What is my responsibility if my dog bit another dog in the ear in self-defense?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What is my responsibility if my dog bit another dog in the ear in self-defense?

I was walking my dog in my apartment complex and came upon another dog that I’d run into before. The other dog ended up getting in my dog’s face and barking like mad. My dog ended up biting the other dog on the ear. The owner of the bitten dog feels I should be responsible for paying the entire vet bill plus follow up care. I am willing to pay half. As far as I know, the other owner didn’t file a report or anything. What is my responsibility here and can she do anything to me legally?

Asked on October 21, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

As far as I know, there's no "self-defense" law or  defense as relates to dogs or  other animals. The issue is owner negligence. If one owner was being negligent, or careless, that would  typically be the one liable or responsible. For  example, if your dog was leashed and the other was loose, then the owner of the loose dog, who wasn't there to control it, would more likely be responsible. Or if one dog has a history of biting others and no steps (e.g.a  muzzle) were taken to stop that, that would tend to make the biter responsible. The issue depends on the facts, so there is no simple answer. If she believes that you are responsible and should pay, she could try suing you and proving, in a court of law, that on the facts you were resonsible; you could defend yourself and also potentially bring up any counterclaims (e.g. if your dog also needed care).


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.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption