Dogs Act changes mean tougher rules for owners

City Council officers and police can now seize dogs out of control on private land under new rules introduced last month.

Owners of dangerous dogs face tougher sentences under changes made to the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 in May.

The act now covers incidents and attacks on private property, which includes gardens, and means City of Lincoln Council officers and police can seize out of control dogs on private property.

The Dangerous Dogs Act applies to every dog owner in England and Wales and makes it a criminal offence for them to allow their pet to be “dangerously out of control” in a public.

Sam Barstow, Service Manager at the City Council for Public Protection and Anti-Social Behaviour, said: “These latest changes represent a shift in terms of how we deal with dangerous dogs.

“It affords greater powers for seizure of dogs where officers believe they are dangerously out of control.

“It also allows action to be taken for dogs that are dangerously out of control on private property, which the police were unable to take action on before.

“Dog owners need to remember that even if a dog does not bite, but makes someone feel threatened, the law still applies.

“This means you need to make sure that your dog is kept under control and that visitors, such as the postman, can safely get to your front door without encountering your dog.

“This change in legislation means all dog owners must ensure their dog is under control when they open the door, otherwise they risk committing a criminal offence.”

The prison sentence for an owner where a dog has caused death has also risen from two to 14 years, or up to five years where injury occurs.

To report an out of control or dangerous dog in Lincoln, call the Public Protection and Anti-Social Behaviour Team on 01522 873378.

Attacks should also be reported to the police by calling 101, or 999 in an emergency.