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5.10 Dangerous or Out of Control Pets


Advice on Dangerous Dogs – Powerpoint (Lancashire Constabulary)

This chapter was added to the manual in May 2016.


  The Safety of Children
  The Safety of Practitioners


The purpose of the guidance and access to national resources in this section is to assist workers to:

  1. Provide guidance to parents/carers to improve the safety of children around pets; and
  2. Ensure the safety of practitioners undertaking home visits.

The Safety of Children

National animal welfare charities provide a wide array of useful advice and information about looking after pets and ensuring the safety of children. The general advice that is provided from all animal welfare charities include:

  • Do not leave babies and young children unattended around pets;
  • Do not leave doors open to children’s rooms allowing access to pets to sleep areas;
  • Ensure children are not sleeping in areas of the house where the pets may usually also sleep;
  • Do not ignore pets when they show aggression – always separate pets away from children; and
  • Teach children not to disturb pets when they are sleeping, eating, caring for their babies or when pets are ill/injured.

The links to the following charity websites will be useful to provide to parents to assist them to keep their children safe around pets:

The Safety of Practitioners

Advice and support for practitioners on how to keep safe when visiting homes is limited, and the bullet points below have been adapted from East Riding LSCB & Lancashire Police advice:

  • Animals can sense fear so avoid eye contact and be confident;
  • Where a sense of fear is not avoidable, ask the pet owner to move the pet(s) to another room or conduct the discussions of the home visit in another room;
  • In subsequent visits to the service user, write in advance to the pet owner to ensure the pet is in a different room or kept secure in its cage etc.
  • No not approach or stroke pets;
  • Look out for signs of aggression in the pet and confidently request the owner to remove the pet from the room.

Lancashire Police have provided the attached additional guidance in relation to dogs and includes information about dangerous and banned breeds of dogs. Unitary and District Councils websites across Pan-Lancashire will have information of how you can contact Dog Wardens for reporting concerns. Lancashire Police can be contacted on 101. Animal welfare concerns can also be reported to the RSPCA (contact details can be found at RSPCA Website).