County-wide crack down on dog fouling in cemeteries
March 21, 2019
Northumberland County Council is stepping up patrols to combat an increase in reported incidents of dog fouling and owners failing to keep dogs on leads in cemeteries.
Enforcement Officers will be on patrol in cemeteries where dog owners have been sighted allowing their dogs to roam around the cemetery grounds and foul on graves and headstones.
Council cemeteries are subject to dog control orders which require dogs to be kept on a short lead, not more than 1.5 metres in length, at all times and must be under control. An extendable lead is not permitted. Like all other public places, it is an offence to allow a dog to foul and not clean up. Signs at all the entrances to the cemetery instruct dog owners to keep their dogs on leads.
The Council has received an increasing number of complaints of dogs fouling in cemeteries, especially in the Bedlington and Blyth area and this is particularly distressing for those visiting the graves of loved ones.
Enforcement Officers will be patrolling across Northumberland, with a zero-tolerance policy. Failure to comply with this requirement is an offence for which you would receive an on the spot £100 fixed penalty fine or may be prosecuted and fined up to £1000 by the Courts.
Northumberland County Councillor Glen Sanderson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for the environment and local services said:
“Most responsible dog walkers observe the signs and ensure their dogs are kept under control within the cemetery grounds, but an inconsiderate minority need to be reminded that the cemetery is a place for reflection and remembrance, not a recreation area or a place to exercise dogs”.
“ Such anti-social and irresponsible behaviour on the part of dog owners is profoundly disrespectful within a cemetery where families have buried loved ones”.
Stephen Kelly, Senior Cemeteries Team Leader said: “ It’s very upsetting for people who are coming to visit their loved ones’ graves and they are finding dog mess there. We have had people contact us because they are upset that dogs are running around the cemetery when they are trying to pay their respects to loved ones.
The council is calling for assistance from members of the public to help them by reporting instances of dog fouling in cemeteries to Northumberland County Council via the website www.northumberland.gov.uk or phoning 0345 600 6400
Photo: Alison Hall with dog Jess, Stephen Hall is Senior Animal Welfare and Environmental Enforcement Officer and Stephen Kelly is Senior Cemeteries Team Leader.