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opinion letter (Essay Sample)


a case study was given and the writer was required to write a sample of the Arguments he would advise the defendant to use in their case. the case study was about dog laws and negligence


Anita and Leslie received an invitation for a week’s vacation and so decided to find a place where they could leave the dog for the one-week period during which they would be out on vacation. They hence settled for Dr. Minnie’s clinic, 4567295 Ontario ltd, “Minnie’s Wellness Kennel” for the week’s period. The total cost for the service was agreed at $1500. The agreement comprised of specifications that indicated the dogs would have a ‘spa’ experience and that they would be provided with special diet, taken for a walk twice a day, supervised keenly and offered medical attention whenever such instances arose. Upon admission, the dog would undergo a medical assessment by Dr Minnie himself and subsequent assessments if need arose and Minnie was notified by the staff at the kennel care. In case any needs that required the attention of the owner arose, the owners, Leslie and Anita, would be notified via phone. When they came to take Bolt away after the trip, the dog was not herself. She was bleeding in the mouth and looked sickly. Upon examination by the personal veterinary, it was found that the dog had two broken canines, a swollen paw, had lost six pounds’ weight, had cuts in his mouth and a swollen snout. She also had infection occasioning from the untreated wounds. Upon checking the records, it was recorded that the dog had no dental problems since the last check, three months before. Upon asking Dr Minnie, he explained that Bolt had a problematic personality and that on the first night of admission, he was so restless and refused to settle. He howled all night and caused upset in the kennel. Anita and Leslie were presented with a video footage which showed Bolt distressed and unsettled on the first night. He chewed on the bars the entire night and that could have occasioned to her injuries in the mouth and on the snout. Dr Minnie further added that they took care of the dog according to their indications and that it is only due to her problematic behavior that she was not taken out for a walk and other things that Anita and Leslie claimed not to have been done on the dog. Even upon consultation with Dr Gentille, he confirmed that what happened to Bolt was kennel distress and that it was normal to all dogs.
Dr Minnie had to hire a security company to repair his kennel which Bolt had destroyed on the first night.
1. Whether Dr Minnie was in any way negligent in the handling of Bolt.
2. Whether Dr Minnie is liable for compensation due to the damage occasioned by Bolt on her first day at the kennel.
3. Whether Dr Minnie is liable to compensate Anita and Leslie for the amount used in the treatment of Bolt and for the loss of utility owing to the denied opportunity at the dog show.
To begin with, it is not clear what standard of care is expected at a commercial Kennel and therefore it is difficult to prove whether Dr Minnie was indeed negligent and did not meet the standard of care needed. In the case of Richard v. 2464597 Ontario Inc., 2019 ONSC 2104, a similar issue was argued in the Ontario superior court of justice at the divisional court and the issue on standard of duty required was well addressed. Justice Dennison argued that there is always need for an expert to quantify the standard, unless the issue is so trivial or obvious. Dr Minnie is not in any way responsible for the behavior of the dog on its first day at the Kennel and therefore has no liability to bear. From the facts of the case, it is clear that Anita and Leslie only took Bolt to the kennel just once and therefore there was every reason for the dog to be distressed at its first appearance in a strange Kennel. For this reason, all the injuries that Bolt occasioned on this night, are its owners fault and none of Dr Minnie’s. further, Dr Minnie was available to assess the dogs whenever there was need and whenever he was called by the staff to do so. He was however not alerted any other day, save for that first night when he administered Prozac upon being called. All the other days, there was no alerting issue needing him and the other time his attention was needed was on the day that Bolt went home. From the facts again, the last time that Bolt had a dental check was three months prior to the stay at the kennel and therefore, there is possibility that the dog had dental issues upon admission. On the issue of the weight loss, Dogs especially those which are used to home based care are most likely to lose weight when placed in a kennel because of so many factors including the strange habitat and change of diet. It was therefore not a big deal, Bolt having lost a few pounds after the seven days at the kennel.
Under the Dog Owners Liability Act of 2005, the owner of a dog which occasions damage to property, bites a person or causes any other type of destruction is liable to pay for that damage. In this case, Anita and Leslie should be liable to pay the costs that Dr Minnie incurred in the repair of the Kennel and replacement of the bars that Bolt had chewed to destruction. Secondly, Dr Minnie and the staff are justified by not having associated with the dog so much once it had proven problematic on the first day because such a dog could have easily caused injuries to its attendants.
Owing to the injuries that Bolt occasioned, she took around six months to recuperate and recover and used approximately $4300 in treatment. A further $2000 was used in his training to qualify for the dog show. The question then comes in, is Dr Minnie liable to pay for these expenses as Leslie and Anita claim? The question is a little bit controversial because as much as Dr Minnie may prove that they had nothing to do with the Dog’s health, some of the facts lead to Dr Minnie. For instance, as much as he may claim that he was not told about the health of the dog by his staff, he will be vicariously held liable for the wrongs committed or omitted by his staff. (Hilton v Thomas Burton) He is

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