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What recourse when a dog killed my dog at a kennel?

Enfield, NH |

My dog, staying at a kennel while I was out of town, was mauled (throat and chest ripped open) by another dog. He was not found for over an hour (vet said - body temp down 20 deg.). Kennel owners originally said they couldn't identify the culprit dog. Now they've told me "that dog" was to be evaluated by a behavior specialist last week. The kennel will reimburse me for vet costs, and pay $800 toward costs of getting a new dog. They've asked me to sign a release before they'll pay. Can I require that I be notified of the disposition of the other dog (whether it be retrained or put down)? My dog's injuries were those of prey, not typical dog fight injuries. The other animal could be very dangerous.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer
Posted

I am sorry for the loss of your pet. The kennel has made you a more-than-fair offer in my opinion. A release is standard procedure in order to finalize any issues of liability. As for the other dog, you can ask, but they have no duty to keep you informed. You could report the attack to animal control, and they will investigate -- they may declare the dog to be viscious. Again, my condolences on this tragedy.

I am an Attorney-at-Law, licensed to practice law only in the state of California. Unless we have both signed a formal retainer agreement, you are not my client, and my discussion of issues does not constitute legal advice. Opinions expressed herein are those of the author, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of those who hold other opinions.

Posted

You can ask and make that part of the settlement. I am guessing that the release will be to protect them from any further liability. If you are concerned perhaps you should have an attorney review that document for you.

Posted

If you make your request part of the release language and both parties sign the release it will be part of the settlement. Please note that you may be releasing more legal rights than you realize if you sign this release. The fact scenario you provided indicates other laws and legal theories might be extinguished by signing the release.

Asker

Posted

Could you be more specific about the other laws/theories, omitting any that simply would result in more money for me? I feel the financial settlement offered is sufficient. My continuing concern is the potential danger presented by the culprit dog.

Nicholas Wright Esq.

Nicholas Wright Esq.

Posted

Have a look at RSA 466. If it is deemed to be vicious or a nuisance it can be taken into police custody. The other theories would be of the omitted variety.

Asker

Posted

Thanks. Yes, I've gone through RSA 466. Unfortunately, the police chief in the town where the kennel is basically took the position that the kennel owners are such a good family that we just have to understand. Doesn't make any sense, but he clearly isn't willing to do anything about the dog or even acknowledge that we aren't pursuing the kennel beyond the agreed upon settlement - we'd like to know that the dog's issues are being addressed. If retraining is possible, I'm all for it. If not, then the animal needs to be put down.

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