Zero tolerance on stray dogs

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is taking a zero tolerance approach to stray dogs in the area.

The council says a fixed penalty of £80 will be issued on the first instance of straying with the opportunity to pay a reduced fee of £50 if paid to the council within 14 days of issue.

The aim of this aspect of the enforcement policy is not only to encourage dog owners to be more vigilant with their pets and reduce the number of stray dogs, but also to tackle the issue of dog fouling on pavements and open areas.

This approach has been in operation in the former Banbridge District Council area since 2012 and has been shown to be very effective in trying to combat problems arising from the how owners control their dogs.

Last year, 91 dog owners in the Banbridge area were issued with fixed penalty notices for allowing their dog to stray

The council has also reminded dog owners it is their responsibility to make sure that their dog is micro-chipped, licensed and under control.

Microchip details should be kept up to date by the owner to ensure that if your dog is lost, it can be quickly identified and returned to its owner.

When the Dog Wardens come across stray dogs, they will try and return them to the owners if the dogs have been micro-chipped.

Those that cannot be returned because their owner cannot be contacted or the wrong details are recorded on the microchip will be taken to the kennels.

If not reclaimed, the dog will remain at the kennels for five days after which it will be placed for re-homing or sent to an animal sanctuary.

To reclaim a dog from kennels, the owner will have to pay the kennel fees and any costs incurred.

A fixed penalty notice of £80 will also be issued.

You can reduce the chance of your dog becoming lost by keeping it under control when exercising and keeping your property secure by repairing fences and closing gates.