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Am I held responsible if my dog attacks a dog after it roamed onto my property?

Middleburg, FL |

My neighbors' small dog was out and walked onto our yard and our big outdoor dog attacked it tearing flesh. We paid $200 of the vet fee but our neighbors are still trying to call animal control on her.

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Attorney answers 4


Report to your homeonwer's insurance company to resolve this case. If you do not feel your insurer is protecting your interests, retain a lawyer to help you. Good luck.


Possibly. Report the incident to your homeowners insurance ASAP.

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767.01 Dog owner’s liability for damages to persons, domestic animals, or livestock.—Owners of dogs shall be liable for any damage done by their dogs to a person or to any animal included in the definitions of “domestic animal” and “livestock” as provided by s. 585.01.
"Domestic animal" includes dogs per 585.01. 767.01 is a strict liability statute and no defenses are listed in the statute. So, there is a strong civil liability claim against you as the owner. As for whether your dog should be addressed by animal control, I think you should check with your municipal ordinances to see what the local laws are regarding dog attacks.
Your HO policy might be helpful to you, barring a specific exemption for acts of dog; but your deductible may be higher than the total amount of civil damages under the circumstances.

Do you know the consequences of your legal situation on your Financial & Estate Plan? Dennis Phillips is an attorney and financial planner based in South Florida. He is a member of the Florida bar, he holds the nation-wide Series 65 Investment Advisor license, and holds an insurance license in Florida and Virginia. Disclaimer: The response above is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship. The response is in the form of legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Oftentimes the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that, if known, would significantly alter the above response.


Simply report it to your homeowner's insurance carrier, and they will resolve this.

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