OFF LEASH: Why are authorities failing to tackle violent attacks by dogs?
23 Backers raised €610 of €610

Off-lead dogs have attacked people in a series of traumatic incidents in recent years, with little to no action taken against pet owners due to lax laws and a limited enforcement regime.

This investigation was part-funded through crowdfunding (€610 of the proposed €2,340). We obtained the latest data on dog attacks and focused on exposing the significant impact these can have on victims. This smaller scope allowed us to complete the project thanks to additional support from our investigative fund.

Reports also show that wildlife and sheep are regularly chased or killed by dogs let loose by their owners.

Our investigation will get to the root of the shortfalls with our current laws in bringing dog owners to justice and examine the lasting impact of dog attacks on victims.


Research suggests Ireland’s current enforcement system is out of sync with international best practice. We will send Freedom of Information (FOI) requests to see if any changes to legislation or enforcement powers are in the pipeline to tackle the problem.

We will interview victims of dog attacks, and speak to nature experts and farmers about the impact of dog attacks on wildlife and sheep.

We will also delve into the latest research and speak to experts about modern solutions to identify culprit owners - such as DNA tracing for dog attacks on sheep - and how they could be implemented by authorities.

Want to see this investigation happen? Click the 'Fund This Proposal' button.

You can contact us at and find out how we work here. Our investigations are sourced from and crowdfunded by the public.

23 Backers raised €610 of €610
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