(Closed) Neighbor's dog bit my daughter, refusing to pay medical bills. Help?

posted 5 years ago in Pets
Post # 61
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I would talk to them again… If not ask them if they can file a claim with their homeowner’s insurance as a liability claim.  If they refuse then seriously get a lawyer and have him handle it.  Hope your baby gets better soon!

Post # 62
2268 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

I’m really sorry to hear about your daughter! I hope the damage is not permanant and that she begins to feel better soon. That’s most important!

If I were your neighbors, I would be totally mortified. They should absolutely be held accountable.

Growing up, we had friends in our neighborhood whose dogs were raised with what seemed to be vicious temperments. They acted very differently from other dogs I’ve known. In the backyard, they had a high fence and the dogs would be back there with tons of running blocks and hoops and other things for the dogs to train with.

When I was young, my grandmom used to meet me at the bus stop when I was a kid. One day, when I was getting off the bus, one of the dogs hopped the really high fence, bolted across the street, picked my very small (leashed) dog up in his mouth, and started shaking her violently back and forth. It was one of the most traumatic moments I can remember. My grandmom (probably very stupidly, but acting intuitively nevertheless) actually put her hands inside of the dogs mouth and grabbed my dog back. I’ll never forget it, or how my dog looked. The vet said that had my dog been in the mouth of the other dog for just seconds more, she would not have made it. She almost died as it was.

I have no idea how my parents handled it, but I have a feeling the other family paid. I also know that my brother and I were told the dog was sick and sadly had to be put down so that he wasn’t in pain anymore (but this was after another bite in the neighborhood.) I have a feeling my mom told us this but in fact the dog was put down for it’s aggression.

Post # 63
7369 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I was never bitten by a dog. However, I was jumped on and knocked to ground by random strange dog once when I was leaving kindergarten. Imagine having a dog hovering over you thinking its going to bite at you, my sister was trying to pull it off and it wouldn’t budge. Of course when I got older, I realized it was simply trying to play and the stupid pet owner didn’t have it on leash. But that singular incident caused me trauma for years. I would panic when I saw dogs and very get very nervous. Thankfully I’m over it now and love them. But it took me well into my mid 20’s before I became comfortable around dogs. 

I wish your daughter a speedy recovery and hope she doesn’t have a long term affects. 

Post # 64
136 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Your neighbors made the situation awkward by refusing to cover the medical expenses. Their dog hurt your daughter. They should definitely step up and help you. On the other hand, I would hate to have the dog put down. Unless the dog is always agressive. They’re probably upset that their dog was taken and probably not thinking straight. Hopefully when they return, they will have had more time to think and cooperate. 

Post # 66
450 posts
Helper bee

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dogproblem1:  I’m glad they’re going to pay the medical bills but I’m sorry you’re having to deal with them blaming you. I would still go see a lawyer about this. If God forbid your daughter does have neurological complications, there could be costs down the line that they should absolutely be responsible for. 

Post # 67
2600 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

You can get them to pay for the medical bills (which you should), but unfortunately, you cannot change the way they feel. 

In my state, it’s pretty simple: it’s your dog, it’s your responsibility. So “provoked” doesn’t matter, or it has to be a pretty egregious case of provocation (like someone was trying to rob you) for it to matter. THe dog must be under the owner’s control at all times. If your child had actually pulled on the dog’s nose or tried to poke out its eyes, the law in our parts would say that it would be OUR responsibility as owners to remove the dog from a situation in which it might be compelled to defend itself. It’s not the dog’s “fault” for doing what a dog does; it’s not the child’s “fault” for doing what a child does; it’s the owner’s fault for not controlling the dog. 

Here’s how I would feel as a dog owner: 

I would absolutely pay medical bills. I’d get wary for “pain and suffering” beyond medical (which you don’t seem to be seeking anyway). TBH, though, I’d find your request about the restraint and the fence a bit of an overreach–not necessarily a bad suggestion (perhaps necessary), but nonetheless, a bit overreaching for you to ask for it. Most people don’t take it well when you try to tell them how to handle their problems (consider how you would feel if your daughter ever punched someone at school and then the parents of that child tried to tell you how you should discipline and parent your own child?) Seek and accept payment for your daughter’s medical bills, but don’t push about their property or their dog’s restraints. Let the state/city handle that. 

Post # 68
719 posts
Busy bee

Well I’m glad to hear that they aren’t fighting paying your daughter’s medical bills anymore.  It is wrong of them to be rude to you and accuse you of trespassing.  You were invited guests and they should be nothing but unbelieveably apologetic.

With respect to the fence though, I don’t think it’s your place to tell them what to do with their property.  I kind of agree with your neighbors that they’re not obligated to honor your request/demand for them to build a fence unless they are required to do so by some agency with actual authority on the matter.

Good win though.

Post # 69
1262 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

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dogproblem1:  Lawyer up. I hate it when crappy people make you doubt what is the most obvious and appropriate course of action because they suck. It sucks that they are your neighbors and were your friends, but it sucks even more they have a dog that attacked a child. And who cares about your daughter’s friendship. After this, can you even feel safe having her ever go over there again? Are these the responsible adults you want being a part of your daughter’s life?

Post # 70
340 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2022 - City, State

I hope that your daughter is doing better. Your neghbors are really acting very crappy about this whole thing. If that were me, I would be so mortified that my dog bit someone that I would be all over them trying to find out what I could do to help the poor child.

I used to raise and show collies and I have had a collie who was a bit snappish, but she never bit anyone. Even so, she was not allowed outside without being muzzled. I also have a 6 foot tall, very strong locked fence around my entire property, but she was never allowed outside in the yard without supervision (even while muzzled). My dogs were my babies, but they still did not take precidence over a human child. I have always played with all of my dogs by tugging on ears and tails, held and rubbed paws, etc  to get them used to that type of “play” as pups in case they happened to run into a rougher than average child. 

As for helping your child to be comfortable around dogs again, start small. when she’s healed start with smaller dogs that are known to be more gentle (defintley not poodles or chis). Pet the dog around her and maybe even sit next to you and hold it on your lap. Also take her to see some puppies, but don’t have her play with them right away because little pups can be crazy and chewy. Work your way up to larger dogs, but also keep telling her that you will do this at her pace and that all dogs don’t bite.



Post # 71
1 posts
  • Wedding: June 2017

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nikkiibee :  that is TOTAL horse crap!! There is a such thing as unprovoked. ..my neighbor’s pit bull attacked me as I was going into my back door of my house!! I did nothing to provoke that vicious animal ! And it turned out that they left their last residence because their dog attacked their landlord as well!! There is a such thing as an unprovoked dog attack!!!

Post # 72
443 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2015

I agree with 

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nikkiibee :  …  It sucks that a child got bitten.  No cool.  But, I have a dog who is very reactive and whose actions and facial expressions I watch closely and constantly.  My only point is dog behaviors can sometimes be extremely hard to read for the non-owner and impossible to read for a child.  I always say, ‘An animal is an animal.’  Sometimes people forget that.  Because of this…  And I love my own dog a lot…  I would never want or let a child approach my animal.  And I in addition have mixed feelings if a child should be left alone with a dog ever even if it belongs to them.  The owner of the dog should always be present.  

Lastly…  Yes, dogs do get ‘upset’ when there are changes taking place like packing to leave on vacation.  I do feel the owners were flawed to not put the dog away if it was upset they were leaving and they seemed to be aware of the dogs mental state.  Why wasen’t the dog tied up of put away during the dinner?

Post # 73
9086 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Just FYI.. this thread is two years old. I don’t think this is likely an issue anymore.

The topic ‘Neighbor's dog bit my daughter, refusing to pay medical bills. Help?’ is closed to new replies.

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