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Lawgirl
Lawgirl, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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If my dog is on a leash in my yard and a neighbors dog comes

Resolved Question:

If my dog is on a leash in my yard and a neighbors dog comes and attacks my dog in my yard, and my dog causes injury to the other dog. Who is liable in WI?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lawgirl replied 6 years ago.

Lawgirl :

Thank you for your question. If the injury occurred on your property while your dog was properly restrained on your property, then it is likely your neighbors will be responsible for allowing their dog to come onto your property.

Customer:

In the law it states (1) LIABILITY FORINJURY. (a) Without notice. Subject to s. 895.045 and except asprovided in s. 895.57 (4), the owner of a dog is liable for the fullamount of damages caused by the dog injuring or causing injuryto a person, domestic animal or property. And is it turns out 895.045 is regarding negligence. So would them not having a collar or any restraining device on their dog be them showing negligence then?

Lawgirl :

Why was the dog on your property?

Customer:

It ran out of their yard and at my dog while I was outside and my dog was with me on the chain. I pulled the other dog off and pushed him away, then the other dog came back at my dog and this is when my dog bit the dog.

Lawgirl :

What type of dogs are involved?

Customer:

Mine is a yellow lab and the other dog is something smaller

Customer:

not sure on breed

Lawgirl :

Do both parties agree that their dog attacked yours?

Lawgirl :

(I mean before it was bitten.)

Customer:

Haven't really spoke with them regarding that, the dog rushed my dog barking then proceeded to bit at my bigger dogs leg

Customer:

only reason my dog was not injured would be because it was bigger

Customer:

Alls I have heard from them is that they want me to cover their $300 vet bill, which includes x-rays and pain meds which I find unnecessary for a small puncture wound

Lawgirl :

The statute you have cited squarely places responsibility for the injury on your animal. I would have deferred to the statute but for reading that your animal was attacked first and on your property. Generally when an animal escapes or gets free and causes damage elsewhere, the owner is responsible. For example, if they animal had caused property damage to your property as a result of not being restrained properly, you would be looking to them for reimbursement. To the extent that they did not properly restrain their animal and it cause their animal to suffer harm BECAUSE IT ATTACKED YOUR ANIMAL, you may not be responsible. However, you will have to prove that their animal was not properly restrained and that your animal was defending the attack from this dog. If it is unlikely that you are able to prove these items or it comes down to your word versus theirs, then you may consider speaking with your neighbors to see if the matter can be settled for a portion of the vet bill.

Customer:

Alright, thanks for the thorough answer! My fiance was right there and saw it happen along with me, how I seperated the dogs then the other dog came back at my dog so I think that is a good sign that it was attacking my animal. I just wanted to know whether its like human law and whether my dog had the right to defend itself.

Lawgirl :

Your dog does have a right to defend itself and the other dogs owner has a duty to properly restrain their animal. Those issues will ultimately play into the analysis

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