Legal Question in Civil Litigation in District of Columbia

my dog and another dog were both of the leash and got in a fight. both of the dogs wer hurt but the owner wants me to pay for her dogs vet expenses aswel do i have to pay them as my dog was hurt and i have to pay my own bill aswel?

Asked on 8/26/10, 8:31 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Phillip M. Cook Cook Legal Services, LLC

If BOTH dogs were on a leash, how were they BOTH get hurt? The problem with dog fights is who was the aggressor? You are likely not under any legal obligation to pay the other dog's bills, as long as your dog can make a good self-defense argument in front of a judge and jury.

If you or the other dog owner pursue this matter further, you both risk having your dogs declared a danger to society and either taken away from you or put down in extreme cases. If your dogs are not completely up to date on their legally required shots, if they are not properly licensed, you will be bringing unwanted attention upon yourself and your dog. Here's what D.C. laws says about licensing your dog -- are you complying? Is the other dog?

The DC Code 8-1804 reads as follows:

(b) An owner who has a dog over the age of four months shall before July 1st of each year, or within 10 days of acquiring the dog, or within 10 days after the dog becomes four months of age, obtain an annual license. An owner shall ensure that his dog wears a collar and a license.

(c) Before any annual license may be issued, the owner of the dog shall have the dog vaccinated against rabies and distemper, and shall pay any outstanding fines.

(e) Except as provided in subsection (f) of this section, the annual license fee for a dog is as follows:

1. No fee for a dog trained to aid the audio-handicapped or blind and actually used for that purpose;

2. $15.00 for a male dog certified by a licensed veterinarian as either neutered or incapable of enduring neutering;

3. $15.00 for a female dog certified by a licensed veterinarian as either spayed or incapable of enduring spaying; and

4. $50.00 for all other dogs.

Best of luck. ******The above is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client privilege.******

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Answered on 8/31/10, 8:42 am

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