If you use a harness to walk your dog, you could find yourself on the wrong side of the law and face a hefty fine or even time in prison if your pooch isn't also wearing a collar with an identification tag.
The Control of Dogs Order 1992 law states that all dogs must wear a collar with an identification tag with their owner's name and address on it, the Mirror reports.
Anyone found in breach of this law would be guilty of an offence against the Animal Health Act 1981, which could land them with a fine up 'level 5 on the standard scale' which was previously capped at £5,000 but has since changed to 'unlimited'.
A spokesperson for Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) told TeamDogs: "For crimes committed after 13 March 2015, level 5 has been done away with and all criminal penalties expressed as being punishable on summary conviction by a maximum fine of £5,000 or more, or expressed as being a level 5 fine, are now punishable by a fine of any amount (i.e. unlimited).
"That's as a result of section 85 of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012.
"Therefore, the maximum penalty on summary conviction will be up to six months imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine."
However, if you are caught breaking the rules the actual fine you receive will most likely be a lot lower than the ones mentioned above.
A 2018 case involving a Cocker Spaniel who was found without a collar in the East Midlands resulted in their owner being whacked with a £50 fine, £50 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.
And no, ID isn't the only way you and your four-legged pal could end up in hot water.
According to the Highway Code, your dog should be restrained while you're driving so they don't present a danger to you or themselves.
The Highway Code states: "When in a vehicle, make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves, if you stop quickly.
"A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars."
Breaking the Highway Code doesn't have its own direct penalty but if police believe you are distracted while driving, you could be handed a £1,000 on-the-spot fine.
This can escalate to £5,000 and up to nine penalty points, or even a driving ban.
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