DOGS: Enforce the existing laws

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I’m writing in response to the ‘Take Strong Action Now’ letter, (News Guardian, June 28).

The war of words between dog owners and those who don’t want a canine companion heated up with this letter when the writer described “anti-social barking”. This did make me chuckle a bit.

I live in Whitley Bay and own a dog. I have time to walk him daily, as do the majority of dog owners. I’m also glad that those who can’t do that spend their hard-earned cash to make sure their beloved family members get proper exercise.

Just because someone uses the services of a dog walking business doesn’t make them a bad person, just like parents who use day care.

I also see dog owners and walkers in Whitley Bay in all seasons and in all weather conditions. This includes the winter when we are frequently the only people at the beach. Many of us visit the dog-friendly cafés and support local businesses all year round.

Dog walkers who don’t clean up after their pets are a disgrace. I know everyone can agree with that point. If I see mess left by another hound, I’ll pick it up. I know a lot of others do the same. I’d be happy to see more enforcement and to be stopped and asked by an officer to show a sufficient supply of poo bags.

There are clear signs along the seafront in Whitley Bay that spell out the areas where dogs must be kept on a lead. Dogs aren’t allowed on Cullercoats beach and they aren’t allowed on half of the beach in Whitley Bay over the summer.

In summary, there are laws in place to ensure good behaviour by dogs and their owners. The overwhelming majority of us abide by those laws.

We don’t need to be further restricted, we just need to see better enforcement from the authorities and maybe a little more tolerance from certain members of the non-dog-owning public.

Paul Kelly

Whitley Bay