Dog owners face bigger fines if they break the law in South Tyneside

Irresponsible dog ownere are facing increased fines in South Tyneside - thanks to a change in the law.

Tuesday, 2nd January 2018, 5:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 2nd January 2018, 8:50 am
Dog walkers in South Tyneside face new rules

Existing Dog Control Orders have now been transferred under the banner of Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) and that means fixed penalty notices have been increased from £80 to £100 for breaches.

The change also gives South Tyneside Council power to introduce more controls.

The new warning signs

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This could include making it an offence for any person walking a dog on public land not to be in possession of a poo bag.

There are now five orders in place for dog owners to abide by.

These are:

* For a person in control of a dog to immediately remove faeces on all land to which the public have access to.

The new warning signs

* Dogs to be kept on a lead no longer than 1.5 metres when in South Marine Park and all cemeteries in South Tyneside.

* When directed to do so by an authorised officer to put their dog and keep their dog on a lead no longer than 1.5 metres.

* A person in control of a dog must ensure it is prevented from entering all enclosed children’s play areas and school playing fields at all times of the year - and Sandhaven Beach during certain times of the year.

* Not walk more than four dogs at any one time.

Founder of the Great North Dog Walk Tony Carlisle said: “Anything that can educate the public is definitely a positive.

“I’d like to see more literature and more information though. The vast majority of dog owners are responsible but there are some who do leave their dog’s mess behind.

“It’s definitely a good idea to remind owners of the orders that are in place so they can avoid being fined.

“I have noticed an increase in dog muck around the streets so maybe an increase in the penalty notice would encourage people to clean up after their dog. But it does need to be enforced and I’m not sure if the council has the manpower.”

Coun Ernest Gibson, who got behind a poster campaign for housing estates aimed at those who fail to pick up their dog’s mess, said: “All these orders are necessary to keep our children and community safe.

“Sadly there is a minority who don’t take owning a dog seriously and fail to clean up their dog’s mess.

“Hopefully, the increase in the fine and reminder these orders are in place will encourage these people to take their responsibilities as a dog owner seriously.”

A report on the changes will be heard at the next meeting of the licensing committee on January 5.