Dog owners are being reminded of their responsibilities following recent dog-related incidents in the county and a predicted rise with the summer months upon us.
It is against the law to allow your dog to be dangerously out of control. This includes the dog injuring someone, or just making someone worried that they might be injured and where the handler has no control of the dog. The owner is also liable for the same offence even if not present.
Historically, Kent Police has seen the highest number of reported incidents between the months of May and August. In 2022 there were 98 reported in July, with just 44 in February the same year.
May 2023 saw 124 reported incidents including dog bites and dog-on-dog attacks, with 44 so far in June (up until 12 June).
Inspector Ian Warner said: ‘Whilst the majority of people are responsible there is still a small minority who are not. Preventing anti-social behaviour and ensuring everyone remains safe is part of the force’s Safer Summer initiative.
‘Earlier this month officers received a report that a dog had injured a child while in the owner’s garden in Charing.
‘And another report was received that a dog was attacking other dogs in Margate. The dog was seized, two dogs were injured with one found deceased. Two people were also injured during the incident.
‘Both of these incidents are being investigated and we will carry out a full and thorough investigation.
‘They also serve as a timely reminder that dogs can be unpredictable when confronted with unexpected situations and incidents can lead to the harming of livestock too.
‘Under Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act a person in charge of a dog, and/or the owner, commits an offence if the victim fears that the dog’s actions will lead to them being injured, whether or not they actually are injured.
‘This can be from a dog running up to a person, jumping up at them and causing fear or doing the same thing but then also causing an injury.
‘It’s also important to ensure children in the home are safeguarded. As we have seen dogs can be unpredictable so should be closely supervised around children.
‘We want everyone to ensure they take responsibility for their actions.’
You can find more information about dogs, and what constitutes a dangerous dog here
More information about how to keep children safe around dogs can be found here
· Owning a dog is a big responsibility and people have a duty to both their dog and the public to keep their pet under control at all times. · Ensure your gardens are safe and your dog cannot easily escape, and manage your dog when someone calls at your home. · If you know your dog reacts to the doorbell then ensure steps are taken to keep your dog away from the front door, particularly when deliveries are being made to avoid injury. · If you know your dog is particularly jumpy, anxious or has a tendency to bite, keep it on a lead when you take it out and consider using a muzzle.