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  • FIRST POST
    • franklin.adele
    • By franklin.adele 15th May 19, 10:37 AM
    • 6Posts
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    franklin.adele
    dog attack on cat
    • #1
    • 15th May 19, 10:37 AM
    dog attack on cat 15th May 19 at 10:37 AM
    I hope i can get some help. my cat was attacked by a dog and had to be out down,the dogs owner said she would cover any bills until she saw the bill,the police have said a responsible dog owner would pay it and as she said it in front of witnesses she "doesnt have a leg to stand on legally". The problem is its a civil case and costs money to go to court,her and her partner both work but i am off sick with anxiety and a single mum as well,we have paid a high price with the loss of our pet and now it looks like we will have to pay out for this which i cannot afford as my mortgage has gone up. What can i do about this is there help with vets bills is there a legal way to make them pay as its their negligence that caused this and i dont see why we should pay for something that wasnt our fault. Its bad enough we are dealing with loss and my 8 year old witnessed the attack and has trouble sleeping and is always upset and i also have the worry of finding the money to pay for the vets bill. Hope someone can help us.
Page 1
    • KatrinaWaves
    • By KatrinaWaves 15th May 19, 11:10 AM
    • 573 Posts
    • 1,038 Thanks
    KatrinaWaves
    • #2
    • 15th May 19, 11:10 AM
    • #2
    • 15th May 19, 11:10 AM
    I hope i can get some help. my cat was attacked by a dog and had to be out down,the dogs owner said she would cover any bills until she saw the bill,the police have said a responsible dog owner would pay it and as she said it in front of witnesses she "doesnt have a leg to stand on legally". The problem is its a civil case and costs money to go to court,her and her partner both work but i am off sick with anxiety and a single mum as well,we have paid a high price with the loss of our pet and now it looks like we will have to pay out for this which i cannot afford as my mortgage has gone up. What can i do about this is there help with vets bills is there a legal way to make them pay as its their negligence that caused this and i dont see why we should pay for something that wasnt our fault. Its bad enough we are dealing with loss and my 8 year old witnessed the attack and has trouble sleeping and is always upset and i also have the worry of finding the money to pay for the vets bill. Hope someone can help us.
    Originally posted by franklin.adele
    Sorry for the loss of your cat.

    Where was your cat attacked? If in your garden, then you need to ask the police to pursue the dog owners for allowing their dog to be dangerously out of control. Again for the public highway. I will note though that it is incredibly difficult to get the police to act unless the attack was on a person.

    if in the dogs garden, then it is unlikely you can do anything about it.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 15th May 19, 12:11 PM
    • 6,401 Posts
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    sheramber
    • #3
    • 15th May 19, 12:11 PM
    • #3
    • 15th May 19, 12:11 PM
    Sorry for your loss.

    The circumstances of the attack may affect how successful a claim would be.

    The cat on its own property and an offlead dog coming onto the property is different to a dog in its own garden and the cat comes into the garden.

    Was it a quick, prey attack or was it a frenzied attack with the dog worrying the cat and biting those who tried to help?

    Do you have legal cover on a home contents insurance policy or through a union at work?

    You might consider the small claims court

    https://www.which.co.uk/consumer-rights/advice/when-should-i-use-the-small-claims-court

    Ask your vet for a payment plan.
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 15th May 19, 1:18 PM
    • 8,642 Posts
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    jackieblack
    • #4
    • 15th May 19, 1:18 PM
    • #4
    • 15th May 19, 1:18 PM
    First of all, sorry for your loss, I would be devastated if something like that happened to one of mine.


    The two things you are asking about are separate issues.

    1. You are responsible for paying the vet bill as it was your cat and the vet would have needed your agreement/instruction to PTS. (How much is the bill? "the dogs owner said she would cover any bills until she saw the bill" makes it sound like an unexpectedly large bill...?)
    Most vets will agree a payment plan with you (if you explain your circumstances)


    2. Whether you can pursue the dog owner for recovery of your costs will depend on the circumstances as stated above. You may need to pursue a small claim.
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    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 15th May 19, 1:36 PM
    • 4,164 Posts
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    Silvertabby
    • #5
    • 15th May 19, 1:36 PM
    • #5
    • 15th May 19, 1:36 PM
    I'm so, so sorry. I'd be devastated if this happened to my furry madam.

    Even if your cat strayed into the dog's garden, this should never have happened. What if the next 'intruder' happens to be next door's toddler, chasing after his football?

    Whatever the circumstances/outcome, this needs reporting to the police.
    Last edited by Silvertabby; 15-05-2019 at 1:46 PM.
    • KatrinaWaves
    • By KatrinaWaves 15th May 19, 2:13 PM
    • 573 Posts
    • 1,038 Thanks
    KatrinaWaves
    • #6
    • 15th May 19, 2:13 PM
    • #6
    • 15th May 19, 2:13 PM
    I'm so, so sorry. I'd be devastated if this happened to my furry madam.

    Even if your cat strayed into the dog's garden, this should never have happened. What if the next 'intruder' happens to be next door's toddler, chasing after his football?

    Whatever the circumstances/outcome, this needs reporting to the police.
    Originally posted by Silvertabby
    Im fairly sure there have been cases where dogs have killed children on private land and nothing is required to be done. (Update: There have, and the law has been updated. Still nothing to be done about a cat wandering onto the land)

    The police cannot do anything if a cat wanders onto someone elses land and is killed.
    Last edited by KatrinaWaves; 15-05-2019 at 2:16 PM.
    • franklin.adele
    • By franklin.adele 15th May 19, 3:21 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    franklin.adele
    • #7
    • 15th May 19, 3:21 PM
    • #7
    • 15th May 19, 3:21 PM
    It was in my next door neighbours garden where my cat and her cat often hang out as such,and our kids aswell,the dog lives 12 doors down so got out and came halfway up the street.
    • MovingForwards
    • By MovingForwards 15th May 19, 3:26 PM
    • 977 Posts
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    MovingForwards
    • #8
    • 15th May 19, 3:26 PM
    • #8
    • 15th May 19, 3:26 PM
    Unfortunately there are not many laws covering cats, eg if you are driving and you hit one you don't have to report it to the police, hit a dog and you do.

    Mostly it's down to them being classed as independent and wandering animals.

    I'm sorry about what has happened to you and your family.

    Did the vet try and save your cat, is that why you have ended up with a large bill? Or is it the consultation fee and fee to put him/her to sleep?

    You could take a punt through the small claims court as that is designed for the public to put 'lower value' cases through the court and the judges are more relaxed about litigants in person as the judges understand they are not legally trained.

    However, you would still need to prove the woman was negligent and that is what caused the incident with your cat.

    If you can answer people's questions we can give you more guidance.
    • franklin.adele
    • By franklin.adele 15th May 19, 3:44 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    franklin.adele
    • #9
    • 15th May 19, 3:44 PM
    • #9
    • 15th May 19, 3:44 PM
    Sorry im new to this forum and will try and answer all questions. It was in a neighbours garden and the dog,the owners have said, is a rescue and was trained to hunt small animals. The bill was 470 i dont know if the cost is so high as it was on good friday i would normally go to PDSA as i am on sick at the minute. My daughter and her friend were playing out and saw the cat being attacked and screamed so i ran out and at the dog which tried to drag my cat away,i got its collar and pulled it away,i had to get my daughter to try and pick the cat up as i was holding back the dog the minute she did so the dog lunged at them both,luckily my neighbour was in and grabbed the dog so we could get away with the cat. In the chaos my daughters leg was bleeding and she said it happened at the point the dog lunged,i thought the cat had caught her but a few days later it came to light it was actually the dog. My sister spoke the with police for advice on the day who said about them having to pay the bill as i had witnesses to them saying they would,i didnt make an official report at that time i didnt realise the dog had caught my daughter and feel to say it now it looks as if im making it up and it was only a scratch but saying that does that mean there is a good chance the dog could hurt a child if it is near or holding what it sees as prey? tia
    • KatrinaWaves
    • By KatrinaWaves 15th May 19, 4:11 PM
    • 573 Posts
    • 1,038 Thanks
    KatrinaWaves
    Seems unclear whether or not the dog actually hurt your child.

    You could take it to civil court if you have witnesses saying she agreed to pay. The police should really not be weighing in on this, although in the first post you do say something like 'they said a responsible owner would...' so clearly they are not going to back you up in legal way. They have no powers to make someone pay your vet bills unfortunately.

    The police should absolutely speak to the neighbour about making sure the dog is kept on a lead or in a secure garden. Many dogs are prey driven, such as greyhounds, and it sounds like the neighbour is allowing it to be dangerously out of control, so the police do need to deal with this side as clear there was fear of harm.

    With regards to your vet bill though sadly that will not be dealt with as a criminal matter and you would need to take it to the courts.
    • iammumtoone
    • By iammumtoone 15th May 19, 4:37 PM
    • 6,025 Posts
    • 12,012 Thanks
    iammumtoone
    I am sorry for your loss in what was a truly awful situation.

    470 is not a lot for a vets bill in these circumstances I understand you can't afford it but for your neighbours to say they would pay then say its too much money have no idea of the cost of keeping an animal.

    I would get back onto police make an official report make sure they are fully aware of what happened, the dog got onto private land, killed an animal and attempted to harm your daughter. They will be unable to help you with your money claim but need to be aware of this dog in case something more serious happens next time. The owners need speaking to. Do you know where they got the dog from? I would also be calling therm to inform them of this, they clearly did not place this dog with the correct owners and need to be made aware of their shortcomings.

    Next step is small claims. In basic terms (which the law works on, unfortunately emotions don't come into law) the dog destroyed your property which was on private land the owners then need to pay to replace that property (or in this case costs associated with it). You have a witness to say they agreed they would. Sounds like a strong case to me.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 15th May 19, 7:36 PM
    • 6,401 Posts
    • 4,816 Thanks
    sheramber
    Contact the police and tell them you want to lodge a complaint that the dog was dangerously out of control reference the Dangerous Dogs Act.

    Insist on a Crime Number. That means it has to be followed up.

    If the dog has bitten your daughter then she should see a doctor. Dog bite can introduce bacteria deep into a wound which gets blocked in when the surface of the wound heals over.

    The critical part of your evidence that the dog continued to be aggressive to a human after the cat was removed.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 15th May 19, 7:45 PM
    • 18,991 Posts
    • 48,152 Thanks
    elsien
    Please also bear in mind that the police do talk cobblers sometimes when it comes to civil law. Just because they're telling you something doesn't necessarily make it correct.
    Did you not have insurance?
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • elsien
    • By elsien 15th May 19, 8:04 PM
    • 18,991 Posts
    • 48,152 Thanks
    elsien
    I'm so, so sorry. I'd be devastated if this happened to my furry madam.

    Even if your cat strayed into the dog's garden, this should never have happened. What if the next 'intruder' happens to be next door's toddler, chasing after his football?

    Whatever the circumstances/outcome, this needs reporting to the police.
    Originally posted by Silvertabby
    Sorry but I have to correct this. Dogs chasing cats generally speaking bears no relation to dog attacks on humans and a dog that chases cats does not mean it will attack a human, child or otherwise. Some dogs chase cats in the same way that some cats kill mice and birds.

    ETA - that's a general comment. In this case if it were my dog I'd be mortified, and would certainly be paying the bills.
    Last edited by elsien; 15-05-2019 at 8:14 PM.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
    • Fire Fox
    • By Fire Fox 15th May 19, 10:07 PM
    • 24,624 Posts
    • 28,503 Thanks
    Fire Fox
    Welcome to MSE. Sorry to read of this sad situation. (((Hugs))) from someone else with anxiety.

    You and your next door neighbour need to formally report the whole incident to the police and get a crime reference number or copy of statement or whatever the police offer for you to use as evidence. You can report incidents after they have happened if you have a good reason (as you do not realising your daughter was injured by the dog).

    Whether the police consider it a civil case or criminal case you need documentary evidence. You may need to take your child to your family doctor to record any injuries and document any mental effect on your child and on yourself. You also need a printed report from the veterinarian as to your cat's injuries, their professional recommendations and the end outcome.

    Taking out a small claims action in the County Court is not expensive at all, you do not need a legal representative (no solicitor or barrister) and ALL of your costs can be included in your claim against the dog owner. You can even claim for things like taxi fares to the vet if you can get a dated receipt from the taxi company you used. The Citizens Advice Bureau can help double check your court paperwork.

    County Courts also deal with custody and other family/ children issues, so cases can seem quite relaxed, just sitting around a table not in a proper courtroom. Judges understand completely that small claims actions are taken out by good genuine people, and they can be very patient and very kind if they know you are anxious or upset. If the dog owner does not turn up and you do turn up to court with your witnesses (eg. next door neighbour, daughter) you win the case automatically! That is quite likely if the dog owner knows they do not have a leg to stand on.

    Unfortunately it is your responsibility to have money set aside for unexpected accidents, illnesses and veterinary bills, but the vet practice may well be willing to take staged payments over a few months if you make a reasonable offer. Do not panic: write an offer letter or e-mail to the practice owner or practice manager.

    PDSA normally have a free or discounted out-of-hours service via other local vet practices. Are you currently registered with the PDSA, did you ring the PDSA telephone number, listen to the message and follow the instructions?

    Be sure you are claiming all the state benefits you are entitled to as a family. If you have debts or mortgage payments that are crippling you financially post your SOA (= detailed budget) on the MSE 'Debt-free Wannabe' board. Lovely helpful knowledgeable regulars.

    Post again as much as you want on this thread. I will especially try to watch out for your posts here, or you can hunt me down on the MSE 'Old Style Moneysaving' board (I am a regular on Cooking for One and 2019 Clutter-free Life).

    Hope that helps, and sorry I wrote you an essay.
    Last edited by Fire Fox; 15-05-2019 at 10:23 PM.
    Declutterbug-in-progress.⭐️⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ Trainee Rosie the Riveter.
    • franklin.adele
    • By franklin.adele 16th May 19, 3:13 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    franklin.adele
    I have been to the citizens advice and they helped with a letter that needs to be sent to them before going to small claims. I know it might sound stupid but i am worried if i make an official complaint to the police the dog could be destroyed,i dont think it is a smart idea to have a dog they know to be aggressive towards small animals in an area with so many small animals and i blame the owners not the dog it was doing what it was trained to do and i believe lurchers have a high prey drive. Maybe i am not thinking straight its been an emotional time and traumatic especially for my daughter who witnessed it not only did she lose her pet but saw him attacked and she is scared to play out in her own garden as the dog owners said their dog can jump over 6 foot fences and that is how it escaped (their gate/fence i can see over so its certainly not 6 foot). I did agree a payment plan at the vets at the time but i may have to ask them to make it less they were very understanding but explained he was my pet and had to be in my name no matter if the dog owner said they would pay. Apart from the money i am scared they cannot look after the dog and am very anxious letting our other cat out,i dont think the dog would attack a person though if someone has hold of a cat and it wants to get at it i dont know what would happen then. thank you all for the help and advice its been helpful and a lot to look into its a struggle to get my head around it all at the minute if i was to go to the police is there a time limit?
    • onwards&upwards
    • By onwards&upwards 16th May 19, 3:51 PM
    • 329 Posts
    • 626 Thanks
    onwards&upwards
    I'm so, so sorry. I'd be devastated if this happened to my furry madam.

    Even if your cat strayed into the dog's garden, this should never have happened. What if the next 'intruder' happens to be next door's toddler, chasing after his football?

    Whatever the circumstances/outcome, this needs reporting to the police.
    Originally posted by Silvertabby

    Loads of dogs are reactive to cats but absolutely fine with humans of all ages.
    • sheramber
    • By sheramber 16th May 19, 4:06 PM
    • 6,401 Posts
    • 4,816 Thanks
    sheramber
    I have been to the citizens advice and they helped with a letter that needs to be sent to them before going to small claims. I know it might sound stupid but i am worried if i make an official complaint to the police the dog could be destroyed,i dont think it is a smart idea to have a dog they know to be aggressive towards small animals in an area with so many small animals and i blame the owners not the dog it was doing what it was trained to do and i believe lurchers have a high prey drive. Maybe i am not thinking straight its been an emotional time and traumatic especially for my daughter who witnessed it not only did she lose her pet but saw him attacked and she is scared to play out in her own garden as the dog owners said their dog can jump over 6 foot fences and that is how it escaped (their gate/fence i can see over so its certainly not 6 foot). I did agree a payment plan at the vets at the time but i may have to ask them to make it less they were very understanding but explained he was my pet and had to be in my name no matter if the dog owner said they would pay. Apart from the money i am scared they cannot look after the dog and am very anxious letting our other cat out,i dont think the dog would attack a person though if someone has hold of a cat and it wants to get at it i dont know what would happen then. thank you all for the help and advice its been helpful and a lot to look into its a struggle to get my head around it all at the minute if i was to go to the police is there a time limit?
    Originally posted by franklin.adele
    it is possible the owner would be required to take steps to prevent the dog escaping again. If it can get over the fence then they have to decide how they are going to prevent it happening again. Whether fixing something to the fence or returning the dog to the rescue.

    the police can advise the owner and come to an agreement with them.

    While nobody wants to see a dog pts how will you feel if the dog escapes again and kills somebody else's cat?

    Do you have a dog warden on your area.? Some can be very helpful and will speak to a dog owner when there is a problem. Unfortunately, not all are like that.

    You can log a complaint with the police but say you don' t want the dog destroyed but you want assurance that steps have been taken to prevent it happening again, due to the affect this had had on your family.

    I hope the owners have already realised their responsibility and will pay the bill and take steps to prevent something happening in future.
    • charlie3090
    • By charlie3090 16th May 19, 5:18 PM
    • 360 Posts
    • 884 Thanks
    charlie3090
    Much as I dont want to disagree,
    I think you will struggle to get anywhere,
    my cat was killed in my front garden,well he died 2 weeks later from the injuries, firstly the rspca were useless, gave me a ref number and
    said they could do nothing as cat were property.

    The police went round to the house where the dog had got out from, they only went because I was injured trying to get the dog off my cat(not bitten though).

    The police said they couldnt do anything as the dog was secured in the garden and they were not letting it roam, it attacked another cat a year later.
    It does not matter what the dog owner said,proving it is another matter, I personally think that its not worth the grief.

    I understand your worry about it attacking people but its probably fine ,just likes attacking furry things.

    I know you feel that something should happen as a result of this but dont build your hopes up, my vets bills run into thousands of pounds trying to save my poor baby but I dont think about it as it was making me crazy.

    What I did do was take an old stray from the rspca and he had a couple of nice years with me, that was the best legacy I could do for my cat.

    Im so sorry for your loss x
    • elsien
    • By elsien 16th May 19, 5:56 PM
    • 18,991 Posts
    • 48,152 Thanks
    elsien
    It is very unlikely the dog would be destroyed for a first offence in the circumstances you describe.

    It is more likely that the owner (if prosecuted) will be required to ensure the dog is kept under proper control.

    I know someone whose dogs escaped when a visitor to the house left the door open. They attacked another dog who was being walked and the other dog's owner was bitten while trying to protect it.
    The dogs were subject to a control order meaning that they had to be muzzled and on a lead when out and about, and the owner was given a short suspended prison sentence which would be enacted if the dogs were allowed to escape again. That was a very punitive sentence, probably because the dogs were bull terriers.
    Last edited by elsien; 16-05-2019 at 6:03 PM.
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
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