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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 |

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

Posted

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.

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Asker

Posted

Ok thank you. Yes i understand i cant do anything if nothing has happened yet, but i just wanted to see if it was possible to get her to pay for vet fees if something happens. Ok i will see if animal control can suggest anything.

Golnar Sargeant

Golnar Sargeant

Posted

Animal control usually opens a file on a household/animal once they get a complaint, and if they get more than one, they may send a warning and the fines after that. If there is an allegation of an attempted attack, they take it more seriously and sometimes the officer will pay a visit to the house. At least that's how they do it where I live.

Asker

Posted

ok sure, thank you.

Posted

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.

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Asker

Posted

The cat was on its property(she lives with my boyfriend), but in the front area, does that hole up? I also had her on a lead because of the first time he got out and attacked.

Posted

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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Asker

Posted

I dont live there my boyfriend does and my cat lives with him as she's unable to live with me. I was wondering if it was possible as the dog broke out of its back yard were she hasn't bothered to make sure he cant escape from on 2 occasions.

Elizabeth Lorraine Elliott

Elizabeth Lorraine Elliott

Posted

Problem is, you are assuming the risk of harm by allowing her to stay living with him.

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