Dog mess is an eyesore and a health hazard. If you are a dog owner, you have a legal duty to clean up every time your dog messes in a public place. Registered blind people are not required to clean up after their guide dogs. There is also exemption for dog owners on some kinds of public land, including:
- Land used for agriculture or woodlands
- Rural common land
- Land that is predominantly marshland, moor or heath
- Highways with a speed limit of 50mph or more
A small minority of dog walkers do not take their responsibilities for their dog seriously. This means that dog mess is not always cleaned up. It is illegal not to clean up after your dog and you can face an ‘on the spot’ fine of £50.00 if you fail to clean up. This can increase to £1,000 if the case is referred to the Magistrates Court for prosecution.
The council issues on the spot fines to irresponsible dog owners who have failed to clean up after their dog has defecated.
To assist dog owners, warning notices are in place in relevant areas together with a network of dog fouling bins where dog waste can be deposited.
If you require any information or advice, please contact us using the details below and ask for the dog fouling enforcement officer.
Excuses that are not acceptable
- Allowing your dog to roam the streets – you are still legally in charge of it.
- Looking the other way and not seeing it foul.
- Not having a poop-scoop with you.
- It’s not your dog that you’re taking for a walk!
The Council has installed a number of dog bins throughout the borough to encourage owners and anyone in control of a dog to clear up after the dog. The Council maintains and empties most of the dog bins generally situated on public highways or footpaths within the borough.
Legal measures to prevent dog mess are contained in the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act , which repeals Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996, allows local councils and communities to create byelaws relating to dog mess.
- Council can also issue dog control orders against individual dog owners for offences including allowing a dog to foul a public space.
- Councils can issue fixed penalty orders in relation to dog control orders. Where there is no local rate, the fixed penalty is £75.
- In very serious cases, magistrates can issue a maximum penalty of £1,000.
What happens if you don’t clear up
You may be given a Fixed Penalty Notice. This means you must pay £50 to the Council within 14 days. If you don’t pay up you are likely to be prosecuted.
You may be prosecuted without being offered a chance to accept the Fixed Penalty. If the magistrates find you guilty you may have to pay up to £1,000 in fines and the court costs. You will also have a criminal record.
How will the Council know if you don’t clear up?
There are many Council officers and some police officers that can issue Fixed Penalty Notices. Every report/complaint of dog fouling is investigated.
More and more people tell us who causes problems, when fouling happens and where offenders live.
Why is dog fouling such a problem?
- It's a health risk: Round worm eggs (Toxocara) in dog faeces can cause blindness, epilepsy, asthma and eye infections. The worm eggs can survive in the soil even after it’s rained, so children playing on grass are much more at risk. The bacteria can cause sickness and diarrhoea
- It's socially unacceptable: It spoils the environment around people’s homes.
What you should do
- Don’t let your dog roam the streets.
- Always carry a “poop-scoop” when walking your dog. Remember to take a poop-scoop as you remember the lead. A plastic carrier bag is all you need!
- Scoop the poop every time your dog fouls.
- Dispose of the fouled poop-scoop in a dog bin or take it home and put it with your household refuse.
Request a new dog litter bin or for an existing bin to be emptied
Please use our online Dog Fouling / Street Cleansing Report Form
Report a damaged or vandalised dog bin
Please use our online Street Maintenance Form
There is a dog fouling problem I want to report. What do I do?
Please report it to us with as much information as possible using our online Dog Fouling / Street Cleansing Report Form or the contact details below.
We keep the source of information confidential and use it to ensure we have the best chance of catching the irresponsible person who doesn’t clear up when their dog fouls.
The type of information that will help us includes:
- Where the dog lives
- Descriptions of the dog
- Descriptions of anyone walking the dog
- The time when the dog is in the area (dogs and their owners often follow similar exercise routes and times)
- Associated vehicle registration numbers