Companion Animals Act Services
Our Dangerous Dog Lawyers can help you in a range of ways; including:
1. Providing expert legal advice
2. Sending written objections to proposed Dangerous Dog Declarations
3. Appealing against Dangerous Dog Declarations
4. Negotiating 'Undertakings to Council' or 'Control Orders' (as a substitute for a proposed or
existing Dangerous Dog Declaration)
5. Fighting for the withdrawal of criminal charges
6. Fighting against proposed 'destruction orders'
7. Representing you in Court
1. Expert Legal Advice
You can call us 24/7 on (02) 9261 8881 to book a conference at our Sydney Offices or over the phone.
Please advise us if you will be driving and we'll be happy to book free visitor parking for you.
2. Sending Written Objections to Proposed Dangerous Dog Declaration
If you have received a 'Notice of Intention to Declare Dog Dangerous', you have 7 days to send a 'Letter of Objection' to Council.
Our Dangerous Dog Lawyers can draft that document on your behalf; which can maximise the chances of Council either:
- Deciding not to go through with the declaration, or
- Agreeing to accept 'Undertakings' (see below) instead of making the Dangerous Dog Declaration.
3. Appealing Against Dangerous Dog Declarations
An appeal can be made against a Dangerous Dog Declaration:
(a) to the Local Court within 28 days after the Declaration is made; or
(b) to the Council more than 12 months after the Declaration is made.
Our Dangerous Dog Lawyers can file these appeals on your behalf.
We will then work towards negotiating the withdrawal of the Declaration; often by persuading Council to agree to 'Control Orders' or 'Undertakings' instead (see below).
4. Negotiating 'Undertakings' or 'Control Orders'
'Undertakings' and 'Control Orders' are rules that a particular dog owner must follow. They are much less strict than Dangerous Dog Declarations.
'Undertakings' can be negotiated with Council before a Dangerous Dog Declaration comes into effect. They can persuade Council not to go ahead with the Declaration.
'Control Orders' can be negotiated after a Dangerous Dog Declaration is made. They can result in Council agreeing to 'revoke' (cancel) the Declaration.
A particular set of 'Undertakings' or 'Control Orders' may, for example, require that:
(1) your dog must always be leashed when in public,
(2) your dog must be trained by a qualified dog trainer within 3 months, and
(3) the fencing at your home must be adequate to prevent your dog from escaping.
Our Dangerous Dog Lawyers can draft 'Undertakings' or 'Control Orders' on your behalf, send them to Council and ask Council to accept them rather that insisting on the Dangerous Dog Declaration.
5. Fighting for the Withdrawal of Criminal Charges
If you are charged with a criminal offence (eg 'dog attack', 'encourage to attack', 'not comply with control requirements' etc), our Dangerous Dog Lawyers have the knowledge and experience to identify weaknesses in the prosecution case and fight for the withdrawal of charges.
We regularly persuade Councils and Police to 'drop' charges on the basis that there is a valid 'defence', or the 'essential elements' of the charge are not established, or there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the pet owner (or the 'person in charge') is guilty of the particular offence.
We frequently persuade Councils and Police to withdraw charges altogether, or to replace very serious charges with far less serious Penalty Notices.
6. Fighting Against Proposed 'Destruction Orders'
A 'destruction order' is an order for a pet to be 'destroyed'. The Companion Animals Act states that a 'destruction order' can be made if a person is convicted of any of the following offences:
- Section 16 - dog attack,
- Section 17 - encourage to attack
- Section 49 - fail to comply with Control Order or Destruction Order
- Section 51 - owner of dangerous dog that does not comply with 'control requirements'
- Section 56 - owner of restricted dog that does not comply with control requirements, or
- Section 35A of the Crimes Act NSW (1900) - causing dog to inflict grievous bodily harm or actual bodily harm
If an application has been made for a 'destruction order', our Dangerous Dog Lawyers will fight to prevent that order from being made by the court.
This can be achieved by emphasising to the Court that your pet is a beloved member of the family and requesting that 'Control Orders' be imposed instead.
7. Representing you in Court
Our Lawyers are highly experienced and respected 'in-court' barristers and solicitors.
So if your matter proceeds to court, you can rest assured that you will be represented by the very best.
Benefit from the Expertise. Trust in our Experience.
SUITE 507, 267 CASTLEREAGH STREET
SYDNEY NSW 2000
(OPPOSITE DOWNING CENTRE COURTS)
Ph: (02) 9261 8881 Fax: (02) 9264 0880