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Friday, 24 February 2012

Accident waiting to happen


I am after some advice please.

My daughter works in a pub and a seven-month-old American Bulldog-Mastiff cross is regularly brought in by his owner. The dog is not being socialised and does not attend training classes, and is encouraged by his owner to bark at people who walk past. It has snapped and snarled at my daughter several times already and she is worried it will bite someone soon.

My daughter says she has heard the owner refer to it as a 'police buster'.

Please does anyone have any advice for what my daughter can do in this situation?

Anne Lucas, by phone


  1. Yvonne Collins DipCABT26 February 2012 at 07:45

    Where a dog causes a person reasonable apprehension that they are going to attacked, the person in charge of the dog may be charged under S 3 of the Dangerous Dog Act. The apprehension needs to be caused while the dog is a public place or place of public resport, or a private place to which the public have access with or without payment. So a public house is covered by the Act.

    In the first instance I think your daughter should speak to the landlord and voice her concerns - a responsible employer / pub landlord will most likely as the owner to leave his dog at home - after all if your daughter is concerned by the dog's temperament customers may also be put off - and if an incidence occurs in the pub he may well find he only has the one customer (dog owner) left!

    If this fails (or if she is the landlord and feels she can't stop him from bringing the dog to the pub) she could report her concerns to the Police who have a duty to investigate.

    In addition to the potential for Dangerous Dog Act offence, if he is encouraging the poor dog to bark at people and describing him as "Police Buster" then he is using the dog as an offensive weapon and the police may wish to deal with him in the same way as if he were to enter the pub with a baseball bat, knife or gun.

    This is an accident waiting to happen and hopefully your daughter will be able to do something before it does.

  2. It may be worth having a friendly chat with your local council Dog Warden Department. Every town council should have have a Dog Warden, He or she would be able to advise you on the situation.
    As far as I know, a dog dog not have to attack anyone before it is listed as a dangerous dog. If the dog simply scares someone, then technically it is a dangerous dog and subject to the act, as Yvonne states.

  3. Why would the owner of this dog refer to it as a 'police buster' unless he was involved in some sort of illegal activity? Surely the police should be brought in to investigate the owner and his activities?

  4. The owner or manager of the pub should ask this man not to bring his dog into the pub. I feel for this poor dog for being put in this situation that could end in this dog being put to sleep if it does bite. I would also contact the RSPCA and local dog warden to discuss options for taking the dog out of this situation.