Canyon Country, CA asked in Adoption, Animal / Dog Law and Personal Injury for California

Q: Adopted a rescue from shelter. Dog has attacked a cat, bit the roommate and me unprovoked. Can I sue the shelter?

Have had the dog for about a month. Within the first week, the dog brutally attacked and almost killed my sisters cat out of nowhere costing over $850 in vet bills. He nearly attacked me pinned up against the wall trying to bite me when I walked near him with his rawhide. Just today he randomly started running toward my roommate and seriously bit his foot. Later, I went to go lay down in bed with my fiancé( the dog was at the top of the bed on the pillows) and he tried to attack my neck but I protected it with my hands and went in fetal position and again my fiancé pulled him off while the dog continued trying to attack me. My hands were bitten and I have deep bites on fingers. We have cared for the dog, never provoked or mistreated him. The dog randomly snaps into a crazy aggressive mood with no warning. Is the shelter liable? We have reason to believe they may have been aware of this and failed to disclose. This is an independent shelter with mandatory $350 fee plus $250 on supplies.

1 Lawyer Answer
William John Light
William John Light
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Riverside, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It is unlikely that you can prove that the shelter had knowledge of the unfitness of the dog and misled you. If you have that proof then, yes, it's possible to sue. t's more likely that you can take the dog back, explain the situation and get a different dog.

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