Appealing a Dangerous Dog Declaration

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Brown and white dog

If you receive a notice of intention to declare your dog dangerous, you have two options.

You can accept the declaration, make the necessary amendments to your lifestyle and abide by the restrictions that owners of dangerous dogs are required to adhere to, or you can challenge the declaration.

Appealing a dangerous dog declaration can help you avoid having to disrupt your lifestyle and subject your dog to the numerous restrictions that go alongside having a your beloved dog declared dangerous.

If your dog is declared dangerous, some of the rules you will have to abide by include:

  • De-sexing your animal.
  • Keeping your dog muzzled at all times when it is out in public.
  • Building a special dangerous dog enclosure to house your dog.
  • Placing warning signs around your property to notify visitors that there is a dangerous dog on the premises.
  • When in public, the dog must always be on a leash with a responsible person over the age of 18 holding the other end of the leash.
  • Your dog must be micro-chipped.
  • Your dog must never be left in the sole charge of someone under the age of 18.
  • You must inform the council if the dog attacks or injures a person or another animal, it goes missing or the location it is usually kept changes.

In many cases, it is possible to appeal a notice of intention to declare your dog dangerous and avoid a lot of stress both for you and for your dog.

How do I appeal a dangerous dog declaration?

A dog can be declared dangerous if it is a certain breed, or if it has repeatedly displayed unreasonable aggression, or attacked or caused injury to a person or animal other than vermin.

If the council has decided to declare your dog dangerous, you will receive written notification in the form of a notice to declare your dog dangerous.

If you believe this is unjustified, you have seven days from the issue of this notice to write a letter of objection to the council.

You may submit evidence as part of your appeal, including any assessments from a professional behavioural assessor or any other evidence you have to support your appeal.

Make sure you clearly explain the reasons for your objection, and seek legal advice if necessary.

A lawyer who is experienced in defending dangerous dog applications can write the letter of objection on your behalf.

The council is required to assess your evidence before they make a final decision.

What should I do while I am waiting for the matter to be decided?

There are certain requirements you will need to abide by while the matter is being decided.

If your dog has been declared a proposed dangerous dog, you need to ensure that it wears a muzzle and a leash whenever it is out in public and that the leash is under the control of a competent person.

You will also be required to register your dog it if is not already registered within seven days.

You are not allowed to sell, give away or otherwise transfer ownership of a proposed dangerous dog. Failure to comply with dangerous dog restrictions can lead to severe penalties, including fines and permanent disqualification from owning a dog.

If your dog hurts someone due to failure to comply, the court may order your beloved to be surrendered or even destroyed.

If you have received a notice of intention to declare your dog dangerous and you want to appeal, it is best to seek legal advice.

The laws and regulations around dangerous dog declarations are complicated and there are only a handful of lawyers who have sufficient knowledge and experience to properly defend these cases.

Sydney Criminal Lawyers® has over a decade’s experience representing clients in dangerous dog cases throughout NSW.

An experienced dangerous dog lawyer can help you gather the right evidence and present your case so you have the best possible chance of success.

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Ugur Nedim

Ugur Nedim

Ugur Nedim is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist with 25 years of experience as a Criminal Defence Lawyer. He is the Principal of Sydney Criminal Lawyers®.

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