It's in our streets, it's in our play areas and green spaces.
The issue of dog fouling is an issue that many of us have complained about until we are long in the tooth. In the past we'd see the odd dog warden in a high vis vest you could spot form a mile way patrolling once in a while.
However even those patrols didn't have any really impact on the problem. Over the past two years I'd say the problem has gotten worse and not better.
Stoke-on-Trent's Environmental Crime which was set up last year are proposing a way in which to crack down on dog fouling. The council are asking for feedback on the issue, which they'd like back on the 5th of February, so you've all got plenty of time to ponder and respond.
All comments below will be passed onto the Environmental Crime Unit.
Stoke on Trent City Council Environmental Crime Unit is currently looking at the possibility of introducing Dog Control Orders across the city to implement The Clean Neighborhoods and Environment Act 2005.
We are currently conducting a preliminary pre-consultation with groups, members of the community and any relevant parties to invite their feedback on any proposed Dog Control Orders.
The orders will cover:
- Increasing the Fixed Penalty for failing to clear up after your dog has fouled from £50 to £80.
- Designating areas of land where dogs are excluded (e.g. enclosed play areas).
- keeping your dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer.
- Do not keep your dog on a lead in an area where dogs are not allowed to run loose.
We are inviting feedback through email in the first instance as if there will be a further official consultation in the forthcoming months once the initial pre-consultation has highlighted which of the orders that council wishes to introduce. During the official consultation there will be detailed maps showing any affected areas. The dedicated email address is Dogcontrol@stoke.gov.uk
There will also be a section on Stoke Councils website at www.stoke.gov.uk with the frequently asked questions and a downloadable poster for members of the community to view. I would ask if you could distribute the attached information through your networks , so I can have feedback on the proposals.
I would ask for all feedback to be sent for the pre-consultation by Sunday 5th February 2012 and we will review the feedback.
Dog Control Orders
Stoke on Trent City Council is proposing to introduce Dog Control Orders (DCO’s) to help keep the minority of irresponsible dog owners in line with the majority of responsible dog owners.
What do the Dog Control Orders cover?
• Failure to clear up after your dog has fouled.
• Allowing your dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded.
• Not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer.
• Do not keep your dog on a lead in an area where dogs are not allowed to run loose.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Q. I've been told to put my dog on a lead. Why?
A. A dog owner must put their dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer of the council. This applies across the whole of the city. It does not replace the requirements of Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 which covers the offence of having a dog dangerously out of control in a public place.
There may be occasions when you cannot control your dog as well as you would like to; perhaps because of other dogs in the area. Sometimes, other people may feel intimidated even though you feel you have your dog under control. An authorised Council officer may therefore ask you to put your dog on a lead. This may only be for a short time and once the situation has changed the officer may agree to you letting your dog back off its lead.
Stoke on Trent City Council recognises that it is very important for animals to be sufficiently exercised and support responsible dog owners in promoting healthy lifestyles. Many dog owners exercise their pets, not only to help their dog remain healthy, but to meet other people and to exercise themselves. The Council fully supports this and in the majority of parks throughout Leeds, most areas continue to be available for you to exercise your dogs on or off the lead. However remember that when your dog is off lead, you must take extra care to ensure your dog does not frighten or alarm other animals or people.
Q. I didn’t see it happen!
A. Being unaware of the offence is not an excuse. Please ensure your dog is kept within sight and under proper control at all times.
Q. It’s not my dog/I don’t have a bag on me!
A. If you are the person in control of the dog at that time then you are legally responsible for it. Not having a bag to pick up the faeces is also not an excuse; you should always take a bag out with you.
Q. What do Dog Control orders mean?
A. Failure to abide by a Dog Control Orders could result in you receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice or being prosecuted under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. Prosecution can result in a fine of up to £1,000. You may be given the oppurtunity to discharge your liability for the offence by paying a Fixed Penalty Notice then no further action will be taken against you for that particular offence. If a fixed penalty Notice is not paid, you may be prosecuted for the offence. The easiest way to avoid prosecution or a Fixed Penalty Notice is to be a Responsible Dog Owner and not to commit the offence.