I am writing in response to the letters regarding responsible dog ownership in the borough (News Guardian, March 20).
On behalf of North Tyneside Council, I would like to begin by thanking the hundreds of conscientious dog owners who always clean-up after their dogs and ensure they are well behaved.
And while we agree with the comments about it being a ‘disgrace’ if people do not pick up after their dogs, we must highlight how tirelessly the council works to remove and prevent it from occurring.
Dog fouling will not be tolerated in North Tyneside and we take necessary action against those who choose to break the law in this way.
In the past year we have increased our patrols and we have issued 48 on the spot £50 fixed-penalty notices to those caught dog fouling, and a further six were prosecuted.
We have installed over 500 dog waste bins across the borough, placed in key locations including popular dog walking routes, in parks, cemeteries, playing fields and other areas of high footfall, as well as the seafront.
Owners have no excuse not to pick up the mess.
Unfortunately, the council cannot be at every dog-walking location and dog owners must take responsibility for their pets.
We, like many readers, are immensely proud of our award-winning beaches and we also find it extremely frustrating that a minority will allow their pets to foul and spoil these beautiful locations for others.
To address the issues mentioned by readers, we are patrolling these areas on a daily basis in addition to the teams cleaning the beaches.
To also remind people of their obligations and the consequences of dog fouling, the authority has also installed hundreds of ‘no dog fouling’ signs across the borough, and more are regularly added.
We highlight messages of responsible dog ownership and take further action through our well-publicised and ongoing environment initiatives such as estate clean-ups, Big Spring Clean and the Autumn Clean-Up Campaign.
As part of our approach, we held an event last week specifically aimed at promoting responsible dog ownership, attracting over 100 people.
With the support of the Dogs Trust, 78 dogs were chipped and owners took part in a clean-up. Similar educational events are currently being planned.
Matters relating to dangerous dogs are taken extremely serious and we would urge any such incidents to be reported to the police, who have powers to deal with such issues through the Dangerous Dog Act.
To report witnessed incidents of dog fouling, if you would like to organise a clean-up in your area, or require any further information, please call 0345 2000 103.
Finally, I would to thank the majority of readers for their continued support in helping to make North Tyneside an attractive place to live.
Head of Environment and Leisure