Ask an expert

30 Jan 2004

urgent legal "pet problem

i realise im taking a chance here on legal matters , but one never knows maybe there is lawyer and animal lover here.

My two boxers are very protective of me especialy my male Monty , he has bitten before when im threatened , and im always very careful when strangers came to my door .. he has also sent of many intruders .. we live on a isolated farm in the northern province.

today my maid was waiting for me outside the gate as usual , but not thinking i opened the gate and called the dogs to jump in the car like they often do.. However Miki my boxer girly who is very loving wiggled over to "susan " my maid to say hello , my little foxie started yapping , but i wasnt worried cos my dogs listen to me .... anyhow i walked quicly to susan to reassure her telling her to stand still and keep quiet .... and Miki wiggled closer and Susan panicked completly .... she was terrified of my wiggly boxer she atatcked me and threw me to the ground and continued bashing me around in terror ..... Of course the second she laid a hand on me Monty attacked and bit her quite badly .... I immediately took her to my doctor for treatment and sent her home .... But im so scared i will have to have my beloved dog destroyed.

Monty is a good dog .. but he is protective ...,.he never leaves my side ... and to be quite honest I need his protection.'

Susan I saw to had the best medical treatment but else must I do ???

im so worried ..
Answer 371 views

01 Jan 0001

Hi Carol
As a suburban animal behaviourist this story creates quite a dilemma for me. As you say you need the protection on the farm, which your dogs give you, but are worried as to the repercusions. I am not a lawyer, but I do know that you will be held responsible, if Susan decides to sue you, especially if you know your dog has bitten before. It's like owning a loaded weapon - you need to be extremely careful of how you look after it. You will just have to hope that Susan doesn't sue you, or pay her what she wants before it goes to court, if you want to avoid things getting nasty. I suggest you offer to help and pay for all medical expenses, psychological counselling and any other inconveniences in the meantime. Keep records of dates, letters and bills just in case. If Susan still wants to work for you I suggest you offer to retrench her as she will be extremely nervous of your dogs, which is a risk in itself. And then, of course, make sure it never happens again. You really need to keep your dog under lock and key at all times, put notices on your gates and work on training your dog to come when he's called immediately. If he was well trained he would have stopped immediately on command. Often this kind of over-protectiveness is a sign of insecurity and over-attachment to the owner so work on making him a bit more independent - give him toys to chew and take him for walks (on a long lead and muzzle if necessary).
Karen Gray-Kilfoil
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
33% - 9362 votes
67% - 19307 votes