(WSVN) - Her dog was hit by a delivery man. The vet bills to save the animal were unbelievable, which brings up the question: If someone hits your pet, do they have to help, stop to tell you and pay the vet bills? Let’s bring in Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser for the answers.
This fellow doesn’t know it, but when Lisa rescued him, his days were numbered.
Lisa Sipes, dog hit by truck: “They were going to euthanize him, and he’s just been everyone’s favorite.”
Five great years for Bart, Lisa and her family.
Lisa Sipes: “They’re just happy to see you, happy to sit next to you. They don’t need anything but your love.”
Which makes what happened that day so horrible.
Lisa Sipes: “I heard my daughter scream, ‘Mom!’ It wasn’t the normal ‘Mom,’ it was that panicked ‘Mom!'”
Bart had escaped from the backyard and been hit on the street in front of Lisa’s house.
Lisa Sipes: “Bart was limp in the back. His legs and his tail were dangling, his head was thrown back. He was yelping in pain.”
As Lisa’s fiancé grabbed Bart to rush him to the emergency clinic, he saw a UPS driver near their house.
Lisa Sipes: “And Jerry said, ‘Did you hit my dog?’ and he said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘You didn’t hit my dog?’ He said, ‘No.’ He said, ‘I saw a white pickup truck hit your dog.'”
Bart survived being hit — barely.
Lisa Sipes: “Bart only has a five to 10 percent chance of being able to walk again. His spinal cord was crushed; he had two spinal fractures.”
Back home, they tracked down the UPS driver again, who had changed his story.
Lisa Sipes: “And it was then that he said, ‘I did it. I hit your dog, but your dog should not have been out of your yard.’ He didn’t apologize. I was devastated, I was furious.”
The vet bills to save Bart reached $15,000. Lisa contacted UPS, asking them to help pay for the damage their driver caused.
Lisa Sipes: “‘Your dog was on public property, so we don’t have any responsibility to do anything for you.'”
As she nurses Bart back to health, needless to say, Lisa disagrees.
Lisa Sipes: “Our dog was outside, and I do take partial responsibility for that, but I think UPS should, at the very least, take at least partial responsibility for striking our dog.”
Well, Howard, if someone hits your pet, are they responsible for all or part of the vet bill?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “It depends. If your pet runs out on the road in front of a car or truck and gets hit, the driver is not responsible for any of the vet bills unless they were negligent, meaning they were speeding, they were texting, they swerved into your property. In those cases, if you can prove it, they have to pay some or all of the vet bill. And since Lisa cannot prove it with a video or an eyewitness, she cannot force them to pay.”
We contacted UPS to see if we could get them to pay a part of the vet bill. We failed. They said no, but they did send Lisa flowers.
And if you go on the internet, there are many stories of people upset that UPS drivers hit their dogs. Which bring up another question: If someone hits your pet, do they have to stop?
Howard Finkelstein: “Yes, they do have to stop. If the driver doesn’t stop, and you can prove who hit your animal, call the police because it’s a crime. In this case, he wouldn’t be charged because the driver notified his bosses and eventually told Lisa’s family.”
Bart did survive but can’t walk right now, and something else was lost that day: Lisa’s goal of owning a house.
Lisa Sipes: “We have been saving for years to buy a house, and that dream is gone now. We’ll start over saving, because that money went to save our dog.”
She gave up a house to save her dog. Wow. Now, Lisa has started a GoFundMe page to try to defray some of the expenses Bart’s rehabilitation. If you want to help, the link to that GoFundMe page below.
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