Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s Environmental Crime Unit is to consult on whether to introduce dog control orders in the city.
Over the next month the team will be contacting dog owners, community groups and other organisations to gauge their opinion on whether orders are needed in the city, as well as inviting comments from the public.
If this pre-consultation highlights a need for dog control order, a full consultation will be held to determine where they should be put in place, and if the costs of the current fixed penalty charge of £50 should be increased.
For a dog owner, a control order may cover one or more of following for a particular piece of land:
- Failure to clear up after your dog has fouled.
- Allowing your dog to enter land where dogs are excluded.
- Not putting, and keeping, a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer.
- Keeping your dog on a lead in an area where dogs are not allowed to run loose.
Breaching these regulations could lead to a fixed penalty of between £50 and £80. Failure to pay the fixed penalty could result in a prosecution of up to £1,000.
Anyone wanting to contribute to the pre-consultation can email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Environmental Crime Unit on 01782 234 234.
Councillor Janine Bridges, cabinet member for city services, said:
“We’ve had lots of enquiries from the public about what can be done in certain areas of the city – not so much about dangerous dogs, but people being irresponsible when handling them.
“A lot of the criticism comes from people who don’t clean up after their dogs or allowing dogs to roam free where they should be kept on a lead.
“We really want to hear from people who think if the orders are a good idea, where they should go if they’re approved.
“This is really about encouraging people to be responsible about looking after their dog in public – that’s why we want as much feedback as possible from dog owners. It’s important we take into account their views because they are the ones who will be affected.”