OUT of control dogs exercised in groups by hapless professional walkers and the eternal problem of mess left in parks and streets provoked a lively discussion at last night’s meeting of Stonehaven and District Community Council.
Paul Lindop described an assortment of scenarios he had witnessed of dogs in the charge of paid walkers that were not on the lead and not in control. This included seeing someone being knocked down by two black labradors – then being screamed at by the walker, a dog loose on the road at Dunnottar Woods and dogs fighting in the back of their walker’s vehicle.
Members of the public at the meeting added their experiences of the down-side of dogs. One had witnessed four animals completely out of control. He called for dogs to be walked on the lead.
And another said he had been in frequent contact with the dog warden during his 13 years living in the town. He said dog mess was a perpetual problem – and with tourism becoming more important, we should ensure we had clan pavements. He called for better signposting to encourage owners to pick up.
Mike Duncan, called for a visible campaign by the local dog warden and asked how other council staff were trained to deal with the problem.
The meeting heard while it is difficult for the dog warden to catch fouling ‘in the act’, if you see someone walking away, you can report them. Action can be taken as long as they are given sufficient information.
Councillor Sarah Dickinson said: “We need to step up as a town in terms of people’s behaviour.”
The law and your dog – from the Aberdeenshire Council website. https://www.aberdeenshire.gov.uk/environment/animal-health/dogs/dogs-and-the-law/
- Your dog must wear a collar and tag with your name and address on it, outwith your property, even if it has been microchipped (Control of Dogs Order, 1992).
- You commit an offence (for which you may be fined) if you fail to clear up after your dog if it fouls in a public place (Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003).
- Your dog must always be on a lead when walking beside a designated road (Roads (Scotland) Act 1984).
- Tenants – check legalities of having a dog in your home e.g. missive to let.
- The Local Authority will keep stray dogs for 7 days to allow their owners to claim them. Thereafter they can be rehomed or destroyed (Environmental Protection Act 1990).
To contact the local dog warden, tel: 01467 530807