It’s OK to leave your dog’s muck behind, say one in six pet owners

Dog walking and dog fouling generic pic
Dog walking and dog fouling generic pic

NEARLY one in six people believe Calderdale dog owners should not have to clean up after their pets.

And one in five says there should be no restrictions on animals running free on sports pitches.

These are some of the results from a questionnaire by the council to test public reaction to proposals for new dog-control orders.

Of the 850 responses, two out of three came from people who own at least one animal.

Calderdale Council economy and environment spokesman Coun Barry Collins said it was intended to carefully scrutinise the results before making any recommendations.

“A number of very important issues have been raised and we will be looking to find a way to deal effectively with dog fouling without jeopardising the rights and responsibilities of dog owners and their pets,” he said.

The RSPCA has urged the council to use dog-control orders “cautiously” and help to educate owners.

The council has indicated that it wants to ban dogs from playgrounds, sports fields and ornamental gardens and to extend rules making owners responsible for cleaning up after their pets.

It wants to give powers to authorised staff to order owners to put their dogs on a lead if they are a nuisance.

The penalty in relation to any offence for any dog-control order is, on summary conviction, a fine of up to £1,000.

But they are more likely to be asked to pay a fixed penalty of between £50 and £80.

Last year the council received nearly 700 complaints about dog fouling and an average one a week in relation to dangerous dogs.

The survey shows 40 per cent of people want moorland and woodland to be free of controls but at least 80 per cent believe dogs should be on leads beside busy roads.

While 64 per cent want dogs banned from fenced play areas and 29 per cent want animals to be kept on a lead, only 33 per cent want them banned from sports pitches and 23 per cent believe dogs should be kept on a lead.

There is more support for banning dogs from school playing fields (42 per cent) or keeping pets on leads (22 per cent).

Leads in cemeteries are deemed essential by 73 per cent of respondents but only 22 per cent believe owners should be required to use leads in parks at all times.