If you are a dog owner, you better watch out because your dog’s behaviour could send you to prison for up to 14 years.
Under the new changes to the Dangerous Dogs Act, dog owners now face prosecution if their dog attacks a person in their home or on any private property, except if they attack a trespasser.
The maximum sentences for allowing a dog to attack someone have also been substantially increased.
The maximum prison sentences in England and Wales are now: Up to 14 years, from two years, for a fatal dog attack; Up to five years, from two years, for injury; and up to three years if an assistance dog is attacked.
“Dog attacks can have horrific consequences for victims and families and it is only right those responsible should face tough punishments,” said Animal Welfare Minister Lord de Mauley. “Irresponsible dog owners will not only face longer prison sentences, but will also be liable for prosecution regardless of where an attack takes place, even in their own home. This will give protection to those who provide vital services in the community – postal workers, nurses, utility workers – as well as people visiting family and friends.”
Guide Dogs Chief Executive Richard Leaman said: “An attack on a guide dog can be devastating. It can rob someone with sight loss of their independence and freedom, leaving them virtually housebound.
“We’re delighted that irresponsible owners can now be given tougher sentences if their dog attacks an assistance dog.”