Pooch poo plans designed to stop irresponsible pet owners from letting their dogs defecate on graves and pavements have been approved by Waverley Borough Council.
Two public protection orders were passed at a full meeting of the council on Tuesday, July 18.
The first imposes controls on dog fouling, with the second on keeping canines on leads. They are supported by spot fines of up to £100 for anybody caught breaking them.
The orders come on the back of what borough leader Councillor Paul Follows (Lib Dems, Godalming Central), described as “by far and away the most responded to survey every single time we do this, repeatedly, above even things as substantial as climate change".
The dog controls, which need to be updated and reviewed every three years, make it an offence to allow your dog to poo in publicly owned land without immediately bagging and disposing of it. This applies regardless of whether you are aware it had done its business or not.
The council is now following through with plans to update its dog control orders.
Presenting the orders was Cllr Tony Fairlclough (Farnham Residents, Heath End), portfolio holder for enforcement and regulatory services.
He said: “The key reason for the recommendation is specifically to address issues caused by irresponsible dog owners, not the dogs themselves.
The controls he added “also seek to educate these dog owners of their responsibilities.”
Since first introduced in 2018, dog fouling complaints have reduced dramatically according to the council although 68 per cent of respondents to its survey said it was still an issue.
The council owns and clears 269 litter bins in its parks and open spaces that accept dog waste with a further 556 bins on the streets.
Waverley Borough Council says it costs £132,500 to empty and clean them each year and that each additional bin costs between £300 and £500 to purchase and install. Every time a bin is emptied it costs about £3, the equivalent of £156 per year if done weekly,
Cllr Jacquie Keen (Lib Dems, Haslemere West) said: “We all know the irresponsible dog owners really don’t care.
“Even if they put their dog rubbish in a bag, it gets thrown on the ground, hung on a tree, left on somebody’s wall. or for children to walk on on the pavements, but equally my concern is where dog owners have taken their dogs off leash in the cemeteries and I’ve had reports from Sunvale Cemetery where the dogs are defecating on the graves and it’s really sad.”
Cllr Jerry Hyman (Farnham Residents, Farnham Firgrove) described the measures as “Waverley’s best attempt” at stopping dog fouling in the streets as it was simple impractical be to have officers lying in wait to catch them in the act.
Summing up the proposals, which were unanimously backed, Cllr Fairclough said: “We are asking the public to do better…by educating and informing of the consequences and by putting in measures that if they are irresponsible we have the means to penalise them for doing so.”