No, not at this stage.I can give you a full history of this dispute if you wish but the outcome at the moment is that I have a letter dated March 17 which is headed Local Government Act 1972/Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and says that Tia (that is the dog's name) should be tethered or held on a lead when in the front garden, including when accompanied. There are other conditions about control when in public places, which I have no problem with - it is just this business about my own garden which angers me when the dog has done nothing to warrant the restriction.
The letter concludes "I would strongly advise that you keep Tia on a short lead in other public areas such as bridleways and public footpaths" and says that should the council receive evidence that I am not comlplying (which I presume means neighbours complaining) the council will "give serious consideration to applying for an injunction or Anti-Social Behaviour Order."
That suggests to me they realise that the dog's behaviour does not warrant a control order but they are targeting my apparent intransigence in failing to comply with the most onerous of their demands as an alternative approach to keep the 'intimidated' neighbours quiet. But I need to know what the law says on this matter.
At the moment, no, but that is why I am seeking advice. I want to be able to gauge the likely outcome before committing myself.
The background here is that Tia was attacked by a small dog (much smaller than her) in September 2012. The outcome was inevitable and that was that the small dog was injured. it is the owner of that dog who complained and started this ongoing saga. His dog is OK and is still a nasty little beast which has been involved in other incidents but has no sanctions against it while Tia is being painted as a villain and now treated as such.
That is why I feel so strongly that my dog should not be restricted for simply defending herself - but I don't want to waste money fighting a losing cause.
Basically, can they or can they not restrict my behaviour (and that of my dog) on my own property in this way. If not, then I will be willing to fight them.
Thank you for your help. I understand the reply and feel aggrieved that my dog would be seen as the guilty party despite the circumstances. The scrap between the dogs was on a public road, not my property - outside the other dog's house when it broke through a hedge and attacked my dog which was actually making friends with another neighbour's dog at the time. The law can sometimes be an ass.
Tia is already tethered when out in the garden with me for any length of time and is on a short lead in public places on walks. The only time she is not on a lead in the garden is when I let her out in the evening - sometimes at 7pm and always at around 9.30pm for a 'last wee'. There is never anyone about and no-one is threatened by her but that is what the dispute is over - obviously vindictive curtains are twitching and reporting the 'transgression' from the city council edict. We are talking maybe five minutes a day maximum.
I feel happier about my position with your advice - should the city council wish to push this matter I can at least give them some sort of battle before I roll over
However, the bottom line is that Tia is nine years old - a 'good age' for a mastiff, according to the vet - and has a tumour. I don't think it is worth spending a huge amount of money for a principle that might stand up after a long dispute for a dog that is about to or has just died.
Thank you for your help - if you have any further advice I would be glad to hear it.