Chief Insp Paul Winter – Please be responsible with your dogs

With 25 per cent of households in the UK having a pet dog, we’d like to remind you all of the importance of conscientious dog ownership.

Under changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in May it is now an offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control in both public and private places, including inside the dog owner’s home.

If a person dies as a result of an attack by your dog you now face up to 14 years imprisonment. This is consistent with a maximum sentence for causing death by dangerous driving. As well as that your dog will likely lose its life.

If your dog injures someone you could be jailed for five years and if it injures or kills an assistance dog you could be behind bars for up to three years.

New powers that will come into force later this year will mean that for the first time police and local authorities will be able to intervene in low level antisocial incidents in a bid to prevent dogs becoming dangerous.

Someone who deliberately sets their dog on someone can already get life imprisonment for manslaughter or murder if the victim dies.

We have a number of specially trained Dog Legislation Officers in force and we also work closely with the local authorities and the RSPCA.

A dog has a mind of its own and it is wrong to assume it will not react in a certain way in a certain situation. Keep your animals under control. To be absolutely safe keep dogs on a lead when out in public and if in any sort of doubt use a muzzle. Do not ignore signs of aggression in your dog. For advice speak to your vet.

Remember, as a dog owner you are not only responsible for their welfare you are also legally accountable for their actions.

via Chief Insp Paul Winter column: Please be responsible with your dogs – Mansfield and Ashfield Chad.

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