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Durham County Council

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Dog fouling

Dog fouling spoils the environment, upsets local residents and can cause serious health risks, particularly to children. Pick up your dog's waste using a bag and put the dog waste in a rubbish bin. Please encourage your family and friends to do the same. It will help us keep County Durham clean.

The law

It is an offence, under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, if you do not clean up your dog's waste. If you're caught not picking up, you will be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £80. If taken to court, you could be fined a maximum of £1,000. Please note: from 1 June 2017, a Public Space Protection Order will come into force in County Durham. Fixed Penalty Notices will increase from £80 to £100. See enforcement powers for irresponsible dog owners for details.

What happens after I've reported dog fouling?

Our neighbourhood wardens will investigate and take the necessary action against the person. If a pavement or verge is badly fouled, we can arrange for the mess to be cleaned up and/or arrange for an officer to patrol the area in an effort to catch the offenders.

Help stop dog fouling issues

It takes very little time and effort to clean up after your dog and it is no defence to claim ignorance of the dog's actions. Always carry a 'poop-a-scoop' or bag when walking your dog and pick up after your pet. A carrier bag or nappy sack is all you need.

How to get rid of dog waste

Dog bins

We provide dog waste bins throughout County Durham, at locations such as parks, grass verges, pedestrian areas, footpaths, larger open spaces and coastal promenades. We regularly check dog bins and empty when required. You can also use any public litter bin to dispose of dog waste. 

Household bins

You can also get rid of dog waste in your household rubbish bin, provided it is properly bagged. Please do not place dog waste in your household recycling bin as this will contaminate your recycling.

Campaigns and schemes to tackle dog fouling

Green Dog Walkers

The Green Dog Walkers scheme aims to change attitudes towards dog fouling. Volunteers wear a Green Dog Walkers badge which signifies they will:

  • always clean up after their dog
  • carry extra dog waste bags when walking their dog
  • lend a dog waste bag to those without one
  • act as a friendly reminder to other dog walkers to clean up after their dog.

Responsible dog ownership campaign

We run regular mini Responsible dog ownership campaigns across the county. If you would like to discuss campaigns or dog fouling issues in your area, please contact us.

Further information

Download our Responsible Dog Ownership postcard (PDF, 75kb) for tips on how to report dog fouling and being a responsible dog owner.