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Teen Called Out For Refusing To Pay Vet Bills For Dog She Accidentally Injured With A Soccer Ball

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Accidents of all kinds are of course a part of life, and discerning whose at fault in a mishap can be a difficult task.

A teen on Reddit found herself in this dilemma when her errant soccer ball injured someone’s dog and the owner demanded she pay the vet bills.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by VetBills17 on the site, wasn’t sure about how she handled the situation, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

She asked:

“AITA for not paying the vet bills for someone’s dog I injured and probably can afford to pay?”

She explained:

“I know the title sounds bad but please read the post.”

“I(17f[emale]) was out this afternoon playing soccer with some of my friends. It’s at a park and there’s usually other people there but today it was just us.”

“About 20 minutes in a lady comes and she has an old looking dog(grey face, walked like an old dog). My friends and I ignored them.”

“At some point they were maybe 10 feet from the edge of the soccer field and I was passing to a friend, but significantly overshot it(left foot), and it ended up hitting the dog.”

“Neither the owner nor the dog was paying attention and it hit the dogs back legs and swept them out from under her, and it appeared that she had some injury to her hip or hind leg.”

“I immediately apologized and asked if she wanted help getting the dog into her car or if she wanted me to call an emergency vet so they would know she was coming.”

“She said no, but asked for my phone number so she could contact me about vet bills. I was a little taken aback and surprised and she said I should pay them because I kicked the ball.”

“I refused, because I’m not giving my number to a stranger and she shouldn’t bring an old dog so close to a field where things are being kicked around.”

“She got upset and huffed off, and later my friend texted me ‘you probably shoulda given her your number, it was your fault…'”

“I probably can afford to pay them but I’m a senior in high school and have a part time minimum wage job, and am saving.”

“AITA for refusing to pay the bills?”

People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

Some people felt strongly that OP was the a**hole.

“I guess I don’t see how it’s any different than a car accident. Getting in the car is dangerous and yet we do it on a daily basis. When an accident occurs, the person who caused it is responsible for the injuries of the victims. I mean, they’re not called ‘on-purposes’ for a reason. Intention has little to do with actual responsibility.” —Boringearthdigger

“…We are responsible for damage we cause, even if it is unintentional. The dog and owner were not inside the designated play area – they had as much right to be there as anyone else… OP, YTA…”LoveAllHistory

“I agree. Like if OP had hit a person in the face and broke their nose would they not be liable because the person shouldn’t have been near a soccer field?”

“Yes it’s an accident but you aren’t just liable for stuff you do maliciously. Heaps of car accidents have understandable circumstances for the AF party but they’re still liable.”Needmoresnakes

But they were quickly outnumbered by people who thought that was ridiculous.

“NTA”

“As a dog owner who walks their dog on a multi-use track/football field this is how I see it:”

“1. You didn’t intentionally cause injury.”

“2. You didn’t try and skirt any responsibility and tried to give them the help you could immediately.”

“3. The dog owner has to have a certain amount of responsibility and liability. If I took my dog to a soccer field and it got hit, I would personally feel responsible having KNOWN and SEEN there were people, objects flying around, etc. Common sense.”

“4. I would have a hard time personally, as an adult who has taken on the responsibility of a pet (food, vet, time, etc) thinking that a child (no offense, but to an old woman this is how you’d be seen) could or should be taking on any of my own personal responsibilities.”

“If I parked my car close to a soccer field and a windshield got knocked out and I re-told the story to anyone, they would first ask me why I parked my car so close to a soccer field 🤷🏻‍♀️ and a dog is SO much more valuable. It’s a living thing.”Few-Alternative-9279

“I don’t understand all the Y T A comments. OP didn’t injure the dog on purpose, and the owner wasn’t paying attention. Also, OP is still in high school working a minimum wage job, which means that a vet bill would be a big chunk of income. As a dog owner, I’m prepared to pay vet bills.”Ok-Culture-1983

“I really don’t understand all the Y T A votes. If you walk your small elderly dog next to a soccer field, you are taking chances.”oceansapart333

“OP would have had to be doing something negligent to be considered responsible for this, and nothing about playing soccer on a designated soccer field is irresponsible. If anything, like others have said, the owner was the one being negligent for bringing their dog so close to where balls were flying around.”justchillinghbu87

“For real, its kind of like if you build a house on a golf course, you accept a certain amount of damage from golf balls and can’t hold people liable for them.”lazyoat

“I feel like if I had an elderly dog who couldn’t move out of the way of a projectile, I wouldn’t be hanging around where teenagers are playing with a ball.”meruhd

“100000% this. I say this as a dog owner and one that has a very spoiled and loved dog. You are still a kid in a sense”rtr8384

Hopefully OP can avoid any mishaps in the future.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.