Thousands of lazy dog owners in Coventry who fail to pick up their dogs’ mess have been getting away without a fine, new figures show.

Over the past five years 2,193 complaints have been made to the council about dog fouling.

But just 76 fines (3.4 per cent) have been dished out at a total value of £4,560.

On average 15 fines are given from 438 complaints a year, a Freedom of Information request to Coventry City Council found.

It is a substantial drop in action compared to previous years. In 2013, 449 complaints of dog fouling were reported to the council with 65 per cent – 293 – leading to fines.

In 2016 the authority said the officer resource to issue fixed penalty notices for dog fouling was reduced due to financial pressures.




Cllr Pat Hetherton, cabinet member for city services – the department responsible for keeping the city clean – said there was “nothing worse” than owners who fail to pick up their dog’s mess.

She added: “As a dog owner I can say this appals me. If you have a dog you need to clean up after it. The fact the people do not is absolutely awful for the rest of us dog owners who do take responsibility.

“I have got a green field outside my house and there is a bin on it. Yet people have let their dog desecrate on that green when there is a bin 10 yards away and not pick it up. It is absolutely awful and it is a health hazard for children.

“We used to have a lot more wardens and then there were the cutbacks in local government. The issue is still there but if people take photos and draw people’s attention to it you can take that to wardens and they will follow it up. But that can be quite difficult in itself.”

Dog foul carries the eggs of the roundworm (Toxocara Canis), which can be a serious health risk, especially to children.

Owners who fail to clean up after their pet may receive a fixed penalty notice of £100 reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.

Persistent offenders could find themselves in court, where they can set much higher fines.

The council said compliance with the law is proportionate for a city of Coventry’s size, but in areas where specific problems exist action is taken to increase signage and awareness.

A spokesman said: “For a city our size, compliance with the law is high and we know that, along with our officers, other dog owners challenge the behaviour of irresponsible dog owners.

“In areas of the city where we have received complaints, we put a great deal of effort into using signage, particularly pavement stencils; this is accompanied by hand delivered letters, which raises awareness in the area and often generates local intelligence as to who is causing the problem. We then pay the person concerned a ‘friendly visit’. We find that this in the majority of cases achieves compliance.”

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