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B.C. woman wins euthanized cat lawsuit after dog attack

Tazz the cat was put down after two attacks by dogs Rigsby and Gus
B.C.'s Civil Resolution Tribunal says a man looking after a dog must pay for an attacked cat's euthanization.

B.C.’s Civil Resolution Tribunal has ordered a dog owner to pay the owner of a euthanized cat $1,196 for vet fees after the man’s dogs attacked her pet.

Kelowna’s Miranda Dawn Maruschak said her cat Tazz was put down after being attacked by two dogs, Rigsby and Gus.

Maruschak said Jonathan Berry owns Rigsby and was responsible for Gus at the time of the attack.

Berry, however, said only Gus attacked Tazz, and he was not responsible to cover the veterinary bills because he is not Gus’s owner.

Tribunal member Leah Volkers said in her Aug. 25 decision that it was undisputed that Tazz was attacked on Aug. 7, 2022.

Maruschak said Tazz was first attacked on a patio, and then again a second time in a yard. 

“The parties dispute whether Tazz was also attacked by Rigsby,” Volkers said.

Maruschak said Gus is owned by L.B., another tenant in the building she lives in.

Maruschak said L.B. gave Berry possession and responsibility for Gus while L.B. was away, and gave Berry access to L.B.'s unit in the building to let Gus out. 

Maruschak said that before the attack, Berry came over to the property with Rigsby to let Gus out. 

Volkers found L.B. had specifically advised Berry to keep Gus on a leash. 

And, Volkers found video evidence of part of the attack clearly showed neither Gus nor Rigsby were leashed and were unattended when Tazz was attacked.

Volkers found Berry was Gus’s keeper at the time of the attack making him akin to the dog’s owner.

“I find Mr. Berry breached the standard of care required,” Volkers said. “I find Mr. Berry was negligent in failing to keep Gus leashed in the circumstances, and that failure resulted in Gus attacking Tazz, which ultimately resulted in Tazz being euthanized.

Volkers said Maruschak was charged the $1,196 for putting Tazz down and also for cremation.
Volkers also ordered Berry to pay Maruschak plus pre-judgment interest and tribunal fees.