Your dog chases livestock, what should you be aware of?

You may be prosecuted by the police under the Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953. In a worse case scenario the farmer can shoot your dog if it is worrying animals and causing death or injury. However a farmer cannot contain a dog then go off to get a gun and then shoot the dog. The legal definition of livestock is fairly extensive

What dogs have to wear muzzles in public by law?

Legally registered Pit Bull Terrier dogs have to be muzzled in public as part of the conditions imposed under the Dangerous Dogs Act.  Any other dog that has had a control order made by a court as a result of being out of control may also have to wear a muzzle when in public, this may also include the dog having to be kept on a lead too.

Many people (usually non dog owners seem to think that a plethora of breeds have to wear muzzles when out in public, it is usually large breeds that are mistakenly identified as candidates?

You allow your dog to take itself for a walk.

The local authority where you live has a statutory duty to deal with stray dogs and a dog taking itself for a walk is a stray dog!  The council do not have to release dogs back to their owners without first charging for its release.

My dog was involved in an incident where a person was bitten, the local police have told me to get the dog destroyed.

If the police are pressurising you to have your dog destroyed this has to be agreed by yourself.  A court imposed destruction order is the only legal process in which your dog can be delivered up for destruction.

My dog has been seized by the police who believe it is a Pit Bull Terrier type.

Contact as a matter of urgency a lawyer who deals with such cases and also contact one of the organisations that help dog owners in such situations.  The onus is on the dog owner to prove that their dog is not a Pit Bull Terrier type.

My dog went missing several months ago and I know who has him, what can I do?

check with your local dog warden or with the dog warden where your dog is if it is not in your area.  If there is no record of your dog being reported to the council or seized as a stray dog you should go to the police and report that you know where your dog is being kept.  Even if your dog has been with the ‘new’ keeper for a long time, the dog is still legally yours.

I bought a dog ‘off a bloke’ in the pub for fifty pounds and at the vets they found a microchip.

The dog may be stolen and the last owner should be contacted to find out the status of the dog.  If it is stolen you have to give it back and you should realise that you should on no account ever buy a dog in a pub!

Out walking the other day I found a dog and took it home, what do I need to do?

The law is simple, you have to do the following:

Return the dog to its owner forthwith.

Or

Contact the local authority dog warden

Or

Contact the police station nearest to where the dog was found (up to 6th April 2008)

Failure to do any of the above means you are holding on to somebody else’s property also known as theft.

I have discovered that the dog warden seized my dog as a stray a couple of weeks ago, what can I do?

Local authorities only have to hold a dog seized as a stray for seven days before ownership transfers from its owner to the council. This transfer enables dogs to be rehomed and it is also why it is important that you report your dog missing as soon as possible.

My dog is a bitch and when she was urinating a council enforcement officer approached and said she had fouled and issued a fixed penalty notice.

When the penalty was issued the officer should have identified the actual fouling, you have fourteen days to pay the penalty, write to the council to explain what occurred you could also wait to be summoned to court where the council would have to prove your dog had fouled.

My dog is an assistance dog and recently we were refused entry into a shop by a member of staff.

Write to the shops head office detailing the incident and what was said as assistance dogs are allowed into shops with their owner