I was leaving my apartment to drop my dog off at the daycare, and I usually set my window down halfway for her. As we were leaving, I had to stop to let a new tenant that was walking her dog cross the road. She didn’t cross the road but continued to walk towards us at the edge of the asphalt so I could drive through. I put my car in gear, but my dog (who gets along and plays with 90% of the dogs at my apartment complex) jumped out and ran over to meet this new dog. The owner freaked out and snatched her dog off the ground by the leash. The interaction was no more than a second. I got out of my car and went over to grab my dog to put her back in the car. At this point her dog was yelping, not sure if it was from fright or whiplash. I went to see if her dog was okay and saw no blood. My dog was accused of biting her dog and I was summoned a $250 vet invoice that she wants me to pay.
The incident happened at around 8 am but the invoice wasn’t printed until 2:30 pm. I asked for pictures of the injury and was sent two photos of two little scabs less than half the size of a pencil’s eraser. Anything could’ve happened between 8 and 2:30. She also stated that one was on the rear leg and one was near the shoulder. I just couldn’t see my dog biting another dog or how it's even possible for my dog to cause that injury at two different locations with such a short amount of interaction time. I understand that it’s my fault for my dog getting loose, but I also felt as if the other owner used the situation to her advantage. As a responsible owner, I would pay for her expenses, but only if my dog caused the injury for certain. The bill included blood work, e-collar, meds, level 1 surgery, and an office visit. If its my fault, then I am willing to pay for these, minus the blood work since our apartment requires all dogs to be registered and up to date with shots. What would be the best course of action?
Best course of action: An apology and payment of the vet bill. In these situations, it can also be helpful to get a release signed which makes it clear that the payment is in full satisfaction of any claim relating to this incident. Ohio law provides, in part: The owner, keeper, or harborer of a dog is liable in damages for any injury, death, or loss to person or property that is caused by the dog, unless the injury, death, or loss was caused to the person or property of an individual who, at the time, was committing or attempting to commit criminal trespass or another criminal offense other than a minor misdemeanor on the property of the owner, keeper, or harborer, or was committing or attempting to commit a criminal offense other than a minor misdemeanor against any person, or was teasing, tormenting, or abusing the dog on the owner’s, keeper’s, or harborer’s property.” I am not a veterinarian but it would seem that doing blood work may be appropriate after a dog bite. I don’t think the time an invoice was printed is relevant. A dog can cause injury to different parts of another dog, even in a quick interaction. I hope your neighbor’s dog is doing well (yours too).
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