The dog warden covering the Whitby area has spoken out against “draconian” suggestions for a blanket ban of dogs from the town centre, and says that “the vast majority of dog owners are responsible people.”
Growing concern at the level of dog mess left by certain pet owners has led to calls for more action to take the persistent culprits to court.
The Gazette’s ongoing coverage of the dog fouling situation has drawn significant support, with many residents frustrated at the levels of mess around town.
But warden, Russ Camm says it’s important to recognise that offenders are in the minority and face prosecution if caught.
Referring to a suggestion by a Gazette reader that dogs be banned from the town centre, Mr Camm said: “Whilst I can understand people’s anger at those who do not behave responsibly with their dogs, it would also be unfair, unjustified, and without any legal standing to adopt such measures.
“The control of dogs is governed by a Public Space Protection Order, the extent of which must be shown to be necessary and justifiable, to address problems which are clearly identified or are likely to affect the quality of life in the neighbourhood.
“All dog controls are subject to lengthy public consultation before being approved, and are open to regular review.
“It would clearly be unfair to penalise the law-abiding majority of dog owners. Such bans are only considered necessary in specific circumstances and locations, such as the seasonal beach bans.”
He added: “I can assure the people of Whitby that the dog wardens do appreciate the scale of the problem, not only here but all around the borough, and we are continuing to robustly enforce the law as a priority and as widely as possible.
“This task would of course be made easier with the support and understanding of the public, not only in providing any information they have regarding known offenders and locations, but also in appreciating the difficult nature of the task in hand.”