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Ask Deborah Awyzio Your Own Question
Deborah Awyzio
Deborah Awyzio, Solicitor
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 863
Experience:  Bachelor of Laws (QUT), BIT (QUT), Family Law Accredited Specialist, over 12 years experience
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I'm wondering if my friend has a case in negligence or

Customer Question

Hi, I'm wondering if my friend has a case in negligence or trepass. I don't really understand the whole primary and secondary victim area because the "victim" in this case was a dog not a person. Essentially:
My friend owns a german shepherd that she makes an income from by breeding from. But she's also very attached to the animal - he's "family" to her as such.
She had an agreement with a breeder who she loaned him too. The breeder took the dog from the breeding kennel without her knowledge. (We're not sure why, but suspect it was to try and sell him or breed from him without recognising her right to income from any pups.) The dog escaped from the breeders yard and was hit by a car.
He was seriously injured and initially they thought he would need to be put down. He survived but can't be used to breed anymore. My friend has a previous history of depression and is now back under treatment for depression and anxiety because of the incident and also losing her income.
The treatment is costing her a lot of money, but so would a lawsuit. Does she have grounds?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon

My name is ***** ***** I am a NSW Solicitor. Thank you for your question, and will do my best to assist you with your question. Please understand this is not legal advise Please understand this is not legal advise but a guide to assist you.

Did she report the theft to the police when she discovered it?

There is not much law on her being able to claim because of the dog being injured.

I think she would have difficulty in this type of case.

It is hard enough to claim when a family member is injured or killed. I think it would be near impossible for the injured dog.

She can claim for losses of income for the dog not being able to breed and also the cost of the injuries to the dog.

But not for her emotional state.

What has she done so far about making any claim?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
As I said, we've not done anything at this point beyond research.No police report was made because she didn't know it was theft. She had a contract with the breeder. He just took it from his breeding kennel which is not part of the agreement.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon

Not reporting it may go against her in any claim.

If she had not authorised him to come take the dog and the contract did not say he can collect it at any time or stipulate a date until she was ready then he has stolen the dog.

If the contract was drafted correctly it would make him liable for any injuries to the dog and he would have to compensate her.

She has to have this looked at.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks, ***** ***** not really helpful. She wasn't in possession of the dog. She'd given him to breeder. I think we'll go and speak to someone else.
Expert:  Leon replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon

You mentioned "The breeder took the dog from the breeding kennel"

The kennel was liable for the dog and they should have reported it.

She has a claim against them at the very least. They were negligent.

The dog had to be reported stolen to the police. She has a claim for compensation for the loss of income as the dog cannot bread but that is about it.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please close this conversation.