Your Dog Has Rights Too! A Menacing Dog Declaration Does Not Have To Mean Loss Of Freedom
Having a pet is like having an extra child in the home, but this child does not have a voice, so you need to be one for them. Just like kids, dogs can get themselves in trouble with people who don't know them. They can come across as scary or menacing when you know very well they wouldn't hurt a fly. When your dog has been declared a menace, you need to think very carefully about your next step because the wrong move will alter the course of your dog's life. Is it time to consult with an animal lawyer to make sure your dog doesn't lose its freedom?
What Is A Menacing Dog Declaration?
A menacing dog declaration is made by your local council when your dog has caused an injury to a person or other animal but did not bite them. For example, if your dog rushed up to a person and growled while raising their hackles, that person could lodge a menacing dog complaint with the council.
The council will then investigate the incident, and they could make a ruling that includes your dog having to be muzzled while it is out in public. While this is meant to protect others from being bitten from your dog, you may feel that your dog has been unfairly judged and punished.
In Victoria, for example, you have 28 days to respond to a menacing dog ruling, and this is the time when you need to turn to an animal lawyer for help.
What Can An Animal Lawyer Do?
If you do not contest a menacing dog declaration when a council has imposed a muzzle restriction, your dog's days of chasing balls and sticks at the park are over. While they can still be taken to the park to run, a muzzle severely restricts their chance for freedom and play.
An animal lawyer can contest a menacing dog rule and negotiate with the council on behalf of you and your dog. There may be extreme circumstances why your dog appeared to be menacing. For example, perhaps your dog was teased by a person, and that is why your dog approached the person in the first place. Or perhaps your dog was simply protecting you from perceived harm. An animal lawyer knows how best to calmly and without emotion secure the best outcome for your canine buddy.
It is hard to protect your dog when you are so emotionally involved in their life, so hire an animal lawyer to advocate for your pet when their freedom and rights are at risk. They know how best to negotiate through local laws and could very well get an outcome for your pet that you can't.