Dog poo top concern in Pendeen & St Just
Many of you will have received a survey from me trying to gauge your concerns and priorities for our area. I’ve yet to do a full detailed analysis but, flicking through, the most consistent and widespread concern is dog poo! To be more precise, irresponsible dog owners (and I suspect they are a dwindling minority) that allow their pets to foul on pavements and footpaths without bothering to pick up. As bad are those who pick up, tie a neat knot or bow in the top of the bag and then leave it there!
So, what’s to be done? There is not an easy solution. Catching those few and taking action against them is the only hope but the cost of having enough dog wards to do be there to witness offences, THROUGHOUT CORNWALL, well I cannot imagine the cost.
So, do those it annoys keep moaning and nothing happen or do we between us act as the eyes and ears of dog wardens? Are you up to be the Pendeen or St Just posse that gets this sorted?
A campaign to encourage dog owners to be responsible, clean up after their dog and think about the impact their lack of action and lack of consideration has on the wider community has been launched.
Remember, you are required to clean up after your dog has fouled (and properly dispose of it) when your dog fouls in any area which the public are entitled to have access to.
Cornwall Council introduced a Dog Fouling Order that covers all of Cornwall to ensure all areas of Cornwall have the same levels of enforcement for dog fouling.
Failing to clean up after your dog has fouled will result in a fixed penalty being issued – which is for £80 (reduced to £50 if paid within 10 days). Offenders can be taken to court where, if found guilty, they would face a maximum fine of £1000.
It is not an excuse in law that you were not aware of the fact that the dog had fouled – so you can be held responsible even if you did not see the incident, or if it is witnessed whilst the dog is straying.
The Council’s best weapon is us the public by being willing to report dog fouling – the Council will investigate all complaints received but taking action will depend on the quality of information that is provided. Cornwall Council would be in a better position to take action if you are able to provide a full description of what happened (including date, time, location, what you witnessed, description of the dog/owner and as much information as possible to help identify the owner). You may be asked to provide a witness statement – although you will be provided with information and help with that, and if the fixed penalty is not payed it is likely that you would be asked to attend court – BUT DON’T LET THAT PUT YOU OFF AS MOST PEOPLE ARE TOO EMBARRASSED TO NOT PAY AND GO TO COURT.
It is only with people getting involved and reporting problems in their neighbourhood that this problem can be reduced and solved. Providing information so that Council Officers can take enforcement action on dog fouling is the only hope this will reduce in St Just and Pendeen.