If you have a dog that has been declared a dangerous dog, there are a number of restrictions you will be required to abide by.
Your dog will need to be de-sexed, and kept in a specifically designed enclosure on your property.
Dangerous dog enclosures in NSW must meet the building specifications required by state law, or you could be liable for penalties including fines, and even prison if your dog escapes and injures someone.
How can I ensure my enclosure meets the required standard?
If you aren’t sure what the regulations are concerning dangerous dog enclosures in NSW, you can check them here.
There are a number of businesses that specialise in constructing dangerous dog enclosures and ensuring they meet the minimum standards set out in the Companion Animals Act, or you can build one yourself.
Once you have your dog enclosure in place, you will need to obtain a certificate of compliance from your local council.
Once your dog has been declared dangerous, you have three months from the date of the declaration to build an enclosure, and ensure that it complies with the law.
What if my enclosure doesn’t comply with the requirements?
If you fail to comply with the control requirements for a dangerous dog, and are found to not have a proper enclosure for the dog on your property, you can be liable for penalties including a fine of up to $16,500.
You can also potentially be disqualified from owning a dog.
What if my dog escapes?
If your dog escapes from an enclosure that does not meet the minimum standard for dangerous dog enclosures, you face additional penalties, particularly if the dog attacks or chases a person or another animal.
If your dog escapes and attacks or bites a person or another animal you will need to notify the council within 24 hours of the attack, or the injury being sustained.
The maximum penalty for having a declared dangerous dog that escapes and attacks or bites a person due to failure to comply with requirements is two years imprisonment, and a fine of up to $55,000.
If you are found guilty, you will also be disqualified from owning a dog in the future.
Will I still face penalties if my dog chases someone but doesn’t attack them?
If your dog escapes and chases or harasses another animal or a person but doesn’t actually bite or attack them, you still face harsh penalties.
The maximum penalty for owning a dangerous dog which escapes and harasses or chases a person or other animal is a fine of $33,000.
What if my dog goes missing?
If your dog escapes and is missing, you must notify your local council within 24 hours of first noticing the dog’s absence.
What should I do if I have been charged with failing to comply with restrictions for dangerous dog enclosures in NSW?
It is a good idea to speak with a lawyer that is experienced in dangerous dog cases if you are facing charges of failing to comply with the restrictions for owning a dangerous dog in NSW.
The penalties can be severe and the consequences serious for both you and your animal if you are found guilty.
This is particularly the case if your dog has attacked or injured someone else.