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Mom Confessions Mom Confessions

I screwed up and my dog bit someone else's dog *ETA*

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 58 Replies

DH blames the dog, but it was our fault. One of the kids left the gate open, and we didn't check before letting them outside - just assumed it was shut. Some people were walking their Yorkie and stopped on the sidewalk on our driveway to do something (fix the collar, idk) but they were there for a while. Anyway, my great dane/doberman mix got out and bit their dog. They took their dog to the vet. They came over with the police (understandable). We offered to pay their vet bills (of course) and they agreed. Police wrote DH (4) $750 tickets. One labeling him as a vicious dog now, one for him getting out, one for no rabies tag (which we may get dropped because we had one but didn't have it handy), and one for not having him registered to the town yet (we've only lived there a few weeks and haven't gotten around to it even though we should have). So $3,000 in tickets plus the necessary registration, the cost of building a new gate, and $650 for their dogs' vet bills. It's really stacking up - really expensive mistake.

Good news I guess is that their dog didn't get too hurt because there was nothing about any stitches or anything on the bill, so that was a relief - I feel bad enough as it is, I'd hate to know he caused any real serious damage. So the guy is a county sheriff. He came over and demanded the money and got really mad when DH asked him to sign a little note/receipt for the cash. Since we have to go to court, I thought it would be good to provide paperwork that he was paid. He also didn't want to give us a copy of the bill - but let DH take a "PICTURE" of it on his phone. (I wasn't home to help tell DH how dumb that was).

Anyway, now I don't know if this guy is going to come back with a bigger bill, or say we didn't pay him or what. I'm also terrified of going to court and getting killed with these tickets. I understand it was my mistake, so I'm not trying to say I don't deserve these tickets, but damn, about $4,000 mistake.

Any advice? Or feel free to bash away, it can't be any worse than DH and I have already said to each other, and ourselves. I feel that it's causing a HUGE problem in our marriage because we are still fighting about it and going head to head placing blame, etc...

ETA: I may have not been clear enough. The guy is not the police for our town, but he is a police officer. He came to our home in his (other town) uniform, imo to intimidate us. So we technically didn't "pay the police", but paid the dog owner.

Question though, do you think I could go to the police and tell them I feel intimidated to go over there and ask them if maybe THEY can go by and grab a copy of the receipt? I don't want to piss the owner off and have him screw me for even more money - like pad the bill or something - but I need to protect myself.

Posted by Anonymous on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:03 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Smokeygirl
by Bronze Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:11 AM
That sucks :( we've lucked out and the only dog ours has nipped is my parents dog. We know she is dog aggressive and child aggressive so we take care to keep her under control, but mistakes happen. I hope you can get some of those fines reduced. Don't play the blame game, things happen now you have to deal and move on- easier said than done. Sounds like the guy was out to be shady, I don't see why the police needed to be involved if you were willing to pay vet bills, but they were. Also can one police officer just randomly label your dog aggressive? Seems like something that would face a panel or something :( good luck.
buttercup627
by Platinum Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:16 AM

You took responsibilty right away which will look good on you in court. You should talk to a lawyer, free consult, and see what your options are. You can probably get all the registration stuff taken care of and explain your circumstances about being new to the area and see if maybe they'll take some of the tickets away since you were proactive. Good luck :)

Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:20 AM

 The whole thing sounds weird to me, but I don't want to sound like an asshole for denying anything, kwim? my dog has NEVER attacked anyone. we have a small dog, but he is dog aggressive, so he only goes out with one of us on-leash. Yorkie vs. Dane mix, but no real injuries. Loving freakin dog, even tried playing with a skunk while it was spraying him in the face lol. Loves everyone and everything - I mean, the kids RIDE on him and he loves it. Somehow the dog was back in the yard and the gate closed before the police got there (if a dog was being "aggressive", I don't think I'd try and pull it by the collar down the long driveway). The guy demanded the money, in cash - no receipt. Came over - in uniform - on a day off, I assume to look intimidating to DH.

I have no idea why he got labeled as vicious - I kind of thought that happened if the dog previously did something... I mean, 2 weeks prior we were at the pet parade, and 3 weeks prior we were at a Pet Walk for a local shelter. He freakin loves dogs...

Quoting Smokeygirl:

That sucks :( we've lucked out and the only dog ours has nipped is my parents dog. We know she is dog aggressive and child aggressive so we take care to keep her under control, but mistakes happen. I hope you can get some of those fines reduced. Don't play the blame game, things happen now you have to deal and move on- easier said than done. Sounds like the guy was out to be shady, I don't see why the police needed to be involved if you were willing to pay vet bills, but they were. Also can one police officer just randomly label your dog aggressive? Seems like something that would face a panel or something :( good luck.

 

Linus77
by Silver Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:36 AM

I don't think you are supposed to pay the police.  You are supposed to go to the court to pay.  If he's demanding money, I would seriously question why.

Also, Don't most states have a certain amount of time for you to do all your registration?  If you haven't exceeded that limit, they can't fine you.  And I also don't think HE can label your dog vicious.  I think it's during the court proceedings when that happens.

Separate your guilt from the situation.  You need to know the law.  Regardless of how you view the situation, that doesn't mean you are open to be taken advantage or that you deserve it.  Do some research fast and be prepared in court.

PrissyAnne
by Silver Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM
Were they in your yard/on your property with their dog?
firespurity
by Ruby Member on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:40 AM
1 mom liked this
This, the cop demanding payment in person is very very suspicious and odd.

Quoting Linus77:

I don't think you are supposed to pay the police.  You are supposed to go to the court to pay.  If he's demanding money, I would seriously question why.

Also, Don't most states have a certain amount of time for you to do all your registration?  If you haven't exceeded that limit, they can't fine you.  And I also don't think HE can label your dog vicious.  I think it's during the court proceedings when that happens.

Separate your guilt from the situation.  You need to know the law.  Regardless of how you view the situation, that doesn't mean you are open to be taken advantage or that you deserve it.  Do some research fast and be prepared in court.

Anonymous
by Anonymous on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:42 AM
Your homeowners insurance may cover some of it. I would check with my agent.
Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:44 AM

 Technically he's not the police - at least not for our area. He did come in uniform, but he didn't say like, "I'm sheriff so-and-so". He came over with the bill AFTER the police left. DH told him he doesn't have that kind of cash lying around, so the guy said he'd be back in 20 minutes. DH had to get the kids all ready and take them to the bank...

I had no idea there was a time frame for getting registration done. Maybe because the guy was a sheriff, the cops sided with him and were tougher on me? I'm afraid he can "pull some strings" and really screw us. And it's wonderful, he lives across the street, 2 houses down - so I get to see him regularly now...

Quoting Linus77:

I don't think you are supposed to pay the police.  You are supposed to go to the court to pay.  If he's demanding money, I would seriously question why.

Also, Don't most states have a certain amount of time for you to do all your registration?  If you haven't exceeded that limit, they can't fine you.  And I also don't think HE can label your dog vicious.  I think it's during the court proceedings when that happens.

Separate your guilt from the situation.  You need to know the law.  Regardless of how you view the situation, that doesn't mean you are open to be taken advantage or that you deserve it.  Do some research fast and be prepared in court.

 

Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:45 AM

 I don't think they'll cover the tickets. They would probably cover the vet bills, but those were only $650, and our deductible is $2,000.

Quoting Anonymous:

Your homeowners insurance may cover some of it. I would check with my agent.

 

Anonymous
by Anonymous - Original Poster on Jun. 18, 2013 at 10:46 AM

 Technically they were on public property. Our driveway goes from the garage to the street, but the sidewalk goes through it, kwim? So they were on the sidewalk, crossing our driveway.

Quoting PrissyAnne:

Were they in your yard/on your property with their dog?

 

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