Dog fouling is consistently one of the highest sources of complaints by the public to their MPs, local councillors and local authorities.
Estimates put the British dog population at between 6.5 and 7.4 million, producing 1,000 tonnes of excrement a day. The annual cost of cleaning this mess is a staggering £22 million (EnCAMs 2005).
Dog fouling is not just unsightly, it can prove hazardous to people's health too, leading in some cases to an infection called toxocariasis which can lead to serious eye damage if contracted.
Report dog fouling
The quickest way to report dog fouling is via Love Clean Hackney. You take a photo and send in your report using our free mobile apps or website. We will deal with your report and keep you updated on its progress.
Cleaning up after your dog
If you're a dog owner, you must ensure that you clear-up any faeces that your dog leaves in a public place:
- if your dog needs to go to the toilet while you're out, use a pooper scooper
- pooper scoopers are available for purchase at pet shops and some supermarkets
- if you do not have a pooper scooper, you can use any plastic bag to clean up after your dog
- if you're not able to deposit the bag in a dog litter bin, you are expected to double wrap the used scoop and dispose of it in a street litter bin or at home
The Council is no longer under an obligation to provide dog litter bins solely for the disposal of dog faeces.
Dog fouling is an offence
The Council introduced a dog fouling control order under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.
Under this act, it is an offence if dog owners do not remove their pet faeces from land within Hackney that is open to the air and accessible to the public. This includes:
- public roads, footpaths, cycle paths and verges adjacent to these roads
- parks and recreational spaces, cemeteries and Council-owned allotments
- school playing fields, playgrounds and any land surrounding schools and colleges
- council-owned housing estates
Failure to comply with the dog fouling control order may result in the issue of a £80 penalty and/or prosecution with a maximum fine up to £1,000.
People who are registered as blind, disabled, or otherwise rely on dogs, will be exempt from this order.
How we manage dog fouling
Dog fouling is enforced by the Council, supported by our street wardens, park rangers, the dog warden and our estate managers.
Where dog fouling is major problem, we will undertake high visibility patrols and leaflet the street and the surrounding area. We will also place warning signs in the area to advise dog owners of the need to clean up if their dog has fouled there.
All cases of dog fouling reported to us will be investigated within 48 hours of receiving the report.
Fouling on council estates
Dog fouling on land owned by us is investigated by our estate managers. Ongoing offences can be referred to the Council and we will issue fixed penalty notices or instigate prosecution proceedings for persistent offenders.
Fouling within parks and recreational spaces
Parks and recreational staff will manage first-time offences. Continued breaches can be referred to the Council and we will take formal action as appropriate - this may include issuing fixed penalty notices or prosecution for repeat offenders.