Who pays for vet bills?

Last week Annabelle bit my neighbors 25lb dog. I was outside in the front yard with my 1 yr old, and great dane, and the neighbors dog came running at me + my son barking. My dog stepped in and bit her dog. The dog went to the vet, and has now been in the hospital for 1 week. The neighbor said that the bill is up to $9000. She has not asked for money yet. I feel aweful. But since her dog came across the street to my house, is it even my responsibility to pay? My neighbor told me that the vet could clearly tell this was a bit out of defense, not an attack. My dog bit 1 time, but since her dog was small, and mine is a great dane, her dog got hurt. I just need some advice. Anything would be great. Thanks!

Best Answers

  • Tiffany CarsonTiffany Carson St. MarysPosts: 15,800Member
    Accepted Answer
    I'm sure that someone will give you much better advice than I could ever give you on this, but here goes. I don't think that you will required to pay. After all, it was her fault that the dog got loose, she is responsible. I hope that you get better advice, good luck.
  • Tania RieberTania Rieber BangorPosts: 5,447Member
    Accepted Answer
    Don't quote me on this but to my knowledge the vet bills would be the responsibility of the biting dogs owner. Being it was your neighbors dog that got loose and came on your property maybe the rules are different. Hopefully you and your neighbor have a good relationship and can work it out between yourselves. Good luck!
  • Karen MordenKaren Morden Port HuronPosts: 1,174Member
    Accepted Answer
    It isn't your responsibility 2 pay thebills.YOUR dog was on YOUR property defending YOU.So that is really all it is about.Now here is where some of the hard questions come in.R U close 2 your neighbor?Has this dog done this before?Is the dog normally kept penned up or contained on your neighbors property?U R going 2 feel awful if U R any kind of animal lover,I would feel bad as well.If U feel like U R wantiing 2 do something 4 the dog or your neighbor then try 2 come up with something that will maybe make your neighbor feel better or maybe put together a little care package for the dog.But make sure that U attach a note(make a copy of it)that in some way says U R sending it becasue U were thinking of "the dogs name" & mention in a way that is not finger pointing but that U R sorry that this happened&wonder if there is anything U can do 2 help although U R not responsible 4 the bill that U would like 2 donate $100 to help with the bill.Just a nice thing 2 do 2 help U feel better.
  • Chris & Brian CrawfordChris & Brian Crawford Posts: 1,879Member
    Accepted Answer
    You said that you were in the front yard when this happened, and I'm assuming that the front yard is not fenced. However, you are not telling us whether Annabelle was leashed or not, and that can often be the deciding factor in cases like this. If your dog was leashed, it's much easier for a court or lawyer to say, "Obviously, the person with the unleashed small dog is at fault." If, however, both dogs were off-leash and in unfenced areas, the case is a lot more difficult, even thought Annabelle was on your property. My advice would be to consult with a lawyer who specializes in animal law and see what he thinks, particularly if Annabelle was off-leash. It's always good to be proactive and find out what your options are before they try to sue you for bills, rather than after. My personal opinion? It's your neighbor's fault her dog got bitten. She should have never allowed her dog to run loose, especially not across the street and at another dog.
  • Naysa SlemmingsNaysa Slemmings PerthPosts: 11Member
    Accepted Answer
    No i do not think it is your job to pay for her dog, her dog got out and went to your property and your dog defended your property and yourself and son, same rules apply if your dog attacks an intruder on your property, they dont get put down.
  • Shannon FordShannon Ford RichmondPosts: 527Member
    Accepted Answer
    Abby K-9 has it right. My sister-in-law went through this not three months ago and even though her dog was on her properity, he was not on a leash or in a fence so he was deemed at fault.
  • Maggi BurttMaggi Burtt Toronto, Rosedale, Ramsden ParPosts: 3,639Member
    Accepted Answer
    Number one, talk to a lawyer who deals in animal law and check with your province/county about their dog owner liability act. Here in Ontario you would legally be responsible for the entire bill..leashed unleashed whatever. Most people I know who have had issues like this have volunteered to cover 50% of the bill. If we are talking moral responsibility I believe your dog was doing his duty to protect you. The other dog and your dog should always be on leash if not in a fenced area. Period. So, find out the liability laws, check out with your home insurance if they have coverage for these sort of things (some do)and do what you can to help out your neighbour in a thoughtful way. She is traumatized as well. Also, be sure and watch Anabelle that this bite incident is not a precursor to a behavioural problem. Most Danes are gentle but being put in a position like this can throw them for a loop.
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