Be safe with your Dog
I am hoping many of you will agree with me on this I was working with a Staffordshire Bull Terrier who is the biggest wimp. We were alone and he was on the lead as we were approaching a corner and you never know whos coming around the corner, so really it is good etiquette. All of a sudden a Jack Russell flew at us and there was no owner to be seen and no owner recalling the Dog, before anything could be done, he grabbed Bruno by the neck. So he had run and charged at Bruno just to attack, Bruno just stood and screamed I managed to grab Bruno and get him into the neighbouring field. Just as I was checking him over the Dog flew back at us again and I jumped in front of Bruno to prevent the Dog from grabbing Bruno again. The owner suddenly started shouting at her Dog “Come Here” and stamping her foot. She did not attempt to come towards the Dog, she did not turn to encourage the Dog to follow her, she did not apologise, she did not ask if Bruno was OK or injured. I was mad, really mad, Bruno has been attacked before and is labelled due to his breed. I bumped into someone I knew and warned her to turn around and fortunately she let Bruno see her Dog so he could calm down and know he was safe around this Dog only then did he begin to relax. We began discussing how many times Dogs are attacked on the lead by Dogs off the lead and how it isn't the Dogs fault but the owners fault. Then when the Dog who has been attacked is reactive towards other Dogs after the incident, people frown and pull their Dogs away or make a negative comment. A lot of people assume after their Dog has been attacked it will get better with time and don’t think about Training straight away. Then the people I work with who have reactive Dogs who are so careful with their Dogs, careful letting them off, avoiding walks at certain times, avoiding walks altogether. And these people all share one thing in common, their Dog was attacked. Not only this but these people are also the ones who offer to pay the Vet Bills, send flowers and comply with the Dog Warden and Police if they have been involved and then they have employed myself. In which videos can be seen of the changes in their Dogs.
So instead of writing one of these posts that begins Dear other Dog owner that are circulating around, I thought I would make a video to raise awareness and get people talking about it and admittedly I was so mad when this happened. Not that I am not used to Dog attacks but how people blame their Dog for the Dogs instinctive behaviour if the Dog has never been trained and how owners punish their Dogs for their failings as an owner. Even my friends children who are 4 and 7 understand about the importance of Leads, not letting Dogs off if reactive to other Dogs or have no recall. Their own Dog has been attacked 5 times already and he has only turned a year old! I sincerely hope in the comments, you guys support me with this and I have also copied and pasted the UK law surrounding having your Dog in control in the UK.
Thankyou for your support and lets hope we can keep Dogs safe :)
Controlling your dog in public
Dog owners are responsible for controlling their dogs' behaviour in public. If you need help with dog training, you should contact a dog trainer.
When is your dog 'under control'?
A dog is considered ‘under control’ if it is on a lead held by someone able to control the dog. For example, a large dog would not be under control if its lead was held by a child who would be unable to restrain the dog if it strained against the lead.
It isn't necessary for dogs to be leashed at all times. However, dogs must be kept on a lead in designated pedestrian zones and on land where livestock is present. Councils have bye-laws to show the areas where leashing is required, such as in public parks.
Dogs which behave dangerously
It is an offence to allow a dog to attack or cause serious injury to a person or livestock, or to behave in such a way that makes a person worried that it might attack them.
Dogs which behave dangerously may be seized by the council dog warden, and their owners prosecuted. The dogs may be destroyed if the magistrate considers that they are a danger to the public.
As well as any conditions imposed by a court where your dog has attacked a person or worried livestock, a council dog warden can impose similar conditions where certain breaches of the Dogs Order have occurred (whether or not you are prosecuted for those breaches).
If your dog has strayed, attacked a person, livestock or someone else’s pet, or been out of control on certain specified roads or on land where there is livestock, a dog warden may issue a notice requiring you to keep your dog:
muzzled when in a public place
under control (which means on a lead held by someone strong enough to restrain the dog) when in a public place
securely confined in a building, yard or other enclosure when not under control
away from any specific place or any type of place
neutered (if male) within 30 days of the date on which the notice comes into effect
The notice may also require you to undergo a course of specified training within a six month timescale.
If you fail to observe any of these conditions and do not take all reasonable steps to make sure that that the condition is fulfilled, you commit an offence punishable by a fine of up to £2,500.
When six months have passed from the issue of the notice imposing a control condition (or conditions) you can ask the council which issued the notice, to review the continuing need for the conditions.
Or you can formally appeal against the imposition of any control condition to a magistrate’s court. You should take legal advice on the procedures to be followed when giving notice of such an appeal.
If your dog is subject to any control condition you must tell the council which issued the notice, if you intend to sell or give the dog away. You must also inform the council of the name and address of the person you are selling or giving the dog to. Failure to do so is an offence punishable by a fine of up to £1,000.
Dog attacks and the penalties for owners and dogs
The definition of attack includes your dog ‘behaving in such a manner so as to cause a person apprehension of being attacked’.
Your dog does not need to bite someone for you to have committed an offence. If your dog’s behaviour is aggressive or threatening you may be prosecuted. If an offence is committed it is punishable by up to six months' imprisonment and a fine of £5,000.
If your dog does injure the person attacked, you could be sentenced to two years' imprisonment and a £5,000 fine.
If your dog worries livestock you are guilty of an offence punishable by a fine of up to £1,000. Worrying livestock does not just mean attacking or killing cattle or sheep. If your dog chases livestock in such a way as could reasonably be expected to cause any form of suffering to the animals or a financial loss to their owner, it will be considered to have worried the livestock.
If your dog attacks and injures another person’s pet, you are guilty of an offence punishable by a fine of up to £1,000. If you deliberately set your dog on livestock or another person’s pet you could be fined up to £2,500.
If your dog has attacked a person or worried livestock a court may order that your dog be destroyed.
Certain offences attract fixed penalties, as well as other sanctions, as an alternative to prosecution. A dog warden may offer you a fixed penalty for the offence, instead of going to court. You can choose not pay the fixed penalty and have the matter dealt with in court.
The offences which can attract a fixed penalty are:
keeping a dog without a licence
failing to keep a dog under control on certain roads and where livestock is present
failing to display identification information on a collar/tag
failing to notify the council of the transfer of a dog whose licence is subject to a control condition
contravention of any control condition
The default level for a fixed penalty is £75, although a council may set its own level between £50 to £80 and allow a discount for early payment.
Who enforces the law
An authorised council officer may seize a dog, without a warrant, that is in a public place or on any land where the dog appears to be attacking a person. The council officer may detain the dog until the relevant court case.
Welfare organisations or charities have no powers under the Dogs Order, although councils may make arrangements with animal charities to provide dog pound facilities.
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