I posted a picture of a dog, with no biting history that I'm aware of, in need of a home. On Monday the adopter paid me a $200 adoption fee and picked up the dog. Everything was apparently going good, until Tuesday when I received a series of texts and phone calls from the adopter. The adopter told me that the dog had attacked his kid when giving him a hug goodnight and the dog was then picked up by Animal Control. Can the adopters seek legal action against me? Are they entitled to have the $200 adoption fee refunded?
Typically a dog “owner” is not responsible for a dog bite that occurs after the dog was given away. That is not to say he/she won’t be sued anyway. However, if the person who gave the dog away failed to disclose that the dog had a biting history or misrepresented it, a court might hold such person liable (this will depend on the facts and circumstances of each case). In settling a disagreement or claim, it is customary to have a release signed (basically stating that in consideration of accepting the money, such person has no further claim relating to the incident). However, since a minor cannot sign a contract, these matters get more complicated when a minor is injured (since a typical release won’t bind the minor). Consult with an attorney in your area for further information and certainly if you are sued.
Send Your Pet Legal Question Now!
Elinor will field as many questions as she can and they will be posted here on this site. Due to the volume of questions received, not all questions are answered. However, many individuals have similar questions. You may find helpful information in the categories listed below.