The council recognises that most dog owners who live in and visit the borough are responsible; they keep their dog under control, pick up dog fouling and dispose of it correctly, they also microchip their dog and exercise it in a manner that doesn’t cause distress to other users of public spaces. However, the council does have to deal with complaints each year about stray dogs, irresponsible ownership, and the impact of dog fouling on the public. In response to this we have introduced new powers in the form of a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for the control of dogs. The order aims to address the following issues in our parks and public spaces:
- Dog fouling – owners are required to remove dog fouling (usually using a bag) and place it in a suitable bin. A new power introduced by the PSPO is the requirement, in public areas, to be able to show, when challenged, that you have suitable means in your possession for cleaning up dog fouling. In practice this means that you would need to be able to show an unused bag to one of our wardens when asked. This power is designed to tackle those dog walkers who have no intention of picking up their dogs fouling.
- Dogs on leads - cemeteries and burial grounds are areas for quiet contemplation and respectful memory of loved ones and for this reason dogs must be kept on a lead when entering. The council recognises that many people may wish to take their dog with them into a cemetery or burial ground and therefore dogs are not prohibited from these areas, however it is an offence under the PSPO if the dog is not on a lead.
- Dogs prohibited – young children are inexperienced around unfamiliar dogs, may be afraid of them, and are particularly vulnerable to contamination from dog fouling. To minimize the risk to young children, dogs are prohibited from entering or remaining in children’s play areas within parks and open spaces controlled and maintained by Amber Valley Borough Council. The dogs are not prohibited from the park or open space, but it is an offence if the dog enters a children’s play area.
- Exempt dogs – if you use a recognised assistance dog then you will be exempt from the requirements of the PSPO.
The PSPO came into force on 20 October 2019 and may be viewed using the link below, the PSPO includes plans of our parks showing the extent of the area from which dogs are prohibited.
The council’s community support unit will be looking to address the issues within the PSPO through education and awareness as well as enforcement, and all our wardens, who wear official council uniform and carry identification, will be out and about on our parks offering information and advice to dog owners in addition to enforcing any breaches of the PSPO.
A breach of the requirements is an offence and will usually be dealt with by way of a Fixed Penalty Notice carrying a fine of £100 or prosecution in the Magistrates Court.
Need further help or information?
Contact the team directly on 01773 841335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org