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Dog Owners Could Spend More Than A Penny

Fines are being introduced to keep the streets and parks of North Warwickshire a cleaner place.

The council's dog warden and other staff in the environmental health team now have the power to issue fixed penalty tickets to pet owners who fails to clear up after their pooches.

If dog owners refuse to pay the £25 fixed penalty, then the council could start legal proceedings leading to a £1,000 fine.

North Warwickshire Borough Council has operated a dog warden service since 1992, and rounds up around 100 stray dogs a year.

The council obtained an order banning people in charge of dogs to leave dog faeces on most urban roads, footpaths, verges, public rights of way, public car parks and school playing fields in the borough, covering Atherstone, Coleshill, Kingsbury, Polesworth and surrounding areas.

Council staff have been giving verbal warnings to people who allow their doges to foul, but will now start to enforce warnings and issue the tickets.

The borough-wide initiative follows on from a successful pilot project at Fishers Walk in Atherstone to keep the area clean and poop-free.

It received good support from local people, the area is cleaned weekly and as a result, is much improved. People have said they want the council to crack down on dog mess problems - parish councils in the area are being encouraged to buy more bins for their patch.

Cllr Ann Lewis, chairman of the environment and health Committee said:

"We are certainly not against dogs, and we realise that there are many responsible dog owners in the borough. 

“However, we are still receiving complaints about the irresponsible behaviour of a minority of dog owners - and it is these people we are hoping to target."

The borough council distributes thousands of poop scoops every year - and they are available from libraries, leisure centres and some local shops.

David Baxendale, principal environmental health officer, said:

"There's really no excuse for not scooping the poop. We've had an extensive campaign of publicity with the dog warden giving regular talks to school children.

“There are also 51 dog waste bins in the borough and 54 litter-bins, where people can put wrapped dog waste.

“Alternatively, dog owners can train their pets to 'go at home' or take the bagged waste home with them.

“It's really important for people to consider the impact of their actions on their local communities and support our campaign to clean up or pay up. Remember, dog waste can carry harmful bacteria.”

Anyone who has concerns about dog fouling or who wants to report a dog fouling incident in confidence, should call the council on  01827 719404.

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CWN / Politics / North Warwickshire Borough Council / 21 Sep 00

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This page modified on 10 November 2008 09:49:15AM