Louth County Council is reminding dog owners of their legal responsibilities around dog control, following an attack on lambs in the Ravensdale area of north Louth this week.

A number of lambs were killed, and several others seriously injured during the attack by a single pet dog. The incident has been reported to gardaí.

Public appeal

Louth County Council's dog warden service attended the scene and described it as “a direct result of irresponsible dog ownership”.

A public appeal to dog owners was recently launched by the local authority, highlighting the responsibilities which come with owning a dog.

Along with providing a home for a dog, and being responsible for their welfare, owners are legally responsible for keeping their dog under control, especially when in public, and in areas where other animals and livestock may be present, the council said.

The Department of Rural and Community Development has also launched a major national awareness campaign, as part of a series of measures to improve dog control and welfare across the country.

The campaign entitled - ‘It’s not your dog’s fault, it’s yours’ - is aimed at increasing awareness of the harm that out-of-control dogs can do to people and to livestock. The goal is to change behaviour and to remind owners that they must always have their dog under control.

Under the Control of Dogs Act 1986, local authorities have responsibility for all operational activities including enforcement matters. Local authorities oversee the appointment of dog wardens, provide dog shelters, seize dogs, impose on-the-spot fines and take court proceedings against owners.


Louth County Council dog wardens are proactive in enforcing dog control measures across the county, and the number of fixed penalty notices issued by the local authority has in recent years been among the highest in the country.

Joe McGuinness, director of services at Louth County Council, welcomed the campaign on responsible dog ownership:

“This incident reported in north Louth is a stark reminder to all dog owners of the harm that out-of-control dogs can cause. It is important to remember that a family pet can react differently to people, and other animals, when outside the home. Dog owners should be mindful of their responsibilities, ensuring that their dogs are under effectual control at all times.”

He added: “Louth County Council are appealing to all dog owners to ensure their dog is licensed and micro-chipped. All registered details must be maintained and remain up to date, including the current address and owners contact numbers.”