Domestic abuse cycle could result in an increase in dog attacks and compensation claims

11th Aug 2020
Lisa Boyle

Domestic abuse cycle could result in an increase in dog attacks and compensation claims


It has been widely reported that there has been a rise in domestic abuse across the country during COVID-19 restrictions. 

The Links Group, an organisation which raises awareness of the connection between the abuse of people and animals, has recently reported that animal cruelty cases have also been on the rise during lockdown.  

In the report, the organisation explains that family pets are often ‘part of the domestic abuse cycle’, meaning animal cruelty could rise as households face escalating tensions due to the pandemic restrictions. 

This rise in dog cruelty could result in more dog attacks and in turn, compensation claims. 

Sean Wensley, a Senior Veterinary Surgeon at the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), has explained that the motivation for dog bites is often based on fear. If a dog has been subjected to abuse for months or even years on end, it’s likely they will be fearsome around others too.  


How to claim compensation if you’ve been injured in an animal attack  


Securing compensation and the cost of rehabilitation for victims can be a difficult process. Introducing compulsory third-party liability insurance for owners could go some way to remedying this. 

Heather Tierney, a Senior Solicitor at Watermans who has worked on a number of personal injury cases involving dog attackssaid: “One of the main considerations after a dog attack is whether the keeper of the animal can pay compensation if this is awarded.  



Heather Tierney


“If the keeper has dog insurance, the insurer will likely cover the cost. However, insurance for owners of animals is sadly not compulsory leaving many injured individuals uncompensated.   

“Without compulsory dog insurance, those who are injured are a result of these attacks are left in a very difficult position in terms of pursuing a claim for their injuries and losses.  

“Urgent action ought to be taken by the Government in response to the increasing number of dog attacks and making dog insurance compulsory. Injured parties can be left permanently disfigured and, in some instances, lose their life however they are often left with little option in terms of compensation.” 

If you have suffered an injury due to a dog bite or animal attack, you may be entitled to a claim for compensation. Contact us today to discuss your incident.