pit bull came into my yard and fenced in goat pen and killed my goat

dog collard was pulled off most likely by my goat about 75lbs and on collar was dogs name and owners phone number. finally reached them about 1 week later. After denying it said they would bring money to us. Still no money. They live across the street. One house has 1 pit bull and other house has extra money. Sheriff was called and report was written up. Went to court house and fee is 2 hundred and something just to record. I don’t have money. very very tight budget retired. what can I do

Asked on July 5, 2017 under Criminal Law, Tennessee


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the pit bull owner for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable dog owner would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).
If the dog has a history of biting/attacking, your lawsuit against the dog owner should include an additional claim which is strict liability.  Strict liability is liability whether or not due care was exercised.
Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) would be the value of your goat.  I know that may be difficult to ascertain especially considering the loss of your pet.
Sorry to hear about this tragedy.

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