What is my course of action if uncooperative dog owner won’t give me the dog’s name or vaccination and licensing info?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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What is my course of action if uncooperative dog owner won’t give me the dog’s name or vaccination and licensing info?

My labrador was attacked by a pitbull that was unleashed. During the attack, I was fighting as hard as I could to break it up. I was bitten by the dog but the wounds will heal without stitches. the When cops arrived on the scene, the dog owner refused to give the police any details on the dog. I feel like they should have arrested him for not cooperating and quarantined the dog to ensure my safety in order to test the dog for rabies. How does a person get away with not answering the police? What can I do now to find out about this dogs status? I’m very scared. I heard that rabies is fatal.

Asked on July 13, 2017 under Personal Injury, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The only way to legally compel them to give you this information would be to file a lawsuit seeking a court order forcing the release of the information, or if you are suing for monetary compensation (e.g. for your vet bills), you could potentially get the information during the lawsuit since the parties generally have to provide relevant information upon request pre-trial (in "regular" court; or in small claims court, at trial). There is no way other than a lawsuit, unfortunately, to force another person to give you information or answers.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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