How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Jo C. Your Own Question
Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71050
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
Type Your Law Question Here...
Jo C. is online now

I paid kennels to look after my four dogs whilst on holiday

Customer Question

Hi I paid kennels to look after my four dogs whilst on holiday when I collected the dogs one was unwell although the kennels are arguing only a little. I collected the dogs at 10.30 in the morning and by 9.00 the same night one of the dogs was dead. I took her to my vet at 6.00 and they reported she was weak and dehydrated, unfortunately I did not have a post mortem as at the time I was too distressed but the vet did take an x ray and said that when she died her heart was enlarged and this squashed her lungs which caused her death and although she did say this could have happened at any time during her life being returned from kennels weak and dehydrated is not what I expected and probably exacerbated her condition. The kennels have refused mediation and there insurance company has refused any compensation. I would really just like a heart felt apology and perhaps some refund on just the one dog that died. I feel that they failed in their duty of care by not informing my dog was unwell and also doing nothing about it returning the dog to me in a poor condition. I would like to take them to the small claims court but would like to know if there is a case for them to answer.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Were your dogs pedigree?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
All four dogs are pedigrees the one that died was only 6 months old I have been in contact with her breeder and there is no heart problems in any of her lines she was a chocolate and tan chihuahua she had a few problems with diarrhoea but I have video of her playing with the other dogs the week before kennels and she was fit and healthy enjoying life.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
What did you pay for her?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Did the vet express any views on the cause?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes it was a swollen heart which caused her death but the vet did say that in her view they should have acted sooner to prevent her suffering.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Ok. So the issue is that they failed to take her to the vet quickly?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well they are saying that she was just a little unwell when she left them at 10.30 in the morning and she deteriorated which they are saying has nothing to do with them but she was unwell in their care and they could and should have contacted a vet on our behalf when they found her unwell. I suppose the difficulty is proving how unwell she was when she was with them.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Yes, it is. Therein lies the problem.
An autopsy isn't the first thing you think of when you have to put a dog down especially not a young dog. Also, it might not have been able to answer that question.
However, you are left with that hole in the evidence.
You could sue. It is a small claims court sum. It might pay off. It might not. If you are willing to bear the risk then suing will not be that expensive.
They may just throw their hands in and pay up to avoid negative publicity.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I think if they were going to throw their hands up they would have done so already as I have tried mediation which they refused. How much is the small claims court fees as I feel this is the only way to go as I really think other people should be aware of what happened.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
For £1500 probably about £100.
It is worked out on the sum of the claim.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok that's not bad do you think I have a good chance? I have a vets statement which says that she was weak and dehydrated which was likely to have occurred before the morning I collected her on.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The vet's statement won't be allowed unless it is either accepted or they come to court to give evidence.
Truth is, you may succeed or you may not but they may not want to defend this.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Where do I go from here then? Just spoken with the vets and they are happy to support anything I need.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
You need to decide whether you are prepared to run the risk.
If you are then send them a letter before action setting down that you will sue if they do not pay within 14 days.
If they do not then issue against them here