What To Do if I Suspect My Dog Was Poisoned by a Neighbor
Neighbors can be a real nuisance sometimes. Putting up with them blasting music, having loud sex, and stomping around the apartment comes with the territory. But specific neighbor behavior crosses the line from annoying to downright dangerous.
Some people have trouble dealing with their neighbor’s pets and resort to horrifying measures, such as poisoning or shooting them. If you have the dog-poisoned-by-neighbor problem—or you suspect that might be the case—you need to deal with the situation carefully.
Before taking any measures, you must confirm that your dog has indeed been poisoned. Dogs show specific symptoms after eating something poisonous. Clinical signs of a poisoned dog involve:
- Gastrointestinal troubles, like:
- Loss of appetite
- Dry heaving
- Internal bleeding manifested by:
- Bleeding gums
- Racing heart
- Coughing up blood
- Loss of consciousness
- Kidney failure presented by:
- Increased or decreased urination
- Excessive thirst
- Vomiting or diarrhea
- Liver failure indicated by:
- Yellow gums
- Tarry stool
- Loss of consciousness due to low sugar
If you see any of these signs, you must:
- Take your dog to the vet immediately to confirm your doubts
- Have the laboratory tests done to determine the source of poison and keep the test results as evidence
If the dog dies, you should have the body necropsied and get a report from the vet with information about the diagnosis and the treatment provided.
If you have sufficient evidence that your neighbor is responsible for poisoning your dog, you can sue them. Bear in mind that every state has different regulations about handling these types of cases. Before starting a lawsuit, you should research your state laws thoroughly to find out where you stand.
Legal systems often put pets into a “personal property” category and rarely do more than give the owner monetary compensation for their loss. Some courts have only recently started allowing owners to collect compensation for emotional distress or even punitive damages if they can prove malicious intent.
You should also consider meeting with an experienced attorney. They will give you more information about how your state handles animal cruelty cases.
Since most courts view dogs as personal property, you have to gather tangible evidence of your pet’s value and proof of the damage caused by your neighbor. Items to consider are the following:
- Breed—Some breeds are more valuable than others. If your dog is registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC), you should have the documentation ready
- Overall health—Ask your vet for the dog’s medical records and a statement of your dog’s overall health before the incident occurred
- Training and intelligence—Find records of any training your dog completed, as well as specific skills and tricks they learned
- Cost of treatment—Keep records of your dog’s medical treatment for poisoning. You should get compensation for pricey medications and procedures
- Replacement value—If the dog has passed away, you should show the court the current market value of a replacement
You can take one of three approaches when suing a neighbor for hurting your pet. Take a look at the table below for more details:
|Options for Suing a Neighbor for Poisoning My Dog||Description|
|Civil lawsuit||You have to present enough evidence that points to negligence or malicious intent to be able to collect damages. The type of compensation and amount depend on the particular state law|
|Criminal lawsuit||If you can prove that the act was malicious and purposeful, you can file a criminal lawsuit. Your neighbor may face a hefty fine, community service, or even jail time. You might get monetary compensation on top of that|
|Small claims court||If you can’t afford a lawyer, you can sue the neighbor in small claims court. DoNotPay can provide useful guidelines and help you win the case|
While a neighbor poisoning your dog is a serious matter that should be handled only in court, most other neighbor troubles can be dealt with peacefully. When the neighbors bother you by creating incessant noise, ignoring their dogs barking day and night, or smoking weed next to your balcony, taking them to court, or even talking to the police, is often unnecessary.
DoNotPay can create a demand letter to warn your neighbors about possible legal consequences of their behavior. Our professional and personalized letter is more than enough to set them straight and end the disturbance once and for all!
To get a demand letter with us, you must:
- Access DoNotPay in any web browser
- Select our Neighbor Complaint product
- Indicate the type of problem you are dealing with
- Provide information to help us customize the letter
Once you complete the steps, our app will create and send the letter to your neighbor for you!
DoNotPay can also teach you how to:
- Document your neighbor’s harassment
- File a complaint against a neighbor
- Write a letter to your neighbor complaining about the noise
DoNotPay is a multifunctional app that can solve numerous everyday challenges swiftly.
We have created many useful products to help our users take care of their issues through the same app. With us, you can:
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- A faulty or returned item
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- Write any legal documents—including child travel consent statements—without wasting money on a lawyer
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