IF YOU, OR YOUR PET, ARE ATTACKED BY A DOG

This is a confusing and emotive subject for anyone who has experienced either a dog on dog, or dog on human attack.

The information here is gathered from official sources within Surrey & Sussex Police and SHBC. 2018

Dog on Human Attack

If severe and you require immediate assistance, report immediately to the Police/Ambulance Service on 999.

If bitten and the skin has been broken, contact your GP or walk-in NHS Centre asap to get advice on whether a Tetanus vaccination may be required.

Keep a record of the date and time, breed and description of attacking dog, owners details (if can be obtained) and any witness contact details and report on 101

Dog on Dog Attack

If severe, seek urgent Veterinary help. Our vets page gives a full contact list of veterinary surgeries in the Borough and all those who offer an emergency Out of Hours service.

Keep a record of the date and time, breed and description of attacking dog, owners details (if can be obtained) and any witness contact details.

We have been informed by the Dog Legislation Officer for Surrey & Sussex Police that due to the growing number of complaints of this type of dog attack and lack of resources, that the combined forces have taken the decision to no longer pursue cases using their powers under Section 3 (1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

Surrey Heath Borough Council no longer pursue these cases using their powers under Section 2 (1) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991

Instead, the Council will look to issue a Community Protection Notice to the owner, in cases where there is an ongoing control issue.  
Click here to read more on Community Protection Notices: Guidance - Control Dogs

So in the first instance, all dog on dog attacks should be reported, specifically to SHBC Corporate Enforcement Team, on 01276 707100 during office hours ( 01276 707182 Out of Hours)

The Background

It’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, such as:

  • In a public place
  • In a private place, e.g. a neighbour’s house or garden
  • In the owner’s home

The law applies to all dogs.

Some types of dogs are banned.

Out of Control

Your dog is considered dangerously out of control if it:

  • Injures someone
  • Makes someone worried that it might injure them
  • A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if either of the following apply:
  • It attacks someone’s animal
  • The owner of an animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal

A farmer is allowed to kill your dog if it’s worrying their livestock.

Penalties

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 (e.g. a guide dog) you can be sent to prison for up to 3 years or fined (or both).

For more independent information see:
Dangerous Dogs Act 1991
RSPCA
CPS - Dangerous Dog Offences
Dogbitelaw.co.uk