The Council is continuing to sort **IT out as it issues almost 200 fines to irresponsible dog owners across Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Since October 2017, when the new rules were introduced to tackle irresponsible dog owners who allow their dogs to foul in a public place and fail to pick up their waste - nearly 200 fixed penalty notices have now been issued.
As part of the new harder hitting rules the Council's Streetcare enforcement team has stepped up patrols across the County Borough, including hotspots reported via the Council’s social media accounts and through the Customer Care call centre in a bid to raise awareness, catch those responsible red handed and clean up our towns and villages.
But despite handing out over 2 million FREE dog poo bags every year from over 180 collection points and installing hundreds of new dog waste bins across the County Borough - there are still some who are failing to clean up after their dogs when they foul on the streets of Rhondda Cynon Taf.
The awareness campaign "Sort **IT Out" was launched alongside the new rules being introduced and highlights the dangers of dog fouling being left on the streets/parks/sports fields - as a local resident, Collin Smith, who supports the campaign discovered in 1979.
Collin, who was aged 15 at the time was playing rugby on a school playing field when he suffered a compound fracture to his leg.
Despite receiving medical attention the fracture later became infected due to an irresponsible dog owner failing to clean up after their dog. As a result Collin was left with a life-changing injury, which could have been avoided, if the owner had picked up the waste and placed it in the bin.
The campaign also raises awareness of the new rules and the work carried out by the Council's enforcement officers.
The Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) which was introduced on October 1, 2017, stated that:
- Dog owners MUST clean up their dogs’ mess immediately and dispose of it properly.
- Dog owners MUST carry means to pick up dog mess (for example, bags) at all times.
- Dog owners MUST follow a direction from an authorised officer to put a dog on a lead.
- Dogs are BANNED from all schools, children’s play areas and marked sports pitches maintained by the Council.
- Dogs MUST be kept on a lead at all times in Council-maintained cemeteries.
A separate PSPO for dog controls at Aberdare Park only was also introduced on October 1, 2017, stating that dogs must be kept on leads at all times.
Irresponsible dog owners who fail to follow the new rules will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100 - as those who have been fined have discovered.
Nigel Wheeler, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Director of Highways and Streetcare Services, said: “The new rules were introduced after residents told the Council they wanted to see action taken to tackle irresponsible dog owners – including areas such as playgrounds used by children and marked pitches where residents enjoy playing sports.
“Almost 200 fines have now been issued to dog owners who continue to ignore the Council’s message by breaking new rules brought in to keep our County Borough clean, for the benefit of residents and visitors. There is no excuse for not picking up after your dog, or walking them in prohibited areas.
“The Council would rather see a clean County Borough and dog walkers acting responsibly rather than issue fines – which could have easily been avoided if people had simply acted responsibly and followed the rules.
“The number of fines issued shows that we are continuing to take a tough stance on this issue, while the Council will continue to patrol the areas and also install dozens more red dog mess bins this year to further encourage responsible dog ownership.”
All the revenue generated from the FPNs is invested back in frontline services to further improve our County Borough and respond to the priority issues our residents have identified.
For more information on the new dog fouling rules in Rhondda Cynon Taf, and the Council’s Sort **IT Out! campaign, visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk/sortitout.
The Council will provide an update about the number of fines issued to irresponsible dog owners each month via its social media accounts.
Posted on Friday 18th May 2018