The Council has adopted the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act. It applies to all land in the Gateshead borough which is in the open air and which the public has access to.
It is an offence to be in charge of a dog and to let it foul and not clear it up. You are responsible for clearing it up whether or not you were with the dog at the time.
Designated land includes public parks, pavements, sports and leisure areas, grass verges, roads, walkways and shopping precincts.
The act does not apply to land used for agriculture or forestry, marshland, moorland, heath land, rural common land or roads with speed limits over 40mph with grass verges alongside.
Excuses that are not acceptable
- allowing your dog to roam the streets. You are still legally in charge of it.
- looking the other way and not seeing it foul.
- not having a poop-scoop with you.
- it’s not your dog that you’re taking for a walk!
What happens if you don’t clear up
You may be given a fixed penalty notice (FPN). This means you must pay £50 to the Council within 14 days. If you don’t pay you could be prosecuted. You may als be prosecuted without being offered a chance to accept the FPN. If the magistrates find you guilty you may have to pay up to £1,000 in fines and the court costs. You will also have a criminal record.
How will the Council know if you don’t clear up?
Wardens patrol the borough every day looking for people who break the fouling law. As well as the Dog Wardens, there are many other Council officers and some police officers that can issue FPNs.
Every report or complaint of dog fouling is investigated.
Why is dog fouling such a problem?
- It's a health risk. Round worm eggs (Toxocara) in dog faeces can cause blindness, asthma and eye infections. The worm eggs can survive in the soil even after it’s rained, so children playing on grass are much more at risk. The bacteria can cause sickness and diarrhoea
- It's socially unacceptable. It spoils the environment around people’s homes.
What you should do
- don’t let your dog roam the streets.
- always carry a poop-scoop when walking your dog. Remember to take a poop-scoop as you remember the lead. A plastic carrier bag is all you need!
- scoop the poop every time your dog fouls.
- dispose of it in a waste bin or take it home and put it with your household refuse or bury it.
There is a dog fouling problem I want to report. What do I do?
Please report it to us using the contact details below with as much information as possible. We keep the source of information confidential and use it to ensure we have the best chance of catching the irresponsible person who doesn’t clear up when their dog fouls.
The type of information that will help us includes:
- where the dog lives
- descriptions of the dog
- descriptions of anyone walking the dog
- the time when the dog is in the area (dogs and their owners often follow similar exercise routes and times)
- associated vehicle registration numbers