DOGS can bring a great deal of joy into people’s lives but they could also land you in court and a possible 14-year jail sentence.
It’s essential any pooch is properly trained and socialised at any early age, keeping them and other dogs safe.
Having a dangerously out of control dog could land you a hefty fine and somer serious jail time (file photo)Credit: Getty – Contributor
It is against the law for a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public or private place.
Problems arise though over what exactly does that mean.
A document issued by the Derbyshire Police have attempted to clarify the matter, saying: “Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it injures someone or makes someone worried that it might injure them.”
A court can also determine that your dog is dangerously out of control if:
- It injures someone’s animal.
- The owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking your animal.
The penalties imposed, if the cops decide to prosecute, can be extremely severe.
According to the government’s website on dog attacks, the possible punishments are:
- You can get an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to 6 months (or both) if your dog is dangerously out of control. You may not be allowed to own a dog in the future and your dog may be destroyed.
- If you let your dog injure someone you can be sent to prison for up to 5 years or fined (or both). If you deliberately use your dog to injure someone you could be charged with ‘malicious wounding’.
- If you allow your dog to kill someone you can be sent to prison for up to 14 years or get an unlimited fine (or both).
- If you allow your dog to injure an assistance dog (for example a guide dog) you can be sent to prison for up to 3 years or fined (or both).
A spokesperson for Derbyshire Constabulary said: “Under the law any dog (of any breed or type) can be considered dangerous in any place if it not kept under control.
“The dog doesn’t have to bite anyone, it could just show aggressive behaviour that makes someone feel in fear for their safety.”
A dog can be considered dangerously out of control even if another person feels their safety is at riskCredit: Getty