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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 110438
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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We boarded our dog while on vacation at a local vets office.

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We boarded our dog while on vacation at a local vet's office. Three days before our return, our dog got away from the vet. We were not notified until our return. Had I been called, my husband was not on the trip and could have gone to look for the dog. We spent Christmas Eve day and Christmas day looking for our dog. She has been missing for a week and a half now and we haven't stopped looking. The vet only said that he was sorry and hasn't even called to see if we found her. My kids are devastated. Could the vet be sued for pain and suffering and the loss of the dog and what type of attorney would I need to hire?
I am sorry to hear about your dog. Unfortunately, according to the law a pet is considered property no different than your car or your house. Thus, if your car is damaged or taken you only are entitled to the value of the car at the time of the damage or theft. In this instance the vet owed you a duty to care for your property, they were negligent in that duty and are liable to you for the value of your property (See: LA Civ. Code Art 2315, person is liable for all damage caused by their negligence).

Thus, you would be able to recover the value of the dog and any money you paid the vet for him to board the dog, but I am afraid that the LA courts do not award emotional distress damages for property damage or loss claims. You do not need an attorney for this, you can go to your parish justice of the peace or small claims court to sue without an attorney if the vet refuses to pay you the value of the dog upon your demand.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Should I contact the vet and ask for money for my dog? And if we should eventually find our dog, do I give him the money back?

You should contact the vet and if you do find the dog you would be entitled to any costs you incurred looking for the dog, so yes you would be able to keep the money. You should make a demand for settlement in writing to the vet first and sue only if he refuses.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Any suggestions on what I should include in letter and how much should I ask for? (You are being a great help to me! Thanks)

In the letter you need to state he contracted with you to board the dog and he was negligent in allowing the dog to escape and under Louisiana law he is liable for the loss of your property and you demand $X, the value of your dog and costs. As far as how much to ask for, you have to determine the actual value of your dog, plus any costs you incurred in boarding or in looking for the dog so far.
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