Good News For Responsible Dog Ownership Drive

Police given more powers to tackle thoughtless dog owners

Related Links

Register for our weekly newsletter: &

Wandsworth’s responsible dog ownership campaign has been boosted by newly-published legislation that gives police more power to tackle thoughtless dog owners.

Changes published last week in the draft Dangerous Dogs (Amendment) Bill will make it an offence for a dog to be dangerously out of control in any place, public or private.

  • The revised legislation will close a loophole which has meant that dog owners whose animals have attacked people on private property are immune from prosecution.
  • Owners who fail to stop their dogs from attacking someone could face an unlimited fine and/or up to two years in jail if convicted.
  • Changes to dangerous dogs legislation will also prohibit attacks on guide dogs and other assistance dogs. Therefore, the owner, or person in charge, of a dog that attacks an assistance dog can be prosecuted.
  • There will be no protection for trespassers such as burglars who are attacked by a householder’s dog.

Cllr Cook pictured left said: “This is a significant step forward in the ongoing campaign to encourage responsible dog ownership, and these changes will no doubt enhance public safety. For the past five years the council has been at the forefront of calls to introduce more effective rules on dog ownership - and we will continue working with a variety of organisations in a bid to clamp down on troublesome owners and their dogs.”

In February, this year, Wandsworth welcomed a Government decision to bring in compulsory microchipping for all dogs from April 6, 2016 – something the council had been calling for after introducing the measure as part of its housing tenancy conditions back in 2009.

Wandsworth currently has a record of more than 5,000 dogs living in the borough, with an average of three dogs per week being microchipped since 2009.

The council has been working alongside organisations like Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, Dogs Trust, The Kennel Club and the RSPCA for many years to encourage responsible dog ownership.

Wandsworth offers free microchipping to dogs owned by council tenants and leaseholders - and has been piloting a free dog neutering scheme in partnership with the local RSPCA branch, which aims to prevent unwanted litters of puppies from certain dog breeds.

For information on the work of the council's dog control officers, including how to get your dog microchipped visit

Meanwhile, concerns about the way a dog is being treated in Wandsworth can be reported in confidence to the council's Dog Control Service on (020) 8871 7606.

April 23, 2013