How we investigate problems about dogs

What we can do about a dog problem

Following your report of dog fouling or straying one of our Environmental Enforcement Officers will contact you to discuss the details of the problem. They will advise you of what action we can take. Reports are treated confidentially. The details are not given to the owner of the dog. Please be aware that we will not respond to anonymous complaints. A lack of personal details does not allow us to contact you for further information, or to see if the situation has improved.

Initially an informal approach to the person responsible for the dog is usually made. This could be a visit from one of our Environmental Enforcement Officers, or a letter to the owner. The letter will advise them that a report has been received. The letter will recommend that they ensure certain actions are undertaken to remedy the problem.

Our Environmental Enforcement Officers will carry out regular patrols of the area to monitor the situation. You may be asked to keep a record of any further incidents. This record may be required as evidence if more formal action has to be taken.

Where excessive barking has been reported, one of the Environmental Health Officers will usually make 3 or more visits. This is to assess the extent of the problem. They will judge whether it represents a statutory nuisance.

What happens when dog barking is a statutory nuisance?

If a statutory nuisance is confirmed and the problem persists, a Notice can be served upon the dog’s owner. This will require that the issue be stopped.

There are some occasions where we are unable to take any action. This is particularly where the problem is intermittent or not judged to be a statutory nuisance.

You will be informed in writing when we have concluded our investigations of the reported issue.

Last updated: Wednesday, 24 April, 2024.