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Dog Fouling

Dog Fouling Offences

The Borough Council adopted controls in 2000 which made it an offence for an owner to allow their dog to foul any public place and not immediately remove the waste. These controls apply to almost all public places such as grass verges, pavements, church yards, and public open spaces.

Dog owners should carry a poop-scoop or other means with which to pick up and dispose of their dogs waste. Fouling controls apply whether or not there are signs or dog bins in the area. The Council is committed to placing more fouling bins in areas regularly used by dog walkers, however where no bins are present dog owners should dispose of fouling in their domestic refuse bin.

The Borough Council does not currently issue fixed penalty notices. It is our policy to prosecute offenders.

Reporting a Fouling Offence

We have programme of routine patrols to ensure that wardens check areas frequently used by dog walkers, and have an opportunity to meet and talk with dog owners. We increase the time we spend in areas where we have dog fouling complaints.
To report a problem site Contact us

Tell us:

  • Your Name, Address, and a contact telephone number
  • Details of where and when the fouling offence occurred
  • Any information you have to describe the dog, or the person with it
  • When the dog is usually walked (days times etc)

We will advise you of the reference number of your report, which you should quote if you contact us again about this matter.

What we do

  • The details you provide will be passed to the Dog Warden
  • Where possible wardens will patrol the problem area at the times you suggest
  • If we witness an offence we will approach the offender, caution them, and take a statement.
  • We do not take this step based on third party evidence alone.
  • The evidence we gather is then checked by senior officers and a decision taken as to whether the Council should prosecute an offender.
  • If we meet a dog walker, but don’t witness an offence, we will remind them of their obligations to clear up after their dog
  • Where we have detailed information which identifies a dog owner as a possible offender, we will contact the dog owner by letter, treating this information in good-faith.
  • We keep a record of the reminder letters we have issued, and, should a Warden witness an offence in the future, may refer to the fact a reminder has been issued in our evidence we put before the Magistrates.

Fairness & Confidentiality

The Authority investigates complaints as an independent body. Both parties are our clients and we have a duty to treat both fairly, respecting privacy and where appropriate confidentiality. We will not advise you of the discussions we have had with other parties.

Information received (your details) will not be released unless the Authority is required by law to do so. Should enforcement action be taken your details will be made available to the Court.

What Action Can I Take?

If you would like to take action yourself to encourage dog owners to clear up after their dog, you can download and display a Residents Action Area Fouling Sign by clicking here. Our Customer Services staff can also print this sign for you on request. You can attach a sign to your property such as wall or gate, display it in a window, or work with other residents to use community notice boards and newsletters to promote responsible dog ownership.

If you saw a dog fouling offence take place, and you can identify the dog’s owner, we may be able to take action based on what you’ve seen. We need you to provide a detailed account of what you witnessed, and may need you to confirm these details in a Magistrates Court. If you are willing to support us with such action please complete and submit our “Summary of witness information” form.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Dog Wardens take action if someone’s dog fouls my garden?

The Wardens role is restricted to fouling in public places.

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