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If you are worried about your dogs appearance and are considering contacting the police, please ring us first for advice and assistance.

07873 666 778 or 07873 666 779

Dangerous Dogs Act Section 3

This section relates to all dogs of all breeds and breed types.

Section 3 makes it a CRIMINAL offence for ANY dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place and the offence is deemed to have been committed by whoever is in charge of the dog at the time of the offence AND by the owner of the dog whether or not they are present when the offence is committed.

If your dog is in the control of someone other than you at the time of the offence, you may have a defence if you can show that you have good reason to believe that the person is a fit and proper person to be in charge of your dog.

If the dog is owned by a person under the age of 16, or if you leave a dog with a person under the age of 16, the law deems that the head of that persons household is responsible. This is usually the child's parent or guardian.

If, while dangerously out of control, your dog injures a person, then a much greater offence has been committed and the penalties are likely to be higher.

'Dangerously out of control' is defined in law as "any occasion on which there are grounds for reasonable apprehension that a dog will injure any person". This means that a dog may be deemed dangerous even if it does not actually injure someone. If a person reasonably believes that the dog could injure them then there could be grounds for a prosecution.

Section 3 relates to public places. A public place is defined as "Any street, road, or other place (whether or not enclosed) to which the public have access or are permitted to have access whether for payment or otherwise and includes the common parts of a building containing two or more separate dwellings".

In shared buildings, the stairways and lifts and communal hallways are considered to be a public place.

There have been cases where the inside of a car has been deemed a public place.

Public places are also private places where a dog has no right to be. For example, if your dog enters someone else's home and injures or causes apprehension that it may injure a person.

If you are found guilty of an offence under Section 3, the following penalties may apply.

Dangerously out of control without causing injury to a person:

  • a fine of up to £5000.
  • a prison term not exceeding 6 months.
  • a control order on the dog or destruction of the dog,
  • disqualification from owning an animal for such a period of time as the court deems fit.

Dangerously out of control and causing injury to a person on summary conviction (A hearing before a judge not a jury):

  • fine of up to £5000,
  • a prison term not exceeding 6 months,
  • a control order on the dog or destruction of the dog.
  • disqualification from owning an animal for such a period of time as the court deems fit.

Dangerously out of control and causing injury to a person, conviction on indictment (A hearing before a jury):

  • a fine of up to £5000.
  • a prison term not exceeding 2 years.
  • a control order on the dog or destruction of the dog,
  • a disqualification from owning an animal for such a period of time as the court deems fit.

Control orders can be tailored to address the concerns of each individual case and most commonly include:

  • Neutering the dog if not already done.
  • Muzzling the dog at all times in a public place
  • Keeping the dog on lead at all times in a public place
  • Not allowing the dog to be in control of a person under the age of 16
  • This list is not exhaustive and the courts may order additional measures.