If our pet sitter is suing us for $300 for services rendered but we don’t want to pay because she made our dog sick, do we have?

While we were away our dog walker called my father to say my dog was getting sick. My father came over and found our condo a mess. Dog feces all over, open pizza boxes laying around, sleeping bags on the stove. My father said it looked like the walker had been staying there.We had to pay for the vet and cleaning. Dog walker is suing me for $300 in small claims court but I don’t want to pay her. What can I do?

Asked on July 8, 2012 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Simple... countersue for (1) breach of contract in that she did not perform the services as required, (2) for damages that she caused to your home, (present receipts for the damage done and repaired), (3) and maybe for criminal trespass/ invasion of privacy-- since the extent of your authorization was to walk your dog-- not to live in your home, and (4) rent for the days she squatted in your home.  I suspect the damages alone and the vet bill will more than absorb the $300.00 bill she is trying to stick you with.  The most important thing to remember is to make sure you file an answer and a counter-complaint or petition.  If you don't file an answer, then a default judgment could be entered against you and you'll be stuck paying the $300.00.


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