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Can i sue someone if their dog escaped there back yard to attack my cat at the front of their house?

Harrisburg, PA |
Filed under: Lawsuits and disputes

On two occasions my boyfriends sisters dog has broken out of the backyard and attacked my cat at the front of their house, while i was letting her get some fresh air(she lives inside at all times). Both times have been extreme near misses and i'm terrified the next time my cat wont be so lucky.

Ive asked my boyfriends sister to board up her dogs escape routes but she wont listen to me or discipline her dog for trying to get out. If this happens again and causes my cat injury can i sue her for vet bills?

Thanks for your time.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. You can not sue for damages that have not yet occurred. If they damaged your fence, you can sue them for that. If they damage your cat, you can sue them for that. Call Animal Control (which is usually the county) and report these incidents, and every incident thereafter. Sometimes they will get involved if they see a pattern that the dogs could be dangerous since you say their intent was to attack.


  2. A dog's owner is responsible for all harm it causes not under the owner's control. Your problem is that the dog is still on its property; NOT yours.

    You may wish to consider a kennel/cage for your cat. It can get fresh air and exercise with no danger of attack from dogs, etc.

    The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.


  3. I'm a little confused as to who lives in the house. Do you live there, too? You could probably sue under a general negligence theory.

    This is not to be construed as legal advice. I do not have an attorney client relationship with you.

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