You must clear up after your dog by law. If a council officer sees you failing to clean up after your dog, you will be asked to clear it up or you can be given a fine (fixed penalty notice) which allows you to pay £100 rather than be prosecuted. If you fail to pay the fine within 14 days, legal proceedings will be started. A Magistrate's Court may impose a fine of up to £1,000.
A Public Space Protection Order relating to greater dog controls was made on the 1 June 2016 and replaces a number of out of date by-laws and deals with issues such as dog fouling, and other forms of irresponsible dog ownership.
It makes it an offence to fail to:
- Pick up after your dog (dog mess) - this will now include all land to which the public can gain access
- Put a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer – this allows our officers to request a dog is put on a lead when it is causing nuisance and/or danger to other persons and their dogs
- Provide the means to pick up after your dog, such as dog mess bags, when asked to do so by an authorised officer
Barking dogs can legally be considered a nuisance. We can give the owner a notice stating that the noise must stop, and ask for certain things to be done to achieve this. If the problem continues the owner may face a fine of up to £5,000, and also risks having the dog removed in order to stop the nuisance.
If your dog's barking is making neighbours complain you can contact the dog warden for advice on ways of dealing with a dog's barking which is causing a nuisance.
Stray and lost dogs
Report a stray or lost dog, you can also call 01858 828282 to report a lost or stray dog.
If your dog is in a public place without supervision it is classed as a stray dog. Our dog wardens pick up stray dogs and the owner will be charged £25 plus kenneling costs before the dog can be returned. If unclaimed after a few days, the dog is taken to rescue kennels. If unclaimed after 7 days it may be found a new home, with a new owner. This new person becomes the legal owner. If a dog has an identification tag we can contact you to arrange for its return.
Microchipping your dog
By law a dog in a public place must be wearing a collar and identification with its owner's name and address on and, as of 6 April 2016, it must be microchipped. Owners can be fined £500 if this is not the case.
Microchipping is now recognised as the most effective and secure way of permanently identifying a pet. A unique identification number is registered to the animal and the owner's details are placed on a national database. It is estimated that less than half of all dogs that go missing each year are reunited with their owners. Getting your dog microchipped and keeping the details up to date gives the assurance that should they become lost (or be stolen) they are more likely to be returned to you safe and sound.