Straying from the rules lands dog owners in court

Two south Leeds pet owners have been left in no doubt about the rules which mean dogs can’t roam free on the city’s streets.

Gareth Ford of Sussex Green, Hunslet and Tracy Littlewood of Winrose Crescent, Belle Isle were called before magistrates last month. Both had contravened dog control orders.

Ford was fined £100 and ordered to pay costs of £30 and a £20 victim surcharge. Littlewood was also fined £100 and ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge plus £179.97 in costs.

In both cases, residents had reported seeing stray dogs to the council.

In July 2013, a dog warden went to investigate the claim and found the dog walking down the middle of the road in the Hunslet area.

The dog led the officer to the property on Sussex Green where Ford admitted the dog was his.

Ford accepted a fixed penalty notice which he failed to pay and so was prosecuted.

It also didn’t take the dog warden long to spot the alleged stray in Belle Isle in August 2013. The dog was seen on its own, sniffing round the pavement and grass verge.

The dog was followed back to the property on Winrose Crescent. Littlewood advised the warden that the dog belonged to her and she accepted the fixed penalty notice for contravening Leeds’ dog control orders. Littlewood also failed to pay the penalty.

All dogs are required to be on a lead when on paths, pavements or verges next to roads under the order. As well as safety issues, the orders aim to ensure owners pick up after their pets.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“The rules are very clear and are in place to keep people, their pets and road users safe.

“When the rules are broken we will issue the relevant penalty. These penalties can be paid to avoid prosecution but we won’t hesitate to use our full powers to make sure people get the message that it’s not acceptable to allow their dog to roam free by the road.”

Dog control orders which make it an offence for a dog to be off its lead by the roadside came into effect in 2011.

It is also an offence to allow dogs into some play parks, cemeteries and sports courts. A number of play parks and sports courts were added to the list of exclusion zones earlier this month.

A full list of exclusion zones and information on dog control orders can be found at www.leeds.gov.uk.

Failure to comply with dog control orders carries a maximum £1,000 fine.

For media enquiries please contact:

Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577

email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk