Clarksville, TN asked in Animal / Dog Law for Tennessee

Q: My neighbor is saying I'm responsible for a $1200 vet bill because her cat was bit by my dog. The cat was on my propert

My mother and my dog were just sitting relaxing on the back deck when a cat walked up the stairs of my deck. The cat tryed to get some food like it always does and the dog whent up to it casually to sniff it and the cat scratched the dog on its nose. Thats when the dog chased the cat into the woods. A couple of days later my neighbor brings a vet bill of $1,200 to me and says I'm responsible. I wasn't home at the time but I called her back and talk to her and video recorded our conversation I told her I would pay half because I thought it was the neighborly thing to do... I also told her only half because the cat was on my property. She agreed.. Later that night I could hear her husband yelling and cursing saying no he's paying all of it or I'll kick his a**. The next day she text and said they're not going to agree to half anymore they want me to pay all of it and called me a lier. So I told them im not paying anything now. Now I have a court date. Am I responsible?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kristina M. Bergsten
Kristina M. Bergsten
  • Animal & Dog Law Lawyer
  • Denver, CO

A: If this is a criminal case, the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your dog caused the cat‘a injuries in order for you to be liable. If this is a civil case, the other party has to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (think: 51%) that your dog caused the cats injuries. Based on what you wrote, it sounds unlikely but, either way, if you’re going to court, you should be represented by an attorney.

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