Fujairah: The Fujairah Court of Appeal has cancelled a judgment of fining a dog owner Dh10,000 over charges of possessing a dog without a license.
The court also amended a ruling by fining the accused’s sister and her friend Dh10,000 each for walking his dog without a suitable collar.
The case stems from an incident in December 2022, when a government hospital reported to Fujairah Police that a woman and her two children had been attacked by a dog, which caused them injuries. The police were able to identify the girls who were walking with the dog at a beach where the incident took place. They were referred to Public Prosecution.
Public Prosecution charged all three defendants - the dog owner, his sister and her friend - with possessing an animal (the dog) without obtaining a licence from the competent authority, while the second and third defendants were charged with causing injury to the victims through their negligence by leaving the dog without a leash while they were walking.
What the defendants said
The defendants denied the charges against them and appealed the verdict before the Fujairah Court of Appeal.
The first accused said that the dog belonged to him and that it had its own ‘passport’. He explained that the dog usually stays inside the house and does not need a license because it is not of the dangerous type. The second defendant (sister of the first defendant) confirmed that the dog belongs to her brother, and that she lives with him, adding that she took the dog outside the house in her vehicle, then brought it down to the sea, and the third defendant (her friend) was with her. The third defendant said that she had grabbed the end of the leash while walking with the dog.
Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal explained that with regard to the first accused, the Law Regulating Possession of Dangerous Animals stipulates that “a criminal case is not initiated in the crimes stipulated in the law, which are punishable by a fine only, except by a written request from the Ministry or the competent authority,” adding that it considers that “the charges are all linked, as possession, failure to restrain the dog, and causing injury are all one criminal act for the second and third defendants.”
Earlier,The Fujairah Court of First Instance had fined the man and the two girls in the dog attack on a mother and her two children, aged six and 11, on a Fujairah beach last year.
A fine of Dh10,000 was levied for owning the dog without a licence, while the two women were fined an additional Dh10,000 each for endangering lives. The court found them negligent in controlling the dog in a public place.
Meanwhile, they filed a case against the mother accusing her of defamation by posting a video on social media. The mother was summoned by police and her phones confiscated by authorities to investigate the incident.
The mother told authorities that she did not film the video and people who witnessed the incident took footage and posted on social media. The court cleared mother from charges against her.