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How do I get a dog owner to pay for vet bill after attack if I do not have his information?

Austin, TX |

My dog was attacked by a neighbors dog in my apartment complex off-leash dog park. It was completely unprovoked, and left my dog with multiple puncture wounds and a large gash in her head. Stitches were required and the bill was nearly $400. I have the owner's first name and license plate only. He did call me (from a blocked number) the next day and said there is no way I can prove his dog is the one who did this, and that him helping with the bill would be admitting fault. He is not willing to help. I have filed a police report but they were not interested in helping since a person was not attacked. How can I send a demand letter when I only have a first name? I am the victim here - my dog is injured and I've lost $400 - just looking for some help.

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Attorney answers 2


You have a tough case. First, you would have to figure out who this owner is. Second, in Texas, you have to prove the owner the dog is vicious and the owner had knowledge or constructive notice of that fact. See Lewis v. Great Southwestern Corporation, 473 S.W.2d 228 (Tex. Civ. App.-Fort Worth 1971, writ ref'd n. r. e.),


Pretty hard to do. Contact a private investigator. Comb the neighborhood looking for other witnesses who may know the person. There are no magic tricks unless the person has a highly unusual first name.

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

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