My Two Pit Bulls Legal Costs
So I need some advise. Last December I brought my two pit bull puppies to a local off leash dog park. They were running around having fun when they say a dog being chased by another small dog. My pups joined the chase. The dog being chased took a hard left around a tree, and my pups and the smaller dog came around the tree at the same time. They also took a hard left around the tree and all three dogs when down in a pile.
My older pup immediately got up and resumed the chase. The small dog immediately started screaming and my younger pup stood there in shock. I was about 15 feet away and ran up to see why the small dog was screaming and I saw it's front leg was limp like a noodle. The owners of the small dog immediately blamed my dogs and ended up suing me for their vet bills ($4,100). We went to small claims court and the judge ruled in their favor.
The judge specifically stated in his ruling "...The dogs were chasing around a tree and at some point the dogs collided or became entangled. The Plantiffs' dog suffered fractures in leg bones...There was no evidence that the Defendant was negligent in bringing his dogs to the park or that he was negligent in overseeing the dogs. There was no evidence that his dogs had ever been found to be a dangerous dog or a potentially dangerous dog within the meaning of Minn. Stat. Sec. 347.50.
However, Minn. Stat. Sec. 347.01 imposes liability if any dog that kills, wounds, or worries any domestic animal without proving that the owner had notice that the dog was mischievous, disposed to kill or worry any domestic animal. The Plaintiffs' dog was a domestic animal...
Under the language of Sec. 347.01, the Court finds that the Defendant is liable to the Plantiffs for the injuries suffered by their dog."
In court the judge asked the plantiff what specific actions I took that caused the injuries to their dog and they told the judge I brought pit bulls to an off leash dog park.
I don't have $4,000 plus to pay the plantiffs, nor should I have to as it was just an accident. I can appeal the ruling, and a lawyer I have spoken to says I have a very strong case to win the appeal. The problem is I can't afford a lawyer either.
I could make a claim on my homeowners insurance, but my insurance company doesn't cover pit bulls Are there any resources out there that could help me out?