WINNIPEG — A Winnipeg couple is heading to court to fight a $2,500 bill they received from Manitoba Public Insurance after their dog ran into the road and was hit and killed by a car.
MPI issued the bill under the province's Animal Liability Act, which holds the owner liable for damages the animal causes to property.
After two years passed and the bill wasn't paid, MPI decided to go to small-claims court to pursue restitution from Anastasia and Kris Rzesnoski, who owned the one-year-old Labrador retriever named Bobby Orr.
A Winnipeg woman said it seems "surreal" that Manitoba Public Insurance would go after her and her husband for damages after their dog was hit by a car. (Photo: Anastasia Rzesnoski/Facebook)
The Rzesnoskis tell CTV Winnipeg they will fight the charge, saying that losing their beloved pet was hard enough and they can't believe that MPI would come after them.
The accident happened while Bobby Orr was staying with Kris Rzesnoski's dad, Terry, in East St. Paul.
Terry Rzesnoski says the dog wasn't on a leash and was playing with another dog when he suddenly ran into the road and was hit, dying shortly after.
Kris and Anastasia Rzesnoski's pup Bobby Orr was beloved. (Photo: Anastasia Rzesnoski/Facebook)
The driver stopped and exchanged information with Terry, who later got a letter from MPI notifying him the dog's owners were responsible for paying for the damages to the vehicle.
"He was my fur baby. He was my everything,'' Anastasia says of Bobby Orr. "It has been a bit of a roller coaster. It just seems surreal they would actually do that.''
It just seems surreal they would actually do that.''
She says she and her husband don't deny they were responsible for the dog, and says the reason they will fight the matter in court is to dispute how MPI handled the situation.
"It was just a cold-hearted letter,'' she says.
MPI won't comment on the specific case but says in general the insurer has "the legal obligation to pursue such costs on behalf of our ratepayers, in efforts to keep rates among the lowest in Canada.''