Dogs and fouling

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

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.


Public Spaces Protection Orders in the Torridge district

On 23 April 2018 Torridge District Council introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO):

A Dog Control PSPO has been introduced under the Anti social Behaviour Crime & Policing Act 2014 to provide a more flexible and effective system for controlling dogs within Torridge. This replaces our Dog Control Orders introduced in 2013.

This Dog Control PSPO gives us control in relation to:

  • A person responsible for any dog must pick up any faeces left by the dog at all times

  • A person responsible for any dog must keep it on a lead in certain areas.

  • A person responsible for any dog must put the dog on a lead when directed to do so by an Authorised Officer of the council, this applies throughout Torridge;

  • A person responsible for any dog must not enter land from which dogs are excluded.

The Penalty

The penalty in relation to any offence under this PSPO 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 this PSPO 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 it is found overnight or at weekends, finders should telephone the out-of-hours Standby Officer on 01237 428700 and wait for the emergency contact information, so that the details of the dog can be recorded; finders will be requested to hold on to the dog until collection can be arranged the next working day. 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.

The Microchipping of Dogs (England) Regulations 2015 required that, from 6 April 2016, every dog that is older than 8 weeks must be microchipped and their details recorded on an approved UK database. Breeders must ensure that their puppies are microchipped before they leave for their new home.

If you buy or rehome a dog, or if you change your address, you must also update your details on the database. If your details are not up-to-date, this results in the dog not being properly microchipped in accordance with the Regulations and you may therefore be subject to enforcement action. 

A lack of microchip, or incorrect details linked to the microchip, results in many stray dogs having to be rehomed as their owners cannot be identified.

What is a microchip and how does it work?

A microchip is a passive device no bigger than a grain of rice. Once a microchip is in place, it can be scanned and its 15 digit identification code can be checked against the microchip databases to quickly identify the owner, allowing a stray dog to be reunited with its owner quickly. A microchip is therefore a quick and permanent way of identifying a dog, taking no more than a few minutes to implant.

Microchipping is a relatively simple process that can be undertaken by all veterinary surgeons or anyone trained to carry out the procedure. The procedure is no more uncomfortable than a standard vaccination injection.

What happens if I don't microchip my dog?

It is an offence not to have your dog microchipped and you can be fined up to £500 if you don't comply with the legislation.

If a dog isn't microchipped, the local authority will serve a notice on the keeper of a dog requiring them to have the dog microchipped within 21 days. If the keeper fails to comply with the notice they may be prosecuted and fined. The local authority can also seize the dog, implant a microchip and recover the cost of doing so from the keeper.

But remember, even if your dog is microchipped, you must still ensure that it is provided with a collar and tag bearing the name and address of the owner. Failure to do so is an offence and you can be fined up to £5,000 if your dog is in a public place without this information.

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.

Dogs die in hot cars - Police guidance

pdf icon Dogs die in hot cars - Police guidance [135kb]