Can they have my dog put down? Help please

  bof:) 20:41 20 Sep 2007

Hi all, I have 2 year old Staffordshire bull terrier that sometimes claws at post/ free newspapers etc that are put through the letterbox.

Tonight I've had a neighbour hammering on my front door saying 'he's going to have my (expletive) dog put down because its bitten his wife.'

I thought he meant that she'd been bitten by a dog outside and tried to explain to him that my dog is never let out alone and he must be mistaken because my front door was locked.

When I shut the door I found a small pamphlet on the floor with a very small smear of blood on it.

I assume that this is what his wife was pushing through the letterbox and the dog clawed at it.

I've phoned the police to see where I stand but the constable who I spoke to did not know how the law stands if someone puts their hands through the letter box as against people being bitten if the dog is outside.

So, does anyone know if this can lead to my dog being put down?

Many thanks,


  GANDALF <|:-)> 20:47 20 Sep 2007

'Under this Act, a court may, upon complaint that a dog is dangerous and not kept under proper control, order the owner to keep him under proper control or to be destroyed.' here but it would be a harsh Judge that penalised the dog for someone sticking their hand through your letterbox. If it was my neighbours I would inform them that I was going to report the gormless wife for depositing litter in my house.

My grandmother always told me never to shove my fingers through letterboxes....she was spot on.


  Shortstop 20:59 20 Sep 2007


I am not a legal person, but I have a similar issue in that my Miniature Yorkie also does the same. Not too bad as she'll never be able to reach the letter box, but she learnt this from my [large] German Shepherd who obviously can.

I spoke to Police about what would happen and who would be responsible and they advised that if someone puts their hand through the letterbox without being invited to do so [?] it could amount to trespass and the dog is only doing its 'job' - i.e. protect the house. I now have an arrangement with the postman that letters may be left on a windowsill and I try to be observant when he calls. All other leaflet depositors are warned by a 'I live here!' card attached to the window. The Police are satisfied that I have warned people and that they then choose to enter my land/home with the understanding that a dog is present and have therefore accepted any consequences. This is what I was told.

I have never tried this in court and agree with GANDALF <|:-)> that it would have to be a seriously moody judge who would insist that a dog is destroyed in these circumstances, but I did find this:

click here



  bremner 21:02 20 Sep 2007

Read the full act click here

Destruction is covered in Section 4 and is for offences relating to Sections 1, 3(1) and 3(3) and 4.

Section 1 deals with Dangerous breeds - not relevant in your case.

Section 3(1) with Dogs in public place - not relevant in your case.

Section 3(3) is "If the owner or, if different, the person for the time being in charge of a dog allows it to enter a place which is not a public place but where it is not permitted to be" -

Yours was in your home behind a locked door.

  bof:) 21:05 20 Sep 2007

Hi GANDALF <|:-)>, thanks for the quick reply. I'm hoping that it doesnt get as far as having to go to court.

I've looked at the link you've supplied and as a 'responsible' owner the dog is never outside alone. When she is out she is always on a lead. She is microchipped and well looked after.

It seems that all the references on the link are to the dog behavior outside the house.

Thanks for your positive response,


  mrwoowoo 21:09 20 Sep 2007

You could put a letter cage (not sure of correct terminology),on your door so that your dog can't get at the letters or fingers.Stable door/horse bolted senario i know,but just an idea.
I remember seeing an article about someone who actually had their finger bitten/ripped off whilst posting pamphlets.I know these people and their junk are a bit of a pain,but losing a digit is a high price to pay.

  bof:) 21:21 20 Sep 2007

Hi mrwoowoo, I agree with what you are saying about the letter box cover but the front door is a plastic double glazed one and as such cannot 9as I understand it) be screwed into.

I also agree that loosing a digit is a high price to pay but I'm talking about what must have been a small scratch looking at the small amout of blood on the pamphlet I have which was put through the door.

Shortstop, I had thought of using a 'Beware of the dog' sign but we have a high rate of Staffies being stolen here. Also the woman concerned knows we have this dog.


  al7478 21:21 20 Sep 2007

i know someone personally who has lost a digit in that way myself. a high price indeed. they were canvassing for a certain well known political party tho, so didnt think it was worth any legal action - it wouldntve endeared the party to local voters.

  al7478 21:23 20 Sep 2007

i should point out tho that the letter box in question had one of those "brush" like things, so you have to put your hand through.

  natdoor 21:24 20 Sep 2007

Another solution would be to use a "briefkasten" if you have a suitable space by the door. I have used the German name because I'm not sure what one would call them here. They are available in UK. They consist of a metal box with lockable lid and a letter box opening.

  norman47 21:31 20 Sep 2007

" but the front door is a plastic double glazed one and as such cannot 9as I understand it) be screwed into. "

A couple of self tapping screws should hold the carrier. It works for me when I put up a couple of roller blinds in PVC windows.

In the morning, when things have cooled down, perhaps popping around and a quick apology might do wonders.:)

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

OnePlus 5T review: Hands-on

Illustrator Andrés Lozano on his improv line work, brazen use of colours & hand sketching

iPhone X review

Comment envoyer gratuitement des gros fichiers ?