Responsible Dog Ownership 

Do you know what your legal responsibilities are when you take on a dog. This page helps you to understand some of your obligations as a dog owner.

Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 which are due to come into force from the 6th April 2016 ; which means ALL dogs will need to be microchipped by law including working dogs. There is also an obligation to keep up to date the details held by the microchipping company e.g. new phone numbers and addresses. This is a lifelong commitment

The Control of Dogs Order 1992 requires that every dog when in a public place is to wear a collar with an id tag or plate with the owner’s details on it. Even if your dog is microchipped.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 means that any dog found wandering alone in a public place will be picked up for its own and the safety of the general public by the local council. This is the definition of a stray dog. Keep the dog secure by making sure you secure doors and gates to make sure it can’t get out. Children are properly supervised so that doors are not left open. Gardens are secured and dogs are supervised whilst in the garden.

The Animal Welfare Act 2006 places a legal duty on anyone who is responsible for a pet to care for the pet properly. Whether as an owner, breeder, a kennels or dog walker. Being responsible for your pet doesn’t mean just loving it. You need to understand and provide for its needs. The Animal welfare act defines these needs as ; A safe place to live , A proper diet, including fresh water, The ability to behave normally, The ability to livewith, or apart, from other animals, Protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease. Rabbits are a species commonly not well provided for under the Animal Welfare Act with most housing not being suitable to allow the rabbit to behave normally - find out about the three hops rule. 

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 makes it an offence not to clean up after a dog if it fouls in a public place. The local council can fine you for not picking up poo. You can dispose of your bags of dogs waste in public bins, do not leave them on the ground or in the trees. 

The Countryside Code means that a dog must never be allowed to worry livestock. Farmers can destroy a dog that injures or worries their animals. A loose dog amongst sheep can be classed as worrying the sheep, without it actually chasing them. Keep your dog on a lead amongst livestock. Find out more and download the leaflet from the government website.