Dog owners in Mid Argyll are being reminded that they face a hefty fine if they fail to pick up their animals’ dirt.
The warning came after an increase in complaints about dog fouling in the area – in particular on the grassed area next to Ardrishaig’s waterfront car parks.
Councillor Bruce Marshall, Argyll and Bute’s environment spokesperson warned that it is an offence under The Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 for a dog owner to allow their animal to foul in a public area without picking up afterwards and putting the bag in a suitable bin.
“Leaving your dog’s mess behind you shows a total disregard for other people using the area and poses a health risk to the public especially in areas where children play,” Councillor Marshall said.
“Irresponsible dog owners should be in no doubt that they will be fined if they are caught breaking the law. In fact, one such owner was fined just last Thursday for allowing his dog to foul in Ardrishaig.
“I appreciate that most owners are responsible people. But the small minority who are not are making some public spaces a hazard for people, rather than the recreation areas they are supposed to be.
“The council’s dog wardens will be stepping up patrols all over Argyll, as the colder weather and dark evenings seem to increase the occurrence of people not picking up after their dogs.
“Please remember to always carry a suitable bag or poop scoop when walking your dog, even if it is just a short walk. Otherwise it could prove a very expensive trip.”
Under the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003, an authorized officer can give a person a fixed penalty notice of £40. If this is not paid within 28 days of the offence it rises to £60.
The case can also be referred to the procurator fiscal to be considered for prosecution and this will be done in cases of non- payment. The maximum penalty the courts can impose for dog fouling is a £500 fine.