What is an Expert Witness?
An expert witness is a person considered to possess vast knowledge, understanding and experience in a given field that is called upon by the courts to give their opinion on a topic and / or incident.
The National Dog Trainers Federation has access to many consultants, some of whom are qualified to act as expert witnesses on a wide variety of canine related issues. These expert consultants are available to help you with:
1/ Your Options
2/ Legal Advice
3/ Expert Opinion in Court Cases
Why You may Need An Expert Witness
The most common need for an expert witness is in the case of a dog attack, where the dog owner ends up in court defending their dog and/or themselves.
In these terrible circumstances, the human victim, the owner of the canine (or other animal) victim or the child’s parents, contacts the police or the local council and the burden is generally on the owner of the ‘canine offender’ to provide proof of their dog’s innocence.
In some instances, the victim will be satisfied if they are assured that you are intending to take relevant steps towards rectifying your dog’s inappropriate behaviour. In other cases, the parties involved are less amenable and litigation and/or criminal charges become a real possibility.
In circumstances where the victim decides to press criminal charges or pursue civil action, you may find yourself in court and at the mercy of a magistrate, who may or may not possess any knowledge or understanding of dogs and why they do the things they do.
How Does The Expert Help?
After performing an extensive temperament assessment of your dog, the expert can advise whether you have a basis of defence regarding your case, or if in fact, the dog is truly a dangerous animal.
The expert consultant can clearly state and explain the likely reasons for the dog’s behaviour in the given situation/incident. It may even be the case that the alleged victim exaggerated the claim, or actually provoked the dog into attacking.
Governments all over Australia are campaigning for increased restrictions for dogs that are perceived to be ‘dangerous’. This may affect the not only the way you house and manage your dog on a daily basis, but also your ability to retain your beloved family pet into the future.
Representation by an NDTF accredited expert may save your dog from being declared as ‘dangerous’ and/or from being euthanized. Expert representation may also be spare you from hefty fines and jail time that can be associated with serious incidents of aggression.