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CLEAR Message for Irresponsible Dog Owners

TWO simple messages are being stencilled in key locations across Rhondda Cynon Taf in a bid to remind dog owners to be responsible.

The messages are simple ‘NO DOG FOULING’ and ‘NO DOGS ON PITCHES’ and are part of the overall campaign to take action to crack down on those who ignore the rules set out in the Public Spaces and Protection Order, (PSPO), in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

In October 2017 Rhondda Cynon Taf Council was one of the first Local Authorities to introduce strict rules in terms of dog controls, when it put in place a PSPO. Due to the success of this order, it was extended in November 2020 to continue to tackle this disgusting and unsightly issue.

The PSPO measures include:

Dog owners MUST clean up their dogs’ mess immediately and dispose of it properly.
Dog owners MUST carry means to pick up dog mess (i.e. bags) at all times.
Dog owners MUST follow a direction from an authorised officer to put a dog on a lead.
Dogs are BANNED from all schools, children’s play areas and marked sports pitches maintained by the Council.
Dogs MUST be kept on a lead at all times in Council maintained cemeteries.

One of the key concerns the PSPO addressed was dog fouling on sports fields – even if the fouling is picked up, remnants of it will remain on the grass and soil, which is not only disgusting but could also have serious life-changing health consequences.

The stencils, which were part funded by Keep Wales Tidy as part of their national campaign to tackle dog fouling, have been painted in bright yellow on the ground in key dog walking hot spots, so the message is there CLEAR for everyone to see.

One resident from Treherbert clearly didn’t get the message and was recently sent on her walkies home from the courts with a fine for over £370 when she failed to clean up after her dog on the cycle path behind Wyndham Street, Tynewydd, Treherbert – the offender was fined £220, ordered to pay costs of £120 and a Victim Surcharge of £34.

The message from the Council is clear - if an irresponsible dog owner is found breaching the rules of the PSPO by an Enforcement Officer, the Council will take action and issue a £100 FPN.

Failure to pay this, could lead to court action being taken and a much larger fine, which this woman has discovered to her cost. Details could also be publicised on the Council's website and Social Media channels.

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure & Heritage Services, said:

“It is hoped that these messages will act as a reminder to clean up after your dog. We have lots of responsible dog owners across RCT and we know that they won’t need any reminding – but there are still a few out there that may need a gentle, clear reminder to bag it and bin it and to not let their dogs walk on pitches.

“The latest conviction demonstrates the Council's commitment to tackling dog fouling issues - if an irresponsible dog owner ignores these messages and is found breaching the rules of the PSPO we will take action and issue a £100 fine. Failure to pay this, could lead to court action being taken, a large fine and a criminal record, as these irresponsible dog owners have now found out.

"The PSPO rules were introduced after residents told the Council they wanted to see action taken to tackle irresponsible dog owners – including areas such as play areas used by children and marked ptches where residents enjoy playing sports.

“The Council would rather see a clean County Borough and dog walkers acting responsibly rather than issue fines – which could have easily been avoided if we follow the clear messages, follow the rules and act responsibly – they are there to protect everyone who want to enjoy out beautiful County Borough.”

In the last SIX months the Council has issued almost 140 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to those who have been caught breaking the PSPO in Rhondda Cynon Taf. All the revenue generated from the FPNs is invested back in frontline services to further improve our County Borough and respond to the priority issues our residents have identified.

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