Dog attack......who pays the bill

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12 July 2020
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So im walking my greyhound and lurcher both on lead. A lady with a whippet is coming towards me whippet off lead. I pull my grey in tight as she is sometimes grumpy with other dogs. The lady asks if my dogs are friendly i said the grey no but the lurcher yes. So she let her whippet say hello to my lurcher as i went to walk on the whippet heads towards my grey.....my grey growls and the whippet goes for her! So i obviously pull my grey back but the whippet being off lead keeps coming for her. So theres a thrashing of teeth before i manage to get a knee in the way. Neither dog whimpered and both looked fine. Closer inspection the whippet has a scrape to her neck. Fur and top layer of skin off no bleeding. Doesnt mind it being poked an prodded at. We swap details as she said she would take hers to the vet and i wanted to know outcome. They leave dog walks off fine again no signs of discomfort completely sound. She rings me later in the day to say dogs had some painkillers and antibiotics. However the vets want the dog back the next day for a possible surgery. How it needs surgery i don't know as everything looks absolutely fine. Shes saying im liable for the vet bills as it was my dog that caused the damage. Am i? My dog is obviously very shook up and now terrified of other dogs! Taken years to get her confidence on a walk and now back to square 1! I cant stop thinking about it and my anxiety is through the roof!
 
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12 July 2020
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Your dogs were on their leads. Hers wasn’t. Expensive lesson for her to learn - tell her to jog on.

That was my thinking! I was so panicked i was in the wrong i said i would pay half of todays vet bill (which was £70), i havent paid yet mind, but then she started talking about surgery! I mean 1 if the dog needed surgery surley it wouldn't be sent home for the night and 2 im not paying for ruddy surgery!
 

blackcob

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Yup, if it went down as you describe then she can consider it a stupidity tax for allowing her dog to approach an on lead dog - not only that but one she’d actively been told wasn’t friendly.

I appreciate this isn’t the issue at hand now and won’t change what’s happened but in future it might be wise to come up with some methods you’re comfortable using to advocate for your dog’s space. It’s absolutely fine to say something like “we don’t want to say hi, thanks” and just keep walking, scaling up through more robust responses if necessary.
 
Joined
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Yup, if it went down as you describe then she can consider it a stupidity tax for allowing her dog to approach an on lead dog - not only that but one she’d actively been told wasn’t friendly.

I appreciate this isn’t the issue at hand now and won’t change what’s happened but in future it might be wise to come up with some methods you’re comfortable using to advocate for your dog’s space. It’s absolutely fine to say something like “we don’t want to say hi, thanks” and just keep walking, scaling up through more robust responses if necessary.

I do say all these things and unfortunately it still doesnt stop people. Today i shouldnt have let the lurcher say hi while my greyhound was pulled in. And i think thats why i feel its my fault that i left myself open for the situation! The grey is going to be muzzled now which she bloody hates but shes so terrified at the moment i do fear what she will do when another dog is allowed to run up to her!

I just dont know where to go from here! When she rings tomorrow expecting me to pay a bill!!
 

GSD Woman

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Tell her that she should have kept her dog on a leash.

If my particular dog isn't dog friendly I've learned to be very brash, bordering on rude if the other owner doesn't get the message. I taught an owner at work what it is like to most adult dogs to have strange dogs get their faces by getting in hers and saying, "Hi, hi, hi! I'm an obnoxious out of control Labrador." She laughed and said she understands now why her dog acted the way he did.
 

Amymay

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I just dont know where to go from here! When she rings tomorrow expecting me to pay a bill!!
I think you just tell her that you’ve re-considered overnight, having reviewed what happened, and that you won’t be contributing to the bill. She’ll push you for a reason why, and you tell her that both your dogs were on a lead, that you’d warned her one wasn’t particularly friendly but that she allowed her dog to approach anyway. Don’t use the word ‘sorry’.

And then say goodbye and hang up.
 

Pearlsasinger

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I'm with AmyMay and the others. Your dogs were both on a lead and you had told her that the grey wasn't a friendly sort, yet she allowed her dog to approach him. Idiot woman is entirely responsible for what happened and her own vet bills. In future, just say 'I don't allow my dogs to talk to others while we are out'. It is of no matter at all whether they are friendly or not, you just don't allow it.

ETA, Or you could say 'the dogs are, the owner isn't';). That tends to keep idiots away.
 
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'Hi 'xxx', I considered paying half of your vets bill as I was still in a panic after the events on x date, however you allowed your off lead dog to approach my greyhound, despite being explicitly told that she wasn't dog friendly prior to the fight. Therefore I won't be paying anything towards your vets bills. I hope your dog is okay, please do not contact me again'.

Absolutely fine to send by text if you're feeling anxious. You did what you could, yes you could have not stopped at all but hindsight is 20/20, at least now you know for next time.
 
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Thanks guys! Ive calmed down a bit now! I automatically presume everything is my fault about everything! But im more confident now that mine wasnt in the wrong! If it was the other way round and my off lead dog was bit by an on lead dog i would be excepting full blame! Going to see what happens today her dog is due in vets in a min so should know soon if it needs surgery xx
 

silv

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I think you just tell her that you’ve re-considered overnight, having reviewed what happened, and that you won’t be contributing to the bill. She’ll push you for a reason why, and you tell her that both your dogs were on a lead, that you’d warned her one wasn’t particularly friendly but that she allowed her dog to approach anyway. Don’t use the word ‘sorry’.

And then say goodbye and hang up.
Absolutely this, and stick to your guns, you are not to blame, stupid woman (her not you)
 

Goldenstar

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Put it in the hands of your insurers depending on your excess .
Write down an account straight away of what happened .
Do not pay anything until you have some advice and don’t pay anything without seeing the bills .
Let your insurers tell her to go away if the costs are to be over the excess .

It’s not your fault people are just so dim and sadly you just have got your dogs away from others now .
 

Amymay

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Put it in the hands of your insurers depending on your excess .
Write down an account straight away of what happened .
Do not pay anything until you have some advice and don’t pay anything without seeing the bills .
Let your insurers tell her to go away if the costs are to be over the excess .

It’s not your fault people are just so dim and sadly you just have got your dogs away from others now .
Probably the best advice you’ve had.
 

Bellasophia

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as above…plus
facts..your dogs ON lead .
…her dog OFF lead ,approached yours.
…………you advised her to keep away..

Therefore…you are not responsible.
I would not put anything more in writing.
If she phones you again,say you’ve taken advisement and say you are not responsible for the actions / consequences of her offlead dog.
don’t stress anymore..this is not your,nor your dogs fault.
Now concentrate on your dogs rehab after this foolish lady’ s mismanagement of her whippet.
And breathe..
 
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paddy555

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Thanks guys! Ive calmed down a bit now! I automatically presume everything is my fault about everything! But im more confident now that mine wasnt in the wrong! If it was the other way round and my off lead dog was bit by an on lead dog i would be excepting full blame! Going to see what happens today her dog is due in vets in a min so should know soon if it needs surgery xx
your final sentence suggests you are communicating with her. Either decide you are going to pay or alternatively cut off contact. It is really nothing to do with you, nor how the dog is, nor if it needs surgery. She didn't exercise enough care and control over her dog
if you are able to text her then simply say you have reviewed events, taken advice and you don't consider yourself or your dog responsible for the damage to her pet. No more explanation than that.
Don't answer your phone, if she is going to come back let her text and see what she comes up with and her reasons.
If it is just screaming etc ignore and if she clearly intends to pursue (rather than just threaten you into submission) hand it over to the insurance and advise her it is now out of your hands. If you have house insurance you probably have a legal helpline number on there for advice.

As GS says get write it all down with a lot of detail of exactly what happened.
 

Esmae

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20 February 2016
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If your dogs are insured for PL then I would give her the company details and ask her to take it up with them. I suspect they will tell her to do one also and if they do then why should you pay. I don't think you are in any way liable anyway given what you have described, but insurance companies have more clout.
 

splashgirl45

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suffolk
an off lead dog attacked my on lead collie causing a vet visit and a bill of £70, the owner of the dog paid up.
if yours had been injured badly the owner of the off lead dog should pay. the off lead dog is always the one at fault in the case of off lead versus on lead so the owner of the off lead dog is responsible for all vet bills, hers and yours.....IMO there is no argument. i met someone with an airedale who was on lead, my terriers usually just walk on past on lead dogs but he called out that his wasnt friendly so to make sure i put both of mine on leads, if one of mine had approached and got attacked it would have been my fault and if his dog had been injured i would have paid his bill...
 
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