As a nation there is no doubt we have a fondness for animals and in particular dogs but where there is a dog there is also responsibility and under the Control of Dogs Act, 1986 as amended by the Control of Dogs (Amendment) Act 1992 local authorities are responsible for the control of dogs. They have the power to appoint dog wardens, provide dog shelters, seize dogs, impose on the spot fines and take court proceedings against owners.
Regulations state that one must be over 16 years of age in order to get a dog licence and all dogs over four months of age must have a licence. Failure to produce evidence of a dog licence can result in on the spot fines. Interestingly, licences are not needed for blind person’s guide dogs, dogs in the possession of a local authority, the ISPCA or the Gardaí. Standard annual licences for individual dogs are issued by post offices.
Any dog born since the 1stJune 2015 must be microchipped and registered on an authorised data base by the time it reaches the age of 12 weeks or if it leaves the property on which it was born before the age of 12 weeks. These regulations apply to all dogs since the 31stMarch 2016 and same was introduced by the Microchipping of Dogs Regulations, 2015.
A guard dog used at a non-residential business premises must either be accompanied by a handler or secured so that it cannot roam freely around the premises or escape.
Excessive Dog Barking
While everybody will agree that dogs are great, it also has to be said that they can be a nuisance and particularly where for instance there is excessive dog barking. There is a procedure in place whereby complaints can be brought tothe district court and this is provided for under Section 25 of the Control of Dogs Act, 1986. The court may make an order requiring the occupier of the premises on which the dog is kept to abate the nuisance by exercising due control over the dog or for instance the court may limit the number of dogs that can be kept on a premises or may direct that a dog be delivered to a dog warden to be dealt with as unwanted.
Enjoy but be aware of the regulations.