What You Need to Know If Your Dog Is Seized by Authorities in the UK

What You Need to Know If Your Dog Is Seized by Authorities in the UK

Having a cherished pet seized can be an emotionally wrenching experience.

In recent times, there has been an increase in the number of dogs taken under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in the UK. Thus, it’s essential for dog owners to be aware of potential triggers for such seizures.


Why Might Your Dog Be Taken?


Concerns over Animal Treatment:

The Animal Welfare Act 2006, Section 4, underscores the prohibition against unnecessary suffering of domesticated animals under your care. Breaches can result in hefty penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and disqualification from pet ownership.

Neglecting Dog’s Needs:

You’re bound by Section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to provide for your dog’s fundamental needs. This encompasses adequate food, habitat, health, and behavioural norms. If neglected, authorities can intervene, possibly leading to your pet’s seizure and further legal ramifications.
Owning a Restricted Breed:

Suspected Banned breed: Some dog breeds, such as the Pit Bull Terrier, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa and the Fila Brasileiro are prohibited in the UK. Your dog doesn’t necessarily have to be one of those breeds to be suspected of being one. If your dog looks like a restricted breed, even without documented ancestry, it’s still at risk.

Uncontrolled or Threatening Behavior:
Dogs that seem out of control or induce fear in public or private places can lead to legal issues under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991. If your dog behaves threateningly without causing physical harm, it could still be seen as a problem.

Disturbing Livestock:
The Dogs (Protection of Livestock) Act 1953 defines and prohibits acts where dogs attack, chase, or are unrestrained near sheep or other livestock. Offenders can face legal consequences, and in some cases, the dog may be seized.

The Aftermath of a Seizure:
Once taken, the police keep the dog in their custody. Its fate lies in the court’s hands, which will decide if the dog can be returned or if it should be put euthanised.
Certain conditions may need to be met, like obtaining an Exemption Certificate. Sometimes, with adequate rectification, charges might be dropped, and dogs returned without legal prosecution.


Steps to Take if Your Dog is Seized:


Stay Calm and Collaborate: Always be cooperative. Showcase that you’re a responsible pet owner, possibly preventing the seizure. However, understand when a warrant is necessary.

Engage a Legal Expert: If your dog is taken, reach out to a knowledgeable solicitor immediately. Early intervention can pave the way for quicker resolutions. Always be wary before signing any documents from the police, as signing away ownership might lead to your pet’s euthanasia without any reconsideration.

Adhere to the Stipulations: If the authorities release your dog with certain conditions, strictly follow them. This not only keeps you legally safe but also demonstrates your responsibility.

The ordeal of having a pet seized is both traumatic for the owner and the animal. It’s crucial to be proactive, well-informed, and seek professional guidance to ensure a speedy and favourable outcome

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