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Dog law owners may not know about that could see them jailed for 14 years

The cliche goes that a dog is for life, not just for Christmas - and there is a good reason behind it. A lot of responsibility comes with being a pet owner, from buying the right food and plenty of water to making sure you pick up dog mess while you are out on a walk.

Stock image: Pit bull terriers are a restricted breed
Stock image: Pit bull terriers are a restricted breed© Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Of course, many will know that the latter can see you landed with a fine, but there are some other laws owners may not know about that could end up with them serving time behind bars. The website details a variety of penalties for dog-related offences and while all attacks can be punished, it is an offence just to own some breeds.

Below SurreyLive has all the information you need to know about dog attacks and the punishments that come with them. There is also the full list of banned dog types which can be seized by police. 

Can I be sent to jail if my dog injures someone else?

Put simply it is an offence to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere in a public place, private place (like a neighbour’s garden) or an owner's home.

A dog is considered out of control if it injures someone or makes someone worried a dog may injure them. A court can also decide if a dog is out of control if it attacks another animal or if the owner of an animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop an attack on their animal.

The penalty for this crime depends on the severity of the incident. You can get an unlimited fine or six months in prison if your dog is out of control and you may not be banned from owning a dog in the future.

If you let your dog injure someone you could be jailed for five years and fined, while if you allow a dog to kill someone you could serve up to 14 years in prison. Attacks on guide dogs also carry a jail sentence of three years and a fine.

Which dog breeds are banned in the UK?

In the UK it is also illegal to own certain types of dogs. It is also against the law to sell, abandon, give away, or breed any of the following breeds:

  • Pit Bull Terrier

  • Japanese Tosa

  • Dogo Argentino

  • Fila Brasileiro

Whether a dog is banned or not depends on what it looks like rather than its breed or name. For example, if your dog matches the characteristics of a Pit Bull Terrier it may be a banned type.

Police can also take away these dogs even if it is not acting dangerously or a complaint has not been made. This dog will then be released or kept in kennels while the police apply to a court.

Reference:   Christy O'Brien -

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