Circumstances That Make Injury or Death Actionable

The injury or death of a dog usually is actionable under any one of the following circumstances (also see the cases listed in the section entitled Mental Anguish):

  • It was the result of negligence.
  • It happened because the dog was attacked by a dog that was not on a leash, in a city that has a leash law.
  • It resulted from intentional conduct. (See Cruelty to Dogs.)
  • It happened at a pet-sitting establishment, such as a place where dogs are boarded, which failed to provide the dog with necessary and prompt veterinary care, nutrition, or shelter, or failed to treat the dog kindly. (See California Civil Code sec. 1834: “A depository of living animals shall provide the animals with necessary and prompt veterinary care, nutrition, and shelter, and treat them kindly.  Any depository that fails to perform these duties may be liable for civil damages as provided by law.”)
  • The cause of injury or death was veterinary malpractice, such as the unwanted sterilization of a dog. (See Veterinary Malpractice.)