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Almost 2,000 complaints about dogs in 6 months

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black and white short coated dog

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council received almost 2,000 complaints about dogs during a recent six-month period.

A total of 1,852 complaints were received between October 2020 and March, the council’s Direct Services Committee has been told.

After investigation, 528 were found to be valid.

Just one fixed penalty for dog fouling was issued during this period despite 255 complaints, Of these, approximately one quarter were upheld.

The council also received 96 complaints about stray dogs. Sixty were found to be valid and 51 were picked up by the authority as strays. Of these 37 pets were returned to their owner. Thirty-nine were reported as straying but were not found.

Eleven fixed penalty notices were issued for dogs straying. Twenty warning letters for straying were forwarded.

Forty-nine dog owners were issued with a fixed penalty notice for failing to have a licence for their pets and 942 owners received a warning letter for no licence.

Councillors also heard that 82 litter complaints were received by the authority during the six-month period. Forty-four fixed penalties were issued by the council.

Meanwhile, 158 fixed penalties were issued by a private enforcement firm employed in MId and East Antrim by the Borough Council during the first week’s operation last month.

The enforcement team from Waste Investigations Support and Enforcement (WISE) has been given powers to issue fixed penalty notices for littering and dog fouling and will be targeting “hotspot areas” in Larne, Carrickfergus and Ballymena during the next 12 months.

Anyone observed failing to pick up after their dogs or dropping litter will be issued with an on the spot £80 Fixed Penalty Notice.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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