Responsible dog ownership in East Devon falls under the spotlight with a series of monthly roadshows designed to tackle a host of canine concerns.
East Devon District Council is hosting the Responsible Dog Owners’ roadshow across five locations between May and September, in a bid to educate, inform and tackle any issues surrounding the pets.
The roadshows, which began this week in Exmouth, will also be held once a month in Sidmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Beer and Sidmouth.
An EDDC spokesperson said: “East Devon District Council will be holding events between May and September to inform and educate dog owners who live in and visit the district this summer.
“During the events, officers from the council’s environmental protection team will be on hand to give advice, record complaints and hand out items such as poo bags, pencils, and wristbands.
“Devon Loves Dogs will also be attending several roadshows throughout the year to share useful information with dog owners.”
The spokesperson added: “The message of responsible dog ownership will also be presented to the dog owners of the future – primary school children.
“Workshops will be hosted for youngsters in the district’s coastal towns, highlighting the dos and don’ts of dog ownership, including picking up after your dog and proper control of dogs.”
Cllr Geoff Jung, EDDC portfolio holder for the coast, country and environment, said:
“Most people love pets, but dog owners need to understand not everyone does – nor appreciates – meeting an uncontrolled dog whilst walks at the beach or in the countryside, especially muddy or wet dogs.
“Then there are those few dog owners that don’t pick up.
“Please be considerate when out walking your dogs and understand that other people may not appreciate a wet or muddy creating from your cute dog and please ensure you pick up and encourage others to do the same.”
The dog roadshow team, who were in Exmouth on Tuesday (May 3), plan to return to the town on Thursday, June 9 from 2pm until 4pm, Monday, July 4, 1pm-3pm, Friday, August 5, 10am-noon, Wednesday, September 7, 2pm-4pm.
- Budleigh Salterton: Wednesday, May 11, from 1pm until 3pm, Thursday, June 16, 10am-noon, Monday, July 11, 2pm-4pm, Friday, August 12, 1pm-3pm, Wednesday, September 14, 10am-noon.
- Sidmouth: Tuesday, May 17, from 10am until 12noon, Thursday, June 23, 1pm-3pm, Tuesday, July 19, 2pm-4pm, Friday, August 19, 10am-noon, Wednesday, September 21, 2pm-4pm.
- Seaton: Wednesday, May 25, 2pm until 4pm, Thursday, June 30, 10am-noon, Monday, July 25, 1pm-3pm, Friday, August 26, 2pm-4pm, Wednesday, September 28, 9am-11am.
- Beer: Tuesday, May 31,10am until 12noon, Friday, June 17, 10am-noon, Thursday, July 7, 2pm-4pm, Monday, August 1, 1pm-3pm, Friday, September 2, 10am-noon.
EDDC said its enforcement officers had stepped-up regular beach patrols across the district in the early mornings, evenings and weekends as an ‘added measure’.
The aim of the patrols was to direct dog walkers to the correct areas of the beach where pets can be walked, and take enforcement action if needed, EDDC said.
The council said it had put up temporary signage in dog fouling hotspots, urging owners to pick it up or face an £80 fine.
EDDC said the hot spots would be identified by ‘intelligence’ received from residents.
During 2021/22, the council said it had recorded 114 dog fouling complaints and 133 reports of general dog-related nuisances – including reports of dog-on-dog attacks and out-of-control animals.