IRRESPONSIBLE dog owners are paying the price for failing to clear up after their pets following a council crackdown.
A total of 26 people received fixed penalty notices during the operation by neighbourhood and environmental wardens from Durham County Council.
More than 60 stray dogs were also taken off the streets as a result of early morning patrols in the Durham city and east Durham areas.
Dave Riseley, the council’s education and enforcement manager, said: “The one issue consistently raised during recent resident meetings has been the amount of dog mess not being cleaned up by a small number of owners.
“As a result we stepped up our enforcement action during August with a clear warning that we will take action against anyone we witness allowing their dog to foul.”
Following the success of the initiative, patrols will now continue in areas where there is a problem with dog fouling.
Anyone who fails to clear up after their pet could receive an £80 fixed penalty notice and if they do not pay the fine they could face court action and a maximum possible court fine of £1,000.
Residents are urged to report dog fouling to the council, making a note of the time, date and location of the incident as well as a description of the dog and owner if possible.
All calls will be treated in confidence and the information provided could help wardens take action against those responsible.
To report an incident call 0300 1237070.