Please be a responsible dog owner! That’s the message from Charnwood Borough Council’s 2017 Don’t Muck Around campaign.
The council runs the campaign every year to tackle enviro-crime which includes dog control and fouling issues.
The campaign is calling on everyone to take responsibility for their pets, not just by cleaning up after them but making sure they do not cause problems for others in the community.
In the past year the Council has:
- issued 21 fines of £100 to people for having dogs off leads in restricted areas such as play areas and cemeteries
- written 103 warning letters to people advising them they need to take action regarding their dog. The warning letters have ordered dog owners to comply with conditions including making sure dogs are muzzled and on leads at all times in public and improving property boundaries to stop dogs escaping.
- issued 12 Community Protection Notices for dogs who were roaming, out of control or whose behaviour was a worry to others. Breaching the notice can land dog owners in court with a fine of up to £20,000 and a Criminal Behaviour Order.
- fined eight people for dog fouling
Alan Twells, Head of Regulatory Services at the borough council, said: “The vast majority of dog owners are absolutely brilliant but some are not. The Don’t Muck Around campaign calls on people to think about what they should be doing as a responsible dog owner.
“We do have a number of powers we can use to tackle problems with dogs including issuing warning letters, fines and taking people to court. We would prefer not to use these powers but in order to protect our communities we can and we will.
“Sometimes people may think it’s only one incident but they all add up for the rest of the community.”
A Public Spaces Protection Order means that in Charnwood:
- dog owners must clean up after their pets in public areas or risk a £100 fine
- dogs are excluded from children’s play areas and must be kept on leads in all cemeteries and graveyards as well as Harrowgate Playing Fields, School Lane Playing Fields and Meadow Lane Playing Fields in Birstall or owners risk a £100 fine.
If people report dog control issues, the Council can issue Community Protection warning letters and then Community Protection Notices.
In the past 12 months the Council has worked with Birstall Parish Council which now employs an enforcement officer to tackle dog issues. It followed a number of incidents involving dogs reported by residents.
The Council has also worked in partnership with Bradgate Park to introduce a Public Spaces Protection Order for the park. The order means dogs have to be on leads in some areas, owners must put dogs on leads when asked to by staff and people must clean up after their pets. Breaching the order means authorised Bradgate staff can issue a fixed penalty notice for £100.
The Council’s Don’t Muck Around campaign makes the point that while an incident may be a one-off to individual dog owners, they can all add up to be a problem for the community and taxpayers.
How you can help:
- Share the Don’t Muck Around Campaign messages on social media, use the hashtag #MUCK2017
- Report litter, fly-tipping or issues with dog muck or dogs not being under control online www.charnwood.gov.uk/report or call 01509 634564.