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Is the owner of a pitbull responsible for the bills of my injured dog?

Long Beach, CA |

I was walking my maltesse small dog with a leash at 4am and he was attacked by a pitbul with a collar that was loose in the street. The owners of the pit had no knowledge of it being free on the street. My dog has puncture wounds and has permanently lost a big portion of his top layer of skin due to the attack. He is going into surgery and has lost alot of blood and might not make it doctor said. The owners of the pitbull are making excuses for the payment that is estimated at 3,000. I had to put the charges on my credit card since they wouldnt accept my dog with out payment.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    The owner of the pitbull is completely liable under the facts you have presented. If the owner is not willing to pay for the cost of the medical care, pursue the matter in small claims court. Remember to ask the Judge for the costs of filing and seving the complaint, which the Judge will award to you provided you prevail in court. Best of luck!

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  2. In California, the owner of the dog is strictly liable for any damage the dog does. It doesn't matter if they didn't know it was out on the street. A person who has a pit bull that runs loose will continue to make excuses forever. I would recommend that you (a) notify animal control of the bite, and (b) file a small claims action as soon as you know what the bills will be. If the owners own a home, ask who their homeowner's insurance is with and put in a claim. Sorry about your Malty.

    I am an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of California. Unless we have both signed a formal retainer agreement, you are not my client, and my discussion of issues does not constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of those who hold other opinions.


  3. Many states have adopted strict liability in dog injury cases. California is one. Be certain to know all of the damages before settling just for the first bills. Make your demand in writing, if possible through an attorney's office. Here's more in strict liability for damages occassioned by a dog: BLUE LINK BELOW

    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be given by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction, thoroughly familiar with the area of the law in which your concern lies. This creates no attorney-client relationship.