Its a Dogs Life - Don't fall foul of the Dangerous Dogs Act

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19 September 2014

Its a Dogs Life - Don't fall foul of the Dangerous Dogs Act

Many of us are dog owners.  Here are some facts about the pooch and the law that may suprise you!!

  • The law requires every dog in a public place to wear a collar with a plate or ID tag stating the name and address of the owner, unless the dog is working.
  • The Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act 2005 allow local authorities to put dog control orders in place.  This can make it an offence to enter land which dogs are prohibited from entering, not to have a lead on when asked to do so and not to take more than a specified number of dogs into an area.  You could be fined or receive a fixed penalty.
  • Your dog doesn't have to injure or bite someone to be dangerously out of control, a person only needs to think they may be injured.  A non-aggressive but over excited dog could be seen as dangerously out of control.
  • There have been recent changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act which have increased sentencing powers of the court.

                  Up to 14 years imprisonment (from 2 years) for a fatal dog attack.

                  Up to 5 years imprisonment (from 2 years) for injury.

                  Up to 3 years imprisonment if an assistance dog is attacked.

  • The changes also mean that a dog can be dangerously out of control in a private place such as in your own home or garden.  Not only does this mean that you have to make sure your dog behaves around the postman and other visitors, but also intruders in the home.  There is a defence, but this defence doesn't necessarily cover the garden.

The legislation covering dogs is changing and the police and courts will have much greater powers.  If the police want to speak to you about the behaviour of your dog or you have a court hearing date, please contact us.

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