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If two dogs are off leash and a fight breaks out, which owner is financially responsible?

Winchester, CA |

one dog had to go to the vet a day later for $1700 of work, the other dog the owner did not feel he needed medical attention. Fight happened in a common area and the dog that had to go to the vet ended up bitting both owners as they tried to break up the fight.

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Attorney answers 4


Can it be etablished which dog started the fight?



Ok I noticed my dog out of the yard and told her him to sit which he did. The other dog came over with his hair up. My two year old daughter then started heading our way and thats when the other dog turned towards my daughter still with his hair up. That's when my dog stood up and what i would say a mutual fight broke out. The other owner believes his dog is incapable of being aggressive or starting an altercation. Oh if it matters the other dog did proced to inflict multiple punctures to my hand, I believe 7 holes but they are relatively small, along with the other owner being bit but this occurred while trying to seperate the dogs during the fight. I believe the other owner feels my dog started the fight and i believe it was mutual and/or my dog was protecting my daughter. Also if it matters when i noticed my dog out of the yard i told him to sit and he did while the other dog approached him he continued to sit while I came over, but the fight did not happen still my daughter approached.


Perhaps if one dog had a proven history of prior attacks it could establish liability. However, more probably both owners are equally responsible for allowing their dogs to be off leash. You could consult with an attorney who handles animal law matters.

This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney . Be aware that every state has its own statute of limitations; and statutes & case laws that govern the handling of these matters.


Simply report it to your homeowners insurance carrier to resolve.


That depends on more complete information. I won't guess. I certainly would like to know if either dog has a record with Animal Control. I'd like to know the training, supervision, and bite history for each dog. And, I'd like to know each owner's behavior during the incident. City and County laws might exist and bear upon liability.

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