Dog Found at Large Between Sunrise and Sunset
Note that a person is considered an “owner” even if they are just looking after the dog for a short time.
Pleading Not GuiltyIf you were not in control of the dog at the time they were found at large, or there is some other issue with the charge against you, our lawyers can represent you in a plea of not guilty. We can analyse the brief of evidence against you and strategise a defence on your behalf. We appreciate the risks involved with being charged and give frank advice about likely success and the risks involved with all possible options.
Pleading GuiltyA successful, effective plea of guilty to a charge of this kind would involve explaining to the court why the dog was found at large and what has been done to address the risk of it happening again. Our lawyers are best placed to achieve an excellent outcome for you by putting the offending into context and working with you to put the court’s mind at ease.
SentencingSentencing in the Magistrates’ Courts of Victoria
Elements of the offenceThe Prosecution must prove:
- A dog is found wandering outside the premises of the owner or not securely confined to the owner’s premises; and
- That the dog is found between sunrise and sunset or sunset and sunrise.
Examples of Dog Found at Large
- Your pet dog has found a way to escape from your backyard and has done so while you are at work.
- You have taken your dog for a walk during the evening and while you are talking on the phone you become separated from your dog. You are now no longer aware of your dogs whereabouts and it is found roaming some distance away.
- Your dog can access the backyards of neighbouring houses and is not a welcome guest.
LegislationThe legislation for this offence of dog found at large between sunrise and sunset is section 24 (1) and (2) of the Domestic Animals Act 1994.
If you have been accused of this offence a lawyer would be useful if you were contesting the allegation on principal. The decision on whether you should contest or plead guilty to this charge can be best assessed by a criminal lawyer. Contact one to discuss your case. There is also the possibility of having a case such as this dealt with by way of diversion.
If your dog is found at large between sunrise and sunset (s24 (1) and (2) of the Domestic Animals Act 1994), you could be sentenced to a maximum of 6 penalty units which currently equates to $967.14. If your dog is found at large between sunset and sunrise, the offence carries a fine of 10 penalty units, which is currently equates to $1,611.90. The amount a penalty unit reflects inflation and is reevaluated each financial year.