Warning to dog owners as fouling fines increase

BANBRIDGE District Council have sent out a stark warning to people who leave their dog’s mess on the street.

The council has moved to increase the fines handed out to those who are caught out from £50 to £80 as of Monday past.

And the fines given to owners who let their dogs stray has increased to £75.

It comes after the Leader received complaints about dog fouling in the Laurencetown and Tullylish areas, with one resident telling us that outside the school and chapel it was particularly bad last week, as was the main street from the shop into the village.

“It just seems to be getting worse,” said the resident. “And it seems to be a growing number of people who are complaining about it.

“The issue has been raised with the council on numerous occasions but it just seems to be happening all the time.”

The resident acknowledged that the council had placed bins and erected signs in the village to deter fouling but added, “I don’t think the problem will go away until people are prosecuted.”

Gillian Topping from Environmental Services at the Council, said that since October 1 there had been 33 fixed penalties served in relation to straying.

“We find that dog fouling can always be connected to straying. Often people let their dogs out at night or in the morning to go to the toilet and don’t keep an eye on them. Quite often we find it’s done deliberately so that they don’t have to clean up the mess,” she said.

“The fault lies purely with the dog owner and if the public have any information about anyone who is committing these offences we would ask them to come through to us at the council so that we can deal with it.

“Dog fouling is anti-social, despicable behaviour but it is difficult to deal with. It is purely down to irresponsible dog owners.”

She added, “The council do their best to keep footways tidy and do regularly clean them, but often dog fouling can take place after we have done so.”