Court acts on dog mess

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FINES have been dished out to Doncaster residents who failed to clean up after their dogs which had fouled the borough’s pavements.

Doncaster Council officers carried out a day of prosecutions, which put two people before Doncaster magistrates for failing to clear up after their pets.

Another 12 were prosecuted for littering.

Jennifer O’Donnell, of Walpole Close, Balby, was fined £160 and ordered to pay costs of £167.49 for failing to clear up after her dog.

Carol Robinson, of Emerson Avenue, Stainforth, was fined £400 and ordered to pay costs of £167.49 for the same charge. Both were taken to court after failing to pay on-the-spot fines.

A Doncaster Council spokesman said the magistrates took the view that dog fouling was a very serious offence.

The prosecutions came almost a month after The Star revealed the worst dog fouling hot spots in the borough.

The highest number of complaints came from Springwell Lane, in Balby, with 22 complaints made to the authorities in the last three years.

A total of 2,228 complaints were made about dog fouling in the borough as a whole over the same time period.

Coun Cynthia Ransome, Doncaster Council’s cabinet member for communities, said: “Doncaster Council continues to tackle people who spoil our wonderful borough for other residents.

“This kind of behaviour is simply unacceptable and we will not tolerate anyone who fails to clear up after themselves or their faithful friend.

“All of these people ended up in court because they did not pay their fines despite being given repeated opportunities.

“Had they done so they would have ended up paying a lesser sum.”

Dog faeces can expose people who might touch it to a virus called toxocara canis, which can in the worst cases lead to blindness.

All fines issued by the magistrates go to the court and not the council.

Officials have been using the Dogs Fouling of the Land Act to try to clampdown on fouling since 1999. Fixed penalties are imposed, with those who fail to pay taken to court.