Bedford Borough Council are reminding dog owners that it is against the law for dogs to be dangerously out of control anywhere, including both public and private land.
A dog may be considered dangerously out of control if it injures a person, another animal or causes someone fear or apprehension that they may be injured. If a dog does injure a person then the offence is aggravated.
It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure their dog is acting in a safe and appropriate manner. If this is not the case, legal action can be taken against the owner and/or the person who was in charge of the dog at the time.
If a dog is dangerously out of control, the owner can receive an unlimited fine or be sent to prison for up to 6 months.
A Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) is in place throughout Bedford Borough. This means dog owners must clean up any fouling by their dog, put an ‘out of control’ dog on a lead when directed to do so, ensure their dog is on a lead in certain designated areas and not allow their dog to enter areas where dogs are excluded such as children’s play areas.
Councillor Charles Royden, Portfolio Holder for Environment, said: “We do not tolerate dogs acting dangerously out of control in Bedford Borough and are committed to making sure that people and animals can feel safe when in public. We would encourage all dog walkers to keep their dog on a lead for the safety of the visitors, staff and wildlife in our parks.
“Anyone who is found to be ignoring a PSPO can be fined £75 on the spot and up to £1,000 if the case goes to court. If you witness a dog that has attacked another person or animal, or is dangerously out of control, you can report it to the Police by phoning 101.”
To find out where the Council has issued a dog control orders, visit their website: https://www.bedford.gov.uk/environmental-issues/animal-care-and-control/dog-control-orders/