Leeds woman fined for letting pet dog roam free on street

PAWS FOR THOUGHT: Council bosses say dog owners who fail to control their animals could face action under new powers.
PAWS FOR THOUGHT: Council bosses say dog owners who fail to control their animals could face action under new powers.
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A warning has been issued to irresponsible dog owners after a Leeds woman was fined for letting her pet roam free on the street.

Council bosses say other owners who don’t keep control of their dogs could be left facing similar action under tough new powers which came into force last year.

The Dog Control Orders were brought in to make sure people did not let their animals wander on the streets close to roads, potentially causing accidents.

As a result of that, Caroline O’Connor of Simmons Way, Gipton, was fined £200 along with a £15 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £398.44 in costs after being caught out by council officials.

O’Connor allowed her dog to wander unsupervised and officers said she failed to take heed of warnings.

The pet was spotted roaming along the street by a dog warden working for Leeds City Council on Simmons Way in June 2012.

The warden explained to O’Connor it was an offence to allow her dog to roam.

Dog control orders came into effect a year ago, under section 55 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.

The new rules made it illegal to allow dogs off their lead on footpaths and verges adjacent to roads. The order is to prevent dogs running into the road which can cause traffic accidents and to help prevent fouling and other nuisances unattended dogs can cause.

O’Connor was issued with a fixed penalty notice by the warden; however after neglecting to pay the case was sent to court, where she was found guilty.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council executive member for the environment said: “These control orders are in place to protect the welfare and interests of the community.

“Unfortunately there is a small minority of dog owners who persistently behave negligently which has a wider impact on the community.

“This recent case highlights the importance of being a reliable dog owner to avoid enforcement action being taken against you.”

Dog control orders also ban dogs from some school grounds and remembrance and wildlife gardens.

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