This page is targeted at housing professionals. Our main site is at www.shelter.org.uk

Offences relating to dogs

This content applies to England

Legal remedies for offences relating to dogs.

Where an owner fails to exercise proper control of a dog, s/he may be liable to a fine[1] and can be prohibited from keeping a dog for a certain period.[2] Certain breeds of dogs, deemed to be dangerous, are required to be muzzled and kept on a lead in a public place.[3] Offences are punishable by a fine or imprisonment. The court may also order the destruction of the dog.[4] Councils are able to designate areas, for example play areas on housing estates, in which dog fouling is an offence.[5] Owners (with the exception of registered blind people) who fail to clear up dog faeces can be fined.[6]

[1] s.6 Dangerous Dogs Act 1989.

[2] s.1(b) Dangerous Dogs Act 1989.

[3] s.1(2)(d) Dangerous Dogs Act 1991.

[4] s.4 Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, as amended by s.107 Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

[5] s.2 Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996.

[6] s.3 Dogs (Fouling of Land) 1996; Dogs Fouling (Fixed Penalties) Order 1996 SI 1996/2763.

Back to top