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Dangerous Dogs

Owning a dangerous dog

A dangerous dog declaration has effect throughout Victoria and it cannot be revoked, amended or otherwise altered.

A dog that is kept for the purpose of guarding non-residential premises, or a dog that has been trained to attack or bite any person or any thing when attached to or worn by a person, is automatically a dangerous dog under the Domestic Animals Act 1994.

This information does not apply to guard dogs on non-residential premises, for specific information on these dogs.

Requirements for keeping declared dangerous dogs

Owners of dangerous dogs have imposed on them a series of obligations to make sure that members of the public are not attacked by such a dog. There are penalties for noncompliance.

Councils have the power to charge higher registration fees for dangerous dogs that have been declared due to attack, than the standard maximum pet registration fees. Declared dogs - property inspection fee for dangerous and restricted breed $60.00

The Domestic Animals Regulations 2005 provide for and ensure a state-wide standard relating to the management of dangerous dogs. The uniform identification of dangerous dogs and the identification of premises where they live is important for easy identification of these dogs. It is also vital for effective state-wide education programs, directed particularly at children.

Note that where the owner of a dog is under the age of 18 years, the parent or guardian of that owner will be deemed the legal owner of the dog and subject to any penalties/prosecutions.

Dangerous Dogs: Questions Asked and Answered.

1. How can I find out if a dog has been declared dangerous?

Contact your local council with the details of the dog in question. They can inspect the dog and refer to their registration database or access the Victorian Dangerous Dogs Register to see if the dog has been declared as a dangerous dog.

2. I want to report the owner of a dangerous dog for failing to comply with its prescribed restrictions?

Contact your local council for investigation. Heavy penalties can be applied for offences of attacking again, being at large and not being kept according to the law on confinement and management of such dogs. The dog can be seized by the council.

3. What happens if my dangerous dog attacks someone?

Owners are now subject to criminal offences if their dog kills or endangers the life of someone. Owners can be jailed for up to 10 years if their dog kills someone or for up to 5 years if their dog endangers someone's life.

Where the owner of a dog is under the age of 18 years, the parent or guardian of that owner will be deemed the legal owner of the dog and subject to any penalties.

This applies to owners of:
• Attack trained dogs
• dangerous dogs declared due to attack
• declared menacing dogs
• guard dogs
restricted breed dogs (both registered and unregistered).

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