Dangerous dogs

Dangerous dogs and the law

Legislation exists under the Dogs Act 1871 and the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 to deal with offences where a dog is dangerously out of control or bites someone or puts someone in fear of being bitten.

The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 is a dual responsibility act and in practice means the Police sort out the more serious cases such as dog attacks on people and livestock  whilst the Council will  deal with the lower level issues.

To report a dog on person attack or an attack on an assistance dog, please contact the police directly by phoning 101 or reporting online. The Police also deal with other dog related offences such as prohibited breeds, dogs worrying livestock, control of guard dogs, dogs being used for illegal purposes such as hunting/poaching and dogs needing care following sudden death/arrested persons/road traffic accidents.

If the dog owner or any other person in charge of the dog at the time is prosecuted and proved guilty of an offence, this can lead to conviction resulting in a fine of up to £5000 and/or a term of imprisonment up to two years. The court can also order that offenders be disqualified from keeping dogs and can order the destruction of the dog.

Nuisance Dogs

Nuisance caused by dogs, such causing fear and distress with aggressive behaviour and dog on dog attacks can be investigated by the Council.

If appropriate we can require owners to muzzle their dog and/or keep it on a lead in public to prevent further incidents.

To report any other aggressive or nuisance dog within the East Devon District Council boundary, please use our dangerous dog reporting form.

Records are kept of all incidents and these may be referred to when dealing with future incidents.