Dog Walkers: Pick up or pay up
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
A Calderdale resident has been ordered by the Court to pay £1,050 for not cleaning up after his dog in one of the borough's parks.
Calderdale Council has successfully prosecuted Mr Jonathan Wilson for failing to clear up after his dog on two separate occasions.
The Council's dog warden witnessed both offences and served Mr Wilson with a fine of £80 each time. Mr Wilson refused to pay both fines.
To make matters worse, when the dog warden approached Mr Wilson he refused to give his details, and then gave false details; and the second dog fouling offence happened in an area where children play.
At Halifax Magistrates Court on Wednesday 4 December, Mr Wilson was found guilty of four offences – two for dog fouling, one for failing to provide his details and one for giving false details. He was fined £500 and the Council was awarded full costs of £500. He also has to pay a victim surcharge of £50. He has 14 days to pay the full £1,050.
Calderdale Council's Cabinet Member for Economy and Environment, Cllr Barry Collins, said, "This case shows that we won't hesitate to take action if dog owners fail to clear up when their dogs have fouled. Residents and visitors deserve a clean and safe borough, and we'll continue to tackle the problem of dog fouling. The vast majority of dog owners take a responsible approach, but to those who don't, we're sending out a clear message: pick up or pay up."
Calderdale Council has five dog control orders in the borough to promote responsible dog ownership and to highlight the issues of dog fouling, dog control and care for our environment. One of the orders is that dog walkers must clean up after their dogs everywhere except in moorland and woodland. Mr Wilson was in clear breach of this.
There are clear signs in all the relevant areas so that dog walkers and visitors understand which orders apply and where. Anyone who doesn't comply with any of the orders will be fined £80, which reduces to £50 if the fine is paid within 10 days. Court proceedings will begin if fines are not paid within 14 days.
The five dog control orders in operation in Calderdale are:
- Dog walkers must clean up after their dogs everywhere except in moorland and woodland.
- Dogs will not be allowed in to any fenced children's play area, or on to a limited number of specifically identified sports pitches and bowling greens, tennis courts and skate ramps, for example.
- Dogs will be required to be on a lead on roads and pavements, around unfenced outdoor play equipment, and in public ornamental gardens, public car parks, and on religious and school premises.
- Throughout Calderdale, authorised officers can require dog walkers to put and keep dogs on leads if dogs are causing a nuisance.
- A maximum of six dogs can be walked in a limited number of recreational spaces in the borough.
For more information about the orders, go to www.calderdale.gov.uk and search 'Dog control' or 'Maps Online'.
If you see someone regularly failing to pick up after their dog, please report it to the Council on 0845 245 7000. It would help the Council's enforcement officers if you could give a description of the dog and the person in charge of it, and an approximate time that you regularly see them.