July 2014

Pet-Owner Compensated for Dog Bite Injuries

A woman has been compensated £15,000 for injuries she sustained after a vicious dog attacked her and her two small dogs whilst they were walking in a public area.

When Rebecca Lambert, aged forty-one of Rotherham in South Yorkshire, was out walking her two small dogs near her house she was approached by a bull terrier that was off its lead. The dog’s owner called out to Ms Lambert that his pet was potentially dangerous, but this did not grant Ms Lambert ample time to lift up her own dogs – a pug-beagle hybrid (“puggle”) and a West Highland white terrier – to safety.

The bull terrier proceeded to bite the young puggle pup, and Ms Lambert struggled to free her dog. Whilst she was trying to protect her own pets, she sustained several bites and scratches to her own arms, thighs and face, including some puncture wounds.

After fifteen minutes, the bull terrier’s owner managed to break up the attack by breaking a stick of his own dog’s back. This allowed Ms Lambert to free her dogs, but the bull terrier’s owner then fled the scene.

The police and ambulance services were called to the scene, and a passerby managed to revive the puggle pup. It was then taken to a veterinary practice for immediate emergency surgery, which it survived. The police tracked down the bull terrier and its owner, and the owner was charged under the Animals Act 1971. The dog was then put down.

Ms Lambert sought legal counsel and then made a compensation claim against the bull terrier’s owner. She claimed that he knew that his dog could have been dangerous, but still made no efforts to restrain it or prevent it from attacking others. The man admitted liability for the injuries sustained by Ms Lambert, and negotiations procured a settlement that accounted for Ms Lambert’s injuries, psychological trauma and veterinary bills.

Each year, over 6,000 are injured by dogs, though few know that they can make a compensation claim. This even applies if the injury occurs in the dog owner’s home.