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Dog Bites Dog Law

Although most dogs are well behaved, sometimes they are inclined to act aggressively towards other dogs. But what can you do if your pet is attacked by someone else's dog – and what can you expect if your dog harms another?

Has your dog been attacked or bitten by another dog under the supposed control of someone else? If you wish to take action against the owner of the belligerent beast you may be looking to gain information on dog bites in dog law and animal law.

The biting of dogs by other dogs could be viewed as something of a grey area of law. Each case may be seen differently, with a key issue being the notion of whether the hound responsible for delivering the attack is deemed to have been adequately controlled by its owner.

This is because the law says that it is an offence for a dog owner to allow their dog to be "dangerously out of control". If another dog attacks your dog, and particularly if you fear that it will injure you if you attempt to stop the attack, it may be that the owner of the other dog is guilty of a failure to control their pet. A court will be able to make a decision on the circumstances surrounding the attack and whether or not an offence was committed.

It is illegal for a dog to be dangerously out of control anywhere, including in public and private spaces and even in the dog owner's own home, so the location of the incident is likely to be irrelevant if your dog has been attacked.

The punishment for allowing a dog to be dangerously out of control can be any combination of the following:

  • A fine of up to £5,000
  • A jail sentence of up to 6 months
  • Destruction of the offending dog
  • A ban on future dog ownership.

You can also take the other dog's owner to court to claim back any veterinary bills you have had to pay as a result of the attack.

If a dog is allowed to injure a guide dog, the owner can be sentenced to up to 3 years in jail, with a fine also being possible.


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