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Someone Kicked My Dog: 5 Tips on What to Do Next

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

labrador retriever dog lying on the floor looking sad or sick

Someone Kicked My Dog: 5 Tips on What to Do Next

Whether it’s due to a perceived threat or through no fault of their own, there are incidents in which dogs are kicked while they’re on a walk, at a dog park, or in other public places. If this happens to you, you may be in shock and not sure how to proceed.

The most important thing is to stay calm and check on your dog first. Then, take the steps addressed here.

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The 5 Tips on What to Do When Someone Kicks Your Dog

1. Tend to Your Dog

Check your dog for injuries. Dogs can sustain trauma that isn’t necessarily visible, especially if they’re a small breed. If anything seems amiss, visit the nearest emergency clinic.

If your dog seems physically fine and has no signs of injury or pain, reassure them. It’s likely that your dog will be confused and fearful, particularly if they were minding their own business when they were kicked out of nowhere.

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2. Gather Evidence

Gather as much evidence as you can, including any videos or photographs from bystanders. If you’re in a public place, it’s possible that someone saw the attack and can corroborate your story.

3. Call the Police

Animal cruelty is illegal in all states, and that includes kicking a dog. You need to report the incident to the police to determine how to proceed. Animal cruelty charges may involve an investigation and fines, jail time, or probation for the perpetrator.1

However, there are laws regarding uncontrolled dogs, so consider how the attack occurred and whether you were culpable. For example, was your dog charging or jumping on people? It’s possible that the kick was an instinctual defensive maneuver to protect themselves.

man writing on paper
Image Credit: Scott Graham, Unsplash

4. Consider a Lawsuit

Courts typically view animals as property. If your dog was injured in the attack and you have veterinary expenses, you may be able to sue them for damages. This can be tricky if you don’t have a lot of evidence of the attack, however.

5. Don’t Retaliate

It’s natural to want to lash out if someone hurts your dog, especially unprovoked. Whether verbal, physical, or both, retaliating against the attacker is not a good choice. It’s important to stay as calm as possible for yourself and your dog. Retaliating not only prevents you from tending to your dog, but it could also leave you both in a more dangerous situation.

beagle dog walking with her owner
Image Credit: New Africa, Shutterstock

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Could Your Dog Be at Fault?

Your pet is family. You don’t want to think of them doing anything wrong, but is it possible that your dog provoked the attack in some way?

For example, was your dog off-leash and interacting with other leashed dogs, causing an owner to feel threatened? Was your dog snapping at people or behaving in a threatening way, particularly toward children?

Look at the situation from the other person’s perspective, and consider whether you’d feel threatened by your dog’s actions. You may know that they’re a gentle giant or just excited to meet someone new, but would you see them that way if they were a strange dog approaching?

It’s important to look at the situation objectively if you are considering pursuing legal action against the attacker. If you were in the wrong and the attacker was justified in protecting themselves, it’s possible that you may end up facing charges of your own.

german shepherd dog barking
Image Credit: Dyrefotografi, Shutterstock

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It’s understandably upsetting if someone kicks your dog, especially if your dog is injured in the process. If that occurs, the most important thing is to stay calm and tend to your dog. If you decide to pursue legal action for animal cruelty, consider the circumstances of the attack and whether you were at fault.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: Jaromir Chalabala, Shutterstock

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