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Councillors consider Renfrewshire Responsible Dog Ownership Strategy

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Dog owners who allow their pets to harm their communities will face a targeted campaign under plans being considered by Renfrewshire Council.

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Most dog owners are responsible people who clean up after their pets, keep them under control and make sure they never cause alarm to others.

However an irresponsible minority continue to damage communities across Renfrewshire by failing to keep their pets under control and allowing them to foul public areas such as pavements, grassland, and parks.

The new strategy currently being considered by local representatives would bring together education and enforcement in a targeted campaign.

It would also see the council work with housing providers so that tenants who wish to keep a dog sign a responsible owner’s pledge, increasing awareness of their responsibilities.

Councillor Eddie Devine, the convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, explained: “While the majority of dog owners are responsible for their pets we are determined the anti-social minority should be held to account for their actions.

“Everyone should know it is an offence to allow a dog to foul a public area and anyone who does so could be fined £80 by our wardens.

“We step-up patrols in response to problems at particular locations and any resident who has concerns about an irresponsible dog owner in their community should alert us to that behaviour.”

If adopted by councillors, the Renfrewshire Strategy for Responsible Dog Ownership and the associated pledge would see a single approach taken across the authority.

An information campaign would increase awareness of the responsibilities of dog ownership and seek to further reduce cases of dog fouling, strays and instances of dogs being out of control.

This would be accompanied by targeted enforcement action to hold irresponsible owners to account for their anti-social actions.

The strategy was created following a consultation conducted through Renfrewshire Community Safety Partnership and is designed to tackle the priorities of people throughout the area.

Councillor Devine continued: “Our council has undertaken significant work over recent years to tackle irresponsible dog ownership and some progress has been made.

“We have seen the number of complaints about dog fouling fall by more than a quarter, instances of stray dogs and complaints of dogs barking reduce by around two-fifths, and reports of lost dogs fall by more than a third.

“The proposed strategy has learned from these efforts and seeks to build on this success so we can continue to protect the local environments for everyone in Renfrewshire.”