My dog was attacked on my property by a pit bull that was off its leash. Is it possible to sue for damages (i.e. vet bills)?

Asked over 1 year ago - Los Angeles, CA

My dog (a 1.5 yr. old husky) was on his leash in the front yard while I was watering my grass. A pit bull ran up my driveway towards me, or so I thought, the dog ended up attacking my dog while the owner stood by and watched. I had to spray the dog and physical pry his jaw off my dog's neck. The owner took their dog and ran away, fortunately, all of my neighbors came outside and witnessed the horrid scene. They provided me with the dog owner's location. My dog sustained many injuries including, a broken leg, and severe open wounds on his neck. I reported the dog/owner to the authorities, but I am unsure of my legal options. Should I hire a lawyer and sue? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Gary Ralph Ilmanen

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Gather up the Vet bills and either sue in small claims, or talk to your friendly local animal law lawyer. Good luck and hope your dog recovers well.

    I am an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of California. Unless we have both signed a... more
  2. Keith G Langer


    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Document everything; witnesses' names and addresses, copy of the report(s) to the police and/or animal control and, of course, all vet bills and related expenses.

    Once your costs are determined, send a COPY of the bills in a demand letter to the irresponsible owner, who will almost certainly ignore it. You may then sue the owner, probably in small claims court.

    If you wish counsel, the LA and CA bar associations can provide referrals.

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

    Contributor Level 14


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I would collect all veterinary bills and exam records related to the incident. Also, get statements from witnesses. Then, I would get the records from animal control that relate to the incident. You can use the records in a small claims action or hire an attorney to draft a demand letter to the owner of the dog.

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

Related Topics

Dog bites and injuries

The most common animal attacks are dog bites and other injuries caused by dogs. The owner is often held liable, although states vary regarding responsibility.

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