A 'friend' who looked after my dogs 4 months ago has just claimed that one dog bit her child?

by admin on December 18, 2010

A girl I’ve been friends with offered to look after my dogs for me whilst i was going away on a fortnights holiday. She’s looked after them before and she said one had bit her little girl ( well she thinks it was one of mine but she wasn’t in the same room at the time – she has two dogs as well same breed – chihuahua)

Yesterday she said she’s considering legal action as she has said one of my dogs bit her boy now back in the summer ( she couldn’t give me a date) even though she has never mentioned it before.

Of course I don’t know what happened as she didn’t see either incident and I was very sceptical about her having the dogs again but she insisted as she said despite what happened first time around she loved having them and so did her kids.

Now all my dogs (3) are so well behaved and I’ve never seen any sign of agression from them at all apart from when they playfight each other as most dogs do but that’s it. They are fine around my niece and my partners young family, I’m due to give birth soon and would never keep the dogs if I thought there was going to be a problem.

She’s gone to one of these no win no fee soliciters. I’m really stressed about the whole situation as I don’t want any of my dogs to be destroyed they are all so loving. I’be just noticed on her facebook that she’s considering filing a case as she’s a bit ‘skint’ at the moment and could do with some cash! Please help and no abuse please!!!
Thank you everyone it’s been really playing on my mind over the past few days and honestly upsetting, especially when you have trust in someone!

No my dogs won’t be under her care ever again.

She has now mentioned that her son went to hospital for a cut on his lip and now he has a scar there.

This she has literally just told me.

Also i didn’t mention i think the reason that has brought all this around was that the two dogs she has were purchased off of me (from the mum and dad she looked after) one of which payment is still outstanding for which in this last week have asked her to now pay.

Of course I’m not really sure if that has any relevance to a case or not?

Thank you again all for your advice, I was just wanting to see what I was looking at really before approaching a soliciter.

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Moondog - again December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

This person is not your friend, she has no ethics. I doubt she sought legal advice because she’d be laughed out of the office. She has no proof your dog bit her child and had she filed a report at the time it would have been brought to your notice. She’s just looking for easy money and sees you as the target.

Don’t let her anywhere near your dogs ever again. I would cease all contact with this person.
Unless you have a contract of sale for the dogs you sold her I doubt you will see any payment. You’ll probably have to put that down to experience. However if you do have a contract of sale showing she owes you money I would go for it and chase her up through legal chanels.

What you’re looking at is a scam artist. She may have tried this on with others before you. Make sure you keep a record of what she said on facebook because she admitted she’s looking for money because she’s skint. Not because of anything that took place with you or your dogs and her kids.

SoandSo December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

There is no way this would go anywhere legally. I dont think you have to be a lawyer or a judge to see that there is no basis for her to sue on anything. She willingly watched the dogs – dogs always carry an inherent risk of biting at some point. She has 2 dogs of her own. She didn’t see the incident, and didn’t inform you of it. And are you saying she’s posted on her facebook that she is considering a case because she needs some money??? I would print that out and mail it to her lawyer. That right there should be enough for him to quit the case. No judge in his right mind would award her anything.

Jessie December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

I really don’t think she’s going to get anywhere with this. The dogs were under her care, custody and control at the time these incidents supposedly occurred, making her legally liable for them. She can’t sue herself.

It’s also suspicious that she only mentioned these incidents months after they occurred, and they apparently were not serious enough to warrant medical attention at the time, so there are no ‘damages’ to sue for. She also didn’t apparently think there was a serious problem if she boarded your dogs after the first alleged incident.

She doesn’t have a case.

She could report your dogs to animal control, I suppose, which will be very inconvenient for you, but that’s about it.

Those ‘no fee’ attorneys aren’t free. They work on a contingency basis, meaning that the person they are representing pays nothing to the attorney up front, but the attorney gets a large percentage of any damages awarded to their client. Contingency fees are usually at least 20-30% of any award.

Since there is no way to win an award, I highly doubt anyone will take her case.

If she’s posting about this on her Facebook, take screenshots of those pages. They will come in handy.

And just stop communicating with this woman–she’s not a friend!

Aranda L December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

Well, If this is 4 months ago then there’s obviously something a bit odd, maybe with the Christmas season she wants to take you to court and get money out of you to make up for it, If she did, I’d tell the lawyer everything you just said and keep track of her facebook and see if she says anything about in need of some cash.. Plus if there was no hospital bills or actual proof I doubt anything could happen, best thing to do is fight the case 100% and print out anything suspicious, keep track of phone calls, conversation, everything!

Good luck!

Doc Bill December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

She’s trying to scam you. Some friend, eh? Just tell her you’re sorry for her misfortune and write her off as a friend – and NEVER allow her access to your dogs from now on.

If she cannot provide specifics, and in addition had dogs of her own, and did not actually see the alleged attack, she’s not going to win in court. If her solicitor is so foolish as to attempt further action, you can retain your own solicitor and demand payment from her and her solicitor for frivolous and unjustified action.

Seriously, if all you’ve said is the truth, no solicitor would be so stupid as to take her case…

•Poppy• December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

For starters, don’t let her watch your dogs -now-.

I’d say this is a she-said-she-said case. . . where if your dogs are well behaved, and no other complaints have been filed, she won’t have a leg to stand on. It happened four months ago; anyone can see that if it were a real issue, she would have filed THEN and not NOW just because she’s low on cash. I wouldn’t worry – especially if she didn’t take her child to the doctor when (if) it happened.

mongboot December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

She’s taking the p***. If a dog had bit my child i wouldn’t wait to take action. Tell her she’s talking crap and if she decides to take it further fight it. Those no win no fee things are just for divys who want to make a fast quid xx Good luck xx

Jayse Ö Think before you breed December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

Does she have any proof?
Has she got photo’s of the bite injury?
Did she get the child examined by a qualified medical professional at the time?

Personally, I don’t think she has a leg to stand on, but copy that screen dump on her facebook that says she wants get some cash by filing a claim. Could be evidence if you need it.

Oh, and finally, this is no friend, Ditch her !

Allen Lamberson December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

Obviously a scam.

My advice is to not admit anything, act concerned and ask lots of questions.

Such as…I’ve never seen my dog’s be aggressive, usually it is best to work on dog behavior problems right away…why did you wait so long to inform me??

Then..you never let her watch your dogs or kids again. If a lawsuit does come I would recommend at least a phone consult with a lawyer. But basic advice is if it goes to court…take a lawyer and hopefully when you win you can get awarded legal fees from her.

ladystang December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

get a lawyer and take your evidence with you
hard to prove anything at this late of date
but no i wouldn’t let her near my dogs anymore

SmilingTears2407 December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

In order for her to actually get anywhere with this, she would have to have proof that YOUR dog bit her child. She can’t include a picture of the wound. All that proves is that he was bit, it doesn’t show WHICH dog bit him. Since all the dogs are the same breed, and she has a couple of her own, there’s no way this will go anywhere.

And, like one poster said, you need to print a screen shot of her facebook status and mail it to her attorney as well as keep a copy for you. In case this manages to get to a court, that will save you if nothing else will.

I honestly don’t see this going anywhere. She’s a bad friend but she has no case.

MamaBas December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

I seriously doubt she has a leg to stand on., And if she’s putting information (names?) on Facebook you need to take hard copies because at this point, if she is naming names, it’s her you should be sueing, not the other way round!!

Find youself a good lawyer because these no-win lawyers can be nasty.

And choose your friends carefully!!!

James Dean December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

Um, so she’s going to take legal action against whom? Herself? After all, it sounds to me like it was HER fault that the dogs were there (since she agreed to petsit them), and it was HER fault that she didn’t supervise her children well enough around the dogs.

As such, from what I can tell (from your version of events, that is), the only person who can be held legally liable in all of this is your friend, plain and simple.

A suggestion? You don’t need people like this "friend" in your life, and now would be a good time to cut off ties with her. After all, friends don’t take petty legal action against friends, especially when it is so blatantly obvious who the person at fault is (i.e., your friend, not you).

P.S. – If she is putting the information pertaining to her not-ever-gonna-happen case on FB, then you need to take pictures of it and consider suing her for libel. Seriously, you have every right to do so, especially since she is defaming you in print (and she’s probably slandering you as well, by verbally talking about what supposedly happened).

only smart one December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

I don’t know what state u live in , but in most states the plaintiff needs to have proof of injury. If she didn’t take pictures and take the child to a doctor, then she has no proof. After months it could be argued that her dogs bit the child, also why did she wait so long if she knew it was your dog. It sounds like she;s just looking for money and a court will see that. If u go to court bring your dogs so the judge can see how they are, but brush up on their obedience training first.

KingofSnow December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

If she wasn’t there, and she can’t prove that it was one of your dogs and not her dogs that bit, I don’t see where she has a case.

Especially seeing as it was so long ago, and she didn’t file a report then.

Mike R December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

The fact that she has claimed a financial motive on her facebook account (print screen and save!) makes her claim even more worthless than it was already. Why don’t you try counter-suing her for male fide (taking a claim to court in bad faith) and for the money she still owes? And why don’t you post her facebook ID so we can all tell her what we think of a pitiful little chav like her?

illustrator5 December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

Go talk to a lawyer and if she never claimed to the hospital it was a dog bite and why wait this long? Your friend is trying to cash in on you….protect yourself!

PS You also NEVER leave any dog alone in a room with kids…NEVER so she’s just as negligent!

TK December 18, 2010 at 1:08 am

Your dogs and her dogs were together and out of sight. Her children were out of sight. There is no proof that any dog bit. Children do fall and they will handle dangerous objects. Her child was injured in an unknown manner.
If the child was bitten, then the dogs were most likely harmed by the child. Do not allow any of your dogs to be in her home or near her children again. Do not sell her a dog. Any dog in her home is in danger from the children.

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