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Alex J.
Alex J., Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 3843
Experience:  Solicitors 2 years plus PQE
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We run a rescue. We have a dog that is under one of our

Customer Question

We run a rescue. We have a dog that is under one of our contracts that has bitten someone. We would like some advice on liability.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you for your question and welcome. My name is ***** ***** I will assist you. Is the injury caused by this caused by negligence? Can you tell me any circumstances surrounding the incident or claim made against you? kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi,We run an animal rescue charity and have a previous owner who we moved the dog from. We have a contract with this person which we hope indemnifies us.We moved the dog to a new foster carer with no contract (in error) and the dog has bitten the foster carers partner. The bite is severe. They would like the dog removing from their property.What would be the best course of action?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. If it is normal practice to remove the dog and take it back into then this is what I would suggest you do immediately. In the mean time I would look at what assurance you gave to this family in terms of the dogs temperament? Did they ever suggest they were qualified to look after distressed animals? Have they actually made a claim against you? Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The situation is that a dog that we have rehomed on a foster agreement was moved temporarily to an alternative foster home (without a contract in place). As far as I can gather the overall liability for the dog causing injury lies with the previous foster carer.However the foster contract states that we are the legal owner of the dog, but that the foster carer has liability for the dogs actions etc. As we are mentioned as the legal owner, I'm not clear if this means we are jointly liable for any injury to a member of the public.What we would like to know is how far the liability extends to us if we take the dog back into our kennels. I.e if the dog now bites our transport volunteers or a kennel staff member would we be liable and to what extend ( criminally or otherwise)?Prior to the dog being moved to foster it was assessed and vet checked and it was not considered dangerous. Now it has attacked the foster carers partner, I would like to know if we will be legally responsible if the dog injures someone again and to what degree?If we now rehome the dog, would we be considered negligent and is the only course of action to put the dog to sleep. We are a no kill shelter and would like to avoid this course of action where possible.Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I upload the contract will it be private or public please?
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. If you upload the contract I will ask the site administrators to make it private. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. The contract actually displays as a link rather than a file upload. Can I ask for this not to be displayed?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
This is a sample contract. Please remove once reviewed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have a digital signature that is time and date stamped.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No claim has been made against us, but we want to avoid putting ourselves in the position where this could occur.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi, Thank you. I will review this now and revert to you as soon as possible. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I'd be grateful if you could remove the link to the contract following this.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

I will ask for the link to be removed when the question is closed. Kind regards AJ

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We have now moved the dog to kennels.What now is the best course of action in terms of liability. Are we able to rehome this dog legally?If someone is bitten at the kennels by this dog or in a new foster home( using the contract you have in your possession), what kind of liability would be incurred on our part and do you have any suggestions on how we can avoid an adverse legal situation relating to this dog.Thank you.
Expert:  Alex J. replied 1 year ago.

Hi thank you. The key issue here is you cannot exclude liability for death or personal injury arising from negligence. Therefore if the dog has behaviour issues then in re homing the dog you would have to disclose these. The other issue is, is it possible the dog will now be classified as a dangerous dog? Have the previous owners made a complaint to the police for example?