"I've never had to use this piece of legislation. Any responsible dog owner would see that their dog is causing a nuisance and call it back to put on a lead."
This week our dog warden Russ discusses a few of the Public Space Protection Orders like 'failing to put your dog on a lead when directed' and why they're common sense.
Read the full blog from our resident dog lover Russ below….
Those of you who read my blog last week may remember it was my 100th blog. As a result, last Wednesday I was lured into the Communications Office under false pretences, where I was ambushed by the Director of Communities Mary D’Arcy with a card and a lovely Vegan chocolate cake.
It was a lovely surprise and very much appreciated and made all the pressure and stress worthwhile.
Last week we looked at two of the Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs), these were formerly known as Dog Control Orders and historically Byelaws.
This week we can look at the three remaining rules and why they are in place.
Permitting your dog to be in an area where the order applies:
This refers to areas where dogs are not allowed at all. The most well-known is Worthing Beach. between Splashpoint (which is at the end of Warwick Street) and Heene Road. There is another less known beach ban between the boat ramps in Goring. Both exclusions run from 1st May until 30th September, the ‘official’ bathing season. Other areas include enclosed children's play areas, Highdown Gardens and Heene Terrace.
Taking the beach ban first, it only covers a fraction of all Worthing's beaches and only for five months out of 12.
Is it unreasonable to ask dog walkers to keep away from the beaches closest to the town, where most holidaymakers and day trippers head for?
Do they want to have to look out for dog faeces before sitting on the beach and then have to fend off Fido who's taken a fancy to their ice cream or chasing their beach ball?
Hopefully the enclosed children's play areas are self-explanatory. Parents know their children will be safe from faeces or urine on the ground or play equipment. Also some dogs get excited at children running or screaming and chase or jump up at them. This way everyone enjoys their time in the park.
Highdown Gardens and Heene Terrace are areas where the council spend a lot of time money and effort making it nice for people to relax and enjoy. Both are just meters away from the biggest dog walking areas you could wish for – Highdown Hill and the beach respectively, so I'd suggest it's not unreasonable for dogs to be excluded from those areas
Failing to put your dog on a lead when directed
This refers to areas where normally dogs are allowed to be off lead.
But in certain circumstances an authorised officer of the Council may give a direction to put and keep a dog on a lead. This is only if such restraint is reasonably necessary to prevent a nuisance or behaviour by the dog likely to cause annoyance or disturbance to any other person or the worrying or disturbance of any animal or bird.
Examples might be:
Dogs being allowed to run onto a football or cricket pitch when there is an organised game or training in progress
People having a picnic etc and a dog being allowed to run into the group
Dogs running into a nature reserve during the breeding season, etc
I've never had to use this piece of legislation. Any responsible dog owner would see that their dog is causing a nuisance and call it back to put on a lead until clear of the area.
Everyone except those who don't pick up after their dogs are in favour of this law …
I'm sure everyone has trodden in dog faeces, and perhaps walked it into their house unknowingly.
I often get letters from parents reporting that their children have walked in it on the way to school so have it on their shoes all day, or they've got it on their pram wheels and unknowingly brought the pram into the house. Then there are the cases of children treading in or sitting in it in the park when they're playing football, having a picnic etc.
Who can defend the irresponsible dog owners who can't be bothered to pick up?
In my personal opinion the rules are reasonable and proportionate and help everyone who lives, works or visits the area, to enjoy the coast, countryside, parks and gardens that we are lucky to have on our doorstep.
Hopefully it also shows that Adur and Worthing are far from anti-dog!