Dogs and fouling

Information about the service the Council provides in relation to tackling dog fouling, Dog Control Orders and dealing with stray dogs

Dog Fouling

In Torridge, it is an offence for a person in charge of a dog not to clean up immediately if the dog has fouled on public land.


  • Always carry bags when you take your dog out so you can clean up when it 'goes to the toilet'

  • Be considerate, do not exercise your dog in a children's play area, a school field or sports ground, or ornamental gardens

  • If there is no poop scoop bin available, please take the waste home with you to dispose of

  • Worm your dog at regular intervals throughout the year - ask your vet for advice

  • Never allow your dog to wander unsupervised in a public place

If you see somebody who doesn't clean up after their dog, or who lets their dog out unsupervised and doesn't clean up please complete the online form below

Information can be given confidentially

Report a person allowing their dog to foul

What we can do

Council staff are authorised to issue fixed penalty notices if they witness a dog fouling offence and regular patrols are carried out in an effort to catch those responsible.

If we have evidence that a dog owner has not cleaned up any mess left by his or her dog, we can issue a fixed penalty notice.  We can also prosecute and a court can issue a fine of up to £1,000.

Dog Control Orders in the Torridge district

In 2013 Torridge District Council introduced Dog Control Orders, to proved a more flexible and effective system for controlling dogs within Torridge.  The powers were granted under the Clean Neighbourhoods & Environment Act 2005 and replaced certain byelaws and the Dogs (Fouling of Land) Act 1996.

Dog Control Orders give us control in relation to:

  • a person responsible for the dog must pick up any faeces left by the dog at all times;
  • a person responsible for a dog must keep it on a lead in certain areas, pdf icon click here [860kb] for a map of Dog Control Orders , pdf icon click here [188kb] for details about Dog Control Orders on Northam Burrows
  • a person responsible for a dog must put the dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer of the council, this applies throughout Torridge;
  • permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded.

The Penalty

The penalty in relation to any offence in any dog control order is, on summary conviction, a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale (£1,000)

A person may be offered the chance to discharge any liability to conviction for any offence under any dog control order by payment of a fixed penalty - see fees and charges http://www.torridge.gov.uk/article/12721/Financial-Services-Publications

If a Fixed Penalty Notice is not paid, you may be prosecuted for the offence.


The easiest way to avoid prosecution or a Fixed Penalty Notice is to

be a Responsible Dog Owner and not commit the offence



Stray Dogs in Torridge


If you have found a stray dog during office hours, please contact Environmental Protection on 01237 428700.  If an officer is available, we will arrange to collect it from you.  If the Council is unable to arrange a collection on the same day, finders will be advised to either take the dog to one of the Council's reception centres (details will be provided) or requested to hold on to the dog until collection can be arranged.

For dogs found in Torridge overnight or at weekends, the finder should telephone the out-of-hours Standby Officer, who will record details of the dog and advise which of our reception centres are available to receive and kennel the animal outside normal office hours awaiting contact from its owner.  To contact the Standby Officer outside normal opening times, ring 01237 428700 and wait for the emergency contact information.  There is no collection or delivery service overnight or at weekends.


If you have lost your dog, please contact Environmental Protection during office hours on 01237 428700.  If you are contacting outside normal office hours, please contact the Council's Standby Officer (see above), who will take details and provide advice.  Unfortunately, the loss of a dog can become very expensive for its owner.  If a dog is taken into the care of a Council, a government fine of £25.00 is imposed, plus handling, administrative and kennelling fees  (sometimes veterinary treatment is also necessary and is reclaimed) - see fees and charges http://www.torridge.gov.uk/article/12721/Financial-Services-Publications

Dogs that are not claimed must be held for seven days, after which they are passed to an animal charity for re-homing.

Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015

We are a nation of dog lovers and microchipping is crucial for both good dog welfare and to provide dog owners with peace of mind.

On 6 April 2016 under the new microchipping laws it became compulsory for owners to ensure all dogs over the age of 8 weeks in England are microchipped. Under these measures all owners must ensure their dog is microchipped and your details are kept up to date.  Not only will this mean the UK's 8.5 million dogs can be returned to their owners more quickly if they wander too far from home, but it will also make it easier to track down the owners of dogs that carry out attacks on people or stolen dogs.

Owners of dogs found by the police or local authorities not to have a microchip will have the benefits explained to them and be given a short period to comply with the microchipping law. If they do not, they could face a fine of up to £500.

Anyone breeding dogs is responsible for microchipping their puppies before they sell or give them to new keepers. All imported dogs need to have a microchip. Breeders are required to register their own details and these will be recorded against the microchip for the life of the dog.

Microchip implanters must be trained and competent; contact your local vets for information. The cost of microchipping is minimal compared to the costs of kennelling or veterinary fees. It also gives the owner peace of mind that your dog will be returned to you as soon as possible.

The Government's guidance on getting your dog microchipped was published in February 2016.

Dangerous Dogs

In relation to 'dangerous dogs' (either those of the specified breeds, or those that have attacked a person or worried livestock), these should be reported to the Police and the Council will assist them in their investigation.  

Incidents can be reported to the Police by dialling 101 or via their website www.devon-cornwall.police.uk/contact   In an emergency situation, dial 999 and ask for the Police.