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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71031
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We had our 2 dogs in boarding kennels in February this year.

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We had our 2 dogs in boarding kennels in February this year. The person who booked our dogs in wrote the wrong weights on the feeding charts leading to the kennel staff over feeding our smaller dog. This resulted in the dog dying with a twisted stomach. At the time the kennel manager investigated and admitted liability. He claimed to be very upset about it and said he'd ensure the company would compensate us for this negligence, but now nearly 7 months later we are no further forward. I have written to the kennels and to the owner of the company direct with no responses, no apologies, nothing. They refuse to answer our telephone calls. They instructed their insurance company who basically told me all they would settle for we're my out of pocket expenses. I've not even had a refund for the boarding fee. Please can you advise if we can pursue this or offer us some advice as what to do next? Thanks, Helen.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
How much was your dog worth?
Were they pedigree?
How old were they?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thank you.
We paid £150 for the dog that was killed. He was an 8 year old pedigree Rottweiler.
I presume that he wasn't a show dog and you weren't going to breed from him at that age?
Do you mean you paid for his boarding at £150?
Or that was the price originally? That is cheap for a pedigree Rottweiler.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sorry, I got muddled up, we paid £425 for him as a puppy. No he wasn't a show dog or a stud, just my baby. We only had them in the kennels for one night at a cost of £38.40 on that occasion. I understand the whole out of pocket expenses and cost of a replacement dog but I couldn't replace him if I tried and nothing can bring him back.
No, and that is the difficulty with situations of this kind.
Clearly they have been negligent and there are breaches of contract and you do have a claim. Quantifying your loss is much harder.
You only have a claim for the sum of your loss. Dogs are worth very little actual money on the open market. They are certainly not worth the sum of money that they are worth to us.
You have a claim for kennel fees and your out of pocket expenses and probably the sum of money the dog was worth in law which, in truth, is not a lot. They might well offer more to avoid the bad publicity. This type of thing is the kiss of death to a kennel.
That said, if this has gone to the insurance company then the reason for their dilatory behaviour will be that they know that you have a very low claim in law and they have no interest in protecting the kennel's reputation.
You can always sue. You can issue here
Its probably a good idea to send them a letter before action giving them 7 days to settle before you do though. That sometimes does work and it is free to do.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks for that. I'm finding it very hard to accept that a national company of boarding kennels can be negligent, kill a pet and then not be liable to compensate the owners with no more than a refund and a token sum for what they see the animal is worth with not so much as an apology. I'll try writing again and will look at the link you sent. Thanks again for your help.
No problem.
The kennels have a very significant interest in paying you off. The insurance company I suppose less so.
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