The neighbors three rottweilers mauled my dads "healer dog" chihuahua in front of my family and I. Sue?

Asked about 1 year ago - Sacramento, CA

Three Rottweilers that belongs to our neighbors killed my chihuahua around 2:30am. They broke down a piece of the fence and went into our backyard.
This is my fathers healer dog during his struggle with cancer so this has really hit home for my family. It was gruesome since we saw the three rottweilers take turn throwing our dog around and every time we tried to step out one would growl and come running to the glass door.
Worst part is after the kill, were still trying to find their way towards us, going back and forth from the shed to the back to find their way to us. They never left our door step.... Animal Control came, but when he tried to contact the owner- they refused to answer the door. This is not the first time they got into our yard... I am so distressed, what can i do?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Mariam Mary Margaryan

    Contributor Level 15

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I am sorry to hear about the loss of your beloved chihuahua. More recent case law in California treats dogs as a family pet and not merely as property of the owner. You should consult with a lawyer that handles dog attack cases and discuss your case in more detail to determine if you have a claim against your neighbor. Good luck.

  2. Keith G Langer

    Contributor Level 19

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Your father certainly can sue. He needs to document all costs, from the broken fence to the value of the dog, and review the facts with an attorney familiar with CA case law regarding valuation of pets. Be sure and get copies of the reports to AC and the police.

    The foregoing is for general information purposes and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
  3. Christian K. Lassen II

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You should retain a local dog bite lawyer to pursue a claim. Contact one of the attorneys in your state above.

  4. Andrew Daniel Myers

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In a dog injury case, fault is established through strict liability. Consult with an experienced personal injury attorney in your jurisdiction ASAP. Meanwhile, here is an article on dog bite and dog injury cases.

    Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers, North Andover, MA & Derry, NH provide answers for informational purposes only.... more
  5. David Laurence Altman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Your father is entitled to recover damages for the loss of dog. Although dogs are generally considered as a personal property and their value is based on replacement cost, dogs which have special abilities or special training such hearing or seeing eye dogs will have far more value than the typical family pet or therapeutic dog. Your father’s “healer dog” was most likely a dog with good temperament and companion skills that had no special training to perform assistance tasks. If such was the case, compensation for loss of the dog would be relatively minimal.

    LICENSED AND ACCEPTING CASES IN CALIFORNIA & UTAH - 911LAW.ORG - Former Judge Pro Tem in California Superior Court.... more

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