herald

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Nine pet owners get €150 fines for dog poo as 70 others face penalties

Councillor Claire Byrne
Councillor Claire Byrne

A crackdown on dog owners who fail to "bin the poo" is resulting in fines being issued by Dublin City dog wardens.

A campaign to change the behaviour of negligent dog owners, who refuse to clean up after their pets, has resulted in nine dog owners being issued with fines of €150 each.

The problem of dog dirt on city footpaths and park walkways led to a six-month campaign, which targeted the small minority of dog owners who fail to scoop up their pets' droppings.

A total of 79 fines were issued for a number of different offences across the city during the campaign. Of these, 49 have been paid.

Slogans such as "Bin the poo" and "Leave only paw prints" were publicised during the initiative.

An even more pointed message, used by local authorities that included Fingal County Council, declared: "If your dog decides to poop in public, it is your responsibility to clean it up, not theirs."

Authorised city council staff, with the support of gardai, patrolled the city's parks and asked dog walkers to show they carried bags for collecting dog poops.

The wardens also asked the owners to produce their dog licences. Seventeen owners who failed to produce dog licences within a set number of days were issued with €100 fines.

Two owners were also fined €100 each for failing to muzzle dogs that were on a list of restricted breeds.

Demand

Green Party councillor Claire Byrne asked the city council's South East Area manager Rose Kenny about the local situation prior to a meeting of the area committee that takes place on Monday.

She was informed that more than €25,000 was spent in the local area on the campaign.

While the vast majority of dog owners obeyed the rules, a minority were failing to comply.

A large number of dog litter bins are being installed by the council in response to widespread demand.

The area manager stated that council staff, while on patrol, spoke to numerous dog walkers about their responsibilities and rewarded some of the many who were compliant with small gifts.

Cllr Byrne, a member of the South East Area Committee, said the problem of dog droppings was one of the most common problems brought to the attention of city councillors every day.

She said she enjoys walking her own dog, a Portuguese Water Dog named Theo, and says that more owners are quick to clean up after their dogs.

She has become even more aware of the dog poo problem since she began using a baby buggy and had to make an extra effort to try to avoid the dog dirt on the city's paths.

"It is definitely the number one enforcement issue for people in the city," she said.

A spokesman for Fingal County Council said education and awareness were the council's main aims and four dog owners had been fined for failing to clean up in the past two years.

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