Report owners and they will be fined

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ANGRY councillors have called on people to report irresponsible dog owners who let their pets foul without cleaning it up.

Labour councillors Stephen Akers-Belcher and Sylvia Tempest want Hartlepool residents to be more vigilant after a rise in the number of complaints they have been receiving.

They say there’s a minority of dog owners giving other pet lovers a bad name because of their irresponsible actions.

In the past 13 months 496 fixed penalty fines of £80 were issued after owners were spotted allowing their pets to foul. Council officers say there are “no excuses”.

Coun Akers-Belcher, who represents the Rift House ward, said: “I have received a lot of complaints about dog fouling in recent weeks and this is a town-wide problem.

“People should be more vigilant and report anyone they see allowing their dog to foul and not cleaning it up.

“Most dog owners are responsible. This is about the minority who flout the laws. People are no longer prepared to put up with this.”

Coun Akers-Belcher, who praised the council’s environmental enforcement team for their quick response to dog fouling complaints, added: “Officers have done a lot of work in recent years to tackle the problem.

“There was a campaign in the Rift House area a couple of years ago and residents reported a major improvement the problem has been building back up and it needs continuous monitoring.”

Coun Tempest, who also represents the Rift House ward, said: “This is a major concern for residents and we are determined to tackle this issue.

“We want to get the message across to irresponsible dog owners that if they do not clean up enforcement action will be taken.”

A council spokesman said: “There is no excuse for allowing your dog to foul a public area. The vast majority of dog owners are responsible and do clean up after their dogs.

“But there are some people who have no respect for other residents or the environment and when we catch them we do not hesitate to issue them with a fixed penalty notice.”

To report an incident of dog fouling call the council on (01429) 523333.

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