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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71040
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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We have owned rotweillers for thirty years and currently have

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We have owned rotweillers for thirty years and currently have a four year old male called Brewster. He is a loving and much-loved family pet. Nonetheless, in view of the breeds' reputation, we have always been ultra careful with him - he has never been off the lead at any time in his life except in our own enclosed garden. Recently, while walking with my wife in public woods, they were surprised by a small dog, off the lead, which was scratching about hidden by close-by undergrowth and which Brewster might conceivably have thought to be a squirrel. Brewster lunged towards the noise, taking my wife by surprise and breaking her grip on his lead. The other dog broke cover and ran back towards its owners who at that stage were not in sight. Brewster chased it. The other dog was small and nimble and fortunately Brewster was unable to catch it. The owners, a man and woman ran up to rescue their dog, the man distracting Brewster by kicking him in the ribs, which allowed the man to grab his lead. Handing the lead to my wife, he then kicked Brewster again and swore at him. Brewster did not threaten or attack the man in response to this, but sat quietly at my wife's command. The other dog was not bitten, nor injured at all, but the couple demanded my wife's particulars and reported the matter to the police. The police have visited our home and informed my wife that she must attend the police station "for a discussion," with the possibility that the matter might be referred to the Magistrates Court. We have not been involved with the police before and are very apprehensive about the procedure and outcome. Are you able to advise us please?
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
What would you like to knwo about this please?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

what line is the discussion likely to take and what is the likely outcome?

It depends what the allegation is. Its not really something I can forecast. Obviously the way it has been reported will not be the way that you describe it.
If they are alleging that your dog either injured them or gave rise to reasonable apprehension that he would then that is a matter under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and they could prosecute that.
If its just a dog fight then they could just lay a complaint under the Dogs Act 1871 which is just a civil matter.
There are lots of other options. Whether they will look at them or not really depends. It must be said that there hasn't been an unfortunate headline for a while which is always helpful but it depends on the constabulary in question, the attitude of the officer and the aggression of the complainant. Not many complainants are reasonable in my experience. The police do generally have a dog friendly culture so the chances are that you will have their sympathy but that doesn't mean they won't prosecute. Its an easier decision for them to prosecute than not.
Even if this did go to court its very unlikely that they would get a destruction order in relation to your dog. They do happen but only really when cases are mishandled.
Your account amounts to a defence so you can't accept a caution or really even an ABC contract.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you, ***** ***** is an ABC contract, please?

Some local councils use them more than the police. Its basically where the dog warden or a police officer seeks an agreement with the owner over how the dog will be kept.
Since you don't accept an offence or dangerousness under the Dogs Act though its not really appropriate.
He will be making some allegation. If he had reported that a dog chased his the police would not have acted. He will be alleging something. Whether or not he is believed is another matter.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Is it possible that he could allege that Brewster was "Out of control in a public place" or is that something the police decide? Or if he alleges that Brewster attacked his dog?

Yes, he probably is saying that but the dog has to be dangerously out of control. That would mean he needs to have injured a person or given rise to reasonable apprehension that he would.
If its just a dog scrap then thats not an offence under the dangerous dogs act. It may fall under the dogs act possibly.
If this is an interview under caution then you can ask a solicitor to attend with you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My wife has not been cautioned, simply asked to attend the police station "for a discussion." However, the policeman told her that she has a right to have her own solicitor with her or have the services of the Duty Solicitor.

Yes thats N interview under caution. Make sure you take a solicitor.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you and goodnight.

No problem and all the best.
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