Dog Expert Witness. Assessments for Legal Cases - Fostering and Adoption Organisations.
Assessments of dogs under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and 1997. Dogs Act 1871
Dog Expert Witness - Dangerous Dogs Assessor - Breed Type Assessor - American Pit Bull Terrier Identification - Fostering and Adoption Agency Assessor
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As well as being a qualified dog behaviourist, I am also a dog expert witness conducting the objective assessments of a dog's temperament whose owner is facing prosecution under section 3 (1) and (4) of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and 1997. I also undertake the assessment and breed identification (known as 'typing') of dogs seized on suspicion of offences under Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and the amended act of 1997.
I have worked as a successful dog behaviour practitioner for over 11 years and in that time have carried out in excess of two thousand consultations covering all aspects of dog behaviour across a wide range of dog breeds. I resolve cases of aggression to dogs and aggression to people on a daily basis, which provides me with a great deal of practical hands-on experience.
As an ex police officer, I am capable of formally assessing and compiling evidence, creating professional reports and offering expert opinion in Magistrate and Crown Courts whilst remaining calm confident and professional when under questioning. As a dog expert witness, I have worked with many police forces throughout the country such as West Midlands, West Mercia, City of London, Essex, Avon and Somerset, South Wales, West Yorkshire, Surrey, Greater Manchester, Derbyshire and Lancashire.
I have acted as a dog expert witness following instructions by clients, legal practices, welfare organisations, child adoption and child fostering agencies, the police and courts. I always work in close co-operation with police dog legislation officers (DLO's) and legal professionals bringing a professional yet practical spirit to my work.
I have a masters degree in dog behaviour from Middlesex University (Professional Practice in Canine Behaviour and Psychology). I also undertake ongoing training courses to ensure I remain up-to-date with current dog law legislation.
Running Alpha Dog Behaviour Ltd allows me to bring together my practical and academic experience combined with a professional service that is required when working on legal cases.
My Service Provides
After being instructed by a solicitor (or in some case directly from the owner), I will review evidence including medical reports, photographs, video (if provided) and witness statements. I undertake dog behaviour assessments in the home, on public walking environments, or in secure police compounds by arrangement. I provide a full written report combined with a DVD reflecting my experience and time with the dog and/or owner. This method of evidence submission has proven to be highly successful and persuasive in past cases, avoiding destruction of the dog in the vast majority of cases. Further to my initial assessment, I have attended both Magistrate and County courts to present my findings on many occasions and remain entirely flexible depending on the case.
Dog Assessment for Adoption and Fostering Placements
I have provided numerous assessments for social services, fostering and adoption organisations. I welcome contact should you require an experienced and professional assessment of an existing dog within a household or prior to placing the child into a home.
Testimonials are set out below.
“I have used Nick Jones as a Dog Expert Witness of Alpha Dog Behaviour Ltd on a few occasions now and he provides a thorough and timely report. I have used him to assess the dangerousness of dogs and to assess a dog's “type”. The service he provides is first class and I will certainly use his services again. Keep up the great work Nick.
Dan Heard - Solicitor-Advocate. Goldstones Solicitors. Swansea.
"I am Hayley Cutler, a Criminal Solicitor based in Leeds. I was instructed to deal with a case where a client’s dog had bitten a child. My client was advised in relation to the strength of the evidence and in this case a guilty plea was appropriate. When we proceeded to sentence the Crown Prosecution Service applied to the Court for destruction of the dog. I offered mitigation on behalf of my client and asked for the opportunity to obtain a report from a dog behaviourist. A full assessment of the dog had to be conducted in order to assess, firstly whether the dog appeared aggressive and if any risk to the public could be eliminated with conditions.
I sought the services of Dog Expert Witness Nick Jones to conduct the assessment and prepare the report for the Court. The dog was seized by the Police. Nick was able to liaise with the Police and arrange to attend and conduct the assessment. A full report was prepared to assist the Court when determining whether the dog should be destroyed. The report was helpfully accompanied by a DVD which showed the assessment being carried out. The report was very thorough and dealt with a variety of instances where which may attract an aggressive response from the dog. I am pleased to say that throughout the whole assessment the dog did not demonstrate any aggression. At all times Nick remained professional and the DVD reflected this. The report set out a number of recommendations to the Court. I am delighted to confirm that with mitigation the Court were persuaded that the dog did not need to be destroyed and made a suspended indefinite order incorporating the conditions proposed by the dog expert witness, Nick Jones."
Hayley Cutler. Criminal Solicitor. LM Law.
“I am a Criminal Defence Solicitor with a firm in Leeds and I was instructed in early-mid 2014 on a matter involving a Bull Mastiff said to have bitten a woman (e.g. dangerously out of control in a public place). The matters were complicated by the fact that the dog had been made subject to a control order to keep it on a fixed lead and muzzled in a public place in 2011 by the same court, which had been disobeyed by the defendant. There was a further offence subsequent to the more serious offence where the dog was again said to be un-muzzled in public, meaning the client had an uphill battle. He pleaded guilty to the offences and was given a community order, but the District Judge made an immediate destruction order against the animal.
This element of the sentence was appealed and upon a recommendation from a fellow lawyer I instructed dog expert witness, Mr. Nick Jones, who subsequently attended at the police kennels on two occasions (navigating a wall of police bureaucracy in doing so) was eventually able to complete a positive assessment of the dog in a controlled environment, also producing a report and DVD for the appeal.
After several hearings at the Crown Court the matter was eventually ruled upon favourably and the Dog re-homed with a third party which Mr. Jones facilitated. The defendant was not made subject to a banning order personally, and so the outcome was excellent under the circumstances. I am certain that without the expertise of Mr. Jones the dog would have been destroyed and indeed my client would have been made subject to a more onerous order probably banning him from the ownership of other animals."
Joseph Nahal-Macdonald. Criminal Defence Solicitor.
"Dog Behaviourist Nick Jones completes independent dog assessments for our prospective foster carers where applicants have large or boisterous dogs, or dogs that raise any concerns in regard to their reactions around young people. Nick is extremely knowledgeable about what an agency requires in regard to report writing and has presented well at the visits he has undertaken for our agency. The reports received have always been extremely well written and go above and beyond our expectations, ensuring all eventualities are covered well.
Alongside this, Nick has been extremely flexible and has provided all reports in a timely manner."
Jennifer Dear. National Panel Coordinator. Advanced Foster Care
"My name is Sue Clayton and I am a Foster Carer. Advanced Foster Care used Nick Jones to assess our two English Bull Terriers Poppy and Elsa.
Nick put my mind at rest immediately. After assessing our dogs, not only did he assure me that the our dogs were affectionate and safe with children, he noticed that Elsa had a rash and Poppy had sore patches under her front legs and chews her paws a lot. Nick thought it was a wheat allergy. He gave me a list of food that did not contain wheat and I bought it straight away. I am pleased to say the rash's have cleared up and Poppy no longer chews her paws. I found Nick to be extremely professional and highly recommend his service."
Sue Clayton. Foster Carer.
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