A NUMBER of dog owners have fallen foul of council officials after failing to clean up after their pets.
Hartlepool Borough Council brought in its annual beach ban on May 1, preventing dog owners from exercising their animals on certain stretches of the town’s beaches.
Local authority chiefs have reminded owners of the ban, and also their responsibility to clear up any dog mess, after dishing out a number of fixed penalty notices over the last fortnight in the Seaton Carew area.
And the council has vowed to continue to keep a close eye on dog walkers who flout the laws in their attempts to clean up the town.
Ten dog walkers were slapped with £80 fines after allowing their dogs to foul on the beach, while another two were handed out to people whose pets fouled the promenade.
Four more fines were issued when dogs entered the area covered by the seasonal beach ban, and another three were fined after fouling incidents in Queen Street, Warrior Park and Jutland Road.
Two more fixed penalty notices, again for £80, were given to owners who allowed their dogs to be off their leads while walking in Seaton Park and Dodd’s Field.
There is also concern that an increasing number of people are resorting to burying dog dirt on the beach to avoid picking it up and disposing of it in any of the dog bins located around the beach area.
Kate Ainger, Hartlepool Council’s Environmental Projects Officer, said: “The summer season is almost upon us now.
“We are keen to promote Seaton Carew as a visitor destination.
“It doesn’t help when people allow their dogs to foul the beach and promenade.
“The practice of burying dog dirt in the sand is actually worse than leaving it on the surface as unsuspecting people walking on the beach or children playing are unaware of it until it is too late.
“Such a situation is very unpleasant and can also create a serious health risk.
“We hope the recent spate of FPNs issued in Seaton Carew will serve as a warning to people that whenever we see dog owners behaving irresponsibly then we will take action.”
The seasonal dog beach ban which runs from May 1-September 30, covers a stretch of the beach at Seaton Carew from the Norton Hotel to the coach park.
The ban also applies to the Fish Sands and the Block Sands on the Headland, including the lower promenade and paddling pool.
The council has stressed that there are still plenty of areas of beach within the borough where dogs can be exercised freely.
For more information where dogs can be exercised go to www.hartlepool.gov.uk/dogs and click on “Dog Control Orders”.