Bolognese Dog Club member Noel Sweeney’s book Dogs of Law reviewed a positive review from The British Police and Services Canine Association, in its magazine The Service Dog.
Many of you will be aware that the amount of legislation governing dogs in the UK is on the increase and for many it remains a subject shrouded in mystery.
There are a number of speakers on Dog Law, with varying levels of expertise who tour the country giving lecturers, which are generally very informative and in some cases quite entertaining. There is however only so much information that can be given to and be absorbed by the audience at such talks.
Having obtained a copy of this book I set about reading it. It is not a easy read, covering the complexities of current legislation on the statue books and discussing the many instances of case law which have subsequently shaped how legislation is being interpreted by the courts.
The author provides clarity, if the law can ever be described as clear, by breaking down each individual element of the two most significant pieces of criminal legislation affecting all dogs, including Service Dogs today; The Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and The Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. He does so in a manner which enables a reasonable literate reader to follow the complexities of legal argument.
The author, also comments on areas where he feels the law is failing and suggests how it can be amended in order to protect the public, whilst safeguarding the right of the dog and owner to a fair hearing in court.
In my opinion an excellent book, and a vital reference for anyone who owns a dog, or works with dogs professionally. Hopefully, it will be updated regularly as each piece of legislation is subject to further tests and interpretation.
J J Fitzpatrick
Service Dog Magazine