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


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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.