Shropshire Star

Bigger fines for dog owners who don't clean up after their pets set to be discussed

Dog owners could be fined £100 for failing to clean up after their pets under new powers set to be discussed next week.

Dog owners who don't clear up could gave bigger fines

Shropshire Council’s cabinet will consider introducing a so-called Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) in an effort to clamp down on anti-social dog owners.

The council says it’s introducing the measures after a county wide up-tick in public complaints, and held a consultation on the proposals in October last year.

The plan would see spot-fines introduced for owners who fail to clean up their dog’s mess, and would also prohibit owners from taking their animals into fenced and enclosed play areas.

The order also allows officers to request that dogs are put on a leash to help tackle problems with “out of control” dogs, and also requires animals to be placed on the lead when being walked near public roads.

Specific measures for open sports areas and parks have not been included, but could be considered at the end of the initial three year term of the order if needed.

Anyone failing to comply with the order could be issued with a spot-fine of £100 – which could rise to £1000 if a breach of the order leads to a prosecution through the courts.

The penalties can be enforced by a police officer, a police community support officer, or council officers.

The order would come into effect on June 1 for an initial period of three years, accompanied by a public information campaign to encourage “responsible dog ownership”.

The authority received nearly 600 responses to its public consultation on the issue in late 2023, with 63 per cent of people in support of the proposals.

A paper set to be presented to the council’s cabinet next week by Councillor Dan Morris said a lack of action on the issue would lead to “considerable reputational risk”.

“It is considered appropriate to implement legal powers to take enforcement action when required to encourage responsible pet ownership,” the report says.

“Currently the council is vulnerable to challenge about the lack of enforcement and indeed has been criticised by the public that enforcement action has not been taken.

“The proposals contained in this report and for the Order are intended to encourage responsible dog ownership and control of animals in public spaces.”

Shropshire Council’s cabinet will discuss the measures at a meeting of its cabinet on Wednesday, April 17.