• Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

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Dog owners urged to be responsible

203A campaign which asks people to pick up their dog mess is being launched in Bowburn.

Durham County Council, working in partnership with Durham Constabulary, Durham City Homes and local county councillor Cllr Jan Blakey, is behind the campaign which will see people encouraged to clean up after their pet and fined if they do not, and take advantage of free microchipping.

The campaign, which runs next week, will see patrols of dog fouling hotspot areas and a microchipping event.

The microchipping event takes place on Friday, 15 January between 10am and 12pm at Bowburn Community Centre, Durham Road, Bowburn, DH6 5AT.

It offers people the chance to have their pet chipped before a change of law on April 6, after which all dogs aged eight weeks old and over must be microchipped.

All dogs must be aged 12 weeks and over and have their up-to-date vaccinations to be microchipped at the event.

Proof of address showing residency in County Durham will be required.

Dog owners attending the microchipping event can join the Green Dog Walkers scheme.

Once signed up, dog owners take a pledge to carry extra dog poop bags to share to others who do not have one.

Throughout the week, the council’s neighbourhood wardens will be carrying out patrols in dog fouling hotspot areas.

Those observed failing to pick up after their pet will be handed an £80 fixed penalty notice.

If the fixed penalty notice is not paid, the offender will be taken to court and could face a maximum fine of £1,000.

Council officers, Durham City Homes and police will be talking to residents about responsible dog ownership, carrying out an estate walkabout and encouraging people to join the Green Dog Walkers scheme.

The campaign comes after local councillors raised concerns over the level of dog fouling in the area, having been approached about it by residents.

Cllrs Blakey, Mac Williams and Maria Plews have funded and helped organise the campaign.

Cllr Blakey said: “Dog fouling is a blight on communities and we have listened to the concerns of the local people who have told us they have had enough.

“Through this campaign we are striving to reduce the amount of dog fouling in the community and in doing so enhance the local environment.”

Dog owners who cannot attend the microchipping event can sign up to the Green Dog Walkers scheme by downloading a form at www.durham.gov.uk/greendogwalkers, calling 03000 261 000 or emailing civicpride@durham.gov.uk

Dog fouling can be reported online, in confidence, at www.durham.gov.uk/dogfouling or by calling 03000 261 000.

By admin