Is it legal to borrow a dog?
Posted on 22nd January 2020
There’s nothing like a heart-warming story at Christmas, such as the one reported recently by the mirror.co.uk.
Four lads, living in Bristol, found themselves longing after the neighbour’s dog when they weren’t allowed by their landlord to get a pet, so they got in touch to ask whether they could ‘borrow’ her (if the owners didn’t mind), just to take her on a walk and play with her. The owners jumped at the chance, and the boys later shared a photo of themselves with Stevie-Ticks, the just-over-two-years-old pooch.
As many of our clients will be aware, our team of solicitors in Preston at MG Legal LOVE dogs, and we welcome the chance to meet any of our client’s lovely four-legged friends.
But, is dog sharing allowed in the UK?
Well, according to an article published by theguardian.com, there’s a website available called borrowmydoggy.com, which allows owners to sign up for just £44.99 per year, and borrowers to sign up for just £12.99 per year. But what will this membership fee get you?
Well, you get insurance included to cover both the owner (so, the dog) and the borrower, for accidents and third-party liability insurance. Also included is 24/7 access to Vet Line. According to the website, all borrowers are carefully checked, to ensure the dog’s safety, and to make sure that owner, dog and borrower are all a good fit.
According to the service offered by the website, dog sharing is allowed, however users of the website are encouraged to make sure that all parties are comfortable with the transaction before leaving the doggy in the care of others.
It’s important to make sure that your pooch (or you) don’t break any other laws:
Like with human rights, animals have the right to live in a suitable environment, eat a suitable diet, be housed either with, or apart from, other animals and be protected from pain, suffering and injury/disease. These rights are protected under section 9 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.
If you don’t treat your dog correctly, you could face prosecution – there’s a fine of up to £20,000.00, and a prison-sentence of up to 6 months! And, you could have your pet taken away, even be banned from having pets in the future.
Dogs who bark too much can be annoying for anyone, but imagine living next door to a noisy-neighbour, whose dog barks every hour of the day. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the local authority’s environmental health department can formally ask you to stop your dog from carrying on the behaviour. If the problem persists, your dog may be taken away from you.
Another law to watch out for, is whether you dog is allowed to be on the lead, or not. At the moment, there is no blanket-law requiring dogs to be kept on a lead in every public place, however, there are a number of orders meaning you have to leash your dog in certain places, for example, children’s play areas, sports pitches, roads, parks and even beaches.
Under a variety of different laws, the local authorities are able to introduce these orders, and can even stipulate that fines or fixed penalty notices can be issued to those who don’t comply.
Finally, one final law to watch out for is the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 - ensuring that your dog is currently ID’d in public. All dogs must be microchipped from the age of 8 weeks old, and the first registered owner must be the dog breeder, for all puppies born on or after 6th April 2016. When the puppies are sold, the ownership must be transferred to the new owners. All dogs (except some working dogs) must also wear a collar, as set out in the Control of Dogs Order 1992, stating the owner’s name and address, when in a public space.
So, make sure that you and your bestie stay legal this holiday, by following all of the above rules. For a list of all the laws that you should make sure you’re not breaking, read the bluecross.org.uk blog, here.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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