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We have absolutely no idea. As the dog bolted before we even knew the dog walker was here, we have no idea. She may have been A-OK and sustained the injury when she escaped or it could have happened on her walk.
One thing that might change things is this:
A few months back the dog walker (already knowing our dog is a flight risk in our paddock) made the mistake of not securing the dog before opening her van. The dog ran off and was missing for 4+ hours. No injury was sustained but we asked the dog walker to control the dog properly when handing her back to us.
Back to present day the same situation has happened again. Does this help us?
In your previous response you said:
"It might be a proper claim even if this did happen when under the control of the dog walker - for instance if your dog were caught in a trap then it might be argued that it was negligence of the dog walker to take her where there were traps."
We live on a busy building site with loose materials and unfinished works all over the place. The paddock is a semi building site. An injury might well have happened due to this. Does this constitute a case where the dog walker should have known better before opening her boot by securing the dog first?
The injury is about 1-1.5" of skin missing from her front left leg. The dog needed to go under anaesthetic to have it stitched up and will need one-two vet visits to have it dressed.
An injury of this nature simply isn't possible when a dog is under control on a lead. The injury simply would never have happened if she was handed back to us on a lead. Does this help?
For example, our dogs are never 'off lead' in our paddock because only 50% of the paddock is nice and safe green area. They go on long training lines whilst we play fetch with them etc.
Does this help?
The vet was only speculating but possibly glass, metal or a fence.
I think this sort of injury is really quite unlikely to happen anywhere else such as the park or the playing fields.
This site where we live is undergoing extensive building work and is unfinished.
The paddock (where she ran to) has shards of metal poking up from the ground, sharp waste concrete, glass etc around in various areas. We therefore do not let our dogs off period.
In the 3 years we have lived here we have not had any such injuries with our dogs because they have been on a lead and under control.
The dog walker knows how it is, she has been in the paddock previously and also is aware how we do not let our dogs off at present (only outside of the property such as a park).
Thanks a lot Jo.
It's very annoying, we try our best (huge family site that is about 2 acres in size). There was LOTS of [email protected] around due to 3 house demolitions which largely has been cleaned up but it's like needle in a haystack. There are the odd shards of manmade nasties in the 'unfinished area' of mud but the houses themselves and the rear of the paddock are finished. Come April it'll all be finished, covered and seeded!!
One last question before I let you go, is there any rule of law, any Act I could mention to sound more authoritative on the topic? Whilst I shan't be, could I claim loss wages for the 2 staff members etc?
Thanks a lot Jo, great advice. Take care!