South Hams District Council is cracking down on dog owners who have their dogs off the lead in public areas, or who don’t clean up after their dogs.
Public Space Protection Orders have been introduced across the South Hams, clarifying where it will be mandatory to keep dogs on a lead. In some areas, such as children’s play areas, dogs are banned entirely.
In addition, the new laws give authorised council officers the power to request that an owner place their dog on a lead in any open public area where the dog is causing a nuisance or likely to do so.
During the summer months, dogs are not permitted on a number of beaches in the South Hams, and officers will be able to issue on the spot fines for those ignoring this regulation.
Failure to comply with the PSPO or a request from a council officer is punishable by an on-the-spot fine of £100.
Uniformed Officers will be patrolling regularly from early July.
Cllr Rufus Gilbert, Executive Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services at South Hams District Council, said: “The majority of South Hams dog owners are law abiding and considerate of others, but there are a minority that spoil it for everyone, and it is these owners that the new regulations will target. It’s important that everyone is familiar with the areas where dogs must be kept on a lead, or where they are forbidden, so that responsible dog owners are not caught out.”
Failure to clean up after your dog is also covered by the PSPOs and is punishable by an on-the-spot fine of £100.
Cllr Gilbert continued: “Dog mess is unsightly, unpleasant and dangerous and we will no longer tolerate irresponsible owners who fail to clean up after their animals. If you know of an area that is regularly fouled, please let us know using the ‘report it’ function on our website, and our officers will add it to their patrols. If you are walking your dog, make sure you remain observant as to where it fouls, always carry bags and place the bags in a litter bin or take them home. Please don’t hang the bags in trees and bushes; they’re not baubles and this could constitute a littering offence.”
For a full list of the areas where dogs must be kept on a lead, and where dogs are not permitted, please see https://www.southhams.gov.uk/article/4114/Dogs-on-Leads, https://www.southhams.gov.uk/article/4109/Dog-Exclusion-Areas-Beaches and https://www.southhams.gov.uk/article/4541/Dog-Exclusion-Areas-Except-Beaches-