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Dog Warden service

The dog warden service sits within the Cleaner Neighbourhoods team and will help you if you lose your dog, and aims to help prevent stray dogs from being a danger in traffic or a nuisance to people.

The Cleaner Neighbourhoods team are based within Environmental Health at Belle Vue Square, Skipton and carry out patrols, pick up strays, investigate complaints and give advice.

Stray dogs

If your dog goes missing, if you find a dog you suspect is lost, or you have any other kind of query, you can reach our Environmental Health Team during office hours on 01756 700600. Please leave all your details and an officer will get back to you as soon as possible.

Out of office hours a reception point is provided where stray dogs can be taken. Please contact the out of hours number: 01653 699392 for details.

Strays are kept for up to 7 days. Stray dogs that are not claimed after 7 days are available for re-homing. Please contact us if you can offer one a good home. There are often a number of dogs of different ages and breeds available for adoption and the situation changes on a regular basis.

In some cases, after 7 days, dogs can be destroyed in a humane manner by a qualified veterinary surgeon.

The Cleaner Neighbourhoods team makes regular visits throughout the area. Any dog found in a public place and unsupervised can be seized and transferred to Council approved kennels. Owners will be liable for the cost of kennelling fees and any other costs incurred including a £25 charge payable to the Council.

Dangerous dogs should be reported to the Police.

Microchipping

In April 2016 the Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2014 brought in a requirement for ALL dogs to be microchipped and contact details up-to-date by the time they are 8 weeks old.

Failure to keep a dog which is not microchipped with up-to-date details will lead to service of a notice requiring the keeper to have the dog chipped within 21 days. Failure to comply with the notice could see the keeper facing a fine of £500. Alternatively an enforcement officer may seize your dog, microchip it, register the details and then recover the cost from you.

Dog fouling

If the person in charge of a dog fails to clear up after it, they may be issued with a £50 fixed penalty.  The offender will then have 14 days in which to pay the fine or face prosecution in Magistrate's Court, where a maximum fine of £1000 can be imposed.

An offence cannot be committed if:

  • the person in charge of the dog is registered blind;
  • the person who controls the land has consented to the faeces being left on the ground
  • the person in control of the dog has a reasonable excuse

The law does not consider as a reasonable excuse:

  1. ignorance of the law
  2. forgetting to carry a bag
  3. lack of no fouling signs

Only one fixed penalty will be issued to each offender, anyone caught failing to clean up on a second occasion, will be prosecuted.  If an authorised officer is obstructed whilst issuing a Fixed Penalty, the offender will be prosecuted.

How can I help?

If you witness an irresponsible dog owner, who fails to clean up after their dog has fouled, make a note of the date, time and location of the incident, along with a description of the dog and the owner and report to us along with their address if known. Dog owners generally tend to take their dogs for routine walks along the same routes so if there is a persistent problem we can monitor.

Tackling dog fouling is very important because it is one of the biggest concerns among residents.

We treat dog fouling as a high priority, educating and informing the public and where offences are committed enforcing the legislation. Clean Neighbourhoods Officers carry out regular patrols issuing fixed penalty notices to people who don't clean up after their dog.

It is a criminal offence not to clean up after a dog in your control. Offenders will be issued with a fixed penalty notice for £50. Failure to pay may lead to a prosecution with a fine of up to £1,000, a criminal record and court costs.

Accumulations

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, it is an offence to allow large quantities of dog faeces to accumulate in your garden as it can be unpleasant for your neighbours. Small amounts of dog faeces can be disposed of in domestic refuse, as long as they are in a sealed plastic bag.

Hopefully, any problem can be dealt with informally. If however, this is not the case, the Environmental Health Team may serve an abatement notice under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 which would require the owner or occupier of the premises to clear the garden of all dog faeces and keep it clean. Failure to comply with the notice may result in prosecution.