What if my dog gets out and bites another dog? Am I liable for the other dog’s vet bills?

I was on vacation and the person watching my house accidentally let my dog get loose. She got into a fight with a leashed dog being walked by its owner. Both dogs were injured- her dog broke a tooth and cut it’s lip from biting my dog on the face. Am I responsible for the other dog’s vet bills? If so is my liability 100%? My dog is a 9 year old golden retriever and has never bitten anyone (animal or human) before. The other owner mentioned that it’s the 3rd time recently that her dog has been “attacked”.

Asked on June 25, 2009 under Personal Injury, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

There is no state-wide leash law in New Jersey, but often municipalities have their own laws, so you'd need to check on that.  Since yours is the one that got loose and attacked the leashed dog, you are responsible for the damage done to the other dog.  Pay the vet bills.  It's also the right thing to do here.


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