Dangerous Dogs

Date: Thu 25th November 2010

I have recently been contacted by members of the public who are concerned about dangerous dogs.  Concerns range from young people owning ‘status dogs’ and using them as threatening weapons to people generally not being in control of their dogs in public.

One couple were dog walking for a friend whose little dog was attacked by a larger, aggressive dog resulting in horrific injuries.  Unfortunately, where a dog attacks another dog, or any other pet animal (such as a cat) this is a civil matter between the two owners. However the owner of the attacking dog is responsible for any damage caused by his/her dog to any other such dog or animal. The owner of the injured dog or animal may claim any vet fees and or other expenses that result from such an attack, however it is up to them to pursue the attacking dog’s owner for this, in the civil court if necessary.

I have been looking into the law of owning dangerous dogs.  It is an offence to own a banned dog that is not registered; it is against the law to allow any type of dog to be dangerously out of control in public and that if a dog is dangerously out of control if it injures a person, or behaves in a way that makes someone worried or scared that it might injure them.  All these actions could result in a £5,000 fine or six months’ in prison.

As a dog owner, I am aware of the huge amount of comfort and friendship a dog can give. They can truly be man’s best friend. It is essential though that with ownership of a dog comes responsibility and some owners sadly fail to provide this.