The majority of dog owners and handlers are responsible and pick up after their dog's done its business, but it's the careless few that fail to pick it up that give dogs and their owners a bad reputation.
Not only is dog mess unpleasant, it is human health hazard. The biggest threat to public health is toxocariasis – an infection caused by worms commonly found in dogs intestines. This can cause serious illness, and even blindness.
Report dog fouling
Is dog poo blighting your area? Are the culprits just walking away and ignoring their responsibilities - endangering public health and putting children at risk?
We want to empower local communities to build strong defence and show the red card to dog fouling in their neighbourhoods. Report dog fouling in confidence today and we'll try to help you get it sorted.
What dog fouling you can report to us
can tell us about:
- Dog fouling on any public land, such as roads, parks and town centres.
- An accumulation of dog poo in an area.
- One instance of dog poo that hasn't been picked up, if you've evidence of the offender.
- Repeated instances of dog fouling on private land.
can't tell us about individual instances of dog fouling on private land.
Bags for picking up dog poo
Disposing of poo bags: don't take the risk, bag it and bin it. Stay within the law and always carry a bag when you walk your dog. Bagged dog mess tied up tightly can be placed in ANY public litter bin; you can even put it straight in your council dark green waste bin at home at home, if there isn't a public bin around. Please do not put dog poo bags in your brown garden waste or recycling bins at home.
Additional poo bags: if you forget or find yourself without a poo bag, you may be to pick one up at your local library where we have a limited supply available.
Local library locations and opening times.
Advice for dog owners and handlers
It's illegal to leave your dog's mess lying around in a public area. If a dog is in your care for any length of time, it's your responsibility to clean up the mess.
Plastic fantastic: always carry a plastic bag so you can pick up your dog’s mess. You can use any plastic bag to put your dog's mess in.
Bag it and bin it: dispose of tightly tied poo bags in a dog poop bin, ANY public litter bin or your council waste bin at home. Hanging poo bags on tree branches is a littering offence and fines are enforceable.
No sign, no excuse: if there is no sign to prohibit dog fouling, it doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. You must pick up after your dog wherever it does its mess - sign or no sign, bin or no bin.
Garden training: if you have a garden, train your dog to do its mess there and make sure you clean up and put it in your refuse bin straight away. Never put animal mess in your garden bin.
Never let your dog to go out to do its mess alone.
Don’t rely on the rain to wash dog mess way: this isn't an excuse we'll accept for you not to pick it up.
Fines and enforcement
Our enforcement team takes a zero tolerance approach to dog fouling on public land. Being unaware that the dog has fouled, or not having suitable means of removing the mess is not a reasonable excuse for failing to clean up after a dog
If witnessed, offenders face a fixed penalty fine of £50 or a maximum penalty on conviction of £1,000.
Enforcement officers work with the public, the police and other bodies to get the evidence they need to convict offenders.
Say no to dog fouling - Bag it, Bin it
You can download and print our Bag it, Bin it leaflet and keep it in a handy place for when you need to report dog fouling.
You can also display it in your window to send a clear message out to irresponsible dog owners to pick up their dog's mess.
Dog mess is a public health hazard
Dog faeces can contain the eggs of the Toxocara worm (a type of round worm). Humans can become infected by accidentally ingesting worm eggs or by eating food that is contaminated with soil containing the eggs. One of the major forms of toxocariasis (the condition the Toxocara worm can cause) is damage to the eye - reducing vision and in some cases causing blindness.
Children are at higher risk of contracting toxocariasis as they are more likely to come into contact with soil or sand that contains the faeces. Cases of toxocariasis have also been found in sportspeople where dog faeces have been left on recreational play areas and sports pitches.
Toxocara worm eggs need time to develop in areas such as soil for several weeks before they are able to infect humans, which is why it's vital you clean up your dog's mess immediately. If the mess is not picked up, any worm eggs present can develop and infect anyone who comes into contact with them in the future.
Cases of toxocariasis can be reduced if owners are responsible and pick up their dog's mess immediately, and by ensuring their dog is wormed regularly.