There are still many myths and rubbish being repeated about the DDA and what can happen if your dog is a Pitbull. Please don’t get your advice from Facebook or the man in the pub. There are several reputable places you can get advice such as Deed Not Breed and DDA watch and doglaw.co.uk a solicitors specialising in cases. Your dog can be seized if it looks like it could be a pitbull or a pitbull cross, it really is that simple. It is illegal to buy, sell, exchange, give away or breed from a Pit Bull or Pit Bull type under the DDA. Last edited April 2017
The Dangerous Dogs Act was amended on 14th May 2014 to include private property. remember, reasonable apprehension that your dog could bite is enough to break the law.
Generally a dog cannot be identified legally as a Pitbull, even by a recognised, trained expert until it is 9 months old as dogs can change a lot whilst growing. There is NO DNA test that can ID breed and the law does not care where you got the dog or what you bought it as. It does not need to have done anything or been aggressive, it is simply about what it looks like.
If your dog is seized, get legal advice, not Facebook or man next door advice. You need to speak to a solicitor, we recommend doglaw.co.uk run by Trevor Cooper, the leading dog expert solicitor. You may need to find your own expert that can measure and test your dog and possibly argue that it is not “type” meaning it does not look like it has Pit Bull in it.
We act as court Expert Witnesses for DDA cases, join us on facebook for advice or see our website.
Do not sign anything if the Police come to take your dog. In a distressed state, some people have signed a form called a disclaimer signing ownership to Police which is the only way the dog can be taken by the Police to have it destroyed. The Police cannot put a dog down, only a court can order destruction of a dog. Get advice, do not sign. The Police can hold the dog in kennels whilst they investigate.
Some Police Forces are sympathetic to a Pit Bull type owned by a responsible owner who has neutered and trained it and it is of a good temperament and will help to get the dog through the court system. If a judge agrees, the dog will be added to the exempt register and will become a “legal” Pit bull if the steps are followed correctly. This means the dog will have to be microchipped, be neutered, chipped, insured and must be muzzled in public at ALL times, including in a vehicle. This also means a behaviour assessment by an expert to be sure the dog is safe and also that you are “fit and proper” to own it.
There are a few cases of a dog being added to the register, then the owner is too lazy to follow the rest through and a month later the same dog is seized and destroyed.
The ONLY legal Pitbull is one that has been through the court and added to the register. There is no “licence” or “certificate” that you can get that makes a dog legal that has not been through the courts and added to the register. It does not become legal if you muzzle it or neuter it, it must have gone to court.
Whilst I am talking about this, I must add, their jaws DON’T lock, they are not mad or unpredictable, but they are often owned and bred by sad macho idiots and criminals who deliberately create aggressive dogs.
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Read our view and updates on the current highest profile case of Save Lennox here