Can I Fight A Dog Destruction Order?

by Ugur Nedim
Dogs in pound

Under the Companion Animals Act 1998 there are a number of rules and regulations that dog owners must comply with.

If your dog behaves in a certain manner or is considered dangerous, you will have further restrictions to comply with.

In extreme cases, or if your dog has been involved in an incident where a person or other animal has been injured, you may be given a dog destruction order stating that your animal must be destroyed within a certain time period.

What is a dog destruction order?

A destruction order is a court-issued document requiring that your dog be destroyed. Dog destruction orders can be given for a number of reasons, including:

  • Failure on the part of you the owner to comply with a control order.
  • Failure to comply with the requirements for a restricted dog or a declared dangerous dog.
  • The dog has attacked a person or another animal apart from vermin.
  • The dog has been encouraged to attack another animal or a person.
  • The dog has caused grievous bodily harm or actual bodily harm to a person.

For the court to give a dog destruction order, it must be decided that destroying the dog is the only way to sufficiently protect the public or other animals from the dog.

A control order, or an order removing the animal from your care, needs to be considered insufficient as a way to manage the dog’s behaviour.

A dog destruction order generally requires you to destroy your dog within a set time period, which will be specified on the order.

Can I appeal a dog destruction order?

Having to destroy your beloved pet can be heartbreaking and if you have been issued with a dog destruction order, you may be able to successfully appeal against it.

If you are successful, your dog may be placed under a control order or other restrictions.

It is a good idea to seek legal advice if you intend to challenge a dog destruction order.

The circumstances surrounding the reasons for the destruction order will have a bearing on how you appeal the order.

Emphasising that your dog is a beloved family pet and that destruction is unnecessary and unjustified can help increase your chances of success.

What are the alternatives to a destruction order?

If you are able to successfully appeal against a dog destruction order, you may be given a control order instead.

A control order is a document containing certain restrictions and rules that govern where your dog is kept and how they are handled when they are out in the community.

A declaration of your dog as a nuisance dog or a dangerous dog can be onerous, but it is better than having to have your dog destroyed.

If you successfully appeal a destruction order and your dog is given a control order, it is important that you carefully follow all the guidelines and comply with the restrictions.

Failure to comply with a control order may lead to your dog being given another destruction order, and it will be a lot more difficult to appeal under those circumstances.

In some cases, the dog will be removed from your care as an alternative to a destruction order.

This means that you will no longer be responsible for your animal and it can’t be sold or given back to you.

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Ugur Nedim

Ugur Nedim is an Accredited Criminal Law Specialist with over 20 years of experience as a criminal defence lawyer. He is the Principal of Sydney Criminal Lawyers®.

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