We are a nation of animal lovers and the pandemic has seen pet and especially dog ownership soar over the last year.
With ownership comes responsibility.
Following a particularly distressing incident in one of our parks when two large dogs not on leads frightened two very young children, we thought it timely to remind dog owners of their responsibilities when in public places.
Whilst it’s OK for dogs not to be on leads whilst in our parks, it’s not OK for owners to allow them to frighten young children and we ask that common sense prevail.
Children have as much right to play, enjoy and feel safe in and enjoy our parks as owners and their dogs but a compromise should always be reached if your dog is frightening small children – or adults come to that.
Dogs should only be approached with owner’s permission – and only when the owner is in full control
Wardens can ask you to put your dog back on the lead but we’d rather avoid this type of intervention and ask all park users to be polite, courteous and considerate of all other users.
Encourage common sense and courtesy from all our park users
Cllr David A Bithell, Lead Member for Environment and Transport, said: “On this particular occasion the dog owner not only refused to put their dogs back on the lead when asked but became abusive and offensive. This is never acceptable particularly when young children are involved and I would encourage common sense and courtesy from all our park users.
“We want them to remain pleasant and inviting places for everyone which will mean compromise by a small amount of users. Please think of how you are allowing your dog to behave or your dog’s behaviour may be affecting others and be willing to compromise. Your pets may be friendly and harmless but to a small child they can appear as large and frightening animals and cause distress.”
We acknowledge that it is a only a tiny minority of irresponsible dog owners that we targeting here, and we hope that our messaging cuts through to them
Here’s a reminder of the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) that applies to dogs in public places:
- remove their dogs’ faeces from all public places within the whole county borough
- exclude dogs from bowling green playing surfaces, the playing areas of marked sports pitches and fenced children’s play areas, skate parks, tennis courts and multi-use games areas (apart from owners with assisted dogs)
- place their dogs on a lead when directed by an Authorised Officer
- place their dogs on a lead around visitor centres and car parks in the parks and bowling greens.
- place their dogs on a lead on a public road and pavement