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Proposal to introduce new enforcement powers for irresponsible dog owners

Find out about the consultation to implement a countywide Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for dog control.

Background information

We carried out a consultation between Monday 12 September and Monday 5 December 2016 to ask views on implementing a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) for dog control.

Following the introduction of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, this brought in more enforcement powers, including replacing existing Dog Control Orders. This means our existing Dog Control Order would turn into a PSPO.

Why did we consult on implementing a PSPO?

The PSPO will help to protect our parks and open spaces against irresponsible dog owners who do not pick up after, or control, their dogs properly. It should help the following:

  • reduce dog fouling
  • reduce the number of stray dogs and make it easier to return stray dogs to their owners by checking dogs are microchipped (from April 2016 it became law that all dogs must be microchipped)
  • better control of dogs in public areas
  • safer and more welcoming play areas
  • improve the local community and environment 

Consultation views

We asked whether people agreed, disagreed or neither agreed/disagreed with the following proposals:

In County Durham it will be an offence if you:

  • allow your dog to foul without picking it up (already an offence and continues under the new PSPO)
  • allow a dog to stray (i.e. it would be an offence to allow a dog to roam/wander loose/exercise without a responsible owner present)
  • fail to put a dog on a lead when asked to do so by an authorised officer (e.g. by a neighbourhood warden, council officer or Police Officer)
  • allow dogs into designated fenced off fixed play areas. 

    Consultation outcome

    Over eighty per cent of people supported the Order, positively agreeing it would:

    • help create safe and welcoming play areas
    • reduce the number of stray dogs
    • enable authorised officers to request dogs are put on leads when necessary
    • tackle dog fouling issues.

      Next steps

      The PSPO was agreed to be implemented. It will be enforced from 1 June 2017. Please see our Enforcement powers for irresponsible dog owners page for more detail.

      Further information

      If you have any questions about this consultation, please contact us.


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      03000 26 0000
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