Columbus, OH asked in Personal Injury and Animal / Dog Law for Ohio

Q: Is it legal for someone to kill my hunting dog if they "claim" he was after their cat but can't prove it?

My hunting dog went onto another property and the owner shot and killed him and is saying he was attacking their cat, but can't/ won't prove that he was. Filed a report and the cops told me there's nothing i can do.

1 Lawyer Answer
Matthew S Flemming
Matthew S Flemming
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Licensed in Ohio

A: I'm sorry to hear about your hunting dog. However, in this instance, if your animal went on to another's property, it is considered a trespass. Furthermore, under Ohio law, owners of dogs are strictly liable for any actions of their animal that leads to the injury of another. If that animal was attacking another person's property while committing that trespass, they have the ability to protect their property from being damaged.

If you are trying to make a claim against that person, you would have the burden of proof to show that the killing of your animal was not justified, as opposed to the person being sued having to show that it was justified. Unless you have some other evidence other than him saying that he could not prove it, you will most likely not be successful in trying to bring that argument.

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