Ogden, UT asked in Criminal Law, Animal / Dog Law and Civil Litigation for Utah

Q: Are there any legal recourses against pet care-giver who gets your pet high, allows it to swallow pot almost killing pet

We dropped off our very small dog to a care-giver supposedly vetted by a larger company (like an air bnb - you find a care-giver in your area with ratings or close by). When we went to pick him up he was extremely lethargic. Care-giver said he was just tired. It didn't make sense. Our dog was acting extremely sick, then threw up an entire blunt. We took him to the vet and they took pictures and said he would have died if left unattended, and that he was possibly poisoned by the smoke (obviously high) and cigar-wrappings around the pot in the blunt, as well as the pot. Wondering if there is anything we can sue or do to the care-giver or the larger company providing the care-giver as a trustworthy provider.

1 Lawyer Answer
Lance E. Bastian
Lance E. Bastian
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Licensed in Utah

A: With respect to the criminal side of things, you just need to call the police in the jurisdiction where the abuse took place. They will take the information you have and investigate further, as needed. As to the civil side, this case would probably come down to the value of the claim. Assuming the vet bill is not exorbitant, and there aren't long-term or permanent health issues, this probably doesn't rise to the level where it would make financial sense to hire an attorney. Your best bet would probably be to get on the website for the small claims court in the jurisdiction where this occurred, download their forms, and seek whatever compensation you can support with vet bills, the vet's estimation of cost associated with necessary future care, and possibly some level of compensation for the distress and inconvenience this caused. Depending on how things go with the police, there is also a possibility of restitution in a criminal case without you having to do anything other than cooperate and possibly testify.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.