When is a dog ‘wandering at large’?
A dog is legally ‘wandering at large’ if it is in a public or private place without the consent of the occupier, and nobody is exercising effective control of the dog.
The Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 requires dogs in public places to be under “effective control” at all times. Effective control can be one of the following measures:
Dogs being used for tending stock, or dogs that are participating in organised events are not considered to be ‘wandering at large.’ However, all dogs on public streets and roads must be restrained on a leash.
Who is legally responsible for a dog?
Responsibility rests on either the owner of the dog or the person in control of the dog at the time. For example, if you are caring for somebody else’s dog and it attacks another person or dog, you may be held liable for related damages.