My 3 dogs escaped their fence and attacked the neighbor next door in her own yard. Are we in legal trouble or can our dogs be taken from us?


dog bite liability

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My 3 dogs escaped their fence and attacked the neighbor next door in her own yard . She called the police. We offered to pay her medical bills but the owner refuses to speak to us about it and the dog warden said that we might hear more about this. Other than the medical bills, are we in legal trouble or can our dogs be taken from us? We have had a bad relationship with this neighbors for years. They attempted once to have our Home Owners Association force us to get rid of our dogs because he was working from home and their barking disturbed him. The members were not willing to pay an attorney to force me to get rid of the dogs so that situation just went away. I am willing to hire an attorney if necessary, but I would hope that I would not have to do so.

If you care about your dogs, you should do what needs to be done to keep them on your property and restrained so they cannot hurt either people or other animals. Barking dogs and biting dogs are more than a nuisance. I love dogs and would hate to lose one of mine because of my own negligence in not properly securing them and making sure they were under control.

Your homeowners insurance carrier will be responsible for this claim unless they already excluded your dogs from your policy because of prior incidents. They are responsible to provide you with indemnification and defense. That means they pay for the damages your dogs caused and they provide you with legal representation if you are sued.

Your homeowners insurance carrier can put an exclusion on your policy so that they are not responsible for future damage caused by your dogs.

If you do not have homeowners insurance, you should consult with a local attorney and take care of securing your animals. Do what needs to be done so they aren't a risk to your neighbors. You could lose your dogs because of your negligence, which is not fair to your dogs.

There are no bad dogs -- just bad dog owners. Be a responsible dog owner.

If you or a loved one has been hurt through no fault of your own, contact us for a free consultation at 800-560-3388. Or email us at LindaShick@Naftulin-Shick.com.