New penalties for dog owners are about to be launched

from left, Kendra Milne, Durham County Council neighbourhood warden; Ian Hoult, the councils neighbourhood protection manager; and Denise Kelly, north of England campaigns manager for the Dogs Trust.

from left, Kendra Milne, Durham County Council neighbourhood warden; Ian Hoult, the councils neighbourhood protection manager; and Denise Kelly, north of England campaigns manager for the Dogs Trust.

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Dog owners are being warned that new financial penalties will come into force at the beginning of next month for those who do not clean up after their pets have fouled.

Durham County Council is introducing a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) to encourage responsible ownership and tackle issues such as dog fouling and strays.

People can find out more about the new rules through the council’s #FollowOurLead campaign.

The order, which will replace the existing Dog Control Order introduced in 2009, means that from Thursday, June 1, it will be an offence to fail to pick up dog mess, allow a dog to stray, fail to put a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer, or allow a dog into any fenced-off play area named in the PSPO.

Anyone seen flouting the new rules will be issued with a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN), reduced to £60 if paid within 10 working days.

Failing to pay the FPN will result in court action and a possible fine of up to £1,000.

The order will not apply to anyone who is registered blind, is disabled or who uses a trained assistance dog.

Ian Hoult, Durham County Council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: “While the majority of dog owners are responsible, there are still those whose actions impact upon our communities – whether it’s failing to clear up after their dog or being unable to control it when off a lead.

“The new order will enable us to crack down on these problems, making our communities safer, cleaner and more welcoming for everyone.”

More information is available at www.durham.gov.uk/dogcontrol.