Horse owner wins dog attack case

  • A horse owner has successfully sued for compensation after a livery yard owner’s dogs lamed her mare.

    Sharon Bates, 49, received £7,332 from the proprietor of a DIY livery yard last week (22 February), following an accident on 1 June 2014.

    Her 17hh skewbald mare, Ella, was being brought in from the field by Ms Bates’ niece at 3pm when two German shepherd dogs (not pictured) “came from nowhere, chased her and bit her hindleg”.

    The 13-year-old horse slipped on the concrete in the attack and on vet’s advice was put on bute for two weeks, but was still lame afterwards. After a nerve block and X-ray, vets said Ella had lost a bit of bone from her front leg. They said there was too much damage to operate.

    The mare was put on box rest for 22 weeks but there was no improvement, so Ms Bates made “the sad decision to put her to sleep”.

    Ms Bates decided to sue the owner of the dogs (whom she does not want to name) to prevent any other accidents happening.

    The lawyers, HorseSolicitor, presented a claim to the insurers of the dog owner under the Animals Act 1971 on the basis that the owner had failed in his common law duty to keep his dogs under control.

    “This was a tragic case; unfortunately, out-of-control dogs are a problem which is encountered all too often by horse owners,” said Hanna Campbell, director of HorseSolicitor.

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    “Fortunately the law in this respect is clear, in that dog owners must keep their animals under close control, with the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 making it a criminal offence to allow a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place,” added Ms Campbell.

    Ref: Horse & Hound; 3 March 2016

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