Q: My small dog was chewing on a bone on my bed, my friend went toward her and I told him to leave her alone. He did not
He touched her lower back, I said leave her alone. Dog picked up bone and moved. Friend went to reach again, I said stop, I've told you, leave her alone. He then reached for bone, dog snarled and did a warning.. not bite but hard nibble toward him. Friend hit my dog over and over. I yelled for him to stop, pulled him away from dog( maltese) dog went back to bone, i told friend, get away, leave her alone. friend went and grabbed again and the dog did same as before. Friend hit dog harder, I grabbed him away. Dog hiding on end of bed, no bone. I yelled at friend who got angry and then hit dog again, saying he'd keep doing it because dog went after him. Question.. am I at fault? No broken skin to friend (so called) he then threatened to shoot my dog as i kicked friend out of my house. No actual bite, no medical attention needed, no authorities had to be involved.
A: Stop calling that person a friend. Make real friends. He sounds guilty of criminal animal abuse, if you choose to file charges.
A: The question "am I at fault" in a dog bite (or nibble) case depends heavily on the facts, including what a dog owner knew about their pet (e.g., had it bitten before or was this the first time).
If an adult knowingly goes towards an animal (or their bone) after the owner warns not to, that may show contributory negligence. When someone doesn't act reasonably and their own actions contribute to an accident/incident, Maryland law has a doctrine called "contributory negligence" that often prevents them from recovering in a lawsuit.
That said, someone has to show damages to hold another responsible for them and the facts you describe relate no injury. If despite all that you wind up facing claims from the incident you would be strongly encouraged to sit down with a lawyer.
While the above isn't legal advice, I hope it helps.
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