|Dogs in North Devon|
Dogs are wonderful for people’s physical health and emotional well-being. We’re lucky to have plenty of beautiful open spaces to enjoy with our four-legged friends here in North Devon, however, while the majority of dog owners are responsible, there is unfortunately an irresponsible minority! In today’s bulletin, we will be reminding dog owners of their responsibilities…
Microchipping, collars and lost dogs
In 1992 it was made a legal requirement that any dog in a public place must wear a collar with the name and address (including postcode) of the owner engraved or written on it, or engraved on a tag. And although there is no legal requirement for a dog to have a collar and tag on private property, every year hundreds of dogs sadly go missing from homes and gardens! In April 2016, it became compulsory for every dog to have an up-to-date microchip.
A microchip is a small electronic chip, around the size of a grain of rice, which is implanted under the dog’s skin and contains a unique number that can be read by a scanner. The dog owner’s contact details relating to each number are logged on a central database, so should the dog ever go missing or be stolen it can be scanned by the authorities and returned to his owner swiftly and safely. Dogs over eight weeks old must be microchipped and the details must be kept up to date. You can be fined up to £500 if your dog isn’t microchipped. Unfortunately microchips sometimes fail so it’s a good idea to ask your vet, during your pets annual checkups, if the chip is still in working order. Watch our video to find out more.
If you have lost your dog, please phone us (during office hours on 01271 388870, or on 01271 388240 out of hours) – to see if the dog has been picked up by our dog warden. We post pictures of lost dogs on our Facebook page, so it’s worth checking there too. Please be aware, that once we have found the owner of a dog, the owner may be liable for fines, fees and charges – including: statutory fine – £25 administration charge – £6 plus VAT boarding (for each period of 24 hours or part there of) – £20 any required veterinary costs, for example if the dog is injured other relevant fee Please do the responsible thing and make sure you dog is microchipped and has a collar to avoid these fees. It will also make our lives easier when trying to reunite them with you!
To report a stray or lost dog to us, please visit our website. More information on microchipping, stray and lost dogs.
Dog fouling and dog bins
As an authority, we recognise that the vast majority of dog owners are responsible and respectful to their local community. However, we do receive regular complaints from residents about dog fouling and the behaviour of some dogs, and we we are obliged to act upon these complaints. If you are in charge of a dog, whether you are the owner or not, you must by law clean up after the dog has fouled in any public access area. This includes car parks, grass verges, recreation and sports grounds, parks, river walks, pavements and footpaths, gutters and carriageways, beaches. Failure to do so can result in a fixed penalty of £80 or a maximum fine of £1,000. Call it out, call it in, clear it up Help us tackle dog fouling by following these three simple steps: Call it out – If you see someone fail to pick up after their dog, call them up on it. Do it politely, perhaps by offering them a spare bag. Don’t put yourself at risk. Call it in – Report dog fouling to us online or give us a call on 01271 388870. It can help us catch and prosecute the culprits and also builds up a picture of where the problem areas are, so we know where to patrol. Report a dog fouling incident Clear it up – If you aren’t willing or able to call it out or call it in, if you have a spare poo bag then helping to remove the problem is a really positive contribution, no one will step in it and it keeps standards high, which helps prevent further dog fouling.
Dog bins Although we as a council don’t have a statutory duty to provide dog litter bins or empty them, we do offer a number of dog bins across North Devon. These are emptied on a regular basis. If you’re looking for one, please visit our website: Find dog litter bins Did you know, as well as using dog poop bins, you can also use any public litter bin to dispose of your dogs waste? Help keep North Devon clean and tidy when out walking your canine companion! More information on dog fouling and bins
Whilst the majority of dog owners are responsible, unfortunately a minority still fail to pick up dog waste and allow their pets to run out of control. Please see our ‘Dogs Public Space Protection Order’ page for full details. The order contains a number of measures to enable us to address this irresponsible behaviour – including requirements for: owners to pick up after their dog owners to place any out of control dog on a lead if requested dogs to be on a lead in a public cemetery dogs not to be present on any formal sports pitch or enclosed children’s play area between 1 October and 31 March, dogs not to be present on or near land used as a High Tide Roosting Sites for overwintering birds between 1 May and 30 September, dogs not to be present on Croyde or Combe Martin beaches dogs to be on a lead in certain locations in Braunton Burrows at certain times of year Dog owners who do not adhere to these controls could attract a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100, or prosecution. Watch our video of one of our Neighbourhood Officers talk about the dogs PSPO. More information on dog controls
Let’s make a difference together!
Don’t forget the power of our local communities! We currently work with partners and community groups to combat issues in targeted areas. If you would like to get involved and keep North Devon beautiful, we welcome any approach for collaboration. Follow us on Twitter @NDCWardens and Facebook @northdevoncouncil and share our posts to help spread the word. Don’t forget, if you see us out and about, feel free to come and say hello.
Thanks for taking the time to read this bulletin, we hope you found it interesting. If you’re looking for more information dogs in North Devon, please don’t hesitate to visit our website.