Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Dog owners urged to take the lead on responsible ownership

The council is inviting dog lovers to a special event in east Leeds to help them become more responsible owners.

The community event, in Harehills Park, has been organised as people living in the area and using the park are fed up of people persistently failing to pick up after their pets.

The council’s dog wardens have already been patrolling the area, chatting to people about what makes a good dog owner.

In a fresh bid to help people understand the range of things they should be doing to be a law abiding, responsible dog owner, the council is hosting the event on Thursday 17 May with East North East Homes Leeds and the Dogs Trust.

Between 11am and 3pm, staff will be on hand to explain the rules of the council’s dog control orders which came into effect earlier this year and the consequences of not picking up dog muck. Anyone caught failing to pick up dog mess will be issued an on-the-spot £75 fine. Failure to pay the fine could result in an appearance in court.

Dog owners are encouraged to bring along their canine companions, as the Dogs Trust will be offering free micro-chipping on the day and vouchers so that dogs can be neutered for free.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services said:

“Responsible dog ownership isn’t just about cleaning up after your pet. It’s about how you care for, exercise, control and feed your dog as well as making sure they are neutered and micro-chipped. I hope people take the opportunity to join staff at the event and take advantage of their advice and expertise.

“We want to make sure that dog dirt doesn’t continue to blight our parks and streets, but people who deliberately ignore the rules and their responsibilities have had fair warning. They’ll have to face the consequences when caught.”

When people pop down to the park they’ll also see new signs reminding them of the unfortunate and potentially dangerous consequences of dog fouling. The hard-hitting signs have already been successfully used in Chapel Allerton. The new signs which will be placed at entrances to Harehills Park have been funded by the Inner East Area Committee.

If you know of someone who persistently fails to pick up after their pet, you can report them on 0113 222 4406 or email environmental.action@leeds.gov.uk.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
e-mail: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk


ENDS

Leeds City Council provides a message of support for the call to action day around empty homes on Wednesday May 16

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods and regeneration said:

“It is fantastic that we have groups in Leeds who are so interested in looking into possibilities for bringing empty homes back into use, and we welcome this opportunity to work with them.

“The reasons for homes being empty are diverse and complex with no single answer to the problem.

“Reducing the number of empty homes in Leeds is a top priority for the city. It helps to improve where people live; helps to prevent neighbourhood blight; and it increases the standing and self confidence of local communities.

“We as a council have for the past four years, brought 3,000 homes each year back into use, which is the highest figure for a local authority in England and Wales. It is something that we are extremely proud of and want to continue.

“Empty properties are part of the normal turnover in the housing market, with the vast majority returning to occupation in a short space of time as part of a natural cycle of reletting or purchase, but for those that do not, we want to ensure these are brought back into use. We will be working hard over the next few years with both the private and the public sector to achieve this. The support of organisations such as Leeds Community Foundation and Social Business Brokers is certainly most welcome and we look forward to working with them on this important agenda.”

Ends

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk