Complaints about dog fouling are down by 60%
At Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, councillors heard that in 2011/12, the council received 290 complaints about dog fouling. By 31 March 2015, the numbers were down 60% to 115.
Numbers are declining after a slight rise in 2015/16
While there was a slight increase in dog fouling complaints in 2015/16, the council’s anti-dog fouling campaign has seen complaints drop in 2016/17 to 108 by 31 January 2017.
We are taking a zero tolerance approach
The reduction in the number of dog fouling complaints is thanks to a number of measures including, a zero tolerance approach to dog fouling, additional bins at strategic locations and the introduction of the Green Dog Walkers scheme. Local people have also been helping the council identify alleged perpetrators.
The Green Dog Walkers Scheme is helping cut complaints
The Green Dog Walkers community campaign was launched in Midlothian in 2012/13 and locally now has 20 organisation members and 432 individual members.
More about the scheme
All individual members pledge to be responsible and to advertise their membership with a special armband, lead or collar. Membership also encourages pet owners to carry extra doggie bags to help those dog owners who may get caught short. Pet owners can also obtain poop-scoop bags from their local library or other council offices.
All environmental health staff can issue Fixed Penalty Notices
Currently, all environmental health staff are trained and authorised to serve Fixed Penalty Notices under the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003. Environmental Wardens also have specific duties to investigate and deal with dog fouling.
Complaints about out of control dogs are rising
Councillors also heard that while complaints about stray dogs have fallen from 2011 to 2017, complaints about out of control dogs have increased significantly, up from 19 in 2011/12 to 121 in 2015/16, with 147 having been received in the first ten months of 16/17.
We investigate all incidents
Every incident of an out of control dog that comes to the attention of the council is investigated as the emphasis of the legislation is to prevent out of control dogs becoming dangerous.
The police enforces legislation
Legislation regards dangerous dogs continues to be enforced by the police.