Dog owner hit with £750 fine for letting pet poo in their own garden
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A dog owner is facing the stark decision to pay a £750 fine or face further consequences after neighbours complained about them letting their pet poo in their own garden.
The resident, who has not been named, was sent four notices from Durham City Council to clean up the mess but ignored them all.
The first warning was sent out in October after neighbours made their first complaints and the dog owner was served a Community Protection Warning.
Given a week to clear up the dog muck, the pet owner had seemingly not done anything about it when council officials inspected the dog poo-peppered garden in Stanley, County Durham.
They then ended up getting prosecuted after failing to respond to a Community Protection Notice telling them to get rid of the dog poo.
Failing to appear in court on 19 April, the dog owner ended up with the case against them being proven in absence, with them penalised with a fine to cover costs and damages worth £754.
"I don’t know the person involved but I know the neighbours have been getting fed up with the smell and having to look at it all the time," said one local resident of the dung-covered garden.
“It’s pretty rank, especially when the weather gets warmer. You can only imagine how bad the stench will be. I think everyone’s pretty happy that the council have taken action."
Another local resident urged people to clean up their dog's mess but was at least glad that it was all contained in one area.
They said: "If you keep pets then you have to clean up after them but at least all the mess is in their own yard and not left on the paths where kids can step in it."
Council neighbourhood protection manager Ian Hoult spoke about the incident, warning that the poo-strewn garden had become a 'health risk'.
He said: "The build-up of mess in the yard was not only unsightly, but was becoming a health risk, specifically for children in the area which is unacceptable.
"We receive almost 4,000 reports a year about untidy yards and gardens that are having a negative impact on our communities.
"On investigation we give people the chance to rectify the problem, however we will take action against those who don’t.
"We are asking the public to report untidy yards and gardens in their area via our Do It Online system or by calling 03000 26000."
The dog owner has until 17 May to pay the £754 fine or face further consequences.