What happens if a pet damages property or attacks someone?

The Dangerous Dogs Act means it is illegal for a dog to be ‘out of control.’ This includes biting or attacking someone. The legislation also makes it an offence if a person is afraid a dog might bite them. It’s important to make sure your dog is under control at all times.

The Dangerous Dogs Act was updated in 2014 to include private property. This means your home and other’s homes, including gardens.

If your dog is protecting you from an intruder, the law does provide a defence. However this can be complicated. You can learn more on the RSPCA’s website.

If an offence happens, it can mean six months' imprisonment and a fine of £5,000.

Other obligations

There are other laws that cover pets.

In general, you must pick up after your dog in public. There are some exceptions like woodlands. Local Authorities can impose Public Space Protection Orders to prevent dog fouling.

Pets making a lot of noise or causing other forms of pollution like smell or dust, can be classed as a ‘nuisance’. If a complaint is made to the council, they can investigate and even prosecute the pet owner.