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Dog Fouling

Dog fouling is a serious issue. The whole of the North Herts District Council's Area is designated for the purpose of the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996. The Council will investigate complaints about dog fouling and patrols will be carried out in problem areas and offenders will be prosecuted. If a dog fouls on designated land, it is an offence if the person in charge of the dog fails to pick up the mess. Any person found guilty of this offence could face a fine of up to £1,000. Authorised Council Officers can offer the opportunity of discharging any liability to conviction for the offence by payment of a Fixed Penalty Notice of £50.

Designated land includes all areas to which the public have general access including pedestrian areas, footways, verges, play areas and highways within a speed limit less than 40 mph.

Why should I clean up after my dog?

If you have ever stepped in dog fouling you will probably agree that it is smelly and very difficult to remove from shoes. Dog fouling is not only unpleasant, but is also potentially harmful. Dog faeces can contain a parasitic worm called Toxocara, which if transferred to humans can cause an illness called Toxocariasis. Toxocariasis can cause blindness, especially in children.

What's the best way to clear up?

  • ·Use a dog poo bag "poop scoop" to pick up the faeces. Carrier bags or nappy sacks can also be used.
  • ·Put it in one of the designated dog poo bins or you may bag it and put it in a litter bin, or double bag it so that you can take it home to put in with your normal refuse bin.

Those dog owners that bag the mess but don't bin it (for example they dispose of the bag in a hedge, a tree or a garden and by doing so are littering) could face a maximum penalty of £2,500 in court.  Authorised Council Officers can offer the opportunity of discharging any liability to conviction for the offence of littering by payment of a Fixed Penalty Notice of £75.

What does the Council do about dog fouling?

Most dog owners are very responsible and do pick up after their pets, but a small group of people choose to ignore the rules. Dog owners are encouraged to bag their dog's mess and get rid of it safely. For those who continue to ignore the rules, a Fixed Penalty Notice may be issued by any authorised Council Officer if it is witnessed by the officer.

A Fixed Penalty Notice is a ticket which means that the person receiving it has to pay a charge. If the person refuses to pay the charge, they may be prosecuted and if the fail to provide their details when requested a further offence is committed. The Court may then decide to make them pay even more money and the costs of the Court action.

Often dog fouling is caused by people not watching their dog and not realising that it has fouled. If you own a dog, you are responsible for it, whether it's on or off the lead. Be aware of where your dog is and what it's doing at all times. Remember that dogs don't get fined for fouling but owners can get fined for not picking it up and getting rid of it properly.

If you notice a street or area that you feel requires cleansing or if you wish to find out more about the frequency of street cleaning you can report it to Veolia on 0800 3286023.

What do I do if I see someone not clearing up after their dog?

If you would like to report a dog fouling offender, contact the Council via our Customer Service Centre on 01462 474000 or by e-mail at service@north-herts.gov.uk Remember that the more information you can provide, the greater chance there is of offenders being caught.

Join us and say no to dog-fouling

Dog fouling can be tackled by the whole community working together. Some dog owners think that they can get away with not picking up after their pet if they think no one is around, but as more and more people come forward to report dog fouling offences, irresponsible dog owners may start to think twice about their actions.

Dog fouling leaflet This document is a PDF file and will open in a new window. You will need Adobe Reader to view it. (106KB) The following document is in PDF format and will open in a new window. You will need Adobe Reader to view it.

Dog fouling leaflet This document is a PDF file and will open in a new window. You will need Adobe Reader to view it. (101KB) The following document is in PDF format and will open in a new window. You will need Adobe Reader to view it.