 02 July 2019 - 14:07

DuganVomEichenluft and Hundmutter,

I agree, it would seem degrees of at fault in this case. The owner of the injured dog would have to prove their dog was injury free prior to the encounter with the "at large" dog. 

I am currently dealing with a possible ACL/CCL tear but it is most likely  due to an autoimmune disease or should I say the disease created the physical climate for the injury. 


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