Thursday 25 January 2024

No obligation for UK police to investigate dog killing cat

This is part of a "great debate". The GB News website has a story about a large dog described as a "copy of XL bully" killing a lady's cat. Her name is Becky and she is campaigning for a change in UK law. I am sorry but she won't succeed but I wish her all the best.

In the UK, the police do nothing about an attack by a dog on another dog or cat unless the dog is an assistance dog or service dog. Image: MikeB under Canva license.

She says that she has no recourse to prosecute the owners of the dog that killed her cat Freya because in the UK, only dog on dog attacks can be pursued by police and only in those instances where the victim is an assistance or service dog or if the dog's owner is injured and/or the attacking dog was dangerously out of control.

RELATED: read more on this tricky aspect of UK law by clicking on the following link: In the UK, if a dog injuries or kills your cat the police might not become involved.

The bottom line is that if a dog attacks a cat, the police won't do anything about it, I understand. That's law in the UK.
"There have been decisions in the past by courts and authorities to suggest that it is the nature of a dog to kill and wound small animals. As such, unfortunately there is no certainty that the police could take action, in the event of your pet being killed or wounded by a dog." - West Yorkshire Police
I had never heard of that before. It places assistance and service dogs above an ordinary dog companion. It's a type of speciesism if you like. And it would certainly be upsetting to a dog owner to have their dog killed by another without recourse in terms of criminal behaviour.

Although a prosecution wouldn't be possible, I would suggest that the owner of the victim dog could, if it was practical, sue the owner of the attacking dog in negligence for failing to take charge of their dog adequately and allowing the animal to attack their dog and kill him or her.

There will be very few people who would commence a civil action like that because the damages would almost certainly be small, perhaps to the value of the dog or cat without valuing the distress caused to the owner. In which case the damages might be as low as £100 or thereabouts.

If the owner of the victim dog employed a lawyer to help them the costs would far outweigh the damages awarded if they won. Therefore they would have to conduct the case themselves which would probably be a big barrier.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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