Dog Sh** and FPNs

I still fail to understand why so many dog owners find it impossible to pick up their dogs mess. Things have slightly improved in Porthleven, but it is still a problem. Porthleven is not alone, as this problem plagues Cornwall, too. I know dog owners have contacted me to complain about the issue, but I still do not think the amount of dog-waste not being picked up is the work of one or two dogs.

Cornwall Council’s Environmental Enforcement Team has had some success in catching people who think it is ok not to pick up after their dog leaves a deposit. Though I have to say, the number of people caught at given a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) is rather small.

For the following years here are the number of FPN issued, and fines collected:

  • 2009/2010: 55 FPN issued – 50 fines collected totalling £2,500
  • 2010/2011: 94 FPN issued – 86 fines collected totalling £4,330
  • 1/4/20011 – 31/3/2012: 24 FPN issued – no data on fines collected, or the amount as yet available
  • 1/4/2012 – 25/11/2-12: 29 FPN issued – no data on fines collected, or the amount as yet available

So, in a three-year period, 202 FPN have been issued for people not picking up their dogs mess. However, the problem is you have to catch people to be able to issue a FPN. The public could help with this; as if they witness someone not picking up after their dog, they could act as a witness for the local authority (contact me if you want more details on how this works).

Cornwall Council will also be (re)launching a campaign in the next few weeks to ask for help from its citizen in trying to address the problem of dog owners who do fail to clean up after their dogs. It may help address this unsightly and dangerous problem.

The full report is HERE


  • Sandy Angove

    I see from a post on facebook that Looe Town Council seem to be spraying ‘pick it up’ signs on pavements etc close to where dog poo has been left. Wonder if they are seeing a difference?

  • Not yet! Name and shame is the only way now, coupled with signs and poster to deter and education in schools to stamp out this disgusting behaviour from an early age. I despair!

  • worried worker

    Forget fines, make them eat it.

  • We were going to do that, but a certain TC objected on the grounds that it drew people’s attention to it!!!

  • Barbara

    Dangerous is not quite the right adjective here! St Ives is not an area Cornwall Council have found it necessary to target for dog fouling. Nevertheless, dog owners in St Ives helped form a Dog Watch Scheme with Cornwall Council with the aim of educating and reporting irresponsible dog owners. And what did St Ives Town Council do? They banned dogs from most of the beaches in the town for almost half the year so the Dog Watch scheme was strangled at birth. Lets hope other councils take a more positive approach to local community involvement.

  • David

    You ask “why so many dog owners find it impossible to pick up their dog’s mess?” Your inference that there is a sizeable proportion is debatable. Dogs produce a lot of mess and there are lots of dogs around, so it only takes a few irresponsible owners to create a significant problem. Maybe it would be worth counting the number of dogs being walked and compare this with the number of instances of fouling.

    As to the reason why some don’t responsibly dispose I suggest is probably due to lack of social conscience.The following excuses might be given:

    1) Am meant to be on holiday, can’t be bothered and no-one saw,
    2) Don’t like touching faeces even through a bag – might get contaminated and it’s gross,
    3) The smell still permeates through plastic,
    4) More important things to think about like getting the children out of the car safely,
    5) The dog needs exercise, it has run off and can’t keep track of it every moment,
    6) Sorry was looking the other way and didn’t see it happening,
    7) Don’t have any bags available – have run out or was in a hurry and forgot to bring any,
    8) No bins around anyhow and don’t want to carry it everywhere I go,
    9) If I put it in the black bag my flatmate will complain of the smell so what else can I do?
    10) Until recently the Cornwall Council was saying ‘no’ to putting it in the household waste.

    I agree with Edwina’s comment. Education in schools throughout the country would be helpful including the technique of picking up using an inverted bag and tying it off without ever touching the contents.

    Cornwall Council should clearly publicise in their literature, website and through press announcements how and how not to dispose of dog faeces in the county. Notices should go on litter bins to make it clear to dog owners if they can be used for dog waste. Warning signs should go up to include recommendation on acceptable disposal methods.

    Finally consider lobbying to make it an offence to attend a public place with a dog but without a means of picking up waste – or would this be impossible to implement? Maybe better to make it really easy to obtain poo bags cheaply.

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