Council plans to clampdown on dog fouling

Michael Duddy gets ready to go on patrol at Derry City Dog Pound in Pennyburn Industrial Estate. DER1405JM009
Michael Duddy gets ready to go on patrol at Derry City Dog Pound in Pennyburn Industrial Estate. DER1405JM009

Derry people who don’t clean up after their dogs have been warned by staff at the city’s kennels that a clampdown is currently underway.

Enda Cummins, Principal Environmental officer with the city council, has joined Principal Dog Warden Michael Duddy in appealing to the public to report people who are allowing their dogs to foul, and have said that they are determined to act on the advice given to them by members of the public.

“Any report we get will be treated confidentially,” Mr. Duddy told the ‘Journal’ this week.

“While more people do clean up after their dogs now, there are a large number who don’t, and it’s still one of the biggest causes of complaint we hear about.

“What we need now is for people to help us, help them. If they see someone regularly letting their dog stray or foul, people need to make us aware of that.

“We are being as active as we can but we can’t be in all places at all times and it’s only with the public’s help that we can really clamp down. A lot of people want to remain anonymous when making complaints but we need more information. Any personal details that complainants give will be treated in complete confidence, but dog fouling is a nuisance and a health risk and with the public’s help, we want to put an end to it!”

Enda Cummins says the clampdown is part of a bigger drive towards responsible dog ownership in the city.

As part of its Responsible Dog Ownership Strategy, Derry City Council is introducing a two-month dog licensing amnesty to encourage dog owners to licence their dogs and to use the Council’s online licensing service.

“It’s about encouraging responsible ownership, and having a licence for your dog is the very first step towards becoming a responsible owner.

“The primary focus is ensuring that dog owners licence their dog, not how long they have had their dog. The amnesty only relates to people licensing their dog. Any unlicenced dog discovered by dog wardens undertaking enforcement duties during the months of February and March will still be subject to either a fixed penalty notice or prosecution for the licensing offence in court. It should be noted that after the licensing amnesty there will a concentrated enforcement focus on licensing; fixed penalties will be issued in the first instance.”

In this weekend’s ‘Sunday Journal’, don’t miss a special feature on being a responsible dog owner, and find out more about what’s currently top of the agenda for staff at the city kennels.