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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71130
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have recently been asked to attend a meeting where the dog

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I have recently been asked to attend a meeting where the dog warden is considering taking action against my Weimaraner following an incident with a Parsons Terrier.
The owner of the Terrier had the terrier on the lead when it attacked my dog who had gone over to say hello. He pulled his dog off and into the air and apologised saying it was a rescue dog and he didn't know when it would attack. He afterwards phoned me complaining his dog had been hurt and required vets fees. Obviously then contacting the warden.
I believe my Weim to be blameless here and am surprised I am being summoned and threatened.
What would you advise and what powers does the dog warden have? Sadly there were no witnesses to this incident.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What injuries did the dog suffer please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Having told my dog to sit we checked his dog whilst he apologised. There seemed to be no injury to either. However, when he phoned the next night he claimed £500 pounds of damage saying his dog had been cut under its belly. Maybe as he lifted it up. Nothing has been confirmed

The only thing that the Council can do about this is complain to the Magistrates Court under the Dogs Act 1871.
That is a civil matter only so there are no penal consequences but it does carry destruction or a control order. Its fair to say that destruction orders are rare but Control Orders are quite common.
This doesn't offend under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 because the injury or reasonable apprehension was not to a person or an assistance dog so they cannot bring a criminal prosecution and anyway dog wardens don't do that.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What control order could be enforced and surely as it was his dog which initiated the aggression it should just apply to his dog? I appreciate to wrongs to not make a right but how can i be expected to train my dog not to retaliate?

Well, that is a different point. I was just dealing with the issue of their powers as that was your question.
You do have the right to contest their application at court. Usually one incident is not sufficient unless that incident is exceptional and there is case law on that point.
Whether you want the risk of contesting it is another matter. It might get nowhere when you attend and explain although the difficulty here is that the other dog does seem to have had some form of injury. The problem with things like this is there is always a presumption against the bigger dog. Its something that runs right through law enforcement in my experience - men are always presumed to be the aggressor in domestic violence, larger vehicles are always presumed to be responsible for collisions than more vulnerable ones like cyclists even though in both instances the reverse is often true.
Dog wardens do receive lots of complaints and not act upon them.
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