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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 32810
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
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A neighbor of ours is dog sitting. The people hand the dog ...

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A neighbor of ours is dog sitting. The people hand the dog over the fence seperating our house to a guest in our yard. My dog and the dog being watched by the neighbor fight. My dog causes injuries to the other requiring surgery. Who is responsible legally and financially? Us? The dog owners? The neighbors watching the dog? Or the guest in our yard who was handed the dog? We live on Hill Air Force Base in Utah if that makes a difference. We never gave the dog sitters permission to hand the dog over into our yard.
In Utah:

Utah Code Section 18-1-1. Liability of owners -- Scienter -- Dogs used in law enforcement. Every person owning or keeping a dog shall be liable in damages for injury committed by such dog, and it shall not be necessary in any action brought therefor to allege or prove that such dog was of a vicious or mischievous disposition or that the owner or keeper thereof knew that it was vicious or mischievous; but neither the state nor any county, city, or town in the state nor any peace officer employed by any of them shall be liable in damages for injury committed by a dog when: (1) The dog has been trained to assist in law enforcement, and (2) the injury occurs while the dog is reasonably and carefully being used in the apprehension, arrest, or location of a suspected offender or in maintaining or controlling the public order.

This is called "strict liability" which means that you dont need to know that your dog will cause problems

HOWEVER, dogs are considered chattle, that is property. So, its worth what its worth...if its a purebread perhaps a couple thousand but a mut, not so much

Unless this dog is some valuable purebread, I think your offer was good to go

Best of luck

If you have more questions, please let me know else please press the green button

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Philip Simmons's Post: Their dog is a purebread yorkie, the dog is fine, only the vet bill was $830. We offered to pay for half. The owners are very angry at us and want us to pay in full, but since my dog was in its own yard, completely fenced it, and we have "dog on premesis" signs on our fence, and we did not allow the dog on our property, isn't it the people who are taking care of the dog at the time responsible for putting it in our yard? Today, the dog owner jumped our fence, came to our house and came to my back door to confront me about paying. Is there any reprocussions for this? We want to help regardless, but we are not going to fight it if they want us to pay in full if in the long run a judge is going to say we are responsible and then we are out the entire vet bill and legal fees. Any suggestions?
Sorry this is late

Yes, I agree with you that based on all the facts you have laid out, your not liable. I think your offer to pay half was fair.

Another person put the dog in YOUR yard. I think you have a very good argument that the other dog should not have been there and provoked the incident.

Best of luck wiht this one. Let me know if you have more questions and if not please hit the green button

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