What to do if I’m a petcare provider and was bitten by dog whose temperment was misrepresented to me?

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What to do if I’m a petcare provider and was bitten by dog whose temperment was misrepresented to me?

I provide pet sitting and doggie day in my home and have for quite some time. I also have 25 years experience as a veterinary technician. Recently a woman contacted me to provide care for her dog while she is in japan for 3 months. She explained he had a few medical conditions and is very tender by his rear legs and lower back region. We spoke at length by email and I asked directly if he was extremely aggressive. She responded he is a sweet loving dog and not aggressive unless it involves the rear problem area. I agreed to care for the dog at a very low price of $300 per month as money seemed to be an issue and she had nowhere to leave him while she is gone. When she brought him he seemed very nervous and stressed and the owner displayed a major fear of the dog. I agreed that within reason I would take resposibility if the dog was injured while in my care, as well as myself if bitten after given the warnings of his painful areas. On the 3rd day in my home, the dog attacked my roomate biting her forearm at least 6 times from wrist to elbow after knocking her backwards (she was sitting on the floor at the time) and jumping on top of her. It was somewhat unprovoked but other dogs were present so there could have been a factor for this unbelievable behavior. The following day after having scratched his head and ears, the dog attacked me injuring my left hand (I am left handed). This was 100% unprovoked which makes him a very dangerous unpredictable danger to the household. I informed her that her husband (he did not go to japan but despises the dog thats’ why she needed my services) needs to pick him up immediately. However, she wants me to keep him for another 4 days away yet 2 of the 4 housemates are in bandages and needed to miss work. Can I send him to the shelter without consequences due to our own safety? Also, she paid me with post dated checks to cover the entire stay. I have already used the 1st month payment for bills, she wants to only pay for the days he stayed in my home. Can I keep the first month entirely due to misrepresentation of the dogs temprament causing us injury? Are we entitled to keep all 3 months?

Asked on May 16, 2012 under Personal Injury, California

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The best way to take care of the situation that you are writing about with respect to the ill tempered dog that you are caring for is determined by the agreement that you have in place as to it despite the misrepresentations of the owner that the dog was not bad tempered. If the agreement allows you the full three months payment, then you are entitled to it.

Given the dangerous condition of this dog, you would be wise to board it at a shelter pending the return of the owner from out of the country.

I suggest that you make sure that this dog has its rabies shots in place.

I would also surcharge the owner for the bills that you and your roommates incurred due to the bad disposition of the dog you are watching.

As to the checks that you received that were post dated, I would take the position that you have earned every penny based upon what you have written.

 


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