Dog owners

Response to question about Dog owners, raised at the Full Council Meeting on 17 October 2018

Dog owners

Comments made by Anne Ferguson

Anne Ferguson spoke at the Council meeting on 17 October 2018 about irresponsible dog owners.

The Council wants to encourage dog owners to be more responsible and clean up after their dog. 

The Council does have enforcement powers under the Dog Control Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) and can issue fixed penalty notices of £100. Where offenders are prosecuted in the courts, they can receive fines of up to £1,000. For more information, see the Dog control orders page. However, catching people not picking up their dog’s poo is difficult. 

Most of our enforcement work focuses on education and awareness raising (as people usually clean up after their dog if they think they are being watched by enforcement officers – or indeed other dog owners). This work includes talking with potentially irresponsible dog owners and putting up signage regarding the level of fine that can be issued. We have dog toilets in a number of our parks, so that if the dog uses the toilet then the owner does not have to pick up (but they will have to pick up if their dog fouls in any other part of the park). This scheme has generally been well received since it was rolled out across seven of our parks in 2010.

The Parks Police enforce by-laws and dog control orders, PSPOs in parks and open spaces.  They also run several Dog Show events throughout the borough promoting responsible dog ownership and provide advice on training and microchipping (now a legal requirement). We are looking at further options for promoting responsible dog ownership including partnerships with external organisations and charities who already have schemes and programmes in place.