Dog owners hit with fines

CALDERDALE Council officers have handed out 59 tickets to people who fail to pick up after their dog has fouled, netting around £3,000.

Dog owners who are failing to clean up are having to pay a fine of £50, with court proceedings pending if fines are not paid within 14 days. The number is a significant increase on a recent average of 12 tickets per year.

And when the dog orders come into force in August the fine will rise to £80.

Last year alone, the Council received 695 complaints about dog fouling – the highest number on record.

Head of Housing and Environment, Mark Thompson, said: “I hope this sends a clear message to those irresponsible dog owners who fail to clear up after their dog has fouled that the Council will not tolerate dog fouling.”

The five new dog control orders to control dog fouling and access by dogs to certain areas were approved in March following consultation with the public.

The first will apply across Calderdale but not to moorland and woodland when people in charge of dogs will be required to pick up after their dog has fouled.

Dogs must be on a lead on some roads and in all public car parks, allotments, unfenced children’s play areas, all religious grounds including cemeteries, crematoria and mosques and on school grounds.

Dogs must also be on leads along canal towpaths, paths around reservoirs and other watercourses, parks, creation grounds, some public rights of way, sites of ecological or geological interest, and local nature reserves.

Owners will not be able to walk their dogs in school playing fields, outdoor fenced children’s play areas, tennis courts, bowling greens, skate parks, and the football pitch at Carr Green Recreation Ground, Rastrick.

The Orders will not apply to land owned or managed by the Forestry Commission. There will also be exceptions for people who are registered disabled and are in charge of assistance dogs from a prescribed charity.

Tickets of £80 will be issued to offenders, which reduces to £50 if paid within ten days. Court proceedings could follow.