Dog attacks

It’s an offence to let a dog be dangerously out of control whether in public or private. This is dealt with by the police.

A dog is considered to be out of control if it:

  • injures someone
  • makes someone worried that it might injure them

It could also be decided (by a Court) that a dog is dangerously out of control if:

  • it attacks someone’s animal
  • the owner of an animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop the dog attacking their animal

A farmer is allowed to kill a dog if it’s worrying their livestock.

Horsham District Council cannot investigate or prosecute dog attacks. If you see a dog that is out of control and/or considered to be dangerous, please report it to the police or call 101. If there is an immediate threat to human or animal life call 999.

You will need to provide as much information as possible eg date, time, location, description of other dog, dog owner details if known and details of any injuries to you or your dog. Photographic evidence will help.

Under Section 2 of the Dogs act 1871, you can take Civil proceedings through the small claims court against the owner of a dog that is dangerous and not under proper control (eg to recoup vet bills).