How we investigate dog attacks

We investigate:

  • dogs causing fear or injury to people
  • dogs injuring other dogs in public places
  • attacks on assistance dogs

We cannot investigate cases that the police are already investigating.

    We cannot take action without a formal statement and a commitment to appear at court if we need you to.

    Download a witness statement form.

    We'll keep your personal details confidential unless the matter goes to court.

    To decide if we should take the dog owner to court, we’ll look at: 

    • evidence
    • how sever the attack was
    • threat to public safety
    • cost of the vet's bill

    The court can give an order for the owner to muzzle their dog and keep it on a lead. It can also order the owner to neuter the dog and pay costs.

    Report a dog attack to the animal wardens. Send an email to or phone 01273 294 266.

    Read our animal wardens complaint or query privacy notice for information on how we collect, store and process your data.

    Report a different dog incident

    You should contact the police about:

    • dogs used as weapons
    • incidents involving guard dogs
    • incidents involving any of the banned breeds listed in section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 (amended)
    • serious dog attacks on humans

    To report incidents like this, phone Sussex Police on 101.