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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71053
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My dog has been seized by police someone in a public

Customer Question

My dog has been seized by police for biting someone in a public place. He was not being walked by me at the time (my partners mother). He was not out of control when the police arrived and was in my in-laws house. Police are saying it could take 6 months for court case (if not longer) and he is to remain in kennels until then. They have put pressure on to euthanase which I refused as it is the first time anything like this has occurred.
My question (s) are:
A) were they legally entitled to remove dog from property without a warant?
B)I have read a DEFRA flow chart which gives enforcement officers guidelines on dealing with this type of incident. The flow chart asks if the dog is in breach of 'dangerous dogs act 1991' section 3 (essentially was he out of control and/or did they bite someone).The answer is of course 'yes' and not in dispute. The recommended course of action is only to seize dog if they are still out of control and/or a danger to the public. I have spoken to both police officers and dog warden who took him away and they have all said he was completely fine, not aggressive and was if anything quite happy! So can I appeal this?
C)can I visit the dog? They are suggesting not too but what is the legal standpoint on visiting a seized dog? and what if anything could I be charged with? Also he is a rescue dog and RSPCA guidelines state there are minimum requirements around contact with seized dogs. Could I argue this is detrimental to the animals welfare due to previous abuse?
Any help would be appreciated.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
A] It depends. They can't seize under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 but they can seize under PACE although then they should produce him as an exhibit which they won't do. They might give him back under an ABC contract. It depends really on a number of factors. B] Ignore the flowchart. CPS do.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
There is always a debate over whether they can seize. In summary they should not seize in most instances unless a dog is seized as evidence. If it is not evidence then it should be returned.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
If it is evidence then it should be produced as an exhibit.The reality is that neither applies but they get away with it because people usually get their dog back under a contingent destruction order before any action can be taken.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
The case won't take anything like six months.Unless they are going to delay summonsing you.On no account agree to him being euthanised. They won't get a destruction order at court.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have found out the private kennels in which he is being kept. Is it essentially against the law for me to visit?
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
No, not per se but they won't let you in and also if you try to visit or it comes out that you have this information it will be harder to persuade the Magistrates to impose a contingent destruction order.