NCRA NewsMail

11 November 2016 

Footscray Meadows - Use By Professional Dog Walkers

As you will see from our current Newsletter, this is an ongoing problem and a member has informed us that this week a large white transit van with double banks of cages parked in The Grove, when two men took out twelve dogs of varying sizes (some very large and one was muzzled) and took them off to the Meadows.

We have expressed our concern to the Head of Parks and Open Spaces, who has advised that Bexley's current policy is :

The problems overall are not large enough and more significantly, the Council simply does not have the resources to support the enforcement of a Dog Control Order in regard to professional dog walkers.

However, should the walked dogs be dangerous or out of control then the following would apply :

Section 3 of the Dangerous Dogs Act (1991) makes it an offence, irrespective of the breed, for a dog to be dangerously out of control in a public place. It is also an offence under the Act if a dog behaves in any way that would give causes for anyone to think they are in danger of harm from it. Park users should therefore report any potential concerns at improperly controlled dogs to the Police as only they have the powers to deal with incidents that infringe the Act. Any person responsible for a dog whose behaviour contravenes the Act could be fined up to £5,000 or face six months in prison. Magistrates may also order that the dog is destroyed.

Bexley have the following useful advice on their website

The Head of Parks and Open Spaces has further advised that Bexley can however take enforcement action if dog walkers, professional or otherwise fail to clear up after a dog or dogs in their control and offered the following guidance on how a problem should be reported. :

To assist the Council in targeting it's limited resources, as much of the following information should be provided :

     Name and/or address of the dog owner? 
     Do they usually walk the dog at a certain time during the day? 
     What times are the offences being committed? 
     Where are the offences being committed? 
     What does the dog look like? 
     What does the owner look like? 
     If the dog owner is using a vehicle, what is the number on the registration plate?

Further information on dog fouling can be found on Bexley's website via this link