It is estimated that there are now around 12 million dogs in the UK now with there having been a significant increase in dog owners since lockdown. As all dog owners know they are an integral and loved part of any family unit and as such deserve the best possible care. Unfortunately, incidents involving dogs whether causing injury or otherwise have increased and risen by around 26% since 2020. The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 was introduced by the government supposedly to crack down upon dogs being used within gang violence and illegally. Unfortunately, this law has been used regularly in other situations where a responsible dog owner may find themselves in a one-off incident and then stand to potentially lose their valued friend.
If there is an incident where a dog is said to be dangerously out of control under section 3 (1) of The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 then, even if it is out of character and potentially a one off incident, the court can impose a destruction order. There are often arguments within a case concerning whether a dog is dangerously out of control depending upon the particular circumstances with representations being able to be made to the CPS as to whether it is in the public interest to pursue the matter further. If the court is to consider either a contingent or immediate destruction order it is of integral importance that a behavioural expert report be obtained swiftly as possible and prior to sentencing to give the best possible chance for the court to be persuaded against this.
Whether you fall to be interviewed or have been taken to court expert representation is a must to ensure the best possible outcome in the case. Gepp Solicitors through Elizabeth Bradshaw, partner of the firm, have a proven outstanding record in terms of dealing with such cases including acquittals at the Crown Court, Magistrates court and successful arguments against the imposition of destruction orders. It is extremely important that expert legal advice is given at the earliest stage to ensure the best possible outcome for you.