Who pays when a dog turns cat-killer?

Here’s a tragic tale to challenge pet lovers. A dog, which is not allowed to run free on common property, attacks a cat, also barred from wandering on to common areas.  Despite the vet’s bets efforts, the cat dies.

Now, asks Flatchatter Matt, can his friend, the cat owner, sue the owners corporation for the $2000 in vet bills because the attack occurred on common property.

Well, no is the straight answer, or, at least, we wouldn’t fancy your chances in court.

Neither animal should have been there and if they were allowed in the strata scheme at all, it would have been with restrictions on the way they behaved and were controlled.

But there’s a lot more to it than that.

The Flat Chat Forum has a raft of opinions on this, ranging from getting the dog owner to split the bill to writing it off as tough luck on the cat for being where it shouldn’t have been.

Many of them have a whiff of “dogs will be dogs” but if a child had been playing on common property – again without permission  in the by-laws – would we be so ready to blame the victim and excuse the killer?

One of the few excuses for dogs attacking people or other animals, as accepted by the NSW Companion Animals Act, is that the dog was defending its territory – clearly not the case here.

In fact, the owner of the dog could be fined and the dog could, and probably should, be declared a dangerous animal.

If Matt’s friend only wants his money back, he should basically tell the dog’s owner to pay up or face the consequences of being reported.

If he wants to be a good citizen and save the owners of other cats the distress and expense of their beloved pets being mauled by out-of-control animals, he should report the incident to the local council AND the police. And then sue for damages.

There is a lot more on this HERE on the Forum

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